TEQUESTA, Fla. — More than $20,000 in cash and prizes is up for grabs in the 2021 Plein Air festival through the Lighthouse ArtCenter.
This year, 24 artists will participate, but only 8 of them will be painting local landscapes. The others will participate virtually from various points across the country.
“En plein air is painting in the open air, painting outdoors so outdoor landscapes, you could get beaches, parks, architecture, all sorts of different scenes,” explained Allie Snyder of the Lighthouse ArtCenter.
Artist Beth Bathe paints with water soluble oil paints and says it’s all about skill and preparation through experience. You have to be ready to capture the fleeting moments.
She’s used to doing 16 or 17 weeklong competitions in an average year, but the pandemic put the brakes on her travel like everyone else.
“Something you might see at 10 o’clock in the morning one day means nothing to you, but at 1:15, it’s just like, ‘Oh my God,’" Bathe explained.
Bathe loves seeing the excitement of patrons, some of which will stand and watch her complete an entire painting.
“It’s more the feeling that you brought but everything’s changed, the clouds changed, the waves changed, so a lot of times people will say, ‘wow, how long did it take you to paint that painting?’ And you’ll say, ‘3 and a half hours, plus thirty years,’” she said.
Bathe will participate virtually from Pennsylvania. The work of all artists, done under time limit and in Plein air is judged, but there will no cheating no matter the distance from Florida. Artists will be provided a code to place in photos of their paintings as they work to put them all on a level playing field.
“I’ve already been out scouting to figure out where to paint, but I never know, is it going to be snowy that day?” Bathe said.
To find the schedule and purchase artwork, click here.