Tidewater Times August 2019

Page 11

Jill Tascher Basham Plein Air Artist Extraordinaire by Helen Chappell

know anything about art but know what they like can relate to figurative land-, city- and seascapes. But it would be foolish to think open air painting is simplistic. Far from it. It’s a very sophisticated and varied technique. Plein air competitions are held all over the country and the world, offering generous prizes, recognition, gallery spaces and fame. And they are competitive. Just ask anyone who’s been turned down for admission to a competition. These are

As those who follow the art world know, Talbot County hosts an annual plein air competition. For the casual observer, there’s something pleasant and soothing about seeing all the artists out and about with their easels and paints, filling up their canvases with bits and pieces of landscapes we take for granted. Until we see them through the painterly eye, then if we’re fortunate, we see the beauty in what we’ve taken for granted all these years. I also enjoy seeing so many people so clearly enjoying what they’re doing. Happiness is always most welcome. Simply explained, plein air means painting outside, leaving the studio and getting out of doors, en plein air, if you will. Landscape painting, capturing the ephemeral quality of changing light and seasons. Although landscape painting goes back forever, it was the Impressionists, together with premixed paint tubes and easily portable box easels, that made it popular and marketable. Plein air is popular because it’s accessible to even the most untrained eye. Even people who don’t

Waiting to Sail, Oxford, MD 9