Thoughts and paintings from the artists who attended the Publisher’s Invitational in the Adirondack mountains two weeks ago continue to pour in. Take a look at these fantastic works!

Edwin Abreu:

“This year’s event was awesome. This was my sixth time attending. Over the years, the exposure to artists of all levels has made a great impact on my painting. I have learned something from everyone. I particularly like the no competition atmosphere. We get a chance to experiment and take chances, something that is hard to do when you have to compete. The friendships I formed with artists attending from my general location has led to us forming a plein air group of our own. We meet and have fun paint together, just like at paint camp.”

by Edwin Abreu
by Edwin Abreu

Susan Nicholas Gephart:

“This was my second Publishers Invitational in the Adirondacks.  My father, Tom Nicholas, was also an artist and we inspired each other over a lifetime.  When he passed in June 2015, I decided to save so that I could attend the Publisher’s Invitational—so as to remember my father’s steadfast encouragement of my creative spirit.  My first experience at the invitational far exceeded what I could have ever imagined.  The atmosphere of positive artistic energy, along with a well-organized event was the perfect place for me to flourish!  I am registered for 2018 and will spread the word to my artist friends about Eric Rhoads’ amazing artist retreat in the Adirondacks!”

Susan Nicholas Gephart, “Grey Day Clearing,” 2017, pastel, 18 x 12 inches
Gephart painting at the Publisher’s Invitational in 2017
Gephart’s amazing plein air pastel setup!

John MacDonald:

“There are so many plein air events today but nothing quite like the Publisher’s Painting Camp in the Adirondacks. A week of constant painting at locations as varied as they are beautiful, room and board provided, camaraderie, laughs, and socializing. It’s by far my favorite annual painting event. Each year I learn new techniques and approaches to painting, make new friendships and deepen old ones, and all in an atmosphere of serious play. It’s an event I cannot recommend too highly.”

John MacDonald, “From Keese Mills Road,” 2017, oil on linen, 12 x 9 inches
John MacDonald, “St. Regis Falls,” 2017, oil on linen, 12 x 16 inches

Julie McGowan:

“I was terrified attending the Adirondack paint camp because one: I was a relatively new landscape painter; and two: I made no apologies for being a studio painter rather than Plein Air.  I did not like the bugs, I did not like hauling panels, paints, etc. from one site to the other with not enough time to develop a painting, and most importantly, I had the sense that I was way too novice to feel comfortable among the outstanding artists who attended the “publishers invitational.”  None of my fears were realized!

“Yes, there were certainly bugs, but with repellent they remained at bay.  Ok, outdoors is not a studio, but even painting in the rain was fun (and oils only repel water).  My paintings were far below my hopes and expectations but they were all good beginnings.  However, what made the experience so wonderful were the incredible artists that I met, many of whom were world-class and all of whom were willing to spend the time offering suggestions ranging from composition to materials.  I made good friends and I learned so much that the week certainly has challenged me to take my painting to the next level.”

“Along the Raquette River” by Julie McGowan
“View from White Face” by Julie McGowan

Terre K. Ritchie:

“There, you are free, yes FREE to spend a little or a lot of time painting. You find that others deal with painting issues just like you, and you listen to hear their solutions. Where else can you have this beautiful camaraderie with like-minded people along with a plethora of painting subjects?”

by Terre K. Ritchie
by Terre K. Ritchie

Barbara Greco-Potash:

“I learned a great lesson this week at Painting Camp.  Have no fear of painting with other artist’s.  I was timid to paint with other artist for fear of not being good enough, this week opened me up to a new world.  This was a week of sharing art, meeting new and old friends, and just being yourself and having fun. I was delighted to meet such a fun and gracious group.”

“St. Regis Falls” by Barbara Greco-Potash

John McNally:

“This was my fourth year.  I keep coming back to renew friendships and make new connections, and to rev up my painting machine in one of the most beautiful regions of our country.

“High Falls (tall)” was painted at the beginning of the week, with a gang of great painters working around me. It’s a tough climb of steep stairs out of the site, especially with a wet painting that size attached to your paintbox.

“Blue Flume” (early in progress as pictured) was painted alone on a rainy day at the Flume of the Au Sable River. It was come and go rain, and I had to keep throwing a big tarp over the set-up, to keep rainwater off my palette and the canvas.  Probably the slowest picture I painted all week, but I got it done. It kept me there till dusk.”

John McNally, “Blue Flume (in progress),” 2017
John McNally, “High Falls (in progress),” 2017

Robert Masla:

“Thank you again for a wonderful week of painting and camaraderie amongst so many ‘kindred spirits.’ I owe my wife thanks and praise for spontaneously gifting me the week, but wanted to thank you again for not just creating such an event, but for your vision. Meeting you and to experience your personality and ‘energy’ firsthand was a special treat and added value. I typically try and draw or paint just about every day, but what a rare treat to have a whole week without the disturbance of computers, e-mail, business and family obligations, etc. I usually go on a camping trip once a year to paint, either by myself or with my son, but the special attribute of this trip, aside from not having any other responsibilities to think of other than painting, (didn’t even have to take time to set up a tent, etc.), was to have the association of so many enthusiastic painters. People gathered together with no agenda other than to experience and appreciate the beauty of nature and to paint. To gather with some old friends, (one whom I hadn’t seen in about 30 years) and to meet new ones. Thank you again.”

