Plein Air Easton – It’s All About Education

Plein Air Painting – Learn More

For the last 14 years, in the heat of July, Talbot County has become the hot spot for Plein Air painting and painters from across the globe. Plein Air Easton, organized by the Avalon Foundation, is the largest outdoor painting competition in the United States. Annually 58 artists are chosen from hundreds that apply to travel to Maryland’s Eastern Shore to paint and compete for prizes and sales. While many of the Festival’s events are focused on the creation and sale of art by these and other artists, this week is rich in educational content designed for any and all artists who are interested in picking up a paint brush.

Why Might You Consider Attending an Artist Demonstration?

One way to learn more about artists, techniques and process is to attend an artist demonstration. Throughout Plein Air Easton there are numerous demonstrations to choose from hosted by local galleries, the Avalon Foundation, the Academy Art Museum and the Working Artist Forum. There are many reasons to consider attending an artist demonstration.

Plein Air Easton artist Paul Bachem says, “When you attend an artist demonstration, you get to see the way an artist works, you hear his/her thoughts on how he/she tackles subject matter.”

Artist Beth Bathe continued, “Demos are great for painters of all skill levels to watch, it can be kind of like going to a mini workshop and is a good way to see if you might be interested in taking a more in depth workshop with that painter.”

Plein Air Easton seasoned volunteer, Jennifer Dindinger, answers, “I am not an artist but a process junkie. I’m fascinated by how the artists can depict a scene so quickly through plein air painting. They don’t have time to labor over each detail yet these PAE artists create impressive and beautiful work in a matter of hours.”

Plein Air Easton patron Kelley Malone said, “I am always interested in how an artist’s unique perspective/outlook on life shapes their style, composition and colors/mood. As a non-artist I like tips. Any tips!”

All of the Artists’ Demonstrations listed below will be held in downtown Easton in conjunction with the Festival. All are free and open to the public but space can be limited. Plan to arrive early for the best seats. For a complete listing of demonstrations (more are added all the time) and other events during Plein Air Easton, visit

July 17 • 10 a.m.-Noon

Avalon Theatre

Plein Air Easton Competition Artist Alumnus Kurt Plinke. Eastern Shore artist Kurt Plinke will demonstrate innovative techniques on how to stabilize watercolor paper for painting, protective waxing of finished watercolors and archival display of watercolors without glass or mats.

July 18 • 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Avalon Theatre

The Academy Art Museum’s portrait drawing instructor, Brad Ross, will demonstrate portrait drawing in charcoal with a live model. Questions will be welcomed while Brad describes his process step by step.

July 18 • 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Avalon Theatre

Professional painter Tony Zatzick will give a hands-on demonstration of Winsor & Newton Artists’ watercolors, focusing on pigments, papers, color mixing, brushes, and mediums.

July 19 • 2-4 p.m.

Avalon Theatre

Using torn mulberry paper, Academy Art Museum Instructor, Sheryl Southwick, will make landscape-based compositions. Watch as she tears and glues bits of beautiful colors to make compelling jewel-like pictures.

July 19 • 5-7 p.m.

Studio B Gallery

Maryland Artist Rick Casali will perform a portrait sculpture demonstration in clay.  Internationally known for his fine portraits in oils and bronze, Rick’s demonstration is a sure treat for artists and collectors.

July 20 • 10 a.m.-Noon

Studio B Gallery

Oil painting demonstration with Ken Dewaard, winner of the 2017 Forgotten Coast Artist Choice Award and just back from the 2017 Russia Plein Air Invitational.

July 20 • 10 a.m.-Noon

The Trippe Gallery

Oil painting demonstration with Plein Air Easton Competition Painter Leonard Mizerek, one of the 26 Fellows in the American Society of Marine Aritsts.

July 20 • 10:30 a.m.-Noon

The Trippe Gallery

Watercolor demonstration with award-winning botanical artist Lee D’Zmura.

July 20 • 12:30-2 p.m.

The Trippe Gallery

Oil demonstration with Plein Air Easton competition painter Elise Phillips. Elise won the Best Nocturne award at the Wayne Plein Air Festival in 2017 and second place at the Best of the Chesapeake show at the McBride Gallery.

