NWS Watercolor Retreat
in Truro   
S E P T E M B E R  2 0 1 8

Castle Hill in Truro, Cape Cod, www.castlehill.org,
offers Plein Air Painting in the spectacular landscape of
the Cape Cod National Seashore.

This is a unique retreat for NWS members on the last weekend of September: Arrival Thursday afternoon, 9/27/2018.  Departure Sunday at noon, 9/30/2018.

More info will be available at the Annual Meeting 2017 on 11/11/17.
See Calendar.


Plein Air Painting


One of our goals is to paint outside as a group as much as possible so that we can …  We are always in the process of finding locations for group painting.

To see the current list of our painting locations click on this link: here

Plein Air is a term derived from the French phrase en plein air, which literally means 'in the open air'. It's a familiar concept today, but in the late 1800s when the Impressionists ventured out of their studios into nature to investigate and capture the effects of sunlight and different times of days on a subject, it was quite revolutionary.

A Brief History of Plein Air Painting 

The French phrase "en plein air" means "in the open air" and at the end of the 19th century painting "en plein air" was almost unheard of. The art world of Europe was dominated by the salons and academies and painting methods, materials and subject matter were taught and practiced according to tried and true formulas.

Enter an English painter John Constable. His radical idea was to forget formulas, find the truth in nature and trust your own vision. He created sketches outdoors and then returned to the studio to work them up into full size paintings. Around the same time in the small village of Barbizon, outside Paris, another group of painters, including Francois Millet and Gustave Coubert, began creating field sketches focusing on peasant life and the natural world. This stood in direct contrast to the established art world which demanded subject matter based on antiquity, classical mythology and Biblical scenes. This group known as the Barbizon School were called "realists" by their comtemporaries.

From these roots came a full scale artistic revolution in France in the mid 19th century. Fueled by the new science of optics which had uncovered how the eye actually, physically, registers color, a new style of painting was born. Impressionism. Another new development also spurred this movement on, the invention of metal tubes that could be loaded with paint and taken outdoors. Artist like Edouard Manet, Claude Monet and Auguste Renoir took their easels and new tubes of paint outdoors. They quickly realized that it was not form the eye perceived but LIGHT on a form, and light could be conveyed by color!

So impressionism and consequently plein air painting became about capturing the light and colors of a particular place. Subject matter would be dictated by the weather and the seasons. This new style of painting crossed the Atlantic and landed at the art colony in Old Lyme Connecticut under the leadership of Childe Hassam and other American Impressionists like Willard Metcalf, Matilda Browne and William Chadwick.

Over time other locations with a particularly beautiful quality of light also became artist colonies for plein air painting, Cape Cod, Cos Cob, Rockport. Today the American southwest, Santa Fe and Scottsdale, New England's "Newton" and places like Provance and Tuscany are also centers of modern plein air painting.

Accommodations for three nights in newly renovated farmhouse Edgewood Farm with large kitchen for self-catering (bring your own towels and linens).

Focus will be on plein-air painting during the day followed by critiques, talks and demos late afternoon/evening.  A large painting studio for all is available all day long and included (model fees are $25, advanced notice requested).
Costs for accommodation and use of facilities are $400.
Castle Hill, Truro Center for the Arts, is located adjacent to the spectacular landscape of the Cape Cod National Seashore.
Weather permitting, we can paint plein-air in the dunes, beach scenes with breaking waves, views over the marches, harbor scenes, clam and scallop diggers at work, or street scenes in picturesque Wellfleet and Provincetown.

It's so much nicer when you paint in a little group!
Castle Hill in Truro is only a 15 min drive to Provincetown, one of the oldest art colonies in the US.  There are many galleries, the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, and plenty of little shops and restaurants.
Arrival and departure on your own.  With inclement weather we switch to paint inside, still life or figures. We will arrange car sharing among participants if desired.  Take the ferry to Provincetown!  Transport from the Provincetown pier to Truro can be arranged. Cape Air commutes between Boston and Provincetown airport several times a day.
To sign up for this private watercolor retreat, please go here.
If you have questions or want more details, please contact our member and organizer for this wonderful weekend, Marianne A. Kinzer (artist and Truro resident) at makinzer@mac.com