Plein air painting in London
From the British Plein Air Painters: David Pilgrim painting in Oxford

Summer is almost over, so take advantage of these in-person and virtual plein air painting opportunities from our Artists’ and Collectors’ Ultimate Guide to Painting Events and Organizations.

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August 2021 Plein Air Painting Events


EXHIBITION: Art from the Trail: Exploring the Natural Beauty of Santa Barbara County
Dates: Saturdays through October 3
Sponsoring Organization: San Luis Obispo Painters for the Environment (SLOPE)
Venue: Wildling Museum of Art & Nature
Eleven paintings from SLOPE members have been juried into The Wildling Museum of Art and Nature’s exhibition, “Art from the Trail: Exploring the Natural Beauty of Santa Barbara County.” This show celebrates outdoor treasures on the Central Coast. A key goal of the exhibition, in partnership with Healthy People Healthy Trails and the Santa Barbara County Trails Council, is to raise awareness of the wealth of trails in Santa Barbara County and to inspire visitors and community members to explore them, while encouraging a healthier lifestyle.

Exhibition: “Vistas, Varmints and Vagabonds: The PAC6 Paints the Wild West”
Dates: July 31-November 7
Venue: Santa Paula Art Museum
PAC6 is a group of six women artists from Southern California who joined together in 2014 to travel and paint en plein air across the country. They are Linda Brown, Marian Fortunati, Nita Harper, Debra Holladay, Laura Wambsgans and Sharon Weaver. While the six artists paint side-by-side during their expeditions, each artist renders the location and subject matter in her own distinct style.

16th Annual Frank Bette Plein Air Paintout
Dates: August 2–7
Sponsoring Organization: Frank Bette Center for the Arts
Venue: Frank Bette Center for the Arts, Alameda, CA
Contact: Margaret Fago
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 510.523.6957 or 510.332.6922 cell
The Frank Bette Plein Air Paintout hosts 40 juried artists for a week of painting tree-lined streets; stately Victorian homes and shops; picturesque marinas; historic naval ships and naval air station; as well as beaches, parks, and San Francisco and Oakland skylines in the island city of Alameda, CA. The week begins with a welcome reception, a luncheon and a quick draw, and an outdoor exhibit and sale of all the paintings on Saturday. A selection of the unsold paintings from the sale are exhibited and for sale in the Frank Bette Center for the Arts Gallery through September.


Plein Air Painters of Chicago: “Uncommon Ground”
Submissions: August 10-30
Show Dates: October 6, 2021 – January 16, 2022
Venue: Uncommon Ground Edgewater on Devon
Check site for details, additional events and paint-outs, including “Sundays on State” through September 12.


EXHIBITION: Moments: The Plein Air Movement
Dates: July 29 – August 29
Sponsoring Organization: Fort Wayne Artists Guild
Venue: Artlink Contemporary Gallery, Fort Wayne
Opening reception: July 29
Meet the artists: August 28
In partnership with the Fort Wayne Artists Guild, Artlink is proud to host “Moments: The Plein Air Movement.” This group exhibition will feature Steve Puttrich of Arlington Heights, IL, Jill Stefani Wagner of Saline, MI, and Ray Hassard of Cincinnati, OH, three nationally acclaimed plein air artists.


Steve Puttrich, "Waterlilly", 2018, oil, 12 x 9 in.
Steve Puttrich, “Waterlilly”, 2018, oil, 12 x 9 in., Copyright of Steve Puttrich; featured in “Moments: The Plein Air Movement”

EXHIBITION: Roy Boswell, American Ideals: Midwestern Farm
Dates: August 7–October 2
Opening Reception: August 7
Venue: Richmond Art Museum
There are moments that grasp you so fully, you can’t turn away. It could be something subtle, but undeniably beautiful, or grand and awe inspiring. The ideal sticks with you, forever a part of your soul. It will present itself during pivotal moments in our lives, or when we are enthralled by the eternal here and now. We are in communion with the past, present, and future. These moments help define our humanity. The paintings of this show are interpretations of those moments condensed to their visual forms. They are meant to be beautiful, but also a bridge, and a way to calibrate you to the ideal. To be aware and search them out yourself as you adventure through life. When in doubt, hard work, a clear mind, and looking up will help you see the ideal moments around you.


Artists Paint OC
Dates: August 11–15
Opening Reception: August 11, 2021
Sponsoring Organization: Art League of Ocean City
Venue: Ocean City Center for the Arts
Format: Juried
Award Total: $4,500
Contact: Katie Brown
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 410.524.9433
Enjoy five days of painting in the beautiful resort community of Ocean City, Maryland. Scenes include Atlantic beachfront, resort and Boardwalk attractions, marshes and bays, harbors, sunsets and sunrises, Assateague Island National Seashore, and much more. Open painting starts Wednesday and culminates in a Wet Paint Sale at the Ocean City Center for the Arts on Saturday night. The Quick Draw competition — which can be entered separately — takes place on Sunday morning on the Ocean City Boardwalk. Our plein air artists enjoy their time here every year, and the sense of community it brings.


Plein Air in the Berkshires
Dates: June 1–September 30
Entry Deadline: September 28
Sponsoring Organization: Guild of Berkshire Artists
Venue: The Mount, Hancock Shaker Village, Norman Rockwell Museum, and the Berkshire Botanical Garden
City: Lenox, MA
Format: Combination
Contact: Karen Carmean
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 617.868.7082
Create art outdoors in the Berkshires of Western Mass. Every day of the week from 9:30 a.m.–1 p.m., weather permitting, June–September. Meet at a beautiful Berkshire location such as The Mount, Hancock Shaker Village, Norman Rockwell Museum, and the Berkshire Botanical Garden. Work until noon, then positive critique over lunch (bring or buy). Oil, acrylic, photography, watercolors, pastel, drawing, digital painting are encouraged. Bring your own supplies. Open to all levels. Come for a day, a week, or more. We encourage you to join your favorite venue at the NARM level. Stay safe and leave the area pristine.


Maybury State Park Juried Plein Air Exhibition
Dates: July 31-August 21
City: Northville
The Northville Art House, in partnership with Maybury State Park and the Friends of Maybury State Park, invites artists to paint, draw, and sketch in the open air the natural beauty of the Maybury State Park. Artists, 18 and over, submit digital images of 3 previous plein-air artworks created in the past three years. From these submissions the juror will select artists to create an unlimited amount of work in the Maybury State Park (MSP) Paint-Out (July 23 – 25) with up to 3 of the works from the Paint-Out, selected by the artists, to be included the exhibition (July 31 – August 21). $1000 in awards with cash prizes for 1st – 4th Place: $300, $200, $100, and $50; Honorable Mentions Awards. Also The Friends of Maybury State Park Purchase Prize Award. The Northville Art House, a nonprofit 501(c)3 art facility in historic downtown Northville, MI, has cultivated the Arts through creative experiences and educational programs in the Metro Detroit community since 2005.

Paint Grand Traverse
Dates: August 7–14
E-mail: [email protected]


EXHIBITION: The Latimer School: Lorenzo Latimer and the Latimer Art Club
Dates: July 31, 2021 – March 27, 2022
Sponsoring Organization: Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, Nevada
Venue: 2nd Floor Galleries
The Nevada Museum of Art is celebrating 90 years as Nevada’s premier cultural institution. An exhibition by one of the West’s most well-known plein air artists, Lorenzo Latimer, kicks off a months-long celebration.

New Mexico

Plein Air Painters 2021 Events
Dates: January 1–December 31
Sponsoring Organization: Plein Air Painters of New Mexico
Venue: Event venues will vary
City: Santa Fe, NM
Format: Combination
Contact: Elizabeth Cooper
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 720.933.4022

South Dakota

De Smet South Dakota Harvey Dunn Plein Air
Dates: August 12–15
Opening Reception: August 13
Sponsoring Organization: Harvey Dunn Society
Venue: Ingalls Homestead; De Smet Event Center City: De Smet, SD
Format: Open
Award Total: $500
Contact: Rita Anderson
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 605.203.0216
Paint on the prairies of South Dakota where native son Harvey Dunn painted and Laura Ingalls Wilder homesteaded. De Smet is the “Little Town on the Prairie,” well-known for its historic legacy. The longest-running plein air event in South Dakota. Everything is free, including registration, demonstrations by well-known artists, children’s workshop, receptions Friday and Saturday, lunches, dinners, fiddlers’ “jam” session, and “wet sale.” Many residents turn out to buy the artwork Sunday. Meet artists attending from many states, and as they report, “This is one of the most fun, well- organized, and friendliest paint-outs around. You will love it!”


