Outdoor painters paint city for new AMoA event
One of the Alexandria Zoo jaguars perched on a rock inside its enclosure. Scarlet macaws and scarlet ibises smoothed their feathers. They might know that there were outdoor painters scattered around the zoo, ready to capture them on canvas.
“I’m here painting outdoors in collaboration with the Alexandria Art Museum,” said Marne Meynig, a Sunset artist who focused on painting the brightly colored scarlet ibises.
On Wednesday, a dozen outdoor painters were scattered around the zoo, painting animals, scenic walkways and landscapes. Plein air means the art of painting a subject in the open air.
All are part of the Alexandria Museum of Art‘s new 5-day event, the Farm to Forest Plein Air Festival.
Artists were busy painting scenes around the town, farms, nurseries and the Kisatchie National Forest. AMoA will present its art in the galleries of the museum each day of the festival.
The paintings will also be available for sale at the AMoA and the Arts Council’s Fall Art Walk in downtown Alexandria from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday. Artists will also paint outdoors at the Art Walk which will also feature music, theatrical performances, vendors, night painting and a light procession through downtown Alexandria in the evening.
Thursday will feature a quick paint challenge from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Inglewood Farms. On Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. there will be an Plein Air workshop led by renowned New Orleans landscape designer Phil Sandusky, who is also the festival juror.
“He’s going to judge our work and tell us how we’re doing and award prizes,” Meynig said.
On Sunday, the festival will end with the Palette Party at the AMoA, during which the awards ceremony and the sale of works of art will be held. Vendors showcasing their signature drinks and food will also be present at the event.
“I’ve never really done outdoor painting as such, so I was interested in this class, or this session, because it was something new to me and I’m still trying to learn – learning new things, new ways, meeting people, ”says Meynig. “That’s why I signed up and why I’m here.”
“I like to paint from life, from what’s right in front of you,” said Lyla Clayre, 29, of New Orleans who painted the flamingos.
“It’s a lot easier than being in a studio staring at a blank canvas and imagining what you could put on it. The possibilities are endless,” she said. “But when you’re in a beautiful place – for me my eyes just zoom in on something beautiful – and I prefer that to photography because you can take some pretty plants there and put them behind the birds. be creative with while staying true to life. “
Meynig has no favorite subjects that he likes to paint but he does enjoy the birds, landscapes and painting themes of southern Louisiana.
“Sometimes I do Mardi Gras themes or Mardi Gras paintings, but it’s mostly southern Louisiana,” he said. “I did shrimp fishing, crayfish fishing and that sort of thing.
“I have painted in watercolors my whole life,” said Clayre, originally from California. “I was brought up doing a lot of art in school and studied illustration in college. I have a business that I started about 5 years ago in New Orleans. by selling my original watercolors and fine art prints of my paintings. “
Clayre has been doing art full time for five years and loves it. She recently rented a space in the French Quarter at 826 Chartres which will be a gallery showing all of her paintings outdoors.
“Mainly from New Orleans and Louisiana,” she said. “And there will be originals and prints and we open on November 1st.”
Meynig painted all his life as an amateur. But now that he’s retired, he paints every day.
“I tell everyone that I am in the same category as the millions and millions and millions of people that I am now retired and like millions of retirees they now have time to do certain things that they really wanted to do their whole life but never had the time and for me it’s painting, “he said with a laugh.
“It’s good to keep myself busy,” he said. “And I sell paintings every now and then. But it’s something I’ve always loved, so I try to get involved in the art community or the art scene and learn all I can. It’s a never-ending learning process. “
The public is invited to watch the artists paint outdoors at various locations in the region.
Tickets are available now at farmtoforestpleinair.com
For more information, contact Olivia Helmer, Director of Development and Community Relations at AMoA, at [email protected] or (318) 443-3458.