3 Day Event
Rescheduled to:
Thursday, Sept. 9 –

Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021

Click to see Daily Schedule

Meet the Plein Air Artists in the Suffolk Plein Air Invitational 2021!

Meet Plein Air Artist Carole Adams!

Art has been a life-long pursuit, both painting and viewing great art worldwide. Light and color, landscapes and their histories, and the local waterways present endless engagement. That combined with a love of the natural world makes Plein Air painting a perfect fit for a Tidewater native.

Meet Plein Air Artist William Bensen!

William Bensen’s interest in art developed as a young child, surrounded by a family of artists.  His grandfather was an artisan with clients such as Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, Marjorie Post, and the Vanderbilts.  Bensen’s father sculpted iron into creative furniture forms and his uncle was a cinematographer who captured images of Shirley Temple and other notables.  Bensen, himself, has worked for major television networks and NASA but while television created a livelihood, Bensen’s passion is oil painting.

A student of Charles Kello and inspired by N.C. Wyeth, Dean Cornwell and Joaquin Sorolla, many of Bensen’s storied canvases capture solitude and the play of light upon nature.  “I want to visually tell a story and emotionally engage the viewer. Through the unique language of the paintbrush, one can say things that are impossible with words.”  He has earned numerous art awards including the Grumbacher Gold, Silver & Bronze for Best Commemorative Poster/Internat’l Festivals-Events Assoc. and won Best Floral at Plein Air Easton/Local Color.  His works are included in private collections across the United States.

SCCA Plein Air Beth Blanchard

Meet Plein Air Artist Elizabeth Blanchard!

As a native of the Tidewater area, I spent my childhood on the banks of the Elizabeth River from where I took family boat trips up the Chesapeake Bay, spent summers crabbing and fishing on the pier, and visits to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Since marrying in 1999, I have resided in Suffolk, adding an interest in agricultural subjects, flowers, animals, and children. I pursued the arts through my high school and college years including private painting lessons with local artist Wayne Fulcher, however my love of art revived in my adult life in 2011 when I was introduced to painting with oils by a master of oils, Robert LeMasters. I have taught art classes for students ages 4 to senior adults, and currently teach oil painting at the Suffolk Center.

Meet Plein Air Artist Anthony Bowes!

Hey, I’m Anthony. I grew up in the Suburbs of Virginia. I always had a knack for drawing, but didn’t consider art a real career choice until I painted a portrait for a friend who’s reaction blew me away. Since then I’ve been able to develop some skills all thanks to some amazing teachers in my life. And although I’ve got a lot to learn, I’ve won, “Best Artist Under 30” for Plein Air Magazine and I just had my second solo exhibition in June of 2021.

SCCA Plein Air Thomas Bradshaw

Meet Plein Air Artist Thomas Bradshaw!

His loose painterly style allows him to imply detail without overstating it. Using brushwork and a palette knife to create a textural impression which draws the viewer in for a closer look. Utilizing a limited palette, Thomas is able to create shimmering light through temperature and  value and bring to life the way in which it illuminates the scene as a single moment in time

Meet Plein Air Artist Coakley Brown!

Coakley Brown’s passion for art emerged in early childhood. Drawing from observation skills developed as a science teacher and parent, Coakley delights in creating joyful expressions of what she sees. Inspired by nature and stories of its relationship to humanity, she strives to produce work that is authentic, but not photographic in detail. There is a balance, she believes, where authenticity is achieved in the choice of details captured or omitted. The search for that balance, arriving at it, and searching again, is paramount to her artistic journey.

SCCA Plein Air Gina Buzby

Meet Plein Air Artist Gina Buzby!

Gina Warren Buzby: BA in Art and Illustration, MA in Education, Graphic Designer, Freelance Graphic Artist, Professional Fine Artist over 40 years. I have enjoyed working as an artist most of my life, either as my main occupation or freelancing. As a military spouse I traveled, and painted, around the world. I enjoy painting plein air most of the year and I also paint in my Norfolk studio as well as offering private instruction for children and adults.

SCCA Plein Air Doug Clarke

Meet Plein Air Artist Doug Clarke!

Doug Clarke is a Plein Air and Studio painter based out of Virginia Beach. He works with oils as his preferred medium of choice. His commitment to life drawing and painting, led him outdoors to paint “en plein air”. There, he realized his passion for capturing light and nature in his own personal way.

SCCA Plein Air Paula Cottrell

Meet Plein Air Artist Paula Cottrell!

Paula Cottrell is a member of Nova Plein Air Artists painting primarily in Northern Virginia and the DC Metro area. Paula paints in oil on canvas, in both Plein Air and studio settings. Subjects include landscape, florals, and still life. Her work has been included in a number of juried shows in the Northern Virginia area.

Meet Plein Air Artist Karen Crenshaw!

