Summoning their inner Vincent van Gogh, local artists, from sun up to sun down, braved the Colorado fall elements — wind on Tuesday and rain on Thursday — to paint outside and highlight Jefferson County Open Space Parks.
This item is available in full to subscribers.
If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.
Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.
If you made a voluntary contribution of $25 or more in Nov. 2017-2018, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access Includes access to all websites
Blair Hamill, 58, of Littleton has been painting as a hobby since he was about 6 years old, but has spent his entire professional career in the art industry.
Open space is something everyone can enjoy, he said, of his reason for wanting to be involved with PLAN Jeffco's In Plein Sight event.
Hamill has been using the parks since at least 1972 when PLAN Jeffco got its start, he said, and now, passing on the love of the outdoors in his family, three generations have been hiking the open space trails.
He enjoys all of the trails, he said, for different activities during different times of the year. Hamill encourages everyone to learn about the different properties and what each one has to offer.
“Go explore,” he said. “They're an asset for everyone.”
Deborah McAllister, 62, of Lakewood said White Ranch Park — a Jefferson County Open Space Park — is probably her favorite.
She had been there several times, but had never had to the chance to see as much of the park as she did while painting for the PLAN Jeffco's In Plein Sight.
“Open Space is very important to me,” she said, and added she sits on the board of Plein Air Artists Colorado, an organization that creates opportunities for artists to get together and paint outdoors.
It's amazing that PLAN Jeffco, for decades, has been thinking ahead and advocating for open space parks, McAllister said.
“I'm really happy somebody thought to save them,” she said, “even back then.”
Janeice Linden of Littleton, believes plein air painting improves an artist's skill.
“When you're outside painting,” she said, “you can capture more value and color with the human eye than a camera lens.”
However, painting outdoors verses in a studio can present a challenge when dealing with the elements such as wind, rain or even lighting changes.
Linden, 50, has been painting for about 25 years, and has been doing plein air painting for about 15.
She enjoyed painting for PLAN Jeffco's In Plein Sight event because she got to paint with other artists and go to open space parks she had never been to before.
It was a lot of fun, Linden said, and “it brings to light the Jeffco Open Spaces.”
Scott Lines, 53, enjoys the concept of painting to save open space and parks.
The Highlands Ranch resident has painted for several events similar to PLAN Jeffco's In Plein Sight, including in Douglas and Larimer counties.
“It's a cause I like,” Lines said. “It's nice exposure for me, but I enjoy doing it to support the programs.”
In metro areas, development is inevitable, he said, but it's important for cities to plan properly and save open space land for people to enjoy.
“We can't have everywhere be wild space, but if everything gets gobbled up, you can't go back,” Lines said. “If they're setting aside land today, I'm sure the people 100 years from now will thank them.”
The artists, mostly Jefferson County residents but also including some from other places in Colorado and even a couple from out-of-state, were participating in PLAN Jeffco’s In Plein Sight event.
Plein air painting is when an artist reproduces the actual visual conditions seen at the time of the painting. And using this style Oct. 4-8, 25 to 27 artists painted at a different Jeffco open space park each day — South Valley in Littleton, Mount Falcon in Morrison, Crown Hill in Lakewood, White Ranch Park and along the Clear Creek Trail, both in Golden.
In Plein Sight also featured a gallery exhibit Oct. 8 and 9 at the Golden Community Center, during which the public could view and purchase the artwork created during the week. Sixty percent of the sales went to the artist, and the rest went to PLAN Jeffco — a nonprofit, volunteer-run organization based in Jefferson County that advocates to preserve open space lands.
Most of the artists produced at least two or three works of art of various sizes each day, and all were superlative paintings, said Margot Zallen, the president of PLAN Jeffco.
Being the first time such an event took place in Jeffco open space parks, it was successful and everybody seemed to enjoy it, Zallen said.
“This just shows how important it is to the citizens to protect their open space lands,” she said.
Other items that may interest you
We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.