If you were out and about in Pike Road recently, you no doubt noticed roadside artists at various locations around the town. That’s not unusual, but there were more artists about Friday and Saturday the 18th and 19th of October. The Town of Pike Road and the Pike Road Arts Council welcomed artists from across Alabama and beyond to the 8th Annual Plein Air Paint Out for a weekend of capturing the Pike Road community and its history and natural beauty on canvas. In all, more than 40 artists participated in the two-day event.
On Friday, the artists and others were treated to lunch at the Pike Road Arts Center on Wallahatchee Rd. Again, Epicurean Delights catered the lunch, which included Black Forest Ham and Swiss/Havarti cheese sandwiches, and Herb Roasted Turkey and Havarti sandwiches, along with Asian Vegetable Salad. Among those participating Friday and Saturday were area artists: Barbara Davis, Martha Fulghum, Alicia Chambliss, Mel Magee, Norma Gober, Faye Creel, Nelda Rogers, Steven Davis, Paula Wheat, Leslie Brasher, Barbara Moody, Peggy Kilgo, and Donna Fountain to name a few. After lunch, special guest artist Amy Peterson of Birmingham gave an outdoor painting demonstration and explained her love of plein air painting.
Amy Peterson’s paintings combine strong draftsmanship with loose, impressionistic brush work. She strives to capture the immediacy of a moment in time, portrayed in a classic, timeless way. Peterson paints extensively from life, including still life subjects, city scenes and landscapes primarily in the Southeastern U.S. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2005, and has since pursued a professional career in the arts. She is a member of the Oil Painters of America, the American Impressionist Society, the Alabama Plein Air Artists, and the Mountain Brook Art Association. She teaches weekly art classes at the Forstall Art Center in Birmingham, and serves on the Arts and Sculpture Committee of Aldridge Gardens.
“As an outdoor enthusiast and conservationist, I value plein air as an opportunity to document a place in time on canvas, immersed in the weather, the season, and the uniqueness of each location,” she says. “I rely greatly on my plein air experience to infuse my studio paintings with light, life, and confident brush work. The lessons from plein air painting are innumerable and, while my current work is largely based on photographic references, painting from life remains my greatest teacher.”
On Saturday evening, a reception, art show and sale was held at New Waters Realty. There too, the People’s Choice Awards were announced. First Place went to John Brian Guernsey’s “Sweet Creek Market,” (Oil). Second Place went to Barbara Davis’ “Morning in October,” (Oil), and Third Place went to John Brian Guernsey’s “Freeman’s Farm,” (Oil). Honorable Mention awards went to Stephen Davis’ “Pike Road Pasture,” and John Brian Guernsey’s “Rainy Day Still Life.”
The entire Pike Road community and beyond owes a great deal of thanks to Patty Payne and members of the Pike Road Arts Council for their tireless work in making the annual Paint Out a rousing success!