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Plein Air Painters bring outdoors into the Quinlan
"Apple Orchard" by Debra Nadelhoffer will be on display through Feb. 15 as part of the "Painting Inside & Out" exhibit at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center.

Quinlan exhibits opening today

  • ‘Painting Inside & Out:' Paintings from the Plein Air Painters of Georgia
  • ‘Still Life Revisited:' Paintings by Bert Beirne
  • ‘Everyone is a Work of Art:' Bronze figures by Gregory Johnson
  • Art League exhibit: The Art League's invitational exhibit featuring the winners of group shows from the past two years

When: Thursday-Feb. 15

Where: Quinlan Visual Arts Center, 514 Green St. NE, Gainesville

How much: Free

More info: 770-536-2575

Getting a little fresh air never looked so good - on canvas, that is.

The Quinlan Visual Arts Center opens a more than monthlong exhibit Thursday, "Paintings Inside & Out," by the Plein Air Painters of Georgia.

And don't worry, that really is the right spelling.

Plein air is of French origins and specifically relates to the painting of light in the open air. It's a technique that has been practiced by artists for centuries. Often associated with impressionism, plein air works are done on location. And because the light is constantly changing, plein air painting can be a challenge. But this group of professional artists tackles the challenge with ease.

The Plein Air Painters of Georgia have been all over the state documenting the scenes as they are. In fact, the group has taken the plein air challenge to other states, regions and even overseas.

"This is by far one of the prettiest shows we have ever had at the Quinlan," said Amanda Kroll, assistant director at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville. "They (Plein Air Painters of Georgia) really bring pieces of their adventures with them in their works."

There are more than 20 members of the group and their individual styles bring a refreshing change to the typical landscape painting. Each of the artists draw from different inspirations - be it nature, the extremes of light or the complexities of city scenes.

Artist and group member Frances Landel of Darien noted in her artists' statement on her Web site, that "painting ‘en plein air' gives an entirely different feel from work done in the studio. It is necessarily more spontaneous, since the elements are always a factor. ... I do not try to duplicate what I see in nature; rather, I seek to give a feeling of place."

Several of the artists also are exhibiting their studio works and sketches alongside the plein air pieces.

The exhibit brings the beauty of natural Georgia settings to life via pastels, watercolors and oils.

"Some of the pieces, you can almost feel the wind coming off the water," Kroll said. Looking at the work, she said, is almost temporal in nature. "It's like taking a little trip."

The group, together nearly a decade, has exhibited works across Georgia and several of its members have exhibited nationally. Many of the members have been published in nationally syndicated magazines like Art in America and Better Homes and Gardens. The group includes a few area members from Buford and Dahlonega.

The exhibit opens at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center tonight along with three others as part of a winter series that will remain on display until Feb. 15.

The pieces in this exhibit as a whole really complement each other, Kroll said. "There is something for everyone."