Local artists featured at Plein Air festival

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  A pair of local oil painters are among several professional artists participating in the Fourth Annual Southeastern Plein Air Invitational from Apr. 9-13 in the Gadsden area. 

The event is hosted by the Gadsden Museum of Art.

Craig Reynolds of Rainbow City and Gina Brown of Glencoe joined 13 other artists painting “en plein air” (in the open air) in the Gadsden area. 

The artists’ painting locations included sites in the historic downtown areas of Gadsden, Attalla and Alabama City, natural settings in the Gallant area, various locations on the banks of the Coosa River, the Historic Districts of Gadsden and a personal choice of setting. 

“Plein air” painting is painting on location in the tradition begun in France over 150 years ago by artists like Monet and Renior who sought to capture a moment in time with place in terms of place, light color and atmosphere. Paintings are completed in a single session using the brushwork and colors of the Impressionist style.

In addition to Brown and Reynolds, the field of artists includes Ron Bayens of Auburn, Amy Peterson of Hoover, Karen H. Weir of Catherine, Jill Berry of Pensacola, Fla., Amanda Carder of Cummin, Ga., Dot Corson of Pontotoc, Miss., Millie T. Gosch of College Park, Ga., John Guernsey of Marietta, Ga., Dmitriy Proshkin of Flintstone, Ga., Virginia Vaughan of Round Rock, Tex, Charles Young Walls of Forest Park, Ga., Katrina G. Weber of Huntsville and Wyatt Waters of Clinton, Miss.

In the five days of on-location painting, the artists created over 150 original paintings.

Paintings will be on exhibit and for sale beginning with a reception on Friday, April 13, from 6-8 p.m. at the museum. All work completed during the event will be on exhibit and be available for purchase. The exhibition continues through May 14.

Reynolds comes from a long line of artists. His father is the late Leo Reynolds, a successful watercolorist in the Southeast. The younger Reynolds began painting professionally in 1984 and has won numerous awards throughout the Southeast. He is a member of the Gadsden and Birmingham Art Associations and is represented by The Renaissance Gallery of Northport, The Shelby Lee Galley of Charleston, S.C., and the Gale Gallery of New Orleans, La.

“My work can be classified as realistic impressionism, although I do enjoy stepping out into the world of contemporary expressionism from time to time,” said Reynolds on his website. “I enjoy learning all I can about the classic renaissance art period as well and have the learned the art of ‘authentic buon fresco’ painting with all natural earthborn plasters and paint materials. I have painted authentic fresco murals in some of the largest homes in the south.”

Reynolds was one of the featured artists in The Southeastern Plein Air Invitational for the last three years and has taught his own few plein air workshops. He was an artist in residence for the Southeastern Fall Paint Out in 2011. Reynolds’ work has been advertised in Southwest Art and Art Collector ma-gazine as well as local and regional publications. Reynolds is a member of the Oil Painters of America, Plein Air Painters International, Alabama Plein Air Artist and The Ten Everyday Painters.

A student of Reynolds for the past three years, Brown’s affiliations include Oil Painters of America, American Impressionist Society, Women Painters of the Southeast, Alabama Plein Air Artists and The Ten Everyday Painters. She also is represented by the Renaissance and Shelby Lee galleries.

“I think the one quality that people admire most about my work is the personal aspect,” she said on her web blog. “Every painting has a personal story that must share.” 

Both Reynolds and Brown have paintings on permanent display at the Gadsden Museum of Art. 

New to the 2012 event is “Art Quest,” a three-part contest in which participants may view the artists painting on location and view the finished paintings in the Gadsden Museum of Art galleries. While visiting the artists, participants collect a postcard featuring the artist’s picture, a reproduction of a painting showing the artist’s distinctive style and a quote explaining their approach to creating art. Participants collect five different postcards to become eligible for a drawing. The winners will receive sketches, studies or prints from the plein air artists. To enter the drawing, participants may display the postcards at the “Blue Umbrella” on location or at the museum office during the week or bring the postcards to the opening reception. The drawing will be held during the opening reception on Apr. 13. Winners will be able to take their art home that evening to keep and share. Only five postcards are required out of the entire set of 15 to be eligible for the drawing.

For additional information, contact the Gadsden Museum of Art at 256 547-7365 or gadsdenmuseum.com.  

For more information on Craig Rey-nolds, visit craigreynoldsstudio.com. For more information on Gina Brown, visit ginabrown.blogspot.com. 

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