LaGrange artist Gail Grice is one of the artists who was selected to participate in this week’s Callaway Gardens’ “Plein Air Paint Out, Art Show and Sale.” Twenty-eight artists from nine states, and one from Nova Scotia, Canada, were invited to participate in this annual event.
The artists, who were selected by Beverly Blount McNeil, founder of Portrait Brokers of America and more recently involved with Portraits Inc., started their week off with an orientation at Callaway Gardens on Sunday.
Plein Air is the process of using natural light to capture an outdoor scene. The artists are spending two days in Callaway Gardens painting scenes and then an additional day painting in gardens in Columbus, LaGrange and Newnan. By Friday, each artist must submit three framed paintings that will be judged for cash awards by William U. Eiland, director of the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens.
Grice graduated from Valdosta State University, Magna Cum Laude, and also studied in Cortona, Italy. She originally was a K-12 art teacher in metro Atlanta. While in Atlanta, Grice also had the opportunity to assist several interior designers, most notable Jill Kerr. Grice presently maintains a studio and teaches at Artist in Residence, located in LaGrange.
“About one-and-a-half years ago, I started to teach, I had to also teach myself. I did a lot of reading and research, if you are going to teach someone (how to paint), you need to know how to do it,” Grice said. “By teaching other people, you learn yourself. Having the classes have really pushed me to become a better painter.”
On Monday, Grice had selected a quiet, secluded area in Callaway Gardens for the subject of her first painting.
“Usually, I look for light. I was looking at the structure of the bridge with all of nature around it, man-made compared to nature,” Grice said. “I just love the way the water is reflecting all of it.
“This is the first time that I have taken part in a competition of this type and it took me a couple of hours of getting over nerves, about now I am settled down. This is a very peaceful and quiet place to paint, it’s just beautiful.”
Grice was using oils for all of her paintings. She said that she prefers oils because they are forgiving and they give her more time to achieve a vision. She also said that when painting outside scenes, the light is better in the morning or afternoon and not in the middle of the day.
On Wednesday, Grice was spending the day painting scenes in the gardens of the Holder residence in LaGrange.
“The best part of this process is meeting the people. Getting to know the other artists and exchanging ideas, that has been really good,” Grice said.
Friday night, all of the artists’ original paintings will be featured at the Preview Party at the Virginia Hand Callaway Discovery Center. Cocktail attire is appropriate and tickets may be purchased at www.callawaygardens.com/pleinair or by calling 706-681-3329.
The Art Show and Sale will continue Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Exhibit Hall of the Callaway Discovery Center.
Preview Party and the Art Show and Sale will both benefit the Ida Cason Callaway Foundation.
Admission to Callaway Gardens is $25 per adult and $12.50 per child age 6 to 12. Children 5 and younger are admitted for free. Callaway Gardens Annual Pass holders and active/retired military with ID receive free admission for the cardholder and up to five guests in the same vehicle per day.
Additional information for the Artists in Residence may be obtained at www.galleryair.com. For further information on art classes, you may contact Grice by Email at email@example.com.