Painters head to the outdoors for the Grand Marais Plein Air competition

Painters in Grand Marias and along the north shore are getting there easels out and headed outside for the Grand Marias Plein Air Painting Competition.

Art Gallery Manager Aliya Marxen explains what Plein Air means saying, “the main thing is that it is a piece that is completed outdoors. That’s the main idea of what we are doing here.

And with the beauty of Grand Marias, painters say it doesn’t feel like a competition. Artist Bob Uptown says, "well it’s like my favorite spot. I come up here every year of 20 years painting in the fall. And so there is something magical being up here.

When it comes to painting landscapes, location is everything. While painting the harbor Bob said, I don’t pick [the location]. It picks me. I just saw the sparkle on the water here and the boats so I just knew that was the place to be.

The gallery and the artists see many pieces that feature all sorts of North Shore views. Marxen says, "I mean this lake is sparkling, the harbor is stunning. You can get a view in town of it.

And with the outdoor aspect there is an extra level of skill that artists need. Marxen says, It really forces artists to be resourceful and creative you have to -you really don’t have time to be thinking about the whole process.