woman painting in a park

Plein Air

Enjoy art and the outdoors at these fun, local events.

woman painting in a park

Plein Air painting is a phrase borrowed from the French meaning "open (in full) air." It is used to describe the act of painting outdoors, where a painter reproduces the visual conditions experienced at the time of the painting. Stroll around and watch artists at work at these Plein Air festivals.

Artists in Action: Plein Air Edition
Artists in Action - Annmarie Sculpture Garden
Courtesy: Annmarie Sculpture Garden

The 30 acre park, patios, and pavilions will be available for plein air painters.  Annmarie’s Main Gallery will be transformed into two socially-distant temporary artist studios.

Mountain Maryland Plein Air
landscape oil painting of field with cows by Henry Coe

The Allegany Arts Council offers bi-annual plein air art activities and events in Allegany & Garrett Counties. Activities include receptions, the Saville Gallery and special events such as Quickdraw.

Paint Annapolis
Bob Peterson

Paint Annapolis is a part of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Arts Month. A premier event, bringing people together to share in the spirit and vibrancy of the arts. Paint Annapolis is designed to explore in paint the colonial architecture, marine atmosphere, and overall energy of Maryland’s capital city – and the first capital of the United States.

Paint It! Ellicott City
Ellicott City
Plein Air painters participate in Paint It! Ellicott City
Howard County Tourism

Paint It! Ellicott City welcomes artists from the region to the streets of historic and picturesque Ellicott City. "Paint It" takes place over five days.  Spectators can follow the artists as they set up their easels around Ellicott City’s historic district and paint the picturesque mill town and join us for the exciting “quick draw” event. The event culminates in an exhibit at the Howard County Center for the Arts.

Plein Air Easton
A painting of an Easton farm by Henry Coe

Artists from all over the United States and beyond apply to this prestigious juried plein air painting competition. There will be dozens of artists painting throughout Talbot County. Collectors' Preview Party and Awards and Public Art Exhibit and Sale.

Harford Plein Air Painting Festival
Harford County
Eliner Tryon Elgin painting
Harford Plein Air Festival

Selected artists are invited to paint various outdoor locations in Harford County and submit their paintings to be judged for prestigious awards. The paintings are sold at a gallery sale  held at the Bel Air Armory. A portion of the art sales benefit the Maryland Center for the Arts. Special paint outs are held at farms, waterfronts, parks and historic towns.  Art receptions and sales are also scheduled throughout Harford County.  The Saturday morning "Quick Draw Competition" in downtown Bel Air  which is open to community artists of all ages.

Barnstormers Tour and Plein Air Paint-Out
Frederick County
Barnstormers Tour and Plein Air Paint-Out
Barnstormers/Frederick County Landmarks with artist Steve Poole

This popular self-guided Frederick County tour pays homage to beautiful old structures and agricultural heritage by offering a rare opportunity to tour some of the most scenic private farm properties. It is also a plein air paint-out. This event has three components, a ticketed barn tour, an art show/sale, and various educational demos and displays. Using the map, tour-goers may drive their vehicles to each farm featured on the tour. The farms are only open to visitors on that day. Trained barn docents will greet visitors at each barn. Some of the barns may feature extra educational displays such as blacksmithing, antique farm tools, handmade products, and quilting.

Paint Worcester County Plein Air
Berlin & Worcester County
Man painting at a plein air festival
Worcester County Arts Council

Participating artists grace the sidewalks, green spaces, marshes and beaches providing spectators with the unique experience of seeing Worcester County through the eyes of artists.   While the artists themselves can network, exhibit, and sell their art as well as compete for cash prizes,  visitors may watch the artists work and then attend popular "Wet Paint" Sales and Exhibits, featuring work just created during this event.