Cape Cod, MA — The opportunity to watch artists create paintings with spontaneity and care, while in the scene being captured, gives art lovers a deep understanding of the inspiration and process behind plein air painting. Addison Art Gallery is continuing its sponsorship of plein air events so the community and visitors can discover the processes behind the art. Helen Addison, gallery owner, said, “The thrill of watching a blank canvas become a beautiful work of art draws people from states away again and again.”

According to painter Robert Abele, “No other form of painting brings you as close as direct observation of the landscape while being surrounded by it. The dialog shared here is not only intimate but almost impossible to recreate in the studio. What makes plein-air painting so exciting is that in one painting session you are using all the elements needed to create an image. Perspective, draftsmanship, color, composition — all along with chasing the light make this form of painting the most difficult.”

Dozens of painters will be working at Chase’s Ocean Grove, Dennisport, and Orleans —in gardens, downtown and at beautiful Rock Harbor. Wet paint receptions will be held on select May and Saturdays from 5:30 to 7:30 at the Addison Art Gallery, giving everyone an opportunity to meet the artists and learn more about their work.

For more information, please contact the Addison Art Gallery at 508.255.6200.

Event Schedule
Saturday, May 18
8:00 to noon Painting Rock Harbor
Stop by beautiful Rock Harbor, Orleans and see award-winning artists bring paintings to life.

Saturday, May 18
5:30 to 7:30 Painting Rock Harbor Reception
Join artists and friends for a show of works painted that morning and other new works at the Addison Art Gallery.

Saturday, June 15
5:30 to 7:30 Painting Chase’s Ocean Grove Reception
Join artists and friends for a show of new works painted that morning and other new works that have arrived for summer at the Addison Art Gallery.

Saturday, June 22
4:00 to 6:00 Art, Garden and Wine Reception
After touring lovely gardens of Orleans, stop by the Addison Art Gallery to see paintings of beautiful Orleans and its surrounds, including works painted during the tour.
(The Orleans Improvement Association’s 25th Anniversary Garden Tour will be held from 10:00 to 4:00. For more information, please visit

Saturday, June 29
8:00 to noon Painting Orleans
Visit the charming downtown of Orleans and see award-winning artists capture this quaint New England town.

Saturday, June 29
5:30 to 7:30 Painting Orleans Reception
Join artists and friends for a show of works painted that morning and other new works from across the Cape at the Addison Art Gallery.
Artist Quotes
“The plein air experience is valuable in many ways that may not be immediately apparent to an outside observer. All your senses are involved when you are personally experiencing a location first hand.

The eye perceives light and shadows most acutely from direct observation. Also, the world is meant to be seen in three dimensions. Nothing substitutes for being there. Painting from memory is a challenge, but you cannot possibly remember the nuances of reality. Photography flattens space and distorts perspective and color. It can be helpful in the studio, but is not a real substitute for direct observation.

The plein-air experience also provides the artist a chance to essentially live within the painting. For example, when painting by the seashore the artist experiences the sound of the waves and the gulls, feels the sun and the breeze, watches the tides change and the boats come and go. The painter exists within that space and is one with the environment. Ideally, all that sensory inspiration will filter through the artist’s hand and come together in the new reality of the painted canvas.” —Paul Schulenburg
“When painting, an artist hopes to capture three dimensions of life onto a flat object. There is mystery involved: even approaching a common place or the passing expression on a face or the special scene before them—art is that spirtual mystery. Whatever caught one’s eye will only be transformed, be alive through drawing out or brushing it on. Plein air refreshes all that vitality; the human eye focuses only on a minute corner of a cloud or a lost edge of nature, one at a time … a building’s line or the blur of wind on water. The eye feeds the hand-held brush and right away one knows if it’s correct or in error.”-David Burns
“As the winter withdraws to those wonderful days of spring, the cooped-up artist can squeeze out of his studio and once again head for that favorite location to breathe that wonderful fresh air, and meet up with plein air friends to create works that will someday grace collectors’ walls. Plein air offers the opportunity for artists to share ideas and technical support, but the most important is the company we share in what is often a very lonely job. Plein Air also stimulates the collectors as they enjoy seeing a painting begin and be completed, and feel attached to the completed work of art.” —John F. Murphy

Jams and Jellies oil on panel Robert Abele 16 x 20









April 2013 Turning Tides
May 2013 Turning Tides