This year, 38 artist positioned easels, chairs, and sun umbrellas; picked up pencils, brushes and pens and spent the day in the sun painting in and around Burnsville, NC. It was the 6th annual Paint Out, and the weather was beautiful. Completed work began returning around noon, and by the 5pm deadline, painting and drawings, framed and not, flanked the walls of the Burnsville Gallery.
Toe River Arts Council’s Paint Out, modeled on the en plein air experience, a French expression that means “in the open air,” particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors, grabbed the attention of artists from as far away as South Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, and Wisconsin. Local artists arrived from Brevard, Winston-Salem, Hendersonville, and Statesville. Locations were as diverse as the subjects chosen to paint. Fourteen barns and nine river scenes. Several on and just off the square, plus flowers and more flowers, and one just “Lounging.” All captured on canvas, board, linen, and paper.
At 6:30pm, the Gallery was filled wall to wall with the completed work; the gift shop and gallery with artists and patrons of the arts. Stuart Roper, internationally renowned plein-air, impressionist painter now residing in Asheville, NC, judged the entrants. First Place went to Brevard’s Sarah Sneeden for her oil, “Dallas’ Barn,” second to Mike Alonzo’s oil on linen, “Hilltop Farm,” and third place to “Looking East from Cemetery,” an oil by Cheryl Keefer.
Honorable Mentions were handed out to Jack Ferrell’s watercolor, “Green Mountain Road,” Ellen White’s “River’s Edge” oil and Jeremy Sams’ acrylic, “Pensacola.” In the Student Category, watercolors made a splash with Joseph Hallman for his portrayal of General Ottway in “The Soldier,” Julianna Hallman for her, “Little Flowers,” and 11-year-old Bonnie Rutherford for her, “Mountains 1.” Applause went to all who participated in this year’s event.
We would like to thank our sponsors–the Blue Ridge Fine Arts Guild with support from Susan and Paul Crutchfield, who recognize and honor the “generous spirit” of Sandra Gates, and the Grassroots Art Program for the NC Arts Council.
Next years event will be at the same time of year, check the website at (www.toeriverarts.org) for exact times and date. We are hoping for 50 entries in 2013.