I was riding my bike in mid-October on the Tahoe-Pyramid Trail, east of Sparks, where the bright yellow stands of aspens and willows lining the Truckee River in the afternoon sunshine were downright gawk-worthy. My first thought was, “I bet the plein air painters are out today.” That thought evolved into a call for Nevada and Tahoe plein air painters—artists who bring their easels, paints, and chalks outdoors and paint what they’re looking at—to show us what they’ve been up to.
In the middle of a dumpster fire of a year, as COVID infection rates reach record highs, at the near-culmination of the most contentious election season of my life, it’s been an absolute delight to watch pictures of people smiling next to easels in the fresh air roll into my inbox. It is my great pleasure to take a quick break from it all to introduce you to Nevada and Tahoe’s plein air painters.
Phyllis Shafer, South Lake Tahoe
Sidne Teske, Tuscarora & Reno
Zoe Bray, Reno
Zoe is best known for oil portraits and comic-type drawings about life with kids in 2020 that hit the nail on the head, but she works outside sometimes, too. Painter Erik Holland shot this photo of her painting in Verdi in 2012, shortly after she moved to Nevada. Zoe said in an email, “This year, with the accentuated anguish of the current environmental, health etc. crises, plein air painting has served me as even more much needed respite as well as communion with nature and art.”
Bill Bon, Las Vegas
Monika Johnson, Incline Village
Sue Perry, Sparks
Kaelyn McGowen, Reno
Sometimes Kaelyn works in a neon studio—and sometimes she works outdoors.
Heidi Reeves, Kings Beach
Jenny Krummes, Lake Tahoe
Dana Childs, Gardnerville
Rossitza Todorova, Reno
Kim Franke, Reno
Luverne Lightfoot, Sparks
“Nature is a gift to artists which encourages plein air painting,” Luverne said. ” Painting nature is inspiring, and sometimes the canvas is too small.” Here’s an action shot and a painting from a session at Big Springs Gardens in Sierra City, California.
Karolyn Bader, Reno
Karolyn went on a Latimer Art Club Plein Air Paint Out at the River Fork Ranch, a Nature Conservancy area in Genoa.