– Staff reporting, PleinAir Magazine –
The week came in like a lion and left like a lamb at the Publisher’s Invitational Adirondacks Paint-Out last week, with more than 100 artists creating over 800 paintings that depicted the lush greens, majestic mountains, and rustic trappings of the northern edge of New York state.
Lead Image: The quintessential situation of a plein air painter in the Adirondacks, nestled on the pine needles, sketching dramatic waterfalls below
Cold weather and rain greeted the assembled participants at Paul Smith’s College, located just a few miles from the Canada border, on Lower Saint Regis Lake in the Adirondack Mountains. But the weather broke the next day, and a week of pleasant temperatures and sun allowed the painters to explore some of the most striking landscapes on the East Coast.
“Upon entering the Adirondacks, I wondered if I had erred in committing to this sojourn in an already familiar landscape, since I live in bucolic Vermont,” says Cynthia Rosen, one of the participants. “But upon entering the evening gathering, these concerns quickly dissipated. [PleinAir publisher] Eric Rhoads’ energy is infectious, and the excitement of all attending was palpable. In spite of a freezing evening and a cold and overcast first day, the energy was building. After that I was completely sold, enough so that in spite of wanting to get home after being on the road for more than two weeks, I was sad to leave. The waterfalls had me smitten, and I sought out every opportunity to paint. All of the sites planned for us to visit were fabulous. But the camaraderie that took place, along with the sharing of work and knowledge over meals and in the evening, added an element that could only exist in this kind of event. An added bonus, I brought my 33-year-old son, Ian Marion, a studio painter, for his first plein air experience. His statement ‘I only wish I had started earlier’ will never be forgotten. We are both signed up for next year!”
People familiar with the area know the kind of treats the artists were enjoying. Spectacular waterfalls such as the Flume, St. Regis Falls, and High Falls offered water scenes, while panoramas at Loj Road, Gabriels Road, and the Fish and Game Club gave plenty of opportunities to paint the green hills and rolling mountains. Trips to Lake Placid and nocturne sessions provided additional variety. “They really keep us on the move,” says Marianne Valenti Khun. The participants always had at least two options, with groups going to different locations each morning and afternoon. Additionally, there was always the Visitors Information Center (VIC), a convenient spot with an abundance of painting subjects and, of course, bathrooms.
Artie Lowe has attended the Publisher’s Invitational Adirondacks Paint-Out five years in a row. “What can I say?” asks Lowe. “It’s one of the highlights of my year. I’ve made friends from all over the country, had an opportunity to test my skills as a plein air artist, got to explore the beautiful Adirondack Mountains, and had the pleasure of spending a week with some of the most wonderful and talented people I know. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys art and artists, as I do. As always, a statement about this event includes a big thank you to Eric Rhoads.”