Bend City Walls Hosts Plein Air Painters of Oregon


“The new City Walls exhibit showcases some of the best work of our nearly 85 PAPO members,” says Daniel O’Neil. “Some of the art was done in the studio, but the vast majority was done outdoors, onsite, in a short single painting session. Plein Air artists can use a variety of media, from oil or acrylic paint, watercolor or pastels to capture the time and season of the beautiful Central Oregon landscape on a given day.”

Plein Air Painters of Oregon or PAPO is a regional artists’ organization with its roots in Bend. Founded by a group of local outdoor painting enthusiasts in 2003, It provides scheduled opportunities for artists to gather at various locations between March and November. Often the sites are within an hour’s drive of Bend. Most weeks there are at least two events scheduled to choose from.

“We have sponsored out-of-town paint outs in such locations as Yachats at the ocean, Steens Mountains to the southeast of the state and the Clarno Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds,” says O’Neil. “In the off-season, we encourage members to gather for “draw-ins” at local coffee houses and pubs.”

Work can be seen on display at various Central Oregon galleries during the year.  They sponsor at least one visiting guest artist workshop for members each year.

En plein air is a French expression which means “in the open air” and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors. Plein Air artists see and embrace the landscape unvarnished, describing for the viewer the beauty before them. It is the ultimate battle of light and time. Plein Air artists brave cold, heat, wind to capture a fleeting moment in time–an adventure like none other.

“We encourage and learn from each other, have only one formal meeting a year and provide a safe and enjoyable environment to paint outdoors with friends,” concludes O’Neil.



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