Plein Air artists visiting Steamboat paint the town |

Plein Air artists visiting Steamboat paint the town

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The 50 visiting and local artists in town for the Steamboat Art Museum’s Plein Air Festival will be put to the test this weekend.

Throughout the past week, artists have selected various locations in Routt County, creating a new piece each day and enduring the elements, especially rain.

"Being able to see the landscape through the eyes of the painter increases the joy and experience of the moment," said Jenifer Cline, Colorado Plein Air artist and participant in Steamboat Art Museum's Plein Air Festival. "That is what we try to capture with these paintings. Of course, it is all about the light, the colors, textures and mood, but it ultimately comes down to sharing the joy and love the artist has about the scene."

The work artists have created will be on display at the Artist Reception and Awards event from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Steamboat Art Museum. John Fawcett will judge the paintings and select the winners for cash prizes and honorable mentions.

But the week isn't over yet. Artists will put their skills on the line at the Quick Draw and barbecue from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Wolf Run Ranch. The event will also feature a silent auction once the paintings are completed.

Plein Air artists like Charlie Quinton said the key for this weekend's Quick Draw competition is to have a smaller focus for the painting, especially with only a two-hour time frame to create it.

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"Each artist will approach the subject differently," Cline said. "The first 20 to 30 minutes, the piece may look like a mess. Our painting brains must make sense of everything bombarding us at once. It comes together – just give us time and enjoy the experience with us."

Tickets for the Quick Draw event, available at the Steamboat Art Museum, the Wild Horse Gallery or online, are $35 for members and $50 for non-members. Kids 12 and younger are free.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1.

If you go:

What: Steamboat Art Museum’s Quick Draw and Barbeque

When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30

Where: Wolf Run Ranch, Routt County Road 33

Tickets: $35 per person. Purchase in advance at the museum or online at

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