Sunday, October 2, 2011


Claude Monet painting from a boat on the Seine River painted by fellow Impressionist Edouard Manet.

The first Impressionist painters painted on location on the Seine River in Paris in the mid-1800s. Claude Monet was so dedicated to painting on location that he outfitted a small boat as a studio. Water was an ideal subject for those early plein air painters who sought to capture light effects with flickering, broken brushstrokes—water is never still, always shimmering, with a shifting pattern of light and shade, and reflects the colors of the shore and sky.

On Wednesday, October 11, Alabama painters will accept the same challenge by painting the Coosa River in Gadsden but they won’t have to take to boats! Painters have a number of vantage points to choose from:

  • The Boat Landing on the east side of the river in the shadows of both the railroad bridge and the Memorial Bridge (Broad Street Bridge).
  • The park in front of City Hall with its commanding views both up and down river.
  • The backwater from the James Martin Wildlife Park with its ducks, herons, and geese in residence.
  • The knoll beside Convention Hall and overlooking the river with tree foliage framing the view.
  • River Country Campground with its river-edge location.
  • Jack Ray Family Park with piers out into the river.
  • The Lafferty’s Landing boardwalk.

Painters will be on location beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing to 4 p.m. To find the painters, check in with the Gadsden Museum of Art volunteers at the blue market umbrella at Lafferty’s Landing. All these locations offer easy parking for painters and visitors.

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