Vermont's great outdoors is known to attract tourists from near and far. In Jericho, the landscape is an inspiration to the state's artists.
Saturday, art teacher Annie Bowker and more than 70 fellow artists set up their easels along idyllic sites as part of the Jericho Plein Air Festival. "It's a gorgeous day and I can't think of a better place to be than outside," she said.
We caught up with Bowker, sitting in a camping chair over-looking the a series of mountain, as she began work on her second piece of the day. "I chose this place where I'm sitting because I have a little bit of foreground some nice middle ground and a really far depth to it," she said.
The artists involved with the festival have one day to finish their works, 'en plein air.' That means 'outdoors' for those who don't speak French or art.
"(It's) an opportunity for artists to sort of try something a little different," said organizer and Emile Gruppe Gallery owner Emilie Alexander. The outdoor event allows the public to peek beneath the layers of a painting before they're applied.
It also offers the opportunity to buy a piece before it's even dry. "A gentleman has already sold a piece right off his easel," said Alexander.
Paintings that aren't immediately sold will be on display at the gallery through mid-August. The gallery's owner and artists said it's a unique chance to collaborate with counterparts as paintings come into focus one brush stroke at a time.
"A lot of artists work in isolation," said Alexander, "so they don't have an opportunity to check out what other people are doing."
"You can see what other people are doing, " echoed Bowker, "pick up on fun tips that they might be either sharing with you verbally or sharing with you by actually doing the artwork."
The festival is only in its second year, but for artists like Bowker, it's already a tradition. She said you can pencil her in for next year and every year to follow.
A public reception with the artists and their work will take place Sunday afternoon at the Emile Gruppe Gallery.
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