‘Hudson Valley Plein Air’ on Display

June 13, 2019
Diane Stripe
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference


‘Hudson Valley Plein Air’ on Display
"The Golden Hour" by Katherine Jennings


“En plein air,” a French expression, means “in the open air” and is used to describe the act of painting outdoors capturing the light as it moves over nature. The Hudson Valley is rich in the tradition of both hiking and plein air painting. Many contemporary artists have taken up the mantel of combining these activities with new forms of expressing the painting of light and air in the outdoors using a variety of art media.

The new exhibition “Hudson Valley Plein Air” features works by artists who have painted in the open air. Beautiful and rich in color, these works emphasize light, nature, and sky as seen in the local area. We invite you to visit Trail Conference Headquarters and spend a few minutes taking in what has been beautifully captured by these artists. Works are for sale; 20% of the proceeds go to benefit the work of the Trail Conference.

Prize-winning artists were announced at the Plein Air reception on Thursday, June 13.  The winners received generous Art Award Vouchers donated by Dick Blick Art Materials. Because the vouchers were of equal value, we awarded three awards of equal stature. All of the selected works can be considered "First Place" winners.

Best Spirit of the Trail Award
John Doyle, "Interiors"
Our Prize Judge for this exhibition, Amy Silberkleit, liked the unusual subject matter of this painting. Rather than choosing a long view with more conventional scenic beauty, the painter has placed us right in the woods with a scene that looks like what you might see on many real trails in the Hudson Valley. It is also beautifully rendered.

The Judges Choice Award
Adele Grodstein, "Alpine Pavilion"
Our Prize Judge felt that this piece told a story about what painters face when working plein air - such as needing to find a shelter from sun or rain. We can see that there is a scene the artist is looking out at, but it is not the main character here. Amy thought the painting really pulls in the viewer and makes them consider the circumstances in which it was painted. She called it "pleasingly manipulative with a likable point of view."

Best In Show
Karen Maloof, "Plum Point"
Amy says this painting has a definite sense of place. It is obvious that the artist was actually at this location, and the way it draws viewers into the scene makes them feel as if they are there, too. This is expertly accomplished by guiding the viewer's eye up to the diagonal of the river and through the landscape to the gap between the mountains. Amy stated, "This painting addresses the concept and goals of plein air painting perfectly."

If You Go