Art Live: Plein air – not for sissies

Beth Bathe is a master at plein air painting. Heavily influenced by Andrew Wyeth, she finds beauty in old structures, cars and other farm vehicles. Her subject matter is often what she refers to as the “vanishing landscape.” Her signature style comes from using tools like squeegees and q-tips along with traditional brushes. Focusing on composition rather than color, she uses washes that she creates with water mixable oil colors and a very limited palette, to create a look that is worn and faded.

After spending 30 years in graphic design and running her own business, Bathe began painting full time. She became accomplished in painting still life, animals and human figures but it was when she began painting landscapes en plein air in 2013 that things really clicked for her. She now travels extensively throughout the year, mainly up and down the East Coast but sometimes as far as Sedona, AZ and even Nova Scotia to participate in plein air competitions and festivals.

If you’ve ever tried this yourself or have watched artists in action, you know that plein air painting is not for sissies. In Bathe’s case, the hard work has paid off. She has won numerous awards for her work and has been a featured artist in several publications including the magazines Fine Art Connoisseur and PleinAir. She also takes time out of her busy schedule to instruct others. Bathe holds an open studio for life drawing with a model twice a month at her studio, Short Dog Studio in Ephrata, PA and conducts workshops at other locations including Wayne Art Center where she will be teaching on Saturday, April 4, 2020.

Come out to meet Beth Bathe and see her works at a solo exhibition titled “Nostalgia,” this Friday, Feb. 14th at Church Street Gallery in West Chester. Bathe is exhibiting several pieces from each genre in her repertoire (landscapes plein air, figurative, still life) and all of them are available for sale. The show runs through March 28th. For more details, visit https://www.churchstreetgallerywc.com/events--coming-soon.html

"Plumbing Problems" by Rob Sigafoos at CCAA

Metal artist Rob Sigafoos will have striking sculptures on display in a solo exhibition at Chester County Art Association (CCAA) in West Chester. His show opens on Thursday, Feb. 13th with a reception from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sigafoos is known for creating sinewy pieces using new pieces of metal and other scraps he finds to forge and chase into graceful figures and objects of nature. He believes that sculpture touches the heart and soul of the artist and viewer alike. An artist talk is scheduled for Feb. 20th and the show runs through March 5th.

Also on view at CCAA West Chester is the juried group exhibition “Black and White.” It is full of captivating works created by local artists in the area. At CCAA in Exton, Saurabh Oza is the featured artist for February at the Exton Square Studio Gallery. Inspired by forms, symbols, and the rich colors of his native India, Oza creates mainly abstract and geometric paintings. Beginning without a concrete plan, he lets his instincts guide him through a process of layering paint on the canvas until shapes and forms emerge. Patterns found in nature sometimes visible, sometimes hidden are often repeated in his works. Gallery hours are Thursday to Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Visit https://www.chestercountyarts.org/exhibitions.html for more details on all of CCAA’s exhibitions.

Make some time to visit Brandywine River Museum on Thursday, Feb. 13th for “Galentine’s Day” made popular by the popular network television show, Parks and Recreation. Bring your friends and enjoy bites from Millstone Café, sip on winter sangria, and get creative with a take home art project. You may also want to explore “Votes for Women: A Visual History” with a tour from Amanda C. Burdan, Curator. Tickets for “Galentine’s Day” are available at: https://335.blackbaudhosting.com/335/Galentines-Day.

"Cheeseburger" by Merrill Weber

"Paint Out Chadds Ford" plein air artwork will be on display and available for purchase through March 14th, 2019 at the Chadds Ford Historical Society.

In Kennett Square, “Winter Days” is on view at Square Pear Gallery until Feb. 17th.

And, save the date for its next exhibition “Food, Wine and Good Times” which opens on Thursday, Feb. 20th and features artists Jeff Schaller, Al Moretti, Dave Tilghman, Alice Dustin, Merrill Weber, and Kyle Whary.

In Philadelphia, visit Stanek Gallery in Old City, for a beautiful exhibition titled “All Shall Be Well.” On view through Feb. 29th, it features powerful new works by painter Jacqueline Boyd and mixed media artist Louise Strawbridge. Both artists are exploring memory and the passage of time. Visit https://www.stanekgallery.com/ for more information.

Whatever you do this week, support the arts!!

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About Constance McBride

A native of Philadelphia, Constance McBride lived in Arizona for 16 years, where desert observations made a transformative impact on her work as a research based visual artist. Passionate about contemporary art, she was actively engaged in the local arts community. She served as a board member for several art organizations, managed an artist collective/gallery space, curated and juried several exhibitions and wrote for two arts publications in Phoenix. She taught ceramics at Shemer Art Center and Museum and exhibited her work both locally and nationally. McBride returned to Pennsylvania in 2018 and resides in Chester Springs with her husband and two dogs. In West Chester, she serves as a board member at The Art Trust Gallery at Meridian Bank and teaches ceramics at Chester County Art Association. She also teaches at Clay on Main in Oley, PA. She is a member of American Craft Council, Philadelphia Sculptors, and Women’s Caucus for Art, Philadelphia Chapter.

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