It is one of those destinations that could easily be passed by with a quick glance in another direction. Told to “keep an eye out for the second gravel drive on your left after the bridge,” I spotted what looked to be a plein air painter setting up her easel under the shade of some flowering trees. I knew that I found the right place.
This past weekend marked the first in a series of monthly paint outs sponsored by Talbot County Visual Arts Center in Easton where painters of all levels are invited to paint on properties in and around Talbot County. The Anchorage, a majestic waterfront property dating back to the 1800s was this month’s “Paint Talbot” location.
Diane DuBois Mullaly, a local artist and art instructor, is the volunteer organizer of Paint Talbot. She lines up the locations, informs artists of the dates and details and heads up what she refers to as a “friendly” critique at the end of the day. “I am thrilled with the enthusiasm that local and regional plein air painters have expressed for these paint outs,” says Mullaly, “as well as with the willingness of both public places and private estates to have us paint on their property. Our first of the season at The Anchorage was well attended by happy painters!”
Simply put, a paint out is when a group of artists gather to paint in the open air, or “en plein air”, capturing the atmosphere of the moment. “Being able to paint outdoors with fellow artists and friends is such a joy,” explains Mignonne LaChapelle, a painter from Easton. “It’s a challenge like no other; frustrating and exhilarating at the same time. It helps me take my work to another level.”
“Together this season,” Mullaly explains, “we will explore gracious waterfront estates, a working farm, several public landings, Pickering Creek Audubon Center and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. There is a lot to paint!”
As the spring weather looms and the summer months await, more and more plein air painters will dot the landscape, reminding us that the Eastern Shore continues to lure artists to set up their easels, attempting to capture its ever-changing beauty through their painting.
Talbot County Visual Arts Center paint outs take place on the second Saturday of the month from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and will run through November. You can bring your lunch and stay all day, or stop by for however long you like. There is no fee and it is open to all.
Talbot County Visual Arts Center is located in Easton at TalbotTown Shopping Center (entrance on lane to the right of Piazza Italian Market).