The Beginning of Plein Air Richmond

In The Beginning…

When asked why she started Plein Air Richmond in 2012, Loryn Brazier honestly replied, “You know, I get asked that a lot and it just seemed like a good idea.  People told me Richmond was too big of a city and it couldn’t be done, but it’s so pretty I had to try.”

Despite the initial doubt, Plein Air Richmond has been a success.  June 2016 marks Plein Air Richmond’s 4th year.  The event is held each year at Brazier Gallery and benefits a non-profit organization.  Plein Air Richmond 2016 will benefit the Richmond SPCA.

“So when did you begin painting?”

Loryn Brazier received her degree from VCUarts and started her career in fashion design and advertising.  After spending 20+ years in advertising, Loryn was inspired to paint like Danish artist P.S. Krøyer.

Brazier Gallery was born out of Loryn’s necessity for a public art studio.  The space she found was too large so she thought a gallery might be a fun way to take up space.  “I knew plenty of artists so I thought, why not?”  The first artist friend she called was Dawn Whitelaw and the rest was history.  Brazier Gallery became Richmond’s first contemporary impressionist gallery.  It’s opening closely followed the VMFA’s 1995 exhibit on Impressionist Artists.  Brazier Gallery has since moved from Carytown to it’s current location on West Main but many of the initial artists have remained with the gallery. Gallery artists Larry Moore, Nancy Tankersley, Ed Hatch, Jason Saunders, and Beth Marchant will be participating in this year’s Plein Air Richmond.  Loryn hopes Plein Air Richmond will continue to be a fun, community event for years to come.


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Saturday, June 23

Saturday’s “Fast & Fresh” brought the Plein Air Richmond, 2018 artists together one last time this year with a number of local painters who gathered in Carytown for two quick hours of painting. Can Can, Weezie’s Kitchen, Mom’s Siam and the Pit and the Peel were popular locations, as well as some side streets and even alleys off Cary Street. Lots of spectators watched with fascination as plein air painters quickly turned a blank canvas into a work of art in less than two hours, all the while talking and answering questions about their art with the onlookers. As the clock expired, the paintings were displayed on the sidewalk in front of Cary Court, and our judge, famed painter Duane Keiser once again took a close look at the entries. The winners:



First Place: Patrick Saunders (Missouri) “Can Can Can”


Second Place: Nikolay Mikushkin (New York) “Mom’s Siam”



Third Place: David Finnell (Virginia) “Belmont Vista”


Plein Air Richmond, 2018, concludes with sales of art on Sunday afternoon at Brazier Gallery, 1616 W. Main Street, 12-4 pm.

Friday, June 22

With the paintings all hung on the walls of Brazier Gallery, judge Duane Keiser had the unenviable job of picking the winners of Plein Air Richmond, 2018 … so many beautiful paintings from 30 superb painters from across the country. In the end, after very careful consideration, Mr. Keiser presented the ribbons:

First Place: David Robbins (Virginia)

Second Place: David Lussier (New Hampshire)

Third Place: (Washington, DC)

Best Painting with an Animal: Robert Simone (Florida)

Artists’ Choice: Stewart White (Maryland)

Honorable Mention Top Honors: Beth Marchant (Virginia)


Thursday, June 21

So much to paint, so little time! The Plein Air Richmond 2018 artists took advantage of a mild first day of summer to begin wrapping up their week of painting … from Pony Pasture to Church Hill to Winsor Farms to downtown hotel tops to Carytown and many other beautiful places in the Capitol of the Old Dominion, dozens of paintings by some of the country’s top artists will soon be hanging in Brazier Gallery. Judging of the paintings on Friday afternoon will be by renowned Richmond painter Duane Keiser, originator of the now worldwide “painting a day” movement.
The exhibit and sale will be open to the public at Brazier Gallery, 1616 W. Main Street, Richmond, Virginia:  Friday, June 22 from 8 pm til 9 pm,  Saturday, June 23 from 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday, June 24 from 12 pm – 4 pm.
Plein Air Richmond is Richmond’s original outdoor painting event since 2012. Presented by Brazier Gallery to benefit the Richmond SPCA.


Wednesday, June 20

Only half-way through Plein Air Richmond, 2018, and the number of beautiful paintings are piling up! The James River, with its numerous bridges, spillways, rocks and boulders, continues to draw artists to its banks, proving that water and “oil” DO mix. And the oft-painted Main Street Station got a stunning paint job by Deleware artist Stacy Rogers. Wednesday also found painters in the gardens and grounds of historic Agecroft Hall and the Virginia House in the Winsor Farms area of Richmond. We can hardly wait to see what the second half brings!

Tuesday, June 19

Another beautiful sunrise in Richmond quickly turned from warm to hot to YEOW! Brutal heat (it was 99 around 4:30 this afternoon in the Tuckahoe area). But fortunately, late afternoon thunderstorms brought not only much needed rain, but about a 25-degree drop in temperature. The rest of the week should find diminishing temperatures each day, with Friday’s high in only the mid-70s! Nice!!

This morning, Richmond artist Beth Marchant found some colorful city houses to paint, while Canadian  Michael Solovyev and his son did some watercolor painting in Carytown, a unique district near “The Fan” and the Museum District in Richmond’s west end. Carytown has an eclectic variety of shops, restaurants, businesses and, of course, the Byrd Theater. In late Summer each year, the Carytown Watermelon Festival will find more than 100,000 folks jamming the streets enjoying … well, watermelon, as well as other food, beverages, music and “sights” galore!

Elsewhere today, St. Augustine, Florida artist Charles Dickinson and former Floridian, now South Carolinian Larry Moore found refuge in some cool, green shade. And Richmond pastel artist Maria Reardon found inspiration at the Pump House, a beautiful Victorian Gothic old “castle.”

Monday, June 18

Painters took to the streets bright and early Monday morning. Actually, they not only took to the streets, but to the banks of the James River, painting under bridges and railroad trestles, on river rocks, in tree shade on Monument Avenue and even on top of downtown Richmond hotels. Baltimore watercolorist Stewart White got a great view of Richmond’s famous “Milk Bottle Building” and surrounding structures from the roof of the Quirk Hotel. Andre Lucero (Virginia) and Neal Hughes (New Jersey) persuaded Maine painter Olena Babak to take a short break from painting, and pose in picturesque Pony Pasture.
Monday was pretty much a typical Richmond summer day … hot and humid.  After a full day of painting, the group welcomed a chance to cool off and relax together with some food, drink and fellowship at the beautiful, art-filled home of Jim and Ann Belk. Ann and friends Debbie Boatwright, Fran Framme,  Jane Hamilton and Sheryl Owen provided a fabulous “potluck supper” for the group. After letting their belts out, the gang put their feet up, swapped a few stories and looked forward to Tuesday.





Plein Air Richmond 2018

GoodieBagSunday, June 17

30 plein air artists from all over the country rolled into Richmond, making a stop on Sunday evening at Brazier Gallery. They refreshed themselves with sandwiches, chips, cookies and, of course, adult beverages. After getting their canvases stamped with the official event seal, they picked up “goodie” bags and made their way to various host homes in Richmond for a good night’s rest.



Apply for Plein Air Richmond 2017 Here!


Enter to be one of 30 artists to join in the fun of Plein Air Richmond 2017!

Artists will compete for top prizes while painting the beautiful and historic Richmond, Virginia June 18 – 25, 2017.

Artists can apply on December 1st, 2016 – March 1st, 2017.

Happy Painting!

2016 Plein Air Richmond Winning Paintings

Judge: Kathy Anderson

Paint-Out Awards:

1st Place – Katie (Dobson) Cundiff (Oil)


2nd Place – Larry Moore (Oil)


3rd Place – Tom Lynch (Watercolor)


Artists Choice – Olena Babak (Oil)


1st Place Fast & Fresh “Quick Paint” – Beth Marchant (Oil)


Honorable Mentions:



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