Thursday, October 6, 2011


Covered bridge in Pioneer Village, Noccalula Falls Park, Gadsden.

Unlike the Old West where a quick draw demonstrated mastery of firearms, a Quick Draw at a plein air event showcases artistic skills—but both focus on speed, nerve, and daring. Imagine that you are an artist painting outdoors. Stand in one spot and slowly rotate 360-degrees, what will you choose to paint?

  • Will it be a vista with deep space, or a single tree with bright foliage, or a close-up of a flower bed?
  • What will be the focal point of your composition (the element that will capture the attention of the viewer)?
  • How does light affect your choice—are you looking for deep shadows and bright highlights or a sunny aspect with only a few darks?

Get ready, get set, GO!

A Quick Draw is a contest where artists finish a painting in a single timed session of two hours. From first stoke to last, the artists must be in control, confident, and single-minded. The challenge is to focus on only part of the setting, mix hundreds of colors that reproduce and enhance what you see, and place each brushstroke just where it belongs. And do all of that with the clock ticking! Once the horn blows you must stop and submit the painting to the judges as is. The winner gets the satisfaction of showing off a rare set of skills and the possibility of winning a prize.

The Quick Draw at the Southeastern Paint Out takes place between 2 and 4 Thursday afternoon, October 13, in the Pioneer Village at Noccalula Falls Park. The public is invited see the Quick Draw in progress. The paintings will be on view at the Gadsden Museum beginning Friday morning. Winners will be announced and prize money awarded at the opening reception on Friday evening, October 14, 6-8. Come to the second floor galleries for refreshments and see the entire week’s paintings by fifteen Alabama artists.

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