Renowned Plein Air Painter James Coe to Conduct Workshop at Audubon Center in Southbury in September

Famous Plein Air artist James Coe will conduct an unprecedented workshop at the Audubon Center in Southbury
Famous Plein Air artist James Coe will conduct an unprecedented workshop at the Audubon Center in Southbury

As an inaugural arts fundraiser event, The Audubon Bent of the River Center at 185 Flat Hill Road in Southbury, Connecticut, will host their first painting workshop open-to-the-public with renowned landscape painter and wildlife artist James Coe. Limited to 12 participants, the Friday, September 27 to Sunday, September 29, 2013 plein air painters’ workshop is an unprecedented workshop at the Audubon Center with instructor James Coe. The workshop is scheduled to be held outdoors in the meadows of the Audubon Center’s 700+ diverse acres that include portions of the Pomperaug River and native woodland terrain. Painters of all levels are welcome to register. 


James Coe’s ambition with his award-winning art is to convey “reverence for the land, wildlife, and our rural heritage.” His intensive weekend workshop in Southbury, Connecticut will explore the challenges of working “en plein air” (outside directly from the landscape), and will introduce the traditional methods and materials of alla prima (direct) painting in oil. Friday evening from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Coe will provide a visual presentation for registered artists and discussion on topics ranging from the history of plein air painting to the preparation of homemade painting panels for use in the field.  On Saturday and Sunday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Coe will provide an instructional demonstration followed with individual instruction. Themes to be emphasized will include: finding a subject, designing a compelling composition, simplifying shapes and seeing values accurately.


James Coe is best known as the author and illustrator of the acclaimed Golden Field Guide Eastern Birds. After 15 years of painting carefully-rendered bird identification plates in watercolor and gouache, he re-entered the world of ‘fine’ art to paint landscapes in plein air. Today his paintings combine his passion for landscape with his finely-detailed knowledge of natural history. In his newest canvases, he integrates birds into his landscapes while striving to still maintain the freshness and vigorous brushwork of a plein air study. His work has been described as “ethereal, moody, and sensitive all at once.”


A signature member of the Society of Animal Artists and member of the Society’s board of directors, Coe shows regularly in the Society’s annual exhibitions. He is a regular exhibitor in the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum’s prestigious “Birds in Art” annual and in 2011 he was recognized as the Museum’s 32nd Master Wildlife Artist. He also shows in annual exhibitions hosted by the Bennington Center for the Arts, and in 2009 he was the grand prize winner of their inaugural Laumeister Fine Art Competition. In 2011, his membership status with the prestigious Oil Painters of America was promoted to Signature Member.


The works of James Coe are present in the permanent collections of the New York State Museum, Massachusetts Audubon Society, the Hiram Blauvelt and Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museums, and the Bennington Center for the Arts. His work has been featured in Plein Air magazine, Wildlife Art, and the online Wildlife Art Journal. His paintings have appeared on the covers of Sanctuary, Bird Watcher’s Digest, Birding World, and The Auk, the professional journal of the American Ornithologist’s Union. In May 2012, his solo exhibition at the Addison Art Gallery on Cape Cod was written up in American Art Collector.


Fees for the workshop are $210 for Audubon members and $250 for non-members. Single membership for the Audubon Bent of the River Center is $35. Meals, lodging and transportation are not included in costs. The 12 participants in the Audubon Bent of the River September workshop would need to bring their own field easels, paint supplies, food, folding stool, sun hat, walking shoes, and bug spray. In the event of inclement weather students will work indoors from photo reference materials provided by the instructor, or can use their own photos.


A registration form may be downloaded at http://tinyurl.com/orv5fqw


Checks should be made payable to: Audubon Bent of the River Center and mark check for “Coe Art Workshop”. Tuition checks should be mailed to the Audubon Bent of the River Center,185 Flat Hill Road, Southbury, CT 06488. No portion of workshop tuition fee is considered a charitable donation to Audubon Bent of the River Center. For more information and to register, contact Ms. Ellie Boyd of Pomperaug Outdoor Painters at 203-264-2313, 203-233-0038, and ellie@ellieboydstudio.com. To learn about James Coe, visit www.JamesCoe.com, and for information on the Audubon Center at Bent of the River, visit http://bentoftheriver.audubon.org.


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