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Brandon St Martin

Eagle Plein Air Festival

Brandon St-Martin
February 21, 2018 | Brandon St-Martin

Eagle Plein Air Festival 2018

Eagle Plein Air Festival 2017 | Eagle Foothills AVA Wine Region

Howdy, folks! Head’s up: the 2018 Eagle Plein Air Festival is on the near horizon, and it aims to be bigger and better than all previous efforts! Do you LOVE Idaho arts, music, wine, cider, beer, eats, and “the outdoors” (😉)? Great! Then, you won’t want to miss it! I’ll explain the event in detail, but first let’s address the elephant in the room: what’s “plein air?” More importantly, is it contagious? And also, is there an app for that?

Fret not, mon frere. I’m new to the “plein air” universe as well, so let’s dive in together, shall we? What is “en plein air” and how do I say it? Literally, “en plein air” is French for “outdoors” or “outside” (click for pronunciation). Think “awe thin air” and just slightly modify it to “awe plin air.” Boom! You speak French like a boss...(btw, boss in French is pronounced “boss” 🙄).

Plein air painting is the not-so-simple act of painting outdoors (shifting light, fluctuating temperatures, wind gusts, inclement weather, insects, frisbee-catching-dogs colliding with easels, etc). Plein air became a serious movement in the art world during the mid-to-late 19th century. Transportable, durable tubes of oil-based paints (as with modern day toothpastes) helped further propel artistic dedication to the craft. The French box easel, or field easel, soon followed thereafter, with its telescoping legs and attached painter’s box. Navigation into remote wilderness or countryside locales with a full contingent of painter’s tools and supplies became fathomable. French impressionists like Monet, Pissarro, and Renoir were all champions of plein air painting, along with 20th century notable artists such as Polenov, Levitan, and Grabar, among others. (Retrieved from Wikipedia, 2018).

The annual Eagle Plein Air Festival celebrates in grand fashion the contributions of plein air artists to Idaho culture and the arts. This week-long event features several plein air panel discussions and artist workshops, culminating with Thursday’s festival event, hosted at the bucolic Eagle Island State Park in Eagle Idaho! This annual event also coincides serendipitously with Idaho Wine Month (June), and the Idaho Wine Commission’s annual wine celebration, Savor Idaho!, hosted at the Idaho Botanical Garden near Downtown Boise (another not-to-be-missed-event!). Please see below for tentative schedule and details, or visit for artist registration and event sign-ups!

Check back here soon for follow up details on artists and also participating wineries, cideries, breweries, and eateries for Thursday’s main event!

SATURDAY : June 2, 2018

  • Carol Johanesen Eagle Summer Plein Air Workshop | $99 Advance Registration

SUNDAY : June 3, 2018

  • Bonnie Griffith Plein Air Pastel Workshop | $99 Advance Registration
  • Bonnie Griffith, award-winning landscape artist & instructor, is offering a one day pastel painting workshop to get artists warmed up for the Festival.  The hands-on workshop will focus on composition, creating an underpainting and balancing shapes to develop a strong painting using soft pastels.
  • Please bring, easel, chair, apron, latex gloves (optional) soft pastels, a few hard pastels in dark and light values (gray, white, black or dark blue – Prismacolor) 1/2-1 inch old, soft brushes, paper towels, isopropyl alcohol and small container to do a wash on paper (Papers will be provided by instructor), sketch book (small), Krylon Workable Fixative and a desire to learn some new technique.  We will most likely be working in a shaded area outside.  If you need a small table for your supplies, please bring that as well.  (I use a standing easel, stool and small, folding table.)  Bonnie will provide references to paint from and will have available some favorite pastel sticks for purchase.

TUESDAY : June 5, 2018

  • Frank LaLumia Watercolor from Around the World Lecture | $10 Advance Registration

WEDNESDAY : June 6, 2018

  • Art & Wine Pairing Class | $40 Advance Registration
  • Artists, don’t miss this! Enjoy a special art and wine pairing with former Napa Valley winery professional and certified sommelier, Brandon St-Martin. Sample delicious hors d’oeuvres while comparing the fundamentals of wine from different regions in Idaho with paintings by area artists. You'll come away with a better understanding of the complexities of Idaho wines and the best paintings by regional artists. Tastings, hors d'oeuvres & souvenir wine glass included. Space is limited to 25.

