Photo: Ben Hider

The New York Botanical Gardens recently hosted a paint-out invitational with more than 20 established plein air painters on hand. Beautiful settings + talented artists = worth your attention.

When you really think, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that New York City boasts some of the world’s most beautiful parks and gardens. Among towering skyscrapers that have sometimes seen the city called a “concrete jungle,” it seems vitally necessary to preserve gorgeous natural areas. With over 50 gardens, 30,000 trees, and a landmark glasshouse, the sprawling New York Botanical Gardens (NYBG) prove time and again to be reviving nature retreat for the city’s residents — and for plein air painters, of course.

Photo: Ben Hider

On June 11, the NYBG hosted a wonderful Plein Air Invitational. Renowned painter James Gurney and PleinAir magazine’s own Steve Doherty were in attendance. With them were more than 20 established plein air painters, who spread out across the gardens for a public display of talent and technique. Among others, featured artists included Stewart White, Elissa Fore, Denise Dumont, Lisa Mitchell, Paul Bachem, Shari Blaukopf, and Deborah Dion. A full list of participating artists can be found here.

Members of the public were also invited to try their hand at plein air painting, and with such an array of talent on hand, there were undoubtedly some valuable lessons and tips being delivered.


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