July 20 • 1-2:30 p.m.

The Trippe Gallery

Watercolor demonstration with Plein Air Easton competition painter and nationally-recognized illustrator and educator, David Csont.

July 20 • 1-3 p.m.

Tidewater Inn – Local Color exhibit

Painting demonstration with Plein air Easton’s 2017 Grand Prize Winner and Plein Air Salon finalist Joe Gyurcsak.

July 20 • 2-4 p.m.

Avalon Theatre

Academy Art Museum instructor Sheryl Southwick will transfer a sketch to a soft cut block, remove the parts that will be the light parts of the composition, roll on ink and print to deomonstrate how block printing is achieved.

July 20 • 2:15 p.m.

Troika Gallery

Matt Zoll will conduct a free demonstration on “Realistic Still Life in the Flemish Tradition.”

July 20• 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Tidewater Inn-Local Color Exhibit

Oil painting demonstration with Plein Air Easton Second Place Winner 2017 and acclaimed educator Hai-ou Hou.

July 21 • 2:15 p.m.

Troika Gallery

Landscape demonstration by PAE Grand Prize Winner 2016 Sara Linda Poly.

July 21 • 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Tidewater Inn-Local Color Exhibit

Painting demonstration with Signature Member: Oil Painters of America and Plein Air Easton Competition artist Qiang Huang.

July 21 • 5-7 p.m.

Tidewater Inn-Local Color Exhibit

Painting demonstration with Plein Air Easton’s 2017 Quick Draw Winner John Guernsey.

July 22 • 9 a.m.-1p.m.

Tidewater Inn-Local Color Exhibit

Oil painting demonstration with Plein Air Easton competition painter Patrick Saunders, who has won best in show in Sedona Plein Air (2016) and at Plein Air Richmond (2017).

Too Nervous for Quick Draw? Rehearse!

Plein Air Easton’s Quick Draw Competition (Saturday, July 21) is the most exciting event held within the week. In this fast-paced skilled painting competition, any artist with $10 and ambition has two hours to turn a blank canvas into a completed painting and to showcases it for sale and prizes. The event has been known to have as many as 200 artists vying for any patch of shade to produce their best work surrounded by crowds of people strolling through the streets. It can be both exhilarating and frightening to even the most seasoned artists.

To soothe the fears of painting in front of crowds and completing a painting in two hours or less, Plein Air Easton partnered with Chesapeake Fine Art Studio to develop ‘Rehearse Quick Draw.’

This is a chance for any artist to take a practice run before Saturday’s big event. Artists will register and check in at the Avalon Theatre between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. on their designated day and then paint within the Quick Draw’s geographic bounds between 10 a.m. and noon, under all of the same conditions but without the crowd expected on Saturday. Instructors from Chesapeake Fine Art Studio will provide feedback during painting time. At 12:30 p.m., the participating artists will gather in the air-conditioned Avalon Theatre for a structured critique of works created that morning and for a chance to win prizes.

This year there will be two sessions of Rehearse Quick Draw, July 19 and 20 (each session is limited to 40 participants, registration costs $30 per session). Interested artists must register online prior to the event. There will be different instructors and judges each day so participants should consider “rehearsing” multiple days. With building confidence, feedback and practice, hopefully all participants will be ready to paint and sell their work at Plein Air Easton’s famed Quick Draw competition on Saturday. For complete details on all of Plein Air Easton’s Quick Draw events visit For more information on Chesapeake Fine Art Studio’s year round painting instruction visit

Learn to Paint all Year Long

Plein air painting is about leaving the confines of your studio and painting and drawing in the open air. For many artists, it is a lifelong learning endeavor and one that is enriched by demonstrations and workshops taught by some of the most accomplished and revered artists of our time.

PAE competition artist Ken DeWaard shared his insight on the importance of participating, “Demos and workshops add a personal connection to your studies, in particular, when stumbling blocks in your painting get in the way, it’s helpful to see first-hand different ways of addressing a difficult situation.”

Plein Air Easton provides a platform for many of the local galleries to schedule demonstrations and learning sessions during the Festival, however, there are many opportunities locally for artists to hone their skills throughout the year.

