12th Annual PACE To Be Held In …

Artists at the Plein Air Convention captured hundreds of scenes worth painting at Darnell Farms in Bryson City, North Carolina, despite a healthy downpour at our third PACE paint-out this week. Let’s let the pictures do the talking:

Plein Air Convention Paint-Out
“It was amazing to look at the sea of plein air artists.” ~ Terry Metzler, on one of our PACE paint-outs. Shown here: Charlie Easton and friends
PACE Eric Rhoads
Eric Rhoads and our faculty were on site to help any artist who needed a little guidance.
PACE
You have the option to paint with as many others as you please; what does your perfect space look like?
PACE paint-out
Kathie Odom’s husband, Buddy, modeled for us at a flower stand. Thank you for breaking green beans for so long, Buddy! 🙂

Earlier this afternoon we had the PACE Closing Ceremony, complete with folks spinning the prize wheel and winning trips to Fall Color Week and the Adirondacks Publisher’s Invitational with Eric Rhoads, and even multiple give-aways to PACE 2025. In one special case, a woman who had already registered for PACE next year won a ticket, so while on stage she gifted it to a new friend who had been a big help this week. Because of her generosity, Eric gave her a second free ticket, which she then gifted to another friend – because painting is better together!

Eric Rhoads with Ali Cruickshank; we'll miss you, Ali!
Eric Rhoads with Ali Cruickshank; On behalf of thousands of people, we’ll miss you, Ali!

The ceremony wrapped up with a moment of celebrating our vendors this year, and a heartfelt goodbye to Ali Cruickshank, Eric’s assistant-and-so-much-more, who is leaving the company soon to take a new direction in life. We will miss her so much (and I know my fingers are crossed that she’ll still come to PACE at least!). 🙂 We were then surprised with a performance by a Scottish* band that at first left us all in silent shock as we listened to the drums and bagpipes, and so joined in by clapping to the beat. (I’m told this area has Scottish ties as well!)

And by the way ~ We’re going to Lake Tahoe! The 12th Annual Plein Air Convention will be held in the Lake Tahoe region, May 19-23, 2025 and you can be there with us! The location was revealed on the last full day of PACE to much excitement.

PACE Expo hall
“I’m in NC for @pleinairconvention this week, the world’s largest gathering of plein air painters! I had so much fun doing this painting demo on day 2 for @edgeprogear on their sweeeeet duo easel ☺️ Every morning we have demos followed by paint-outs where we all pour into the mountains with our easels! Stay tuned to see what I’m making en plein air ☀️” ~ @lexihannah.art

Highlights from Indoor Sessions of the Plein Air Convention, Day 4

From “Method to the Magic: Keeping It Simple” with Jennifer McChristian
From “Method to the Magic: Keeping It Simple” with Jennifer McChristian

PleinAir Salon Grand Prize winner Jennifer McChristian guided us through her fun and simple step-by-step process to create a painting with a solid foundation, pristine colors, and expressive brushstrokes. She demonstrated her techniques for mixing clean and vibrant colors, simplifying complex shapes, and adding the finishing touches she refers to as “bling.”

PACE
“I’m accomplishing my personal goal to meet as many new friends as I can!! In case you haven’t met me, a stranger is just a friend I haven’t met.” ~ Helen Wilson

Why not just take a photo? Friction, risk, clarity, and economy can elevate and distill the life-heightening experience of working en plein air. Joe Paquet delved into the factors that bring us into greater alignment with and connection to our chosen subjects.

We even have urban sketchers among us - here, Mike Daikubara shares his version of workshop notes from Iain Stewart's watercolor demo.
We even have urban sketchers among us – here, Mike Daikubara shares his version of workshop notes from Iain Stewart’s watercolor demo.

A stronger start leads to a more successful finish! Karen Margulis has simplified the plein air process and shared her three no-fail methods for starting a pastel painting. Karen also shared tools to overcome the challenges of plein air with pastel, including how to narrow your focus and how to avoid overworking your paintings.

In his demonstration, Amit Kapoor explained how to capture light and shadow and portray a complicated subject in an easy way. He also taught us how to paint reflections using a reference image from Saint-Tropez, France.

“Welcome to the joys of broken color and impressionistic painting!” Cynthia Rosen’s demo illustrated the versatility of the palette knife. Using a stone house scattered with sunlight and set in and among trees as her subject, Cynthia showed us how the palette knife can quickly cut in shapes while still maintaining gentle color shifts.

Plein Air Convention dance party
The end of the night wrapped up with the popular dance party, where everyone lets loose after a week of learning and painting together.

On Friday (May 24) this week, many will remain in town and visit the incredible Biltmore Estate for a rare opportunity to paint the grounds of this historic landmark.

Join us next year for the 12th Annual Plein Air Convention & Expo – you don’t want to miss it!

Plein Air Convention Tahoe
From the big “Reveal” on our next location! Hope to see you there!

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