Find Out What Happens When 50 Artists Take to the Streets in Lake Oswego

“The Garden at Noon,” one of last year’s plein air paintings created by Romona Youngquist.

What happens when over 50 artists take to the streets? Find out in Lake Oswego on June 8-10 when the Arts Council of Lake Oswego sponsors Chronicle: Plein Air, its annual Plein Air paint out.

From sunrise to sundown, artists will bring their canvases outside to capture our city’s natural beauty in its natural light. It’s a tradition that became popular in the 1800s for several reasons thanks to the creation of more portable easels and paint tubes (instead of mixing pigment powder with oil).

But plein air painters face challenges. Consider these:

  1. Interruptions. While a painter’s studio can be a great hideaway where he or she can control who comes in or out, not so in the great outdoors. Spectators want to watch, ask questions, take photos, so the artist need to either roll with it or tune it out.
  2. Changing light. Especially here in Oregon with cloudy skies, a scene that started out in brilliant sunshine could become clouded over by afternoon. What’s an artist to do?
  3. Weather. A slight breeze can bring some unwanted natural elements to an artist’s canvas like dust, a feather, or if it’s stronger, sand and dirt.
  4. Safety. While our resident artists in Lake Oswego will probably be okay, other artists have reported having a shotgun pulled on them (the artist was trespassing in a farmer’s field), being crop-dusted while painting a wheat field, chased by a bull, and attacked by red ants.

See for yourself how artists deal with these challenges while transforming blank canvases into beautiful scenes that you can witness. According to Nicole Nathan, Executive Director of the Arts Council, Chronicle: Plein Air is “a unique opportunity for the community to delve into the artistic process and see how an idea becomes a reality.”

The public can see artists in action from sun-up to sun-down at these Lake Oswego parks and plazas: Luscher Farm, Foothills Park, George Rogers Park, Roehr Park, Sundeleaf Plaza, Millennium Plaza, Lakeview Village, and new this year, beautiful Marylhurst University.

The finished pieces will be on view June 22 through August 4 at the 510 Museum & Artspace, located at 510 1st Street, Lake Oswego with an opening reception on Friday, June 22, from 3 to 7 p.m. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11 to 4 p.m., or by appointment.  All artwork will be available for purchase.

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About lovelakeoswego

I feel pretty lucky—I live where I work and I love where I live. As a Realtor in Lake Oswego, I get to share that enthusiasm with clients every day. Through this blog, with the help of my freelance writer wife, Genita, I’d like to share that enthusiasm with you. The quality of life you’ll find in Lake Oswego belies its size—there is so much to experience here from a fireworks show over the lake on the 4th of July to the Festival of the Arts--one of the premier arts events in the region. So please check in each week for another reason why I love Lake Oswego and who knows—maybe you’ll fall in love too! If you’re interested in experiencing Lake Oswego personally, please feel free to contact me either on my cell at (503) 939-9801, via email at or check my website by clicking the link in the "Contact me" section in the right-hand column. I would love to show you around.
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