Chesapeake Fine Art Studio

Located in Stevensville, Chesapeake Fine Art Studio is the perfect venue for artists to develop and refine their skills in the visual arts. The studio offers 3,200 square feet of open working space and hosts weekly classes, workshops taught by world-class artists, personalized instruction, and open life drawing sessions. Special events, exhibits and travel excursions are programmed to bring together artists and art lovers and foster growth of the arts community. Visit

Academy Art Museum

The Academy Art Museum offers over 110 adult classes with 1,200 participants attending annually. Mediums offered include drawing, oil, watercolor, pastel, acrylic, ceramics, collage and photography. A digital lab was opened seven years ago and in 2017 a Visual Arts studio was added, including a printmaking studio offering classes in linocuts, solar plate and copperplate etchings. In addition, the Museum has a number several Open Studios in Portrait, Figure, Painting, Collage and Printmaking. Visit

Katie Cassidy, adult education consultant who writes curriculum and hires instructors, said, “We are very aware of our rich history and strive to offer the best classes and instructors for our membership and growing community of art enthusiasts. Our instructors are talented and knowledgeable artists who also choose to teach.”

Studio B Gallery

Studio B Art Gallery was a lifelong dream for owner Betty Huang. Since she and her husband relocated to Maryland’s Eastern Shore in historic downtown Easton, the former auditor-turned-artist has turned the local arts community upside-down, attracting the attention of world-renowned painters and sculptors who desire to be a part of her gallery. Studio B Gallery hosts workshops and plein air painting excursions during the year. Visit

Oxford Community Center

In addition to its yearly Fine Arts Fair in May, Oxford Community Center offers classes, workshops and a weekly paint studio. Visit

Join the Working Artist Forum

The Working Artist Forum (WAF) has been an important programming partner with Plein Air Easton since the Festival’s inception. It organizes and executes a juried exhibition of regional plein air painters to highlight the deep talent found on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The exhibition and sale occurs during Plein Air Easton at the Tidewater Inn on July 20 through 22. Throughout the exhibition the WAF hosts many artist demonstrations. Proceeds from the sales at Local Color help to provide art supplies to area schools.

Who is the Working Artist Forum?

The Working Artists Forum started meeting in Easton in 1979. Originally a legal affiliation to the Academy of the Arts, the Working Artists Forum became a nonprofit corporation in 1991.

Working Artist Forum Objectives
Since its inception, WAF has been a juried organization of working professional artists from diverse professions and geographic locations. They meet monthly at the Academy Art Museum for demonstrations, group critiques and lively discussion. Membership has grown from 13 original charter members to 101 members today. WAF members actively show their work on the Eastern Shore, as well on the Western Shore across the Bay Bridge, both separately and together; and have pieces in private and corporate collections throughout the United States and abroad. Although members have received numerous awards and prizes in countless competitions and shows, a strong interest remains in pro bono work for the community, and donations are made each year to the art classes in area schools.


Membership is a juried process done once a year on the second Monday in September. Prospective members must be sponsored by a WAF member in good standing.

Note from a WAF Member

Says Doris Glovier, current Chairman for WAF, “Several years ago, I discovered The Working Artists Forum while looking online for local art opportunities. I applied to their Local Color Art Show and was fortunate to be juried into the show. During that weekend in July, I discovered painting demos, ‘free to the public,’ presented by highly successful, well-known artists. I was to discover later, that the demos are sponsored each year by The Working Artists Forum. This is the same group that hosts Local Color. I was to learn that The WAF is a juried membership and they devote much of their resources to educating their membership and the general public. They also annually donate a portion of the Local Color proceeds to art programs for kids within our local schools, as well. That July, as I took in every one of the free demonstrations that were offered, I knew I wanted very much to be a part of such a group. The membership meets once per month. As a Working Artists Forum member, it still amazes me that the group hires a successful working artist to demonstrate or to give an educational presentation at our meetings. What a privilege it is to meet and learn from so many successful contemporary artists.”

For complete information about the Working Artist Forum including information on how to become more involved, visit

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Attraction July 2017 Cover