Painting (Plein Air) by the numbers

SARANAC LAKE – The sixth annual Adirondack Plein Air Festival begins today.

Seventy-nine artists from 11 states and two Canadian provinces will paint for three days and then exhibit over 200 paintings in the show and sale in the Town Hall on Sunday Aug 24, from noon to 3 p.m. While most of the artists are from New York, only eight are from the Tri-Lakes region. Fifty-eight are female; one is under the age of 18. A number of the artists have participated in and won prizes at other plein air events around the country.

Forty-two of the artists will be using oil paints; 11 are watercolor painters; 10 are working with pastels; 3 paint with acrylics; and 13 either use mixed media, like charcoal and watercolors at the same time, or simply do paintings in different media, like working with oils one day and pastels another.

It is likely that more than 70 5-inch-by-7-inch “Paint the Town” paintings, done on Thursday, Aug 21, will be donated for the Silent Auction at the Adirondack Artists Guild gallery on Main Street. There is the potential to raise around $4,000 from the auction (a portion of the sales will be donated to the art program in the Saranac Lake Central School district). There will probably be more than 300 other paintings done on by the end of the day on Saturday in any number of different sizes.

Most of the paintings will be landscapes; there will be some village or architectural views; maybe some with boats or canoes, cars, bikes, motorcycles or logging machinery. There will probably be a few people painted -?at the farmers market, the ArtWalk tonight, at a concert, someone fishing or even paintings of other painters painting.

Sixteen different businesses (local and corporate), organizations, and one individual have donated cash or merchandise for the 14 awards, totally more than $5,000 in value, that will be awarded by juror Gayle Levee, from Tennessee. Saranac Lake ArtWorks has 13 generous local business sponsors.

The Adirondack Plein Air Festival is organized by 1 person, with additional volunteer support from Saranac Lake ArtWorks and the community. Join the hundreds of individuals who will come marvel at all the wet paintings in the Show and Sale in the Harrietstown Hall from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday.