Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Rick Reinert's 2009 painting completed on location at the Wills Creek Winery.

Wills Creek Winery hosted artists at the Southeastern Plein Air Festival in spring, 2009 and artists will return for the Southeastern Paint Out, October 11, 2012. The attractions remain the same—trellised vines, winding road, fields, lake, and wooded mountains—but the change in season introduces new colors to the palette. For the plein air painter the winery offers an abundance of choice on location and subject from the distance vista across the fields to the mountains to the close-up of fruited vines. Unlike other locations, the artists can drive into the property, park under a sheltering tree, and set up within a few minutes—a convenience when you have to carry 20 pounds or more of equipment!

The winery is located just north of Attalla in the Duck Springs community. Take Highway 11 (which parallels Interstate-59) and follow the signs—the way to the winery is well marked. On the way enjoy the scenic beauty of rural Etowah County. Parking is no problem for visitors who can walk or drive to the artists’ locations. Visitors will also want to visit the Wills Creek Winery shop for locally made wines and decorative accessories that echo the vineyard motif.

Look for the blue umbrella in the parking lot where volunteers are ready to assist you during your visit. Artists will be on location between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Above: Plein air painter on Black Creek above the Falls.

Left: Vintage postcard of Noccalula Falls.

On Monday, October 10, plein air artists will be on location at Noccalula Falls Park from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the Southeastern Paint Out hosted by the Gadsden Museum of Art. What scenic beauty will inspire the artists?

The Falls

The outstanding feature is a 90-foot waterfall on a mountain top—the western end of Lookout Mountain. Ample rain produces raging white water above and below the falls. Even when water is lower, slower, and calmer, the sight of water cascading from the high rim to the gorge below is an awe inspiring sight. Unlike at other attractions, walking paths allow visitors to get close to the Falls and lucky visitors may see a fully formed rainbow in the spray far below. Vantage points range from a few feet from the drop-off to a bridge arching over Black Creek just behind the cliff edge to the rim of the gorge. One particularly picturesque long view features benches with ample space off the pathway to set up easels. For painters who enjoy including figures in their work, families can often be seen wading in the shallows feeding the ducks and waterfowl that abound in the creek above the Falls. Rocks smoothed by thousands of years of water flow offer access to the creek’s edge and are fascinating records of geological forces.

The Gorge

For the adventurous (and fit) painter steps and trails provide access to the gorge below the Falls. Under the waterfall is a rock shelter which allows hikers to pass behind the rushing water and to look out through its lacy patterns. Huge boulders fallen from the rim over the ages frame the pool at the foot of the waterfall. Emptying from the pool Black Creek continues as a rushing mountain stream with rocks, rivulets, and pools.

The Park and Pioneer Village

Reconstructed log cabins, a covered bridge, and other historic structures offer the artists the challenge of architecture softened by native plantings and mature trees. A miniature train offers an excellent way for painters to look for possible locations and for visitors to see the painters at work—and another possible subject for the day’s painting excursion.

Visitors Welcome!

Museum volunteers will be on hand to assist visitors coming to meet the artists and see them at work. Look for the blue umbrella at the entrance to the park.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


The Gadsden Museum of Art is hosting its first fall plein air after three successful spring events. Fifteen professional and amateur artists will be on location the week of October 10, Monday through Friday (see schedule below).

The public is invited to visit the locations to see the painting in progress and attend the Gallery Opening on Friday, October 14, 6-8 p.m., at the museum (515 Broad Street). Paintings will be on exhibit from October 15 to November 11. Paintings will be available for purchase.

  • Monday, October 10, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.--Noccalula Falls
  • Tuesday, October 11, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.--Wills Creek Winery (Duck Springs)
  • Wednesday, October 12, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.--Lafertty's Landing on the Coosa
  • Thursday, October 13, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.--The Brow (Lookout Mountain location to be announced later)
  • Friday, October 14, 9 to 3 p.m.--Downtown Historic Districts (Turrentine, Walnut, Haralson, Reynolds, and Argyle)