Painting ‘Sierrascapes’ in the elements |

Painting ‘Sierrascapes’ in the elements

The Nevada County Plein Air Painters is made up of 12 artists who feel they are following in the footsteps of the French Impressionists and early Califorina painters at the turn of the 19th century when they venture out to paint on location.

The challenge of these artists, some of whom have been painting together for over 10 years, is capturing a scene in 2 hours, before the light changes. Painting outside and learning how to edit a 360 view does take some practice, says Founding Member Jane Welles, “but we artists agree that it’s much better to be outside because all the colors are right in front of you.” Any place within a day’s drive is fair game, from Napa to the Sierra Buttes.

There is so much natural beauty in this area, say the artists, that they will never run out of things to paint, although disappearing space is a concern to them.

Inspiration comes from being totally immersed in the sights, sounds, and smells of nature while coping with what Mother Nature flings at them, including heat, bugs and wind. Indeed, Welles tells of once having a gust of wind toss her entire pallet of pastels into the drink while painting beside the Truckee River.

With help from the others, most of her pastel sticks were recovered.k

Nevada County Plein Air Painters invite all to the 5th annual group show at The Center for the Arts.

Called “Sierrascapes,” the 100-plus canvas show will be up from Monday through July 21, with a “Meet the Artists” reception taking place July 12, 2-4 p.m.

The NCPAP meets once a month at the Madeline Helling Library in Nevada City for informal critiques.

“We don’t pay dues or have any elected officers,” says Welles. “We’re just a bunch of artists who like to get outside to paint. Even if you make a bad painting, it’s fun to hang out.”

Anyone is welcome to join and skill level is not a factor. Contact Welles at 265-6889 for more information.


WHAT: Nevada County Plein Air Painters 5th Annual Group Show, “Sierrascapes”

WHEN: Monday through July 21, with a “Meet the Artists” reception July 12, 2-4 p.m.

WHERE: Center for the Arts, 314 W. Main St., Grass Valley


INFORMATION: Contact Jane Welles at 265-6889, or

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