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Kingsport is preparing for a plein air competition … so what is it? | Sunday Stories

Posted by Nancy Bouffard

KINGSPORT – Kingsport’s first plein air painting competition is around the corner. So what is open-air painting?

It’s doing outdoor art, and it started centuries ago, even though French Impressionist painters popularized it. The artists wanted to capture the light as it changed throughout the day. With the invention of portable easels and tube painting, it has become easier for artists to paint outdoors or “en plein air”, a French expression for outdoors.

“What I love about outdoor painting is discovering the landscape,” said local artist Mary Ann Grib. “In the open air, you can really see and examine what is in front of you. You can study the nuances you can’t get from a photograph. Plein air painting makes you a better observer. Plein air is invigorating because you are experiencing what you are painting and you are part of it ”.

Over the past 20 years, open-air painting has become very popular all over the world. In the United States, a national convention is held every year to bring celebrated plein air artists to share their talents and techniques with other artists. This year’s convention was held in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Many cities in the United States have launched regional competitions to demonstrate artists in this field. This year, Kingsport will join them with Paint Kingsport !, the city’s first plein air competition. The competition is co-sponsored by the Kingsport Art Guild and the Office of Cultural Arts, City of Kingsport.

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Paint Kingsport! starts July 5 with a workshop led by Kyle Buckland, one of the artists who attended the Santa Fe convention. The workshop will be followed by a three-day competition where artists paint everywhere in Kingsport and submit two paintings for evaluation. There will also be a quick draw, a three-hour painting contest, on July 9th.

“Even though I am originally from Kingsport, I continue to be amazed by the many local treasures we have access to in this area that I would not be aware of other than being a plein air painter. It’s an easy way to learn more about your environment, yourself and the medium you have chosen, ”said local artist Kathy Hawk.

Buckland will judge the competition and the first prize is $ 1,000. Winners will be announced and prizes awarded at a gala reception on 9 July.

Artists can register for the competition at The deadline to enter is June 25th. Observers are also welcome.

“… It’s not about painting a perfect work of art. It is about documenting life in its essence, moment and beauty. Each painting becomes a visual diary of the moment, “said local artist Renee Pitts.

Just Plein Nuts is an outdoor painting group whose members paint regularly in the Kingsport / Bristol / Johnson City region. Find out more about them on their Facebook page.

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