The group began in January 2017 as an offshoot of the Upland Plein Air Painters. It was too cold to paint outside, and members were looking for a winter activity. Somebody suggested a portrait session. Interest was keen, and Claude Cookman began coordinating the bi-weekly sessions. Artists range from beginners to professionals. About 40 individuals are associated with the group, but sessions typically average eight to 10 participants. They work in a range of mediums from oil and watercolor to charcoal, graphite, and pastel. It is difficult to complete a portrait in two hours, so many finish their pieces at home, working from reference photographs.
During normal times, the group meets for two hours every other Thursday to draw and paint from life. Models represent our community’s rich diversity in age, ethnicity and gender. The youngest was 8. The oldest, a nonagenarian. Models also include people who help make Bloomington a great place to live, from ministers to judges, radio personalities, and Indiana University Women’s Basketball stars. The one thing all share in common is their interesting faces.
The exhibition comprises 46 images in a variety of mediums and represents the work of more than a dozen artists over the past three years.
Kristen enjoys painting the individual character of each season. An avid naturalist, she hikes upwards of 200 miles each year in Indiana wilderness areas near her home in Bloomington. The hill country of Southern Indiana is featured in many of her oil and watercolor compositions. Kristen is a participant in juried exhibitions around the region, is part of the Bloomington Open Studio Tour, and has often exhibited at Art Beat Gallery in Bloomington and Brown County Art Gallery in Nashville, as well as her studio gallery in Bloomington which is open by appointment. In 2015,Kristen founded the Upland Plein Air painting group and facilitates a growing community of artists who paint weekly around Southern Indiana. Visit UplandPleinAir.org to learn more about this opportunity. Kristen earned her B.S. in Fine Art from University of Wisconsin, and Masters in Education from Texas A&M. Creator of a ten-step painting program for plein air success, her workshops have helped painters enhance their artistic endeavors through live demonstration and a focus on impressionist techniques. Kristen welcomes opportunities to partner with arts organizations to create events which support and sustain local artists. Kristen’s creative career includes teaching, course development, graphic design, art direction and writing
Artists inspired by nature
Upland Plein Air is a regional community of visual artists working in oil, watercolor, pastel, and various drawing media. The term “plein air" means painting outside from nature. The group has hosted over 175 painting events around South Central Indiana during the past 6 years. 2021 is Upland’s 7th year offering group painting events.
While Bloomington based, Upland members live throughout the region. Painting destinations vary widely and are chosen for creative inspiration. Past adventures include state parks, old neighborhoods, urban settings, established gardens, historic barns and much more. The majority are within 45 minutes of Bloomington, Indiana, with most much closer and a few further away.
Upland artists enjoy working outside from nature and come together for weekly creative meetups. Plein air is one of the few safe pleasures available during this pandemic time, as the artists naturally spread out to find just the right view. During the pandemic, creative passion has continued to bring Upland artists together, typically in smaller numbers, but with the same delightful enthusiasm.
For more information, visitwww.uplandpleinair.org
Marina Kalinovsky was born in the former Soviet Union, raised and received art education in St. Petersburg(former Leningrad) and is a full-time artist and art teacher. She has lived in New York since 1989. Her works have been featured in solo and group exhibitions in the United States and Europe.
“My father, a historian, was responsible for the restoration of a museum of archeology and history in a small Russian town that had been destroyed during World War II. The museum was our second home. This half-ruined enchanted place with Greek amphorae and medieval armor at hand probably still inspires many of my paintings and drawings. The images in my works are also often provoked by combination of colors or a simple gesture. As each image has its reflections, one can peel them endlessly, layer by layer.”
My inspiration for painting comes from the great Impressionist Painters. I had a lifelong dream to paint and in 2002 took a course with Michael Teague who taught me all I know of painting. I first learned of Impressionism as a high school student while studying four years of French. Impressionism provided an escape from my life in a cabin with no electricity and no running
water in the woods of Indiana. I could experience Monet's garden at Giverny, even the asylum of Saint-Paul-de-Mauscole where Van Gogh painted "Starry Night". More recently, my life's path has taken me to the American Southwest, where I replenish my energy from the Earth. With oils, a medium that comes to life on the canvas, I strive to capture what we perceive in the physical world, but to simultaneously blur the lines between imagination and reality.
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