Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Capturing the Moment - plein air paint out in St James's Park

Today was a plein air "paint out" day in St James's Park organised by the British Plein Air Painters as a preliminary to their first annual exhibition at the Menier Gallery next week (16-20 October 2018).  This was the second paint out - with the first having been held last month.

a plein air painting box - home made in plywood by Paul Franks
- with some very nifty features!
Some 90 painters attended the event - and when I turned up later afternoon (after other commitments) I found painters scattered all over the park.

The events are FREE and all levels of ability are welcome.

Below are some of the painters with their paintings. Most are not in the exhibition at the Menier Gallery - but I'm guessing some will be in future!

Keep an eye on the events page of British Plein Air Painters for more paint out days

Details of the exhibition
Both David Bachman and Mo Teeuw are going to be exhibiting in the exhibition at the Menier Gallery.  David is a professional plein air landscape painter. Mo is a professional artist, experienced tutor and the author of Painting Clouds and Skies in Oils (Crowood Press 2017)

David Bachman painting the lake in St James Park and Buckingham Palace from the bridge

Mo Teeow captures Horseguards Parade at the end of the lake in St James's Park
Over the bridge I found a number of artists who had enjoyed the day's painting in the sunshine.
Mark McLaughlin and Kim Scoullar - like others - were finishing their afternoon paintings with their morning painting at their feet

Mark McLaughlin
Mark McLoughlin is based at Clockwork Studio, Camberwell and exhibits at a wide variety of shows
Kim Scouller
Kim Scouller is an award winning Scottish artist specialising in figurative painting. Born in Glasgow in 1980 she grew up in Ayrshire and is now based in London. (Facebook Page)

Susanna MacInnes lives in Clapham and is passionate about painting out doors. She chose to switch from a painting of light amongst the trees to focusing on people sat on the ground in the sun (Facebook Page)

Susanna MacInnes
Next up I met Paul Franks who is an enthusiastic and largely self-taught amateur painter from Essex. He had made himself the neatest plein air painting box from plywood (see image at the top of this post)

Paul Franks with his morning and afternoon paintings
John Killens
John Killens was elected to the prestigious Wapping Group of Artists - who paint the Thames - in 2008 and the Chelsea Art Society in 2014. He has also exhibited with the ROI , RSMA and RWS in London.

Next came Paul Alcock and Andrew Dockerill who were painting almost side by side - but pointing in opposing directions.

Paul Alcock (left) and Andrew Dockerill (right)

Paul is a professional artist, tutor and demonstrator based in Southend on Sea, Essex. He graduated from Camberwell School of Art in 1986 and runs weekly art classes for Adults in Leigh on Sea, Westcliff and Rayleigh - and at various other locations.

Andrew has been painting for over 25 years and regards it as a very enjoyable hobby.

Irena Massarella in turquoise and a group of painters in watercolour
Irena Massarella is a member of Dedham Art Society and had travelled to London from Suffolk for this paint out.

Nearby there were some end of the day discussions about the issue associated with getting tonal values right in the intense sunlight - when the light was changing all the time

end of day discussions about tonal values
and the lady second from left was the first one to recognise me! :)
Terry Preen's solution was to paint with a vertical palette just below the painting so that the light value on the palette and the support were both the same. Terry is based in Stamford. He is self taught but one of his galleries describe him as painting "prolifically in both oils and watercolour and can be seen on the streets of Stamford painting in all weathers (Facebook).

Terry Preen painting with a vertical mixing palette
John Walsom
John Walsom is one of the exhibitors. He is a is a contemporary British artist who paints landscapes and cityscapes, in watercolour and oil, both in the studio and "en plein air". In addition to the exhibition at the Menier Gallery, he's currently exhibiting with RSMA at the Mall Galleries and later this month will be exhibiting with the Chelsea Art Society. (Facebook)

I met Ann Hunt on the roof about the cafe in the park - she had painted Buckingham Palace.

Ann Hunt
People displayed the work they had done at the end of the afternoon on the roof gallery above the cafe in the park - and it was very impressive

Below is a pic of the just some of the painters congregating at the end of the day. If you go to my Facebook Page you can see a VIDEO of the same scene - with audio!

the end of the day
The people highlighted above are just a small fraction of those painting in the park today. Those painting were a mix of very experienced and professional painters and dedicated amateurs - of all ages - and from many places around the UK - who enjoy painting plein air.

It certainly seemed to me that the plein air paint out in Britain is enjoying a renaissance and becoming very popular - at least amongst those prepared to travel to London!  I expect we'll be seeing more paint outs in different locations around the UK before too long....

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