The Confluence Gallery show opening this week, “Oil & Water: A Plein Air Exhibit,” features some two dozen artists, almost all of them based in the Methow Valley.
The artists who made the oils and watercolors that go on exhibit this Saturday (Oct. 5) got out of the studio and met their subjects on their own turf. “Plein air,” after all, is French for “outdoors.”
“Of all the artistic practices, plein air comes with a unique set of hazards,” curator Caryl Campbell said in a gallery press release.
“All of the challenges of painting outside give the work a fresh presence—the bugs in the paint and the wind blowing dust on things. The easel blowing over and the water freezing (some intrepid painters put vodka in the water to keep it from freezing). This adds life to the work,” Campbell said.
IF YOU GO
What: Oil & Water: A Plein Air Exhibit
When: Opening reception 5-7 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 5) to Nov. 16
Where: Confluence Gallery, 104 Glover St., Twisp
Contact: 997-2787; email@example.com
Among the featured artists is Ginger Reddington, who lives outside Twisp and loves being outdoors all four seasons.
“We are fortunate to live in the Methow Valley of central Washington, where the mountains are literally out my front door and there is no shortage of inspiration,” Reddington said in her biography on the Methow Arts Alliance webpage.
Ten paintings by Margaret Kingston will show in the Community Gallery, behind the Confluence’s main gallery.
Kingston, a Confluence artist in residence in 2016, is often inspired by the time she spends backcountry skiing in the North Cascades. Her exhibit, “Methow Awakening,” features oil paintings such as “Jagged Peaks,” which from a distance could be mistaken for a photograph.
“This show offers you a taste of some of the spectacular views, colors, shapes and energetic light that I love about everyday life here,” Kingston said.
Jennifer Molesworth, a fisheries biologist who lives in Twisp, is among the watercolor artists in “Oil & Water.”
“I enjoy painting with watercolors,” Molesworth said on her Methow Arts webpage. “They are so simple, easy to carry and lightweight. I can take my watercolor paints and paper way out into the wilderness and just sit and paint—time collapses.”
“When I get back inside I look at my painting, and I can feel the place where I sat—way better than a photograph, but I like to take photos, too,” Molesworth added.
The exhibit runs through Nov. 16. Confluence Gallery hours recently changed: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.