NEXT WEEK: Fine Arts Center invites artists to Paint the Peninsula starting Monday

NEXT WEEK: Fine Arts Center invites artists to Paint the Peninsula starting Monday

PORT ANGELES –– They’re out there where the art is.

For the next week, artists from the local area and abroad will be out in the open air, capturing some of the most beautiful scenes on the Olympic Peninsula for the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center’s Paint the Peninsula event.

“There are not many paintings in existence that depict the beautiful, diverse landscapes on the Olympic Peninsula, so this artwork will be very unique,” said Anne Dalton, chairwoman of Paint the Peninsula.

The event has drawn 32 professional artists from across the U.S. and British Columbia with their easels and brushes to catch some of the diverse landscapes that make up the Olympic region, from the Key Peninsula to Cape Flattery and scenes in between, be they lush rain forests, windswept prairie or urban industry.

Painters will be out in various contests from Monday through the finish, a community celebration and exhibit of plein air art at the fine arts center at 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd. from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14.

Improvisation is key to much of the festival, as Sandy Byers, a retired software developer turned full-time painter can attest.

The Oak Harbor artist last year discovered the artistic attributes of credit while painting at Marymere Falls.

“I wanted to paint the falls, but when we arrived at our destination, I realized that I’d left my painting panels in the car,” she said.

“My husband offered to hike back to the car and retrieve them for me, which he did. It wasn’t until after he’d left that I realized I’d also left my brushes in the car. I didn’t have the heart to ask him to make a second trek, so I started brainstorming what else I might use as a painting tool.”

The makeshift plastic brush led her to create a more impressionist version of the falls than she would have originally planned.

“It was a very different process,” she said. “When painting with a credit card, it’s more like putting the pieces of a puzzle together.

“I work up close and focus on one shape and color, then move on to the next one without always knowing how they will work together. Then I stand back and say, ‘Oh! So that’s what it looks like!’ ”

Her painting “Abundance at Marymere” took home the Juror’s Award.

Every day, artists will confirm painting locations with the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, and the public is invited to call the arts center at 360-457-3532 to find out where to catch painters in the act.

New paintings will be available for purchase each day.

Paintings will be judged Saturday, Sept. 13, by professional artist Jim Lamb, who will stick around for a three-day plein air — French for outside — workshop at the arts center Sept. 15-17. Register at www.paintthepeninsula.org.

A quick-draw competition will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday in downtown Port Angeles.

Artists will select from four stations and have two hours to produce watercolor, pastel or oil paintings of historic buildings, City Pier, the waterfront esplanade or passing scenes on Front and First streets.

Artist demonstrations will be held from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday at Necessities & Temptations gift shop, Cafe New Day, Renaissance and the Conrad Dyar Memorial Fountain in Port Angeles as well as at Sunny Farms Country Store in Carlsborg.

Additional demonstrations are scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 13 at the Port Angeles Farmers Market at Front and Lincoln streets; from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at Camaraderie Cellars, 334 Benson Road; and from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center.

Entrants in the Community Paint Out Competition, which was open to amateur artists, are on display at The Landing mall, 115 E. Railroad Ave., through Sept. 14.

There will be a ceremony to award a total of $700 in cash awards to the top youth, teen and adult painters, as selected by voters. Votes may be cast until Sept. 14.

A Sept. 14 bike crawl has been canceled.

The Paint the Peninsula competition’s grand prize is $1,500 for Best of Show.

More information about the center and its events can be found at www.pafac.org or by phoning 360-457-3532.

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