My First Plein Air Paint Out on the Mississippi River: The Story Behind the Art


“The Plein Air Painters at Leclaire Park” is a small oil painting on an upcycled solid birch cabinet door.Though it is small, it is packed with tiny details.The Centennial Bridge lines the horizon over the waters of the Mississippi River. And along the levee are all the painters who participated in my first plein air paint out! Painting in fellowship with other artists was one of the best highlights of my career!

A Few Shots from the Plein Air Paint Out

It was so much fun working alongside 25 artists scattered along the Davenport Riverfront for nearly 8 hours of painting time! My legs were so tired from standing all day but being surrounded by artists and the positive reactions from the people I visiting Leclaire Park made it all so worth it! I learned so much from the other artists. The artists, my friends and family gave me a nice shot of self confidence and a heaping amount of encouragement!

Getting ready to find the perfect scene to paint.

Me plein air painting the plein air painters while they paint...en plein air!

Almost done after about 8 hours of painting.

The finished plein air painting...oil on solid birch wood panel.  

still fresh

En Plein Air

I can still smell the delicious food truck food! That was the year I first tasted a fried egg and bacon sandwich with a fried glazed donut sliced in half and turned inside out in place of a bun!

It was amazing! My youngest son had home-made Mac and cheese with Cheetos crumbled on top! We were all hungry and enjoying our food with the market and River atmosphere made everything taste even better!

 I am so grateful to have had these experiences and painting that scene helps me to remember them even more!

It was so cool to be in the presence of people who are so enthusiastic about their art and to get to see the world from their eyes.