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  • Cynthia Dvorak Grandjean

Plein Air Painting in Brazoria County

I organized a plein air painting group last October as a way to get out of doors during Covid times. You do not have to travel far to see the beauty in your own backyard! We meet the second Monday morning of every month and have only missed one time because of frigid cold temps here. We've enjoyed eight painting sessions now! We painted the Brazos River, woodlands, ponds, boats at the marina, Quintana beach, Hanson Riverside County Park, trees on private property, San Luis Pass bridge, skies and water lillies at the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge and much more. It's been great fun. Two generous landowners have allowed us onto their gorgeous properties to view the meadows, huge fallen trees, and carved, red banks of the Brazos River up close. The sun glistening on the river was so beautiful.


Usually three to seven members show up to paint together. New friendships have formed. Lots of art discussion happen over a picnic lunch, complete with colorful tablecloths; it's always fun to have a picnic with fellow creatives! Many photos are taken and reference images collected. Being out in nature does something to you. Being out in nature with friends, old and new, is especially rewarding.


We are called The Plein Aires and we have all skill levels, beginner to experienced artists. Anyone can join us. Do you like to sketch? Photograph? Paint? Doodle? Maybe working in a sketchbook is your thing. You can come along, meditate in nature or just write in your journal. Perhaps you would like to start a nature journal and just sketch the plants, reeds, wildflowers, seeds, trees, and animals. Document your lifes' journey. Record the date, the place, the season, the weather, the details of your surroundings.


We are very informal and you are welcome to bring any materials to work with. No pressure. The more experienced artists will help you as needed! One thing that I learned from studying the big name plein air painters: they all agree that painting from life and painting outdoors hones your observation skills. It teaches you to see the nuances of color and light, colors in the shade, color temperature changes in the planes of the landscape and aerial perspective. They say " paint what you see, not what you know."


Time in nature is never wasted. Even if I do not get a good start on a painting, I have enjoyed observing nature and enjoyed some exercise, made some sketches to inform my studio work. It fills my creative well with ideas for future paintings. I have a very long way to go to learn plein air painting, but I'm enjoying this creative journey and I invite you to come along with me and see for yourself! Check out the details on my facebook page at C Grandjean Art. I'm on Instagram at Cynthia Grandjean. DM me for any questions. See you on the trail!







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