Arts and Entertainment

Painting in the great outdoors | Snoqualmie's Plein Air Paint Out returns

  - Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo
— image credit: Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo

Artists of all levels can find inspiration, learn from each other and participate in the magic of painting in the outdoors during Railroad Days.

At the Fifth Annual Snoqualmie Plein Air Paint Out, happening 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, artists are welcome to explore the city, find an inspiring place to paint, and then share their creations.

“Plein Air” is French for open air, and the paint out is simply a reason for artists to gather and create a painting in the outdoors, in a single day and in a beautiful setting.

“Plein air has become the big thing in art. Of course it goes back hundreds of years to Cezanne and others, but plein air is suddenly what all the artists want to do,” says event founder Jeff Waters. “They love to be outside painting. That’s part of it. The other part is the incredible beauty of this Valley, and the things that are here to paint... this is just a rich tapestry of places to paint.”

Painting happens throughout Snoqualmie’s city parks and key locations, and there are also several venues for instructor demonstrations.

Rules and requirements for participation are minimal and, for those artists who don’t want to enter the poster contest, there’s only one rule: “You have to be on-site, working,” Waters said. Painters can also sell their works, of course. “We encourage that, and we don’t take any commission,” Waters added.

For those who hope to earn an appearance on the paint out poster for next year’s event, there are a few more rules—pay a $20 participation fee, start with a blank canvas, and have it stamped by the organizers—and a deadline of 3 p.m., when the artists’ reception begins at The Black Dog (formerly Isadora’s) on Railroad Avenue. At the reception, members of the Snoqualmie Arts Commission will select the winning entry for the 2014 Paint Out poster.

“The grand prize is the poster selection for next year, which is what artists really want. They want their work to be seen,” Waters said.

New this year, are second and third place prizes - $100 and $50 gift certificates to Daniel Smith Art Supplies. Download a Paint Out registration form at


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