The annual Adirondack Plein Air Festival is on track for happening this summer, with a few changes.
Artists from all over the country have been registering for the Festival since Feb. 1, but with the advent of the coronavirus pandemic the registration was extended to June 1 to allow time to alter certain logistics.
For this year’s festival, artists will paint on their own anywhere within the Adirondack Park between the dates of July 30 and Aug. 19, and send in digital images of their completed work for an online art show that will be housed on Saranac Lake ArtWorks’ newly redesigned website for a month beginning Aug. 23. There will be no in-person reception or events as part of this year’s show.
In Suspension – March to April 2020 24×48” acrylic on canvas
I have finished a painting, In Suspension, that began six weeks ago, on March 16, when I set off for a day of painting in wilderness isolation. I had just made the stressful decision to cancel my upcoming solo show in New York City due to impending closures in response to the COVID-19 crisis. That day I should have been packing paintings for the show, but instead I headed for a waterfall within an easy drive, seeking distraction and solace.
The 2019 Tupper Lake Plein Air Festival has been set for October 8-13th. Artists will have the opportunity to capture inspiring vistas and landmarks that have help define this iconic Adirondack town.
Some of the many scenic opportunities awaiting artistic interpretation include the winding Raquette River, with the Ox-Bow and its many marshes, Bog River Falls at the headwaters of beautiful Tupper Lake, the mountains, lakes, and ponds surrounding the town, and local landmarks like the Beth Israel Synagogue, the Wild Center, and the Oval Wood Dish factory. » Continue Reading.
I always say I’m not in the market to buy art, but then I find myself in awe of all the talented artists and know that window shopping may not be enough. Even if I don’t buy art, I am always in the market to experience it. I love the possibility of seeing an artist in various Adirondack locations, putting creativity onto canvas. The benefit of a Plein Air Festival is in seeing those artists create in nature and then attend the art show to meet and discuss their process. » Continue Reading.
AdkAction is organizing a new arts festival in Keeseville. The first Keeseville Plein Air Festival is scheduled to take place from Thursday, July 13th to Sunday, July 16th.
The arts festival will showcase Keeseville’s natural landscape and historic architecture. AdkAction hopes to attract a wide range of artists to the festival, which in turn will assist the community’s revitalization.
Mountain Air Painters have announced the beginning of their 2016 plein air season. Each year the group paints together outdoors from May through October, building a list of locations they’d like to paint. Mountain Air Paitners celebrated the end of the 2015 season with a show of their works at 5 Corners Café in Old Forge.
Mountain Air Painters are watercolor, acrylic, oil and pastel painters and photographers who get together weekly. The group includes members of all experience levels.
“We paint for a couple of hours and then display our work to give each other suggestions and ideas. It’s also a time for sharing ideas about new products, techniques, supplies and inspiration,” said Jeanne Whyte, an Inlet architect who paints watercolors. » Continue Reading.
I’ve often thought about writing down the story of how a painting develops and I just had the perfect opportunity to do that last weekend. Three solid days of clear blue skies, sunshine, rising temperatures and no bugs! A plein air “paint-out” had been organized at the Paul Smith’s College VIC and I was one of seven artists who participated. » Continue Reading.
The registration form for the 8th Annual Adirondack Plein Air Festival was posted on the Saranac Lake Art Works website at midnight on Monday, February 29th and the quota of 50 artists was reached by 7 am, March 1st. The Plein Air Festival will take place August 15-20 in Saranac Lake with artists traveling from around the eastern United States and Canada.
New York artist Frances Gaffney has been added to the workshop schedule, with “The Art of Expressive Drawing.” Participants will explore artists’ processes, build professional drawing tools and techniques and explore new ways of seeing. Drawing will be outdoors weather permitting. Registration information can be found on the Saranac Lake Art Works website. Both workshops require a $50 deposit to reserve a spot and participants do not have to be registered for the Plein Air Festival. » Continue Reading.
With a clear forecast and a plan to paddle the full circuit of Lake Placid, I decided to enhance the outing by looking for the painting viewpoints of William Trost Richards (1833-1905), who had painted there for a week in 1904.
Richards’ long career included many summers in the Elizabethtown area, and at the age of 71 he went on a Lake Placid painting trip with his daughter, the artist Anna Richards Brewster. » Continue Reading.
Three exhibits are coming up in the Saranac Lake area that will provide lots of visual enjoyment.
My own “What the Rocks Remember” and photographs by Karla Brieant, is the exhibit currently on display in the gallery space at the Paul Smith’s College VIC. There will be a “Meet the Artists” reception on Sunday, Nov 2, from 2 – 5 and the exhibit will be up through Nov 21.
I first met Karla nearly twenty years ago. We both were volunteering at the Paul Smith’s College VIC, working with area art teachers and taking students out on the trails to do nature observation and sketching. I didn’t really know her very well, but when I saw her photographs, I could tell we felt the same reverence for the Adirondack landscape. Flash forward to 2014. I contacted Karla and asked if she would like to do a month long exhibit with me at the VIC and she agreed. When asked if we should have some kind of theme, I don’t remember which one of us suggested “rocks”, but the other eagerly agreed. » Continue Reading.
