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Plein air painting with a purpose this Saturday


Nancy Bea Miller, artist, blogger and busy mother of three is organizing a fundraiser for this Saturday, Aug. 8 (rain date Sunday, Aug. 9), to benefit the Camphill Special School where her 15-year old son, Henry, who has autism, is a student.

Nancy Bea Miller, landscape painting
Nancy Bea Miller, The Pool, 20 x 16, Oil on canvas. I’m not sure this was painted au plein air but it’s a great moody landscape painting.

The fundraiser is a plein-air painting day with a suggested $50 donation to participate. What you’ll get for your money, in addition to knowing you’re supporting a great cause, is three farm-fresh organic meals and unlimited snacks and cold drinks, says Miller. Also, the paintings made during the fundraiser will be exhibited at a one day show/auction at Rosenfeld Gallery on Nov. 3. Artists will get 50% of the price of any work sold, with the remaining 50% split between the school and gallery.  More information here.

The school is sited on Beaver Run farm near Phoenixville. There are woods, hills, fields, a creek, gardens, crops and a swimming hole — all great for outside landscape painting. And for those who like to paint animals, there’s free-range farm animals and beehives, and who knows how many bunnies, skunks and birds in the woods.

A passel of artists has already signed up, including Stuart Shils, Elizabeth Wilson, Jeffrey Reed, head of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art’s painting department, Al Gury, and other well-known artists such as Alexandra Tyng, Marianne Mitchell, Valerie Craig, Joe Sweeney, and Jon Redmond.  “While there will be one or two traditional plein air artists, there are also going to be several other kinds of artists including a time lapse photographer, a woodblock artist, several abstract painters and an encaustic artist,” Miller said.

“This is my first time organizing something like this, and I suppose it could end up as a big flop (all those egos in conflict under the hot sun?) but it might also be a very cool day of artistic camaraderie for a good cause,” Miller said.

NOTE: This year’s event is booked up, Miller just told me, continuing, “We are hoping to make it an annual event.”  If you want to sign up for the 2010 plein air painting fundraiser at the farm or want to get on the mailing list for the Nov. 3 auction, contact Nancy Bea Miller by email @