Mark your calendars now for the 10th Year Anniversary Celebration!: The next Great Paint-out will be May 1-11, 2015. There will be many exciting additions, stay tuned for details!!

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Plein Air Painters To Capture Forgotten Coast on Canvas

More than 20 nationally acclaimed artists will gather on Florida's Forgotten Coast to participate in the 9th annual Forgotten Coast en Plein Air Invitational, America's Great Paint-Out, May 1-11, 2014. Painters will set up their easels and pull out their brushes to document the landscape and culture of this last vestige of authentic "Old Florida" – the coastal stretch of scenic North Florida between Mexico Beach and Alligator Point.

"Plein Air", a French word, simply translated means "open air". The roots of plein air painting are found in 19th-century Europe. An Englishman, John Constable, believed that artists should forget "formulas" and trust their own vision in finding truth in nature.  

Dee Beard Dean

About the same time in France, in a small village called Barbizon, a group of artists focused their attention on a subject matter that had never been done before: everyday life and the natural world surrounding it. These realists laid the ground work for the next development: Impressionism. Plein air forever changed how artists see the world.

A true plein air painting is done on location, capturing the atmosphere of the moment. The majority of the painting must be completed on site with little to no work to be done in the studio. Most artists agree this is the true test of skill as it requires complete confidence in placement of color and brushwork in a short amount of time. For example, a sunset may only last 30-40 minutes. That would be all the time the artist has to capture the scene.

The event includes 5 exhibits across the coast, daily artist demonstrations, 2 workshops, art sales and a series of public receptions. Art enthusiasts  can visit the exhibits and attend the many free special events that occur throughout the 10 day event. "Many artists from across the region gather and paint alongside the event's invited artists; it is amazing to see the art being created" stated Joe Taylor, Event Chair. The “Wetroom”, which alternates each year between the Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and Art in historic Apalachicola and a location in downtown Port St. Joe, is always stocked with fresh paintings that the artists deliver daily throughout the event.

The Forgotten Coast en Plein Air is coordinated by the Forgotten Coast Cultural Coalition, a non-profit organization established to produce regional multi-community cultural events that improve the quality of life for the coastal area. The communities of Mexico Beach, Port St. Joe, Cape San Blas, Indian Pass, Apalachicola, Eastpoint, St. George Island, Carrabelle, and Alligator Point have joined forces to produce the most impressive art event seen along the coast. Support from the Gulf and Franklin County Tourist Development Councils, Mexico Beach CDC, and Visit Florida has helped to gain the event a national following.

A selection of America's finest plein air artists are scheduled to participate in this year's event, please look over our artist list to see the diverse talent.James Hempel

 The public is invited, encouraged even, to locate, stop and watch the painters throughout the week.  

 Artists: Please be advised this event is by invitation determined by a blind panel of artists who make recommendations to the board.  If you are not one of our invited artists, we welcome your participation at the Quickdraw or simply setting up an easel and joining the en plein air fun. There is not an application. It is by invitation only. If you would like to participate as a featured artist, the best way to receive an invitation is to attend the event, paint in the Quickdraw, and introduce yourself at the parties and receptions.