Sixty Plein Air Artists Draw Beauty Of Jemez Springs

Maryann McGraw paints a Valles Caldera plein air. Courtesy photo
ART News:

Sixty artists will be plein air painting April 28–May 4 throughout the Jemez Valley.

Those works will then be exhibited at Jemez Springs Fine Art Gallery commencing with an artists reception 1-3 p.m., May 6. Paintings from the “Plein Air Painters of New Mexico (PAPNM) Spring Paint-Out and Show” will be exhibited at the gallery through May 24 and will be available for sale.

The art of plein air painting is making a comeback and the village of Jemez Springs is excited to host the event.

“Jemez Springs provides the perfect venue in which to find inspiration with its diverse landscapes ranging from Cottonwoods along the Jemez River, to the red rocks, to the Valles Caldera, to name a few,” said Tobi Clement, professional artist and member of PAPNM. “With plein air painting, there is a need to work quickly with the changing light. This method of painting is deeply satisfying to the soul. Plein air not only provides an opportunity to reconnect with nature through focused observation but to unplug from the ‘chatter’ of life. For the art lover and collector, its an incredible experience to stand in a room of paintings that capture a week of time as seen through 60 artists’ eyes.”

Beginning April 28 for one week, participating artists can be seen painting at various locations in and around Jemez Springs including the Ojito Wilderness, Valles Caldera National Preserve, San Antonio Canyon, Soda Dam, the Village Plaza, San Ysidro and more. Drivers are asked to use caution when driving along N.M. 4 from San Ysidro to Valles Caldera.

A reception will take place beginning at 1 p.m. May 6 at the Jemez Fine Art Gallery/ “Best of Show” along with second and third place awards will be given to artists.

Participating artists range from amateur to professional and are members of PAPNM, open to artists of any level who are interested in plein air painting. A few well known and award winning artists include: Mary Ann McGraw, Peggy Trigg, Lee McVey, Tom Blazier, Tobi Clement, and Richard Prather, to name a few.

Plein air, or “open air” painting, began with French impressionist painters like Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir in the late 19th century. Impressionists wanted to capture their impressions of real life and the energy of the moment, which can be a challenge with rolling clouds and constantly changing weather.

The Jemez Springs Fine Art Gallery is at 17436 N.M. 4 in Jemez Springs.

For more information about the gallery, visit or call 575.829.3340. For information about PAPNM, visit or contact Tobi Clement at 505.820.1092.
Dick Wimberly. Courtesy photo