Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 21, 2018

Art Domestique moves outdoors

Iowa artists bring their talents to the area for first En Plein Air Washington
Jun 11, 2018
Photo by: David Hotle Local artist Kathleen Almelien paints in Central Park Sunday as part of the Art Domestique En Plein Air Weekend.

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


It was between the raindrops of the weekend that 13 Iowa artists created works that chronicled the daily life of Washington and many of the traditional landmarks that add color to the area.

Easles and folding chairs were staples as Washington’s own art gallery hosted its first En Plein Air Washington, which means outdoor painting. Cheryl Barnes, of Art Domestique, explained that the event was to give artists the chance to get out of their studios and create artwork outside.

Saturday’s events included a scavenger hunt where people combed Washington to find the artists working. Sunday included a quick paint in Central Park where artists created works from local sights. Whether their preference for subjects was landscapes, flowers, buildings or people, the park had something for all. The works were judged then sold on Sunday in the gallery.

Hoping to beat the rain, which was pouring on and off throughout the weekend, local artist Kathleen Almelien set up her easel to paint the traditional courthouse clock tower through the trees of Central Park.

“I’m shooting through the grees and painting the blues that will end up being the courthouse,” she said. “I’m using a pastel. Chalk has talc in it. These are pigments ground up and dried with a detergent. They are pure pigment. It is kind of like having a tube of paint.”

She said the artists began painting Friday morning.

Artist Carol Gunn, from Bonaparte, was painting the entryway of Wolf Floral, saying she was attracted to the oranges in the flower pots and the reflecting light in the window. She said she was looking for color and something that would set the piece apart from the other artwork in the gallery.

“I was an art teacher for 30 years and now I’m retired,” she said “This is only my second open air event. In July I will have a show at the gallery.”

Gunn was also using pastel to create her image, saying right now it was her go-to medium. She said as a teacher she had learned many different mediums and enjoys using clay and painting. She said right now pastels are her favorite.

“It is quick and fast and you have instant pictures,” she said.

Both Gunn and Almelien recommend people wishing to get started in the arts take classes to learn the ropes of using the mediums. They said that Art Domestique holds plenty of classes to teach people to create their own works of art.

“Take an art class somewhere and usually you will have a guiding artist that will direct you the way you should go or the medium they think you should use and then just get started,” Gunn said. “People feel good when they create things.”

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.