THURSDAY : June 7, 2018 | ART ON THE ISLAND | 5-10PM For General Public

  • Art on the Island | $35 Advance Registration (< Apr 30th) : ($45 > May 1st)
  • Art on the Island Quick Draw Competition & Wet Paint Sale
  • Art, Jazz, Blues & Bluegrass | Idaho Wine, Cider, Beer & Eats! | 5-10PM To The Public
  • Artist Check-In | 8:00am – 5:00pm | Finer Frames
  • Artist check-in, packet pick-up and surface stamping at Finer Frames, 164 E State Street, Eagle, ID 83616. Stamping starts at 8am and continues throughout the festival.
  • Artists Painting Around Eagle | 8:00am to Dusk | Eagle Area
  • Artists paint at locations of their choosing, throughout scenic Eagle, along the Boise River and in the foothills. Eagle Island State Park welcomes painters in the park all day.
  • Join us for our outdoor jazz-blues-bluegrass concert, headlined by the Van Paepeghem Quartet! The concert takes place in the bucolic setting of Eagle Island State Park in Eagle Idaho. A portion of art sales and ticket proceeds benefit the Idaho Jazz Society. A variety of delicious foods from Kanak Attack Catering and other phenomenal local culinary leaders will be available for purchase. Tickets are per person and includes concert, wine-cider-beer tastings & festival souvenir wine glass!
  • Quick Draw Competition | 6:30 – 8:30pm | Eagle Island State Park
  • What could be a better setting for a quick draw than a jazz concert in the park in early evening light? Food & wine-cider-beer will be available for purchase. Canvas/paper stamping begins @ 6pm in our booth. Turn in your finished framed painting by 8:30pm to be considered for the special Quick Draw cash awards.  Artists registered for the Plein Air Festival are eligible for this additional competition for $10.

FRIDAY : June 8, 2018

  • Eagle Island Nocturnal Paint Out | $10 Advance Registration
  • Artist Check-In | 10:00am – 5:00pm | The Gallery at Finer Frames
  • Artist check-in, packet pick-up and surface stamping continues all day Friday. We’re happy to answer questions, give directions and share our air conditioning. Restroom is also available.
  • Eagle Island Paint Out | Dawn to Dusk | 165 S Eagle Island Pkwy, Eagle ID 83616
  • Artists paint at pre-determined locations throughout the 546 acre park.  Registered artists will receive a free park admission pass. The community is invited to watch artists as they paint at special location throughout the park out in the open air (en plein air). Paintings will be available for purchase at the Festival Show & Sale on Saturday evening.
  • Nocturnal Paint Out | 5:00pm Friday – 9:00am Saturday
  • This is an opportunity for artists to paint by the area moonlight and street lamp, so the light should be lovely. Artists registered for the Plein Air Festival are eligible for this additional competition and prize money.

SATURDAY : June 9, 2018

  • Art Booth @ Eagle Saturday Market | $35 Advance Registration
  • Nocturnal Paint Out Submission Deadline| 9:00am Saturday | Finer Frames
  • Artist Check-In | 9:00am – 12:00pm |  Finer Frames
  • Surface stamping. We’re happy to answer questions, give directions and share our air conditioning. Restroom is also available. Deadline for competition paintings to be delivered is 2:00pm.
  • State Street Paint Out | 8:00am – 2:00pm | Downtown Eagle
  • Join artists as they paint out in the open air “en plein air” all along State Street in Downtown Eagle and at the Eagle Saturday Market
  • Painting Submission Deadline | 2:00pm!
  • Artists must have their completed works to The Gallery at Finer Frames no later than 2pm Saturday! All artwork must be ready to hang for the competition, show and sale. The maximum number of pieces that may be entered are; 1 for the Festival competition + 1 Thursday Quick Draw (optional) + 1 Nocturnal Paint Out (optional) +1 Saturday Quick Draw (optional)
  • Quick Draw Competition | 3:00pm – 5:00pm | State Street, Downtown Eagle
  • Watch as the competition painters compete and have fun as they paint in 4 square blocks around Heritage Park. You’ll be able to watch artists from start to finish during the ‘quick-draw’ from 3pm to 5pm. Follow the paintings across the street to the gallery where the paintings will be auctioned off at 5:30pm. A portion of the proceeds to benefit TVAA
  • Festival Awards, Show & Sale | 5:00pm – 8:00pm | Finer Frames
  • Exclusive Patrons Preview 4:00pm – 5:00pm
  • Join us at The Gallery at Finer Frames to meet the artists, enjoy refreshments and purchase your own original painting. Saturday’s Quick Draw paintings will be auctioned off for charity at 6:30, immediately after the awards presentation at 6:00pm. Join us as we recognize the outstanding paintings in various categories and award the winning prizes, including Audience Choice Winners and the Grand Prize Winner. The public is invited to vote for their favorite paintings to select an “Audience Choice” winner in the categories of Best Oil, Best Water Media, and Best Dry Media. The festival exhibition continues through July.
  • PAPI Painting Demonstrations | 4:00pm – 6:00pm | Welcome Reception
  • Watch art in the making! Artists from the Plein Air Painters of Idaho will be painting live in the gallery and answering questions.

SUNDAY : June 10, 2018

  • Savor Idaho Invitational | 9:00am – 5:00pm | Idaho Botanical Gardens
  • The Idaho Botanical Gardens are the picturesque location for a special invitational paint out during the popular Savor Idaho event hosted by the Idaho Wine Commission. Invited painters may begin the morning, but must include a wine theme in the painting. Artwork will be available for purchase at the Finer Frames booth during the event from 2:00pm – 5:00pm. A portion of art sales will benefit the Idaho Wine Education Scholarship Fund.