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Plein Air: Event offers a bit of cheer to artists

“Plein Air on the Square” in downtown Troy Saturday attracted “distant” curiosity seekers who just had to see what was going on.

Although they didn’t get too close to the artists, the curiosity seekers did venture close enough to admire the artists’ handiwork.

Plein Air on the Square is an on-going opportunity for artists, from dabbles to professionals, to come together to paint outdoors.

The Troy downtown square was the first opportunity to participate in Plein-Air with seven artists painting.

The event was organized and orchestrated by Amanda Smothers who said she was pleased with the response of the artists who painted in “fresh” air Saturday and with the interest generated around the square-

“Being outdoors enjoying the fresh air and sunshine was just what I needed,” Smothers said. “We had a small group but it was a great beginning. It was great to see artists painting on the square. It brought a different kind of life to downtown Troy. Seeing people out doing normal kinds of things seemed to bring a feeling of hope.”

Smothers said the Plein Air outdoor “studios” will be different location and will present different challenges and distractions for the artists: Wind, rain, shifting light, sounds and even smells make each Plein Air opportunity an adventure, whether it’s in a bustling city or a blink-and-miss-it-town.

For Amanda Trawick, who is accustomed to painting indoors, Plein Air was “a breath of fresh air.”

“I paint indoors, either live subjects or from photographs,” Trawick said. “I also paint murals but those are by design. Plein Air on the Square was my first experience painting outdoors and capturing the moment. And, it was very different.”

Trawick chose to paint the old Masonic Lodge building which houses Synco Drugs.

“It was a complicated subject and it took me a long time to draw in all the details before I could even start painting,” she said, laughing. “But I really enjoyed painting outdoors. Being out in the fresh air and sunshine and be among people while painting and practicing social distancing was a very different experience. I really enjoyed it.”

Trawick said pedestrians stopped to see what she was painting while motorists often slowed their vehicles to say ‘hi’ and peek at the canvas.

“Seeing us out seemed to cheer people and lighten their spirits,” she said. “I had a great time and I was grateful for the opportunity. We have a lot of talented people in Pike County and, hopefully, we’ll have even more to participate next time. I’m looking forward.”

The next Plein Air opportunity, weather permitting, is planned for 10 a.m. Saturday at the historic Bass House in downtown Brundidge.

“This will be a great place to paint – the historic home and library and the grounds,” Smothers said. “Some of the group might want to paint Main Street. And, Lenny Trawick has promised to play and sing while we paint. It will be a fun day and we look forward to having a good group of artists in downtown Brundidge.”