There is a lot of movement in painting this summer, as painters migrate around the Adirondacks for a series of special events—and for opportunities to paint the rich landscapes around them.
Saranac Lake watercolor painter Tim Fortune led a large gathering of aficionados through the “walkabout” at the annual Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors (ANEAW) at View in Old Forge on Saturday. This is the 32nd year of the show, which has grown to be one of the most respected and best attended in the country. Artists from all across North America make summer pilgrimages to participate and to see the opening. » Continue Reading.
When people go out for a hike, paddle, or ski, there are a number of different ways they experience the environment. They are likely to be observant, but the hiker may be focused on the route and watching for trail markers; the paddler watching for rocks, rapids, and where the carries are; and the skier alert to obstacles and those pesky trees at the bottom of hills where there is a sharp turn. A photographer looks for composition, lighting, texture. A birder will listen and look for movement in the trees.
Two weeks ago I was able to attend a plein air painting event in the Finger Lakes area – where artists seek out scenic spots and paint outdoors, on location. Being an Adirondack artist, I chose to avoid the busy vineyards, docks and sailboats on Canandaigua Lake and spent my time finding trails and wilder views to paint. The landscape there was very scenic, yet I learned it was very different from the Adirondacks.
The first day I painted, I’d done some prior internet research and had directions to a place called ‘Bare Hill”. The Finger Lakes are long, glacier carved gouges in the earth embraced by high ridges and flat topped hills at the southern end. Bare Hill was one of these, it’s steep slopes wooded down to the water, but the top was clear. A sign indicated according to Seneca legend it had been an early settlement. I wandered around, eventually painted a view of the lake, and never saw another person. I sensed it was a very spiritual place for the native peoples. » Continue Reading.
As odd as the name sounds – like it must be some kind of misprint from Facebook – “Social Faceworking” is a dynamic, exciting exhibit of the works of 19 creative individuals, with 170 connections between them, at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. It will be on display until February 11.
Organized by Nip Rogers, Lake Placid artist and designer, the main connection is that Nip is friends with all these artists and has created a unique portrait of each one. Each artist has their own exhibit area which includes their own work. The portraits hang throughout the gallery. It’s up to the viewer to make the connections. Quoting from the exhibit program “with the advent of social networking, it has become easier for artists to come together and share work and inspiration online”. Just think of what these advancements in communication have done for artists. It wasn’t that long ago that working artists often felt they lived and worked in isolation – that’s the stereotypical image of the artist, working away alone in their studio. Probably with weird personality traits and anti-social behavior. When an artist attended an exhibit or hung out in a coffee shop, they might meet and interact with other artists. In between those events maybe they wrote letters or talked on the phone. Or not.
Fast forward to 2012. Artists have web sites where they post images of their work to share with the world – not just discreetly showing their friends at the coffee shop They write and illustrate blogs where anyone can go online and see just exactly what their favorite artist is currently working on. Or maybe you can find a YouTube video of the artist actually at work! Or a Tweet! When I am out plein air painting I often take a photo with my smart phone and post it directly onto my Facebook page – “here is what I’m working on right now”. Artists can have fans and patrons without ever having even met them in person! A finished work of art doesn’t have to wait for the paint to dry, the frame to be put on, and months or years for a gallery owner to propose an exhibit – it can go on display online in an instant.
The immediacy and world wide connectivity that artists have right now is both changing the image of the artist and is probably affecting changes in what they create. Artwork is no longer subject to being hidden away in a closet until the artist is “discovered” – or dies. For artists in the Adirondacks, there is no longer any reason to feel isolated – unless you want to be.
“Social Faceworking” taps into all this connectivity and instantaneous sharing that exists via the internet. There’s even a Facebook page for it! The variety in techniques, subject matter, and style are fun to see and surely will provoke some critical thinking. Participating artists are: Andrew Dehond, William Evans, Brooke Noble, Cal Rice, Carol Vossler, Charles Stewart, CJ Dates, David Fadden, Eric Ackerson, Jenny Curtis, John Ward, Ken Wiley, Peter Seward, Sandy Edgerton Bissell, Sara Mazder, Shaun Ondack, Susan Stanistreet, Vicki Celeste, and Nip Rogers.
The Lake Placid Center for the Arts is located at 17 Algonquin Ave. Gallery hours are Tues. – Thurs. 1 – 5, Fridays 1 – 9, and it’s usually open when there are other performances or events. 518-523-2512.
The Adirondack Almanack is a public forum dedicated to promoting and discussing current events, history, arts, nature and outdoor recreation and other topics of interest to the Adirondacks and its communities
We publish commentary and opinion pieces from voluntary contributors, as well as news updates and event notices from area organizations. Contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The information, views and opinions expressed by these various authors are not necessarily those of the Adirondack Almanack or its publisher, the Adirondack Explorer.
General inquiries about the Adirondack Almanack should be directed to editor Melissa Hart.
To advertise on the Adirondack Almanack, or to receive information on rates and design, please click here.