Plein air

“Rock Corral Ranch,” a plein air watercolor by Virginia Vovchuk

The “Painting Outdoors” exhibit, featuring the work of area painters who work in the open air, was supposed to open April 5 and remain on display throughout the month at Hilltop Gallery.

The coronavirus pandemic put an end to those plans, but it didn’t put an end to the exhibit. Instead, the organizers created a slideshow of the approximately 30 paintings comprising the exhibit and put it online.

The collection features the work of seven artists who call themselves plein air painters in the Santa Cruz Valley – a name that remains in lowercase because the group is so informal, explained Virginia Vovchuk of Rio Rico, one of the participating artists.

What they have in common is their interest in “plein air” painting, a method popularized by the French impressionists that involves painting outdoor scenes in the open air.

The artists who contributed to the “Painting Outdoors” exhibit are from communities stretching from Green Valley down to Nogales, and who paint in the local Santa Cruz River Valley.

“People will see a lot of local scenes,” Vovchuk said of the content of the exhibit.

They’ll also see a variety of media, including oil, watercolors, pastels and acrylics, she said.

The slideshow includes identifying information for each work as well as the price, with the artists offering their paintings for sale through Hilltop Gallery.

As for the gallery, it’s currently closed to the public, but calls to (520) 287-5515 will be returned.

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