Erickson returns to Renaissance Center for plein air workshop

Release Date: 4/17/2002. Expired: 5/6/2002

Plein air artist Connie Erickson returns to The Renaissance Center in May with her Plein Air Landscape Workshop May 6-10.

According to the Plein Air Painters of America, plein air painting is finding the truth in nature. Artists actually go out into their subjects where they trust their own individual visions to paint what they see. It’s painting from life and challenges the artist to concentrate every sensory nerve on the information in front of him. They absorb it all, from sight to sound, from temperature to atmosphere, and channel those feelings from head to hand, re-creating the vision in paints on paper or canvas.

Plein air (in the open air) today is a pursuit that continues to challenge the finest artists in the world.

Erickson brought her workshop to The Renaissance Center last year and students were extremely impressed.

“Very informative, enriching, what a wonderful experience, wonderful class, very patient teacher, one usually has to travel to get this level of art!” were just some of the comments the students made.

The workshop will begin with a demonstration and lecture on plein air painting on location at Ruskin Cave. Students will then be guided through several quick exercises to learn to simplify the abundance of material in nature. Each day, students will be guided in ways to strengthen their ability to quickly capture the changing moods of nature.

“We are very excited that Connie was able to fit this workshop into her busy schedule,” said Bob Kucher, senior director of Visual Arts at The Renaissance Center. “The seats are filling up fast as this will be one of the most intensive workshops offered here this spring.”

The impressionist’s Hudson River and luminist’s approaches to painting will be taught. Lectures on field equipment, drawing, values, composition, color, linear and aerial perspective, preparation of surfaces for outdoor painting, and works of great landscape painters will be given.

Known for the individual attention she gives her students, Erickson will demonstrate each step from preparing the surface, setting up gear, doing the alla prima outdoor sketch, to expanding the sketch into a larger painting in the studio.

Erickson is from Franklin and began her professional portrait-painting career in 1987 after leaving her position as a nuclear medicine chief technologist and a period of extensive study with Daniel Greene and other well-known artists. She continues to study with Richard Whitney, Matt Smith and Joseph McGurl.

She works in the classical realist style in oil and pastel and has exhibited in numerous juried exhibitions and solo shows. She is the recipient of several awards for her portrait, still life and landscape paintings.

She has taught at the Watkins Institute College of Art, Cheekwood Fine Arts Center in Nashville, and gives workshops and teaches privately.

Her non-portraiture work is represented in galleries in Franklin and Atlanta. More of her portrait work may be viewed on her Web site at

The 5-day Plein Air workshop begins May 6 and runs through May 10. The tuition is $200 and the workshop is limited to 15 students. Registration deadline is April 29.

To register or for more information and the supply list call Kucher at The Renaissance Center at (615)740-5565.

The Renaissance Center is located at 855 Highway 46 South in Dickson, just 35 minutes west of Nashville on Interstate 40 at exit 172.

Visit the Visual Arts Workshops page for more about the workshops.


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