They come from near and far to participate in the Great Vermont Plein Air Paint-Out in Waitsfield. Plein air is French for open air-- painting outside with natural light.
"I just keep building it up, you know, but the thing is the color changes, I mean the light, so you have to kind of stick with what you started with," said Mehdi Fallahian, an artist from Palm Springs, Calif.
This two-day event is part of the Vermont Festival of the Arts; 120 different events that take place throughout the month of August in the Mad River Valley, sponsored by the Valley Arts Foundation.
"I can't do what they do; it's magic. A blank canvas at eight in the morning becomes a painting that is ready to be sold at the end of the day, and at the end of the day on Friday and Saturday it's an art sale and show where these paintings are ready to be sold to people who watched them being created during the day," said Karen Nevin of the Valley Arts Foundation.
The nonprofit arts foundation gets a commission on the sales, which helps fund the event. It is open to all artists no matter what the skill level. Fallahian is a professional, who happens to be in Vermont visiting his son. He heard about the Paint-Out and decided to take part.
"It's just connecting with nature and I just think it is the most beautiful thing anybody can do, as long as I keep telling myself that I am here to enjoy, nothing else. And if I accomplish something I enjoy, I think people will enjoy it, too," Fallahian said.
Not only is the paint-out great for the artists and art lovers, it is also very good for business. Some businesses report a 30-percent bump in sales during the annual Paint-Out.
"One of the things that the businesses have noticed is that a lot of people are booking into the inns specifically for the festival of the arts, and this is probably one of the biggest weekends in the village here," said Gary Eckhart of the Bridge Street Emporium.
The artists use different mediums; groups may paint the same scene layer by layer. But no two paintings are the same. It is also a chance for art lovers to watch and mingle with the artists. Is that distracting?
"No, no, actually I am fortunate; I travel all over the world and paint and people come to me and talk. I think that is part of it, to kind of connect with people, too, and see what they like," Fallahian said.
"I love the fact we can turn artists on to something new, as well as have people who come down to visit learn about art and maybe purchase a fine piece of artwork for the first time in their life," Nevin said.
And maybe be inspired to try out Plein Air painting for themselves.
Wednesday, December 11 2013 5:19 PM EST2013-12-11 22:19:28 GMT
Police say they've caught the man wanted for three bank robberies in the Upper Valley. James Oberfeldt, 30, of Claremont, is currently jailed in Massachusetts on a drug charge. Police say he's been identifiedMore >>
Police say they've caught the man wanted for three bank robberies in the Upper Valley.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 6:14 PM EST2013-12-11 23:14:35 GMT
Two Plattsburgh State students are under arrest in connection with a brawl outside a fraternity house. It happened last month outside the Alpha Chi Rho (AXP) house on Brinkerhoff Street. Police say itMore >>
Authorities say allegations of a sexual assault in Plattsburgh led to a brawl. Now, some fraternity brothers are facing charges and more could be coming.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 4:59 PM EST2013-12-11 21:59:24 GMT
An update on that fatal accident Monday morning on the beltline in Burlington. Gregory Burt, 56, of Colchester, was killed when his car collided with a school bus. Police now say they have determined thatMore >>
An update on that fatal accident Monday morning on the beltline in Burlington.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 9:45 AM EST2013-12-11 14:45:27 GMT
An upstate New York woman is recovering after she was attacked by a rabid bobcat. The 49-year-old woman said the bobcat pounced on her last Thursday when she was at the door of her Putnam home, whichMore >>
An upstate New York woman is recovering after she was attacked by a rabid bobcat.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 6:10 PM EST2013-12-11 23:10:01 GMT
Carbon monoxide poisoning killed a Georgia teen in his car last February. As a way to cope with his death, Logan Newell's family started a foundation in his honor with the goal of helping needy familiesMore >>
Carbon monoxide poisoning killed a Georgia teen in his car last February. As a way to cope with his death, Logan Newell's family started a foundation in his honor with the goal of helping needy families in the area.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 12:27 PM EST2013-12-11 17:27:47 GMT
Vermont business owners are coming together in support of legislation to reduce the amount of toxins found in consumer products. Organizations say they hope to introduce legislation called the VermontMore >>
Vermont business owners are coming together in support of legislation to reduce the amount of toxins found in consumer products.More >>