Huntsville’s local artists are painting the town – literally.
The Huntsville Street Walkers Plein Air Group is composed of local artists capturing the sights of Huntsville.
“En plein air” is a French expression translating to “in the open air.” More commonly referred to as “plein air painting,” the artistic practice is just as it sounds. Artists leave behind the confines of their studios to immerse themselves in the outside world, completing an entire painting based on the setting around them.
“It just energizes you as a painter, it’s challenging, it’s refreshing and its health conscious because we’re outdoors,” Lucky Bat Studio owner Nancy McGalliard said. “They’ve really inspired me to get out there and give it a try.”
The Lucky Bat Studio owner is new to the method, and her recently opened studio serves as a meeting point for the artists before heading out to their location of the day. Most recently, the group has been seen around the downtown square, capturing the historic buildings in the late morning light, however, organizers hope to explore neighborhoods and parks in the future.
The Street Walkers have met occasionally in the past three to four years and have reassembled recently in an effort to bring together more local artists while sharing their talents with the community.
“If you want to paint from life, this gives an opportunity to go out to different areas and have an art community, which is very important,” Huntsville Street Walkers Plein Air Group co-organizer Pam Markham said.
Seven or eight artists consistently participate, however, Markham would like to see the group grow to 20.
“We’ve had so much fun and as we’ve been doing it, it’s fun to see the reactions of people who are walking downtown and are just curious what we’re doing. It’s actually shown me how many people are really downtown on a Saturday morning, I’ve been pleasantly surprised,” Huntsville Street Walkers Plein Air Group co-organizer Diane Williams said.
Everyone is welcome to join no matter their skill level. While there is no instruction, it is an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with other artists and create their own work of art.
The Huntsville Street Walkers Plein Air Group meets every second Saturday of the month, depending on holidays, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Those interested in joining should have their own painting supplies, including a wind-resistant easel, and can find the group’s schedule through their Facebook page.