For three days this past week, Whidbey was bustling with artists setting up their easels and art stations in various outdoor locations.
Many could be spotted on Central Whidbey and in Coupeville for the “Whidbey Plein Air Paint Out!” event.
Painters and sketchers worked “en plein air,” a French term for an artistic work created in the plain air to capture inspiring scenes of nature and the great outdoors.
Work created this past week will be displayed in a sale and exhibition 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 24-25 at the Coupeville Rec Hall.
The week’s paint out and Friday’s gala reception and public exhibition are part of a fundraiser for the Coupeville Chamber of Commerce and Pacific Northwest Art School, co-sponsors of the event.
Paint outs were held in previous years, between 2008-2012 and are now making a comeback.
In addition to being a fundraiser, the event is a way to celebrate Whidbey’s natural beauty, from the beaches to the forests, Lisa Bernhardt, executive director of the art school, said.
Artists from around the state and beyond registered for the event, Bernhardt said.
Artist Susan Payne of Seattle said she was enjoying her time on Whidbey Island. She used to live in Port Townsend and would catch the ferry to Coupeville.
“So, I have a lot of nostalgia about the scenery here,” she said as she worked Thursday on her watercolor of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve.
More than 65 artists of all experience levels registered and paid to participate in the fundraising event, with the Pacific Northwest Art School serving as the official check-in location, pit stop and distributor of maps for those not familiar with all of Whidbey’s scenic locations.
The gallery at the Rec Hall coincides with the Whidbey Working Artists Summer Open Studio Tour weekend.