Group Show by the Al Frescoes Plein Air Painters of Victoria
PAINTING OUTSIDE is the artist's secret weapon -- with plein air you throw away the camera, use a wet brush
and create an on-the-spot painting in any weather within an hour or three. That's it, basically...
The Al Frescoes Plain Air Painters of Victoria is a group of a dozen or so outdoor painters who
meet at different locations every week - with amateurs and professionals in our ranks.
We get our collective name from the Italian expression for outdoor living - it's a style,
it's plein air. The Al Frescoes are on a drop-in basis - you come when you can,
when you don't have to cook or work or entertain visitors. Some days only a few of us will be
seen painting in the environs of Victoria, other days there'll be more artists.
There are ten of us at this Gallery Cafe exhibition for the month of September 2007:
John Patrick Howe
Our history goes back a few Victorian years when Molly Green-Mitchell and Delia Sansom used to
meet in the city and paint places such as Beacon Hill Park, James Bay, the Ledge, Fisherman's Wharf,
you name it, they painted it. Other artists began to join in, enjoying the company,
the outdoors and the no rules or dues environment. We number of about fifteen artists in Greater Victoria
with occasional ad hoc members from across the Malahat and the international channel.
We do it because it's like visual exercise, it sharpens our focus but it loosens our palette.
Notice the smallish canvas or watercolour paper in our frames -- 6 x 8 up to 10 x 16 is
the norm for the outdoor artist, something you can carry home without incident. Delia Sansom
speaks for most of us when she says that painting like this is not about the money,
it's about the self-journey - we paint because we must, and through the process we learn -
we see ways of saying it better.
Each week we agree on a place and roll up with our old clothes and painting gear and we set to it,
standing or sitting -- we paint to capture the light or interpret the lack of it.
Hey, it's fun! No matter how proficient an individual artist may be, painting outside is always a
learning experience and our studio work improves from what we learn out there.
Plein Air is not a new thing but it is becoming fashionable again. Quick, sketchy and spontaneous,
it produces a definite short-hand style so evocative that it promotes communion between artist and viewer
- I hint at a tree, I paint a swish of foliage and you know what the result is saying. You and I don't need
to see every shimmering leaf to know that it is indeed a tree.
Outdoor painting is fast becoming the people's art - quick and affordable...
Enjoy the show, we are excited at this our very first group exhibition, thank you to Saanich
for making this possible, what a great room you have here - expansive wall space, good
artificial lighting combined with natural light. You have passing traffic, excellent catering
and a host of community events each month.
Thank you to our friends and families for encouraging us. Thanks to you too for coming, we hope
you'll follow us as we journey on through. Come back and see us again. Thanks for looking.
The Al Frescoes.
A plein air painting.
Pat Fraser did this inspired plein air painting which we Al Frescoes have chosen as our poster art for the
"Painting Outside" Exhibition September 4 to 30, 2007 at the Gallery Cafe, Cedar Hill Recreation Centre,
corner of Finlayson (North Dairy) and Cedar Hill roads, Victoria BC, Canada.
For further information about Pat's painting send an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Visit Ron Wilson's online gallery at artistwilson.com