Brush Creek Art Walk is a three day outdoor (en plein air) painting event that runs this Friday-Sunday (9/14-16/18) along a 4-mile stretch of Brush Creek. This event is free and open to the public to observe. For a $35 registration fee, artists have the opportunity to participate in ALL three Quick Paint Events and submit two finalized (framed) works for final judging and awards and sell their displayed works.
HOW-TO Plein Air by Director Alex Hamil
In the heat of a late July weekend in 2012 over 50 regional and local artists participated in the inaugural Brush Creek Art Walk. The outdoor painting event took place along a 4-mile stretch of this Kansas City landmark and eventually culminated in a display of juried work at the Gallery of Art (UMKC) in mid-August.
Now in our 7th th year, BCAW has moved the dates for this weekend-long event to the cooler month of mid-September and we’ve more recently discovered a jewel for displaying works at the Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center (4750 Troost, KCMO) where last year over 100+ finalized (framed) original paintings were on display through the month of October.
Plein Air has really taken off in recent years for those visual artists who wish to expand their repertoire of painting work beyond the studio. As a painter, myself, I was there for the innaugural event and eventually took the reigns as Director starting in 2015. I don’t turn any artist away from the possibility of participating in our annual event, so it’s always difficult but necessary to mention how stressful outdoor painting can be for the less experienced artist. The weather and light are always changing and the need to whittle your supplies down to the bare minimum in order to encourage portability are preliminary factors for being a successful outdoor painter.
In order to execute a successful outdoor painting, an artist has to recognize a limited time frame as a primary consideration to labeling a piece as a finalized work. A good artist initially sees the composition, establishes a palate and eventually captures the energy of the scene typically within an average of a two-hour time frame, otherwise – the work loses its spontaneity as the light and palatte are continually changing and the work gets muddied. I willingly confess that I’ve never batted a thousand when it comes to my outdoor painting during these events, but I’ve always learned something from each and every experience and I have a stack of paintings to prove this. It’s a good artist that fixes their mistakes and the real trick is in knowing when to finally put the brush down. Honestly, the really good paintings nearly paint themselves.
This year we are planning for no less than 75 registered artists to participate and I strongly encourage the public to come out and witness their paintings in progress, especially during our sponsored Quick Paint events in which 30 to 40 artists are typically on hand attempting to capture the scene. Though I’ve done this for years, I’m continually amazed at the results these artists are able to generate in such a limited timeframe. So if you’re looking to grace the walls of your home with some great original works of a Kansas City landmark, this year’s event, I promise, won’t let you down.
Quick Paints planned for this year’s BCAW2018 (times and locations):
• “Nocturne on the Plaza” Friday, 9/14 from 7 to 10 p.m. – judging at 9:45 p.m. at J.C. Nichols Fountain
• “Butterfly Day” Saturday, 9/15 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. – judging at 1:15 p.m. at the Discovery Center 4750 Troost
• “East Side Sunset” Sunday, 9/16 from 5 to 8 p.m. – judging at 7:45 p.m. at the Brush Creek Community Center)
AWARDS RECEPTION and EXHIBITION (open to the public)
Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center
Tuesday, October 2nd from 5 to 8 p.m.; Awards at 7 p.m.
Works on display through the month of October during regular business hours, Tuesdays until 7 p.m. and the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month.