Pacific Northwest Plein Air in the Columbia River Gorge
Dates: July 26–August 1
E-mail: [email protected]


Paint the Point
Dates: August 11–14
Sponsoring Organization: Arts Mineral Point, Inc.
Venue: Historic Masonic Lodge
City: Mineral Point, WI
Format: Open
Juror of Awards: Three-person jury of arts industry professionals
Award Total: Over $5,000
Contact: Ried Knapp
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 608.285.2958
The 8th Annual edition of Paint the Point happens Wednesday, August 11 through Saturday, August 14, 2021. The event will feature 45 artists competing in Main Event, Nocturne, and Quick Paint contests worth over $5,000 in cash prizes. Artists may paint throughout Mineral Point and adjacent Dodgeville Townships. Mineral Point is a frontier mining town, founded in 1826, and holds the slogan “Where Wisconsin Began.” It is located in the heart of the Driftless Region — an area noted for beautiful vistas unscathed by the last glacial period. Historic lime-stone vernacular architecture and surrounding idyllic countryside offer artists tremendous creative options.



14th Annual Art in the Open
Dates: July 30-August 1
Sponsoring Organization:
Venue: Varies, all within 15 minutes of Wexford Town
One hundred registered artists are set to participate and capture the stunning
landscape of the Sunny South East (spectators welcomed). A selection of ten different masterclasses and demonstrations will also be conducted throughout the weekend by
five established plein air painters; Gerard Byrne, Paul O ́Kane, Kate Kos, Dave West and Tom King.

United Kingdom

Paint Out Days
Dates: August 14 and 21
Sponsoring Organization: British Plein Air Painters
City: Oxford (8/14) and London (8/21)
Email: [email protected]
After the success of previous events, British Plein Air Painters are happy to announce more painting days for this year! These outdoor painting days are free, open to all levels, and just a way to have fun painting together. Participants will meet first thing at the meeting point, then head off to paint locally and then gather back around 4pm to exchange experiences from the day. You can just turn up on the day but we would recommend emailing in advance so we have an idea of who is coming. It is an informal and fun way to simply paint together and meet people sharing the same passion. There will always be at least one member of the British Plein Air Painters group present.

Inside Out Festival: Sketch on the Square
Dates: Daily through August 31
Sponsoring Organization: National Gallery
Venue: Trafalgar Square
Make your way to Trafalgar Square this summer as art goes al-fresco for ‘Sketch on the Square’, part of the Inside Out Festival. Pull up to one of 30 easels installed outside the Gallery and create your own masterpiece at drop-in sessions, family studios and artist-led classes throughout August. All activities are free and open to any age or ability, with materials provided. Paint, draw or sketch whatever sparks your imagination! Then before you head home, grab some refreshments and take in the spectacular views of London at our pop-up café.


Pastel Live
August 19-21, with a Beginner’s Day on August 18
Sponsoring Organization: Plein Air Today / Streamline Publishing
To have 30 of today’s best artists show you exactly what they do to succeed will make Pastel Live THE most important 3 days you’ll ever invest in yourself and in your art. These artists will help you drastically improve your skills by demonstrating the methods and techniques that have taken them YEARS to master. There will be critiques, question and answer sessions, roundtable discussions, and group painting! Even if you’re not a pastel artist, this event will open your mind and expose you to even MORE techniques that could greatly improve your art.

Pastel Live banner

Also check out the 2021 Artists’ Guide to Workshops, Schools, and Ateliers for even more opportunities.



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