Plein air painting in North Carolina
Just one hour from Cherokee, you'll find yourself beneath the 70-foot Dry Falls in Highlands, North Carolina. A very short walk will place you beneath this beauty. Shown here: Kathie Odom painting "Mountain Tears" (oil on linen, 30 x 20 in.).

By Katherine Jennings, Contributing Writer

This year our 11th annual Plein Air Convention & Expo (PACE) will be held in the eastern United States in the historic town of Cherokee, North Carolina. Home to a 57,000-acre Cherokee Indian reservation, this charming town offers a unique glimpse into the past with its replica of an 18th-century Oconaluftee Indian village.

There is a plethora of opportunities for the plein air artist in this region: alluring mountain vistas, picturesque Great Smoky Mountains National Park, scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, and nearby mineral hot springs.

Mile High Swinging Bridge
Cross the famous Mile High Swinging Bridge, photograph native wildlife in natural habitats, and hike some of the South’s finest alpine trails about 20 miles from downtown Boone, NC.

Today the art scene in North Carolina and Tennessee is vibrant and ever-growing. With art groups such as the North Carolina Plein Air Painters, the WNC (Western North Carolina) Plein Air Painters, and the Southeast Tennessee Plein Air Painters, the plein air tradition flourishes. And don’t forget to take advantage of the spectacular scenery throughout the states of Tennessee and North Carolina. From the coast to the mountains, there are plenty of opportunities and inspiration!

Start with this free guide from PleinAir Magazine:

Artist guide to painting North Carolina and Tennessee


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