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Riding my bike around Ephraim on Monday, I saw artists with brushes and palettes and sunhats, setting up their easels at the public beach and on Anderson dock, kicking off Door County's Plein Air Festival 2014. "En plein air" is the french term for "in the open air" and all week, you'll see some of the nation's finest landscape painters creating in gardens, parks and at the waterside throughout the county. Painter Marc Hanson had a young audience at the Ephraim beach The Peninsula School of Art presents the festival, which brings 40 nationally renowned artists to the county for a week. "It's intense," says featured artist Liz Maltman. "But there's nothing like painting in the outdoors." You can find out where artists are working and get the inside scoop by following the Peninsula School of Art's Facebook page. A fresh painting from this week by Hai-Ou Hou, already on display at the Peninsula School of Art For plein air painters, there's nothing like Door County's outdoors. Our spectacular landscpae, from craggy limestone cliffs to bucolic country roads, is ideal for outdoor painting. And our arts-loving community has been a huge boon as well, with local businesses, including The Artists Guild, coming on as sponsors of the event. To me, the best thing about the Plein Air Festival is chancing upon an artist and work and stopping by for a few minutes or more to marvel at the various techniques and approaches they take to composing their work. But there are events aplenty, too, including gallery talks, lunches and galas. Don't miss the Quick Paint and Live Auction on July 26 at Clark Park in Fish Creek, where featured artists will complete a painting from start to finish. And kids have a chance to try their hand at plein air painting too, from 9-11 at the same location.
A classic Door County scene by Elizabeth Pollie, 2014. The week culminates with a gala auction on Friday, July 25 and then an Open Door Celebration on Saturday at the Art School. Have a glass of wine, stroll the gardens and see the amazing work that was created in just one week by these amazing artists.
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