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Vive le Plein Air

PleinAir

The plein-air painters have arrived for the Telluride Plein-Air festival. You can find them at their easels all over town, and local blogger Maribeth Clemente spoke to Ronnie Palamar, who runs the event, and shares what she learned about outdoor painting:

The leaves have popped here in southwestern Colorado within the past ten days and it has felt like full-on summer since last Friday. We’ve been transported from a long, bleak period into a lush, green season as fast as you can paint a scene. The rivers and streams course between and within our mountains, creating a thunderous soundtrack throughout the land; our bright, sunny days are melting the snowpack at twice the usual rate. Today on my walk I spotted my first lupines of the year, tall bushy blooms with purply-colored flowers hanging thick on the stalks like grapes on a vine.

When I interviewed Ronnie Palamar, director of the Sheridan Opera House in Telluride, a few weeks ago for my Travel Fun radio show, the summer season seemed light years away. Now it’s nearly upon us (officially) and what a great season it is for outdoor painting. The Impressionists were particularly consumed with the effects of changing light on color outside. Pissarro, Manet, Monet, Degas and others took to setting up their canvases en plein air, or in the open air, creating some of the finest pieces of the Impressionist movement.

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