WENATCHEE — Bit by bit the Riverfront Boat Launch appeared in miniature on Marla Bailey’s canvas Saturday, the commotion of the Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail, nearby, seeming to energize her every brush stroke.
“What strikes me about it is its busy, it’s active, it’s not just walking. There’s boating, bicycling… It’s just so cool,” said Bailey, of Cashmere. “I’m having fun with this. It’s my first panorama. I’ve never gone skinny and long.”
Bailey was one of 10 local artists who set their paints and easels up along the loop trail for Two Rivers Art Gallery’s Paint-out contest.
The event celebrates the trail’s 20th anniversary this year with the enticement of a $200 grand prize for the picture judged best of show.
Artists worked in the medium of their choice and set up anywhere that inspired them, as long as it was within about 60 feet of the trail.
The objective, after all, was not only to get out of doors and paint in the “plein air” style, live from nature. It was also to encourage artists to mingle as they worked to get more people interested in painting.
And it seemed to be working, this refreshing morning under a spectacular sun and the dappled shade of park greenery.
Brisbine set up his easel at the foot of Fifth Street, one of the busiest stretches of the trail. As his park and river scene took shape, dozens of trail users stopped by for a chat.
The artists had until 8 p.m. to drop their finished paintings off at the gallery. Judging takes place today . The top four winners — and possibly all the pictures — will be on display at the gallery.
Jen Evenhus chose a spot on a grassy lawn overlooking the Wenatchee Row and Paddle Club’s historic boathouse to set up her easel and tray of pastels. She got an early start.
“This morning when I came, the lighting was just spectacular,” she said. “Anytime you can do something like this and bring the artist community together, it strengthens your own work. You see what other people are working on and you learn from it.”