Karen Lee Crenshaw has been drawing since she used to scribble on the walls as a child.” She earned a BS in Art Ed from Concord University and an MFA in Painting from George Washington University. Karen has lived in Jacksonville, NC, for nineteen years where she maintains Crenshaw Art Studio in her home and at ArtExposure in Hampstead, NC. She has fallen in love with beautiful coastal North Carolina. Marshes, rivers, lakes, and the vessels that sail upon them capture her eye. In addition to landscapes, Karen accepts portrait commissions, specializing in portraits of women and children. Her work is traditional and lifelike, yet it maintains a painterly quality. She enjoys providing clients with an heirloom that will last for many generations. “A sense of place. That is the goal of my landscape paintings, for the viewer to “see” what I am seeing and to feel that is a place they have been or would like to visit. Plein air painting inspires me to capture the quality of the light that sets off that connection. Many of my paintings depict the pinkish-blue tones of early morning light or the amber tones of late afternoon. I love the contrasts of forms and oblique angles and shapes that occur when the sun is low on the horizon. My challenge is to capture that moment in time, working quickly and keeping a dynamic abstract pattern with energetic brush strokes.”

Meet Plein Air Artist Tomas Ehrenberger!

Tomas Ehrenberger is a Czech-born American artist whose love of paint and nature lead him to follow plein air painting.  He is a self taught artist, primarily influenced by John Singer Sergeant, Monet and Edgar Payne, a California plein air artist.  His exhibited works in Chez Republic have found a place in the home and hearts of those in Bohemia. He believes that the joy of working in the open air comes through on the canvas, imparting a special energy to his work.  “To sense the mood of a given scene, feel the nuances in color, and capture the whole experience on canvas — this is living to its fullest. This is being present. My hope is to awaken the same experience in people through my paintings.”

SCCA Plein Air Mick Growchowski

Meet Plein Air Artist Mick Grochowski!

Working in both Acrylic and Oils, Mick is currently doing plein air as well as studio painting and sculpture. Mick’s work has received awards in many, local and regional, juried and non juried exhibits. During the 1970’s and 80’s Mick painted and exhibited his work, regionally in northeastern lower Michigan. Currently, Mick and his wife Nancy reside in Willoughby (Norfolk, VA), having relocated from Michigan and were proprietors of a printing and graphic design business in Chesapeake, VA until mid 2016. He graduated from Alpena Community College with degrees in Fine Art and Business Mgt. ARTIST STATEMENT: MICK GROCHOWSKI; Our surroundings are not always as they appear, as our perceptions and reality may not correlate. My art expresses my perspectives on life. Most of my artwork can be described as ranging from realism to expressive realism, rendered impressionistically. The drive to create is persistent. Inspiration can be found in unique happenings, situations, and locations. My preferred media for painting, either en plain air or studio, include oil and acrylic. Winslow Homer, Hopper, and Van Gogh have been major influences.

SCCA Plein Air Barbara Harris

Meet Plein Air Artist Barbara Harris!

Barbara Anne Harris started painting as a child and took classes and workshops throughout the years to develop her skills. The first Plein Air workshop she attended was in Ashville North Carolina in 1976 with artist John Pellew.  A Virginia girl at heart who loves to paint local landscapes and coastal life but also is inspired from her travels across the country and Europe. Barbara paints in oils and strives to capture strong light ,interesting shadows and pleasing color to capture the atmosphere and mood of the scene.
Barbara along with Sandy Waters founded the Suffolk Plein Air Society with a vision to bring Plein Air painting to the Suffolk area and share the love of painting outdoor with others. Both Sandy and Barbara are co-chairs of the 2021 Suffolk Plein Air Festival. Barbara enjoys teaching Plein Air classess and workshops to help guide and encourage those new to Plein Air painting to get out there and get started.

Meet Plein Air Artist Pearl Horng!

I grew up between Virginia and Maryland and started painting more seriously after I completed my medical training.  I’ve known since I was a child that art was my true passion and calling, and that I would always circle back to it and find it again.  What pulls me into a work of art is the effect of light and shadow, the relationships between shapes and values, and the representation of nature as it is — as imperfect as it is.  This is what I strive to capture in my paintings.  My goal is to beautifully render a suggestion, a thought, or an idea, and bring into focus what is fleeting and temporary in everyday life.

Meet Plein Air Artist Betty Huang!


“The elegant beauty in nature draws Betty Huang to paint as she travels worldwide.  She encapsulates the essence of her subjects through her distinctive interplay of color, light and composition; while expressing her feelings and emotions of her worldly encounters. She effortlessly blends western and eastern cultures in her art work. 


An award winning artist whose paintings don the walls of patrons across four continents, Betty has been described as an artist whose work provides a window into her soul and love of traveling the world.  Throughout the year, Betty represents national and international award winning artists, showcasing their work at her Studio B Gallery in Easton Maryland, and organizing painting workshops