Local Art Festival Uses Mid-19th Century French Expression

Plein Air Festival Celebrated in Port Wing

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At the Port Wing Plein Air Painting Festival, it’s all about expression.

They’re looking at shadows, patterns and colors.

“I just love plein air painting, it’s my favorite,” artist Donna Lanni said.

Nearly 30 artists made masterpieces.

“I’m working on the jailhouse and the little red house together,” said Lanni.

They worked through a creative medium.

“It’s plein air,” Port Wing Plein Air Painting Festival director John Bertson said. “In French it means in the outside, in the open air.”

A style of painting with origins dating back to the mid-19th century.

“They’re work was less painted over than some of the classical things,” said Bertson. “It was a quicker kind of representation of the landscape.”

This weekend the scenery and history of a five mile radius in Port Wing, Wisconsin was the subject.

“First of all you simplify the painting, you don’t get up in the little details,” said Lanni. “You just look at your values.”

Quick decisions need to be made.

Time is not always on your side.

“You’re kind of racing with the sun,” said Lanni. “The sun will change things, changes shadows, change the colors.”

The senses are heightened.

“There’s no going in and reworking it,” said Bertson. “It’s much more dynamic kind of thing.”

Moving the painter beyond their own imagination.

“You have a much, much fresher painting when you paint outside and it’s a lot more fun,” said Lanni.

Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned creator.

“I just know I’ll be back next year,” said Lanni. “It’s a great venue.”

When finished all of the paintings will be displayed in the Port Wing Town Hall this Saturday and Sunday.

They will also be up for sale.


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