Artists worldwide are painting en plein air, venturing from their studios to paint along roadsides, atop mountains, by the sea, in gardens and in cities to capture landscapes, figures, and architecture in their natural elements.
Plein Air (French for "open air") painting became popular in the early nineteenth century in both Europe and America when paint manufacturers made a wide range of pre-mixed oil pigments available for the first time, and the easily transportable box easel, or pochade (quick sketch) box, was developed. Artists could finally take their work into the field with ease—the artist could, as Monet wrote, "paint the air in which are situated the bridge, the home, the boat."
Artists paint natural light, using color to define form. Plein air artists generally paint "ala prima," laying down a scene with quick broad, colorful brush strokes, foregoing the typical 'building up' of paint. Depending on the light and weather, plein air paintings are generally done in one session.
Plein air painting is a pursuit unlike any other painting technique. It challenges artists to concentrate completely on the information in front of them. Their senses absorb it all, from sight to sound, from temperature to atmosphere, and then channel these feelings into their vision in paint on paper or canvas.
Bath County is named for the English resort city of Bath, an ancient city visited for its healing spring waters since Roman times. For over 200 years Bath County has been defined but its natural beauty, the minerals springs that define some of its landscape, and southern hospitality. Located along the western, central border with West Virginia, Bath County encompasses 540 square miles. 89% of Bath County is comprised of forest, with 51% in national forest and 6% under state park.
From the earliest days when weary travelers stopped to rejuvenate in the healing springs, now known as the Jefferson Pools, tourism has played a major role in the development of Bath County. Since the first Homestead Resort was built in 1766, the community of Hot Springs has been a nationally recognized four season resort attraction. The popularity of “taking the waters” in the mid-18th century secured Bath County’s place as a tourism attraction.
Bath County is an ideal place for plein air painting. The county and surrounding area are endowed with a rich history of art and have been a destination for artists for centuries. Most notable is Edward Beyer, who came with his wife from Germany in the late 1840s. Beyer traveled extensively in Virginia, especially western Virginia, creating panoramic paintings of the Shenandoah Valley. As a plein air painter Beyer’s paintings provide a vivid, colorful tour of western Virginia locales in the mid-nineteenth century.
Bath County possesses a stunning collection of beautiful landscapes, panoramic vistas, historic architecture and an abundance of southern charm.
The Conservation Fund
This year our charitable organization is The Conservation Fund. The Conservation Fund is a U.S. nonprofit organization with a dual charter to pursue environmental preservation and economic development. From 2008–2018, it has placed more than 500,000 acres under conservation management through a program whose goal is to purchase and permanently protect working forests. Since its founding in 1985, the organization has protected land and water in all 50 states, including parks, historic battlefields, and wild areas. The Fund works with community and government leaders, businesses, landowners, conservation nonprofits and other partners to integrate economic and environmental objectives.
The Conservation Fund forges partnerships to conserve America’s legacy of land and water resources. Through land acquisition, community and economic development and training and education, the Fund and its partners demonstrate balanced conservation solutions that emphasize the integration of economic and environmental goals. They believe that conservation should work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, they are re-defining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity.
We protect America’s most critical lands and waters to provide greater access to nature, strengthen local economies and enhance climate resiliency. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, we have worked in all 50 states since 1985 to protect more than 8.8 million acres of land.
At The Conservation Fund, we believe in conservation that makes economic sense. Every project places conservation at its center, and our entrepreneurial staff create and implement innovative, practical ways to benefit the natural world and the well-being of Americans from every walk of life. We inspire new, innovative models that prove strategic conservation is good for both people and the environment.
A percentage of painting sales at the Farm to Table Dinner will go to The Conservation Fund or you can give directly to TCF, just follow the link: