The Plein air Painters is a group of local artists that gathers once a week, weather permitting, to spend a morning painting out of doors on the Saanich Peninsula. The artists are a welcoming and sociable bunch including both beginning painters and accomplished professionals. The painting sessions end around lunch time with an impromptu exhibition of the morning’s work and some social chat over coffee and cookies. Everyone tries hard to set something down that reflects his or her response to the landscape or seascape around them. The medium happens to be paint on canvas or paper, it could be poetry, it could be music. There are technical challenges and sometimes frustrations, but also there are opportunities for contemplation and the sharing of responses to the small part of the world in which the artists are immersed. Although most of us are neither painters nor painters nor musicians, we are artists when we respond directly to the world around us and share our feelings through thoughtful conversation or in a letter to a friend. Some might say that bearing witness to the world, to life, is one of our highest callings.
The Plein Air Painters often come to Roberts Bay, part of the 1931 Migratory Bird Sanctuary, and they favour the south corner of the bay at the mouth of Mermaid Creek. At my request, in anticipation of the upcoming 2017 All Buffleheads Celebration, they agreed to meet at this beautiful site on September 27, on what turned out to be a splendid autumn day. A slide-show of the photographs I took on that day was shown at the All Buffleheads Reception at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea on the evening of October 13. Here are a few pictures taken on that beautiful day and is a link to a video version of the slide show. plein air painters slide show