Area Artists Attend Premier Art Event
Artists Betty DiBartolomeo, Sarah Clatworthy and Harry Neely joined other artists and collectors from the eastern sea coast to attend Wet Paint 2009 in Charleston, S.C.
This is an annual plein air event held every March and sponsored by Coleman Fine Art Gallery. The gallery invites the best artists in the country to Charleston for a week of painting on-site in and around the town's Old French Quarter.
Coleman Fine Art's four top artists for this year were Mary Whyte (watercolor), Kevin Macpherson (oils), Gil Dellinger (acrylics), and Albert Handell (pastels).
Whyte is an artist, author and teacher. She is nationally recognized for her figurative watercolor paintings of the women of St. Johns Island, S.C. She and her husband, Smith Coleman, own Coleman Fine Art Gallery, which is recognized as a premier gallery in the U.S.
Handell is a nationally known Santa Fe artist, teacher and writer. He is one of only three living artists who have been elected into the Pastel Society of America's Pastel Hall of Fame.
"I love his trademark red suspenders, and was delighted to be remembered as a member of his mentoring class," DiBartolomeo says. She studied with Handell in Florida.
Macpherson, the youngest of the four, is from Taos, N.M., and is highly respected among collectors and fellow artists as one of the country's leading plein air painters. He is the first artist in the Oil Painters of America to be elevated from Signature status to Master Signature Member.
"Both Harry and I have been juried into the Oil Painters of America as associate members, but it is a long way to Signature status and even more to Master status," says DiBartolomeo.
Gil Dellinger is a celebrated artist and teacher from Stockton, Calif., and has participated in over 300 group shows. He is a member of the prestigious California Plein Air Painters of America and the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Association.
"Gil's plein air classes are so much fun you almost forget you are learning," says Neely, who took one of Dellinger's classes in Texas.
Every day from Monday until Friday, a different place was scheduled for the artists to paint. Each artist picked out a scene that appealed and painted while gladly fielding questions from the onlookers.
"Aside from answering questions from the crowd, who may or may not know who you are, painting on-site has its hazards," says Neely. "There is always a chance that a truck will drive up blocking just the view you need or the chickens that suddenly decided to go back to roost on a cloudy morning."
By Friday there were about 25 paintings completed by the group. Friday afternoon the paintings were taken to Coleman Fine Art Gallery for framing and hanging, with a gala reception following that evening.
Between sessions of Wet Paint, all three Moore County artists visited Spencer Gallery, which has some of Neely's works, and all the other galleries on gallery row.
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