'Sunup to Sundown' painting marathon planned

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Rather than having the same old show for a handful of painters, Rob Nightingale and painter Peggy Immel came up with an idea that makes the art more dynamic because it’s being created from sunup to sundown in just one day.

The big day for painting is Friday (July 29). The paintings will then be available for purchase at Wilder Nightingale Fine Art, 119 Kit Carson Road.

“Rather than a typical show, you know, with an opening from 5-7 p.m. on a Friday or Saturday, we thought it would be a great idea to let people see artists work and to keep track of their progress as the day goes on,” gallery owner Rob Nightingale said.

Every hour of one day between sunup and sundown, three painters who are represented at Wilder Nightingale Fine Art will embark on a marathon painting experience along historic Kit Carson Road.

Peggy Immel, Susan McCullough and Coni Grant will paint a new painting every hour from sunup to sundown. The unframed pieces will immediately be for sale at Wilder Nightingale Gallery.

The plan is to price the pieces to move.

“We decided that we would like to have a unique event that would create excitement about our work and also be a lot of fun in the bargain,” Immel said in a written statement about the painting marathon.

Nightingale said summer is tourism season here in Taos and, “We want to bring more of those visitors to the Kit Carson Road area, where many of the galleries are located.”

Immel came to Nightingale with the plan, and he said he’s always eager to try something new.

“He liked our idea, so we picked a date,” Immel said. “Everyone is hoping for good weather.”

“The excitement for the one-day marathon is already building. It is going to be a long day of painting, but I think we will have a lot of fun,” McCullough added.

Immel is a second-generation Arizonan born in Phoenix. She spent her youth traveling the world as the daughter of a career Air Force veteran. In college, she studied architecture at Arizona State University. After getting married, she took art classes at three major New England art schools along with workshops with artists she admired.

While living in Boston, she became a rock and ice climber. This was a turning point in her life, and nature and adventure became her muse. After she moved to Taos with her husband, she got in touch with her roots. Her landscapes are inspired by her love of the outdoors and the Southwest’s grandeur and beauty.

McCullough said, “Plein air painting is the ultimate artistic experience for me as an artist. This genre of painting is the ultimate learning experience – increasing the skills of drawing, color, design and paint application.”

In the field, she added, “One has to be quick because of the changing light patterns, and it is a test of the artist’s painting and drawing skills. I love imparting life to a painting on canvas by giving a sense of light to the shapes of nature. I would have to say that capturing the light is the most important goal that I try to achieve when painting – outside as well as in the studio.”

Grant has been called an expressionist and a colorist because she does not subscribe to a literal view of the landscape, but uses design and color as a means of expressing light and space.

“The term ‘plein air,’ coined by the French Impressionists, refers to painting out of doors; meeting the natural world on its own terms. It is my favorite way to work but can be painting at its most raw, pitting artist against the elements, extreme weather, and wildlife, that sometimes includes the public,” she said in a written statement.

She added, “Evidence of frozen hands dragging stiff paint over the surface of a panel, marks in the paint made by rain, or grit blown into the paint layer by wind, this is Plein Air. In spite of conditions, working outside is its own reward. Dramatic settings and changing weather add depth to the experience as well as to the work.

“I have painted in the sunshine at Morro Bay and conversely, in the freezing wind overlooking the harbor in St. John’s, Newfoundland; both were unforgettable,” she said.

Claude Monet once said, “For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life – the light and the air which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value.”

With this painting event, every hour from sunrise to sundown on Friday (July 29) will be brought to life by these three artists. They’ll create an atmosphere with the paint, heart and excitement that help make Kit Carson Road the lively spot it has become.

For more information, call (575) 758-3255 or visit wnightingale.com.

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