The First Annual Plein Air Paint Out at Adams Farm took place on Saturday, September 8, and proved to be a great success. JT Harding, an East Walpole artist, organized the event. He had donated one of his own paintings of the Farm to the Friends of Adams Farm (FOAF) for their Fine Art Raffle, but wanted for find a way to encourage local artists to come out and enjoy the Farm. So he brought the idea of holding a painting event at the Farm to the FOAF board of directors. They had tried unsuccessfully to organize an art event at the Farm the year before, and were excited about his idea of a Plein Air Paint Out. With their approval, JT used his contacts with local art organizations to spread the word about the Paint Out and invited some of his artist friends, who invited their friends, and the event began to take shape.
Despite a bit of wind and rain, ten artists braved the elements to take part in this year’s Paint Out, and had a wonderful time painting “en plein air” (outdoors). The artists fanned out across the Farm, each choosing their favorite spot. While several featured the familiar red barn in their paintings, others looked to the wide open fields for their inspiration. The artists painted throughout the day, returning to the pavilion at the end of the afternoon with their masterpieces.
Their paintings were judged by Bill St. George, a well-known Walpole artist who has his own gallery in Boston. Prizes were awarded for first, second, and third place, as well as two honorable mentions. First prize went to Dianne Panarelli Miller of Abington who chose a farming theme for her 16-by-20-inch oil painting. She set up her easel in the middle of the Community Garden and filled the foreground of her canvas with the lush crops growing there, adding the barn as the backdrop to give the scene some depth. In addition to a one-year membership in FOAF, Dianne received a check for $150, half of the proceeds from the event. The other half of the proceeds was donated to FOAF for the maintenance and enhancement of the Farm.
Kim Morin Weineck of North Attleboro took second place with her 9-by-12-inch pastel painting which was also inspired by the Community Garden. The brightly colored flowers and foliage of the Garden seem to jump off her canvas, with Hillcrest Farm across the street peeking through in the distance. She experimented with the many shades of green at the Farm, and included the architectural element of the farmhouse in the background to add complexity to the scene.
The third-place winner was Brother Eugene DeLauro of Framingham who loves painting outdoors. At 84, he was the oldest artist at the Paint Out. He chose to feature the field behind the barn in his 14-by-18-inch oil painting. He saw a lot of beautiful color in the field, and was particularly inspired by the reds he spotted in the surrounding foliage and branches, which played well against all the green.
Honorable mention went to Tatiana Roulin of Sharon for her 9-by-12-inch pastel painting of a distant view of the barn across the rolling fields, and to Diane Fernald of Walpole, a newcomer to plein air painting. Her 16-by-16-inch oil painting featured a fellow plein air artist who had set up her easel in the field behind the barn.
Following the presentation of awards, the winning ticket of the Adams Farm Fine Art Raffle was drawn. The winner, Lisa Lewis, an avid supporter of the Farm, won “October at Adams Farm”, a 9-by-12-inch oil on linen painting of the barn at Adams Farm by JT Harding. She also received a one-year membership to the Friends of Adams Farm.
For artists interested in participating in next year’s Plein Air Paint Out, JT has already opened registration for the event. An exact date hasn’t been set yet, but the event will take place in early September next year. Visit his blog at www.adamsfarmpaintout.blogspot.com to register.