Robert Masla, “Kindred Spirits – Painting at the Publishers Invitational”, 2017, watercolor on board, 20 x 16 inches
Robert Masla, “First Day, (at the VIC Pond),” 2017, cobra water mixable oil on linen board, 8 x 10 inches

Roger Rossi:

“The Publisher’s Invitational in the Adirondacks was a spectacular event. Many of us attend each year and catch up with each other like family. I have attended six and missed the first as I am not a plein air painter, but I test myself every year and see continued improvement. Boundless locations are there for us to paint. Some of us find hidden areas, but out of artistic fellowship, we report back with canvases in hand. The widespread tables filled with the day’s — and sometimes night’s — accomplishments make an overwhelming presentation. I signed up for next year as these events provide motivation for annual highlights that we will always remember.”

Pam Ernst:

“This was my first year to attend the Publisher’s Invitational, and I was extremely nervous not knowing what to expect. When I walked into the first dinner I was welcomed into a family and felt like the room was full of kindred spirits. What a rare occurrence to feel completely comfortable with people you have never met before. I was truly inspired by everyone there not only for their art, but for their life stories, humor, knowledge, and compassion. They took me under their wings and opened my eyes to so many remarkable possibilities. Oh, yeah — and we also painted.”

Eileen Eder:

“I had several long moments of total joy and gratitude as I stood by the always-flowing Ausable River or soaking up the beauty of the VIC or one of the many waterfalls. To be able to have the time to slow down, absorb the waters, land and sounds around me, draw, observe, and paint was a gift that I am still cherishing and will for many days to come. The paintings I returned with allow me to go back to those spots immediately and I get to enjoy it all over again.”

Eileen Eder, “Dam on Keyes Mill Road,” oil, 12 x 16 inches
Eileen Eder, “Flowing Downstream,” oil, 10 x 20 inches

Ron Garvin:

“A great week at Paul Smith’s for this non-artist. Lots for a non-painter to do, the scenery was spectacular, food was good, and could not beat the opportunity to get to know people from all over the country. I enjoyed the week very much and highly recommend it for those partners that are not artists as one feels rejuvenated after the week and would like to extend the stay. Eric does an outstanding job organizing the entire week, and I was enthralled with his home.”

Nellie Gill:

“I had such an exciting week at the PleinAir Publisher’s Invitational. It could have lasted twice as long and I still would have wanted more. Beautiful scenery of all kinds to paint. Marshes, gorgeous waterfalls, wildflowers, vistas, lovely skies and models … what more could an artist ask for? I enjoyed making new friends and seeing the different ways they painted some of the same subjects. There was no pressure to paint any certain place, and some days I went off on my own to paint something that caught my eye. The last evening, Eric’s father graciously opened his home for a final gathering that just topped off the whole week.”

Nellie Gill, “Black Pond,” 2017, oil on canvas, 8 x 10 inches
Nellie Gill, “Birch Trees,” 2017, oil on canvas, 10 x 8 inches

Tammy Callens:

“Every location was beautiful and inspiring. It was a time to put brush to canvas, and never worrying about a thing. Great meals provided. It was a very intimate experience that I feel privileged to have shared with new and returning artists … I really needed it!”

Tarryl Gabel:

“Every year this trip becomes more endearing as I re-connect with my painter friends from all over the country (having met them prior years/events), and I love the opportunity to make new friends. When the week is over, I am then looking forward to the next time or event we can see each other again. There is such an underlying sense of us all being connected through our passion and love of plein air painting that really makes us in a sense a family. We ‘get’ each other. We all get to disconnect from the distractions of everyday life, kind of unplugging from the outside world and being able to just focus on painting. It is wonderful walking into the cafeteria to eat, getting up and leaving the table, with no planning, cooking, or work involved. Painting the sunrise can be downright magical in the Adirondacks, and I personally live to be out there doing so! There is nothing like the sound of the loons as the sun rises and the world is waking.”

Tarryl Gabel, “Barnum Pond Sunrise,” 2017, oil, 8 x 16 inches
Tarryl Gabel, “White Pine Marsh,” 2017, oil, 11 x 14 inches

Cynthia Rosen:

“Eric always organizes fabulous, well thought-out events! The retreats, such as the Publisher’s Invitational Adirondack Paint Out, are about camaraderie in a beautiful location. Artists painting alongside each other, sharing both inspiration and information, dining together, re-connecting with old friends and making new ones. When we put our paintings out at the end of each day, we are gifted with seeing the varied interpretations, styles, and talents of so many in a non-competitive environment. What could be better?”

Cynthia Rosen, “Painting the Falls,” 2017, oil, 24 x 36 inches
Cynthia Rosen, “Panoply of Spring Greens,” 2017, oil, 28 x 40 inches

Annie Shaver-Crandell:

“The experience was extraordinary on many levels, but I’d like to appreciate particularly the brilliance and generosity of Eric Rhoads’ balance of setting boundaries (“No politics, no drama”) while simultaneously giving tremendous permission for what we were attempting to achieve during the days of making our art.”

Annie Shaver-Crandell, “Adirondack Dawn II,” 2017, watercolor and watercolor pencil, 4-1/4 x 13-1/2 inches
Annie Shaver-Crandell, “Misty Morning in the Adirondacks,” 2017, watercolor, 6 x 6 inches

Werner Liepolt:

“I have been hiking, climbing, and canoeing in the Adirondacks for more than 40 years. The plein air experience of Paint the Adirondacks has me seeing these wonderful places in fresh and new ways.”

Werner Liepolt, “High Falls,” 2017, watercolor on paper
Werner Liepolt, “Afternoon Reflections,” 2017, pastel on paper

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Editor PleinAir Today, Andrew Webster
Andrew Webster is the Editor of Plein Air Today and works as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.

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