Now through August 28, a show at the Pequot Library in Southport, Connecticut, explores a surprisingly wide range of ways one can tackle plein air painting.

The curator of “Plein Air Revisited: A Study in Diverse Observations,” Nancy McTague-Stock, listed a few of the approaches. “We have pieces in gouache, pen-and-ink, work consisting of oil in jewel-like, multiple transparent glazes built up on aluminum, pieces that are primarily monochromatic with loose brushstrokes, ones with a stippling effect and pale watercolor washes, others that use natural found elements such as seedpods, grass, and sand. Some are traditional oils, and others have an almost Asian feel, and utilize sumi-e ink. One artist works over underpaintings of blues or rust, with a modified modulated technique. The group together showcases a fuller example of what’s going on in plein air painting.”

“August,” by Jarvis Wilcox, oil on linen

“Greenwich Point,” by Judith Orseck Katz, watercolor

“Golden Fields,” by Britt Bair, oil

The 15 featured artists range in age from 91 to recent college graduates. Most come from the New Haven and Southport area. Glass cases in the exhibition area highlight artists’ sketchbooks.

“Summer Light,” by Dana Goodfellow, oil on linen

“Beach People,” by Helene Brier, oil on linen

“The Pequot,” by Diane Weeks, pen-and-ink, watercolor

“Southport Beach,” by Fran Henry Meehan, oil on panel

“I’ve worked in plein air for many decades, and I still go on plein air journeys,” remarks McTague-Stock. “I find that people are less afraid now to experiment and try different types of media and vantage points, straying from the historic traditional. Younger artists in particular are willing to get out there and have some fun.”


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