George Van Hook found the perfect spot to paint St. Regis Falls, in the Adirondack Mountains. Actually, Tarryl Gabel gave it to him.

What happens when a hundred artists paint at least 600 paintings in a few days’ time in the Adirondack Mountains of New York?

Patrick Barley worked in several media during the Publisher’s Invitational Paint Out.

History is made. When artists gathered from Oregon to Florida to participate in PleinAir magazine’s Publisher’s Invitational Paint Out last week, their resulting body of work will most likely go down as the most prolific artistic effort of the region.

St. Regis Falls had paintable scenes in many directions.
Until next year, that is. PleinAir publisher Eric Rhoads announced at the event that the event will return for at least two more years to Paul Smith’s College, which is north of Saranac Lake, New York. Participants at this year’s Paint Out were given the option of signing up for the 2014 event before anyone else, and 70 of the 100 slots were immediately filled. Next year’s Paint Out will almost assuredly sell out.

The Heron Marsh near Paul Smith’s College’s Visitor Interpretive Center had painting subjects grand and small.

Timothy Palkovic found a beautiful, treed scene at White Pine Camp.

It’s no wonder why. The event sits on the calendar in the sweet spot between spring and summer, black flies and mosquitoes, warm and hot weather. The scenery in mid-June is drenched in greens of many values and hues, and spiked with the bold, light color of rock that betrays the area’s glacial past. When all the participants gathered for a group photo in front of picturesque Lower St. Regis Lake, a bald eagle flew over them.

Diane Scott in action

Swede Ahrstrom decided the stream looked too good to paint, so he went fly fishing. He caught dozens of trout.

The artists at the invitational seemed to dearly love the camaraderie of the community meals, and the impromptu critiques after dinner that were usually accompanied by a couple of the artists playing acoustic music. But while participants vow that many friendships have been forged at the Publisher’s Invitationals, this is a painting event. Some were up long before breakfast and out of their dorm rooms to paint sunrise pieces, or to swim or kayak. It was not uncommon for artists to paint three or four paintings a day. A handful of attendees stayed longer or arrived earlier to capture more of the water and vistas of the Adirondacks. These were working artists, having serious fun.



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