Thursday Morning Painters

The Burke Arts Council’s Thursday Morning Painters Group

Please join us as we paint, in a comfortable setting, some of the beautiful locations in our region.  We’ll meet on Thursday mornings at the Burke Arts Council and proceed to our painting site.  The group will be led by Jane Best, local pastel artist and passionate Plein Air Painter.  This is a group for all mediums and is free and open to the public.  (You are responsible for your own project and lunch.)

Plein Air Painting
The  French expression, “en plein air” means “in the open air”.  The art form is most often associated with the French Impressionists though before the invention of the camera, outdoor scenes and natural light were landscape painters’ primary sources of information.  Now  plein air painting is  a popular outdoor activity for any skill level and can be done using a variety of mediums from sketching with a pencil  to painting on a canvas with a palette and easel. A main reason why artists paint outdoors is to try to capture scenes in natural light because cameras, no matter how good, can’t capture all the variations of color the human eye can see.  Many artists use the outdoor time simply to make “color notes” or one or more studies plus reference photos for future paintings when back in the studio.

When:  9AM on Thursdays
Where:  Meet at the Burke Arts Council new building at 506 S. Sterling Street in Morganton.
What to Bring:  A few “good to have” items:  Your art gear, drinking water, snacks, sunscreen, wide brim hat, bug spray, rain gear, stool or folding chair, trash bag, camera/phone.
Bathrooms are available.

Questions?  Call BAC 828-433-7282 or email director@burkearts.org

Sign-Up Here  

Remember… you are not there to try to create a masterpiece but you’re there because  you like painting, enjoy being outdoors, and enjoy meeting others with similar interests.

There are many excellent articles and YouTube demos on the internet covering almost every aspect of painting outdoors and a few highlights are summarized below :


  • Upon arrival at a location it’s a good idea to walk around and evaluate potential painting subjects and take a few photos.
  • On sunny days, it’s good to find a place where you and your painting surface will be in the shade .
  • Once you’re set up, try doing one or two quick (5 min or less) little sketches, called thumbnails, to establish what your basic composition will be.
  • Also, take a reference photo which you can use later in studio to help with any details you might have missed.
  • Keep your gear simple, too. One well known painter has used an empty Altoid tin for her outdoor paint palette  and other painters have succeeded by using only three primaries plus white (Zorn palette) .