The inaugural Ashcroft Plein Air drew 35 artists and their families to the region, all but guaranteeing a follow-up event next year.
“It was just lovely,” event publicist Esther Darlington MacDonald said Tuesday.
The artists spent two days painting the sights in and around the community of Ashcroft, with a public presentation of their work held at Heritage Park on the evening of May 23.
Some of the artists walked away with awards, including Sorrento-based painter John Burrow, who received the people’s choice award for his painting of a heritage home.
Burrow said he was taken with the Victorian-style house, and spoke with an Ashcroft resident who once lived there.
He said the home was initially purchased by a Japanese-Canadian family from an Eaton’s catalogue and was delivered by train.
“It was delivered in four-foot sections for assembly. No piece of the home could be larger than four feet,” said Burrow.
The resident told him the upstairs bedroom he had as a boy was freezing cold in the winter and stifling hot in the summer. Burrow said he found the stories fascinating.
“It certainly had an interesting history,” he said.
Painting outside is a much more vibrant experience, said Burrow, allowing him to capture a depth of colour and shadow that’s not as easy to do in a studio.
“Nature is so much more wide open than what the eye can see,” said Burrow.
Macdonald said Desiree Bond of Victoria won the artists’ choice award. Bond, like many of the artists, painted as many as five paintings during the two days, a talent she is in awe of.