PORT ANGELES — Twenty-five artists from across the United States and Canada will set up shop next week in the wild spaces of Clallam and Jefferson counties as part of 2016 Paint the Peninsula.
The fourth annual gathering of artists will begin Monday and continue through Aug. 28.
Paint the Peninsula is a juried plein air competition being hosted by and for the benefit of the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, a nonprofit organization, according to www.paintthepeninsula.org. It will include workshops, demonstrations, lectures and a juried competition with $12,000 in prize money up for grabs.
During their open-air day trips, participating artists will capture the beauty of the North Olympic Peninsula’s natural landscape — not with photographs, but with paint brushed on canvas.
“Plein air painting is a unique style which utilizes natural light and shadows to reflect what is going on in the artist’s surroundings at that moment in time,” said Anne Dalton, Paint the Peninsula chair.
“Plein air artists often talk about light, mood, color, movement and interpretation of feeling. Because the light, temperature and color change so quickly outside, plein air artists paint spontaneously and rapidly, typically painting one scene in a period of just a few hours. These paintings are often called impressionistic.”
Area residents and visitors are encouraged to call the fine arts center at 360-457-3532 Monday through Friday to find out where artists are painting.
Paint the Peninsula is “the only plein air painting competition of this caliber in the state of Washington and our reputation is spreading,” Dalton said.
Only 19 artists were chosen from 97 artists who applied to compete in this year’s event, she said.
Applications came from artists representing 25 states, three Canadian provinces and one from China, Dalton said.
“Out of this group, jurists from a variety of art related fields selected 19 artists,” she said.
Six guest artists who were previous winners were invited to return, Dalton said.
“Our group now consists of  professional painters.”
The Peninsula “offers plenty of visual beauty to offer artists inspiration,” Dalton said.
“Many artists who registered likely did so because of the natural beauty of the area, as well as because of the opportunity to paint the diversity of Olympic National Park.”
Although on other days artists can range anywhere between Port Townsend and Kalaloch, on Tuesday “all artists will paint within the boundaries of Olympic National Park,” Dalton said.
The paintings from the national park will be featured at a free public show from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd.
During the show, awards will be given to the artists whose park-inspired paintings were chosen as winners, and cake will be served to honor the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service, which falls on Thursday.
On Wednesday and Thursday, artists will perform demonstrations at Lake Crescent Lodge, 416 Lake Crescent Road; Storm King Ranger Station, located east of Lake Crescent Lodge; and Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center.
Then on Friday, artists will paint at City Pier and the Esplanade in Port Angeles.
The event culminates Saturday with judging of paintings created by artists throughout the week at the fine arts center, which will be open to the public until 4 p.m.
This year’s judge is Christine Debrosky.
Then from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., the fine arts center will host an awards ceremony and reception. Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased online at www.paintthepeninsula.org.
Awards include $2,500 for Best in Show; $1,500 for Artist’s Choice; and $1,000 each for the Poster Award, Best Landscape, Best Waterscape, Best Architectural, Best Sails, Motors and Wheels, Best Nocturne and the Spirit of the Peninsula Award.
All submitted art will be for sale, with 40 percent of proceeds benefitting the fine arts center, according to www.paintthepeninsula.org.
“We are grateful to our wonderful sponsors who have supported this prestigious event from the beginning and we are also grateful for our artists who contribute a generous portion of the sale of their paintings to the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center,” Dalton said.
Following the conclusion of the competition, a plein air workshop lead by Debrosky is scheduled for Aug. 28 through 30.
“Christine was chosen to be our judge and workshop presenter for a variety of reasons,” Dalton said.
“We have not had a female judge and workshop presenter in the past. In addition, previous workshop presenters have been oil painters,” Dalton said.
”In choosing Christine to fill both of these roles of judge and presenter, we were able to secure a well-known and talented female pastel artist. We feel honored and privileged to have her join Paint the Peninsula this year.”
The workshop will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day with an option to paint later, upon agreement by all participants.
Participants will learn the importance and value of compositional sketch, how to see and capture light quality and design elements, according to www.paintthepeninsula.org.
Students may work in pastel, oil or watercolor, as Debrosky has teaching experience in all three mediums. However, participants must have working knowledge of their chosen medium.
They are asked to bring a NorthWest palette and plein air supplies.
Participants will be notified, by email, of the meeting location.
The cost to participate is $350 per person.
For more information, contact Jinx Bryant at 360-912-4030.