Ashen Stewardson works on the shoreline. (Courtesy Esquimalt Community Arts Hub)

Ashen Stewardson works on the shoreline. (Courtesy Esquimalt Community Arts Hub)

Esquimalt artists take to great outdoors amid coronavirus

Group invites budding, or just willing artists, to join at Saxe Point

A small group of Esquimalt artists is embracing plein air painting as a way to stay connected during COVID-19.

“During COVID, many artists have been isolated. Access to their studios has been restricted and many galleries and museums are closed. It’s been a very challenging time for artists and I think right now creative people are looking for socially distant places to gather and come together,” said organizer Laura-Beth Keane in a news release.

On a foggy Thursday morning, artists can be seen spread out across the grass at Saxe Point Park practising the method of painting outdoors – en plein air.

The term comes from French impressionist painters of the 1850s who believed working outside allowed artists to accurately capture details such lighting and colour.

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For the Esquimalt artists, plein air painting is a technical challenge alongside the curveballs Mother Nature throws. This is the first time the Esquimalt painters have met at the park, but hope to continue the plein air painting sessions over the summer.

The artists invite others to participate in their diverse group featuring a variety of skill levels. No experience is required to attend, just a willingness to have fun and embrace whatever challenges arise.

To find out about the next outdoor painting session visit the Esquimalt Community Arts Hub website at ecah.ca.


 

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Artists Ashen Stewardson (foreground) and Tanya Hickman (background) enjoy a day painting en plein air. (Courtesy Esquimalt Community Arts Hub)

Artists Ashen Stewardson (foreground) and Tanya Hickman (background) enjoy a day painting en plein air. (Courtesy Esquimalt Community Arts Hub)