This September artists will flock to Davis for the Great California Paint Out, hosted by the John Natsoulas Gallery.
The Sept. 29 event is part of the 11th Annual California Landscape Exhibition, which began on Aug. 8 and ends with the Paint Out. The event is plein air, meaning that the artists paint outdoors.
Although the public can participate for a $25 fee, 10 professional artists, called Master Painters, will feature their work during a day of painting in downtown. Sometime before 5 p.m. the artwork produced will be hung in the gallery. An opening reception, along with a silent auction and awards, will be held from 7 to 10 p.m.
Kerry Rowland-Avrech, local artist and receptionist at the Natsoulas Gallery, said the Paint Out helps the gallery fund other events such as its jazz festival. She said it also promotes community involvement and helps sponsor local artists.
Rowland-Avrech said the gallery’s interest in hosting such an event was sparked by the international Paint Out day. Last year she said they coordinated with other countries’ paint outs, through video connections, but decided against it this year since it was difficult to find times that matched up because of the varying time zones.
“Last year we sold about 80 to 90 percent of the art at the auction. People just fell in love with it,” Rowland-Avrech said. “A lot of artists work in isolation normally, so this is a great way for them to reach a public audience.”
Philippe Gandiol, originally from Paris, France, said that he has created plein air works for almost 15 years and has been involved in paint outs since then.
“I truly enjoy painting outdoors and it is a great opportunity to paint with other artists, exchange ideas, techniques, tips of all sorts. As a painter, I spent a lot of time alone, in my studio or out on location,” Gandiol said in an e-mail. “Also it is a chance to exhibit and sell your work,to promoting yourself, to get your name out. It's an opportunity to meet collectors, gallery owners, artists from different states, broaden your reach.”
“As far as the Davis event, living in Davis, it makes great sense to be involved in my immediate community doing something that I love to do and promote the arts,” he said.
Master Painter Marti Walker of Sacramento said the event is exhilarating.
“You're looking at shapes, color, contrasts and most of all, a scene that has message you want to convey in that special visual language that is your art!” Walker said in an e-mail.
“The light changes radically every two hours or less, so it's a bit of a race to get it down before it's gone. At the end of the event, it's almost a letdown to return to your normal life, but usually you are so drained it's a relief to go home and sleep, only to awaken the next day and instantly find something that inspires you again to take brush in hand!”
One participant described the positive and negative aspects of paint outs.
“Painting on location or 'en plein aire' as the French aptly named it has it's negatives: bugs, wind, sun, rain, onlookers, cold, dirt, changing light and shadows, you name it!” said Leslie Toms, a native of the Sacramento area and featured Master Painter. “But those are the same things that make it an adventure. And if you tire of your subject matter, you just go somewhere else.”
Registration is open at the Natsoulas Gallery website.