Magazine article Sunset

Framing West Marin

Magazine article Sunset

Framing West Marin

Article excerpt

A modern-day impressionists' salon celebrates open space

* In the bucolic hamlet of Nicasio, in Marin county, velvet green hillsides, marshlands, and mist-shrouded creeks are pretty enough to be pictures.

And in fact, they are--in pictures, that is: The rural splendors of the county take top billing in an exhibition and sale of paintings this month. The two-day event, sponsored by the Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT), features 35 artists, most of whom use the technique called plein air--a minor misspelling of the French term for "open air."

"Plein air paintings are some of the toughest to do," notes Mill Valley artist Tom Soltesz, whose work is in the show. "Paintings are done on location, all in a couple of hours. Any longer, the light changes and it's a different scene."

The artwork (mostly done in oils, but some in acrylics, pastels, or watercolors) evokes the beauty of West Marin--a red-winged blackbird perched on a cattail, cows grazing by a cluster of live oak trees, evening fog creeping over the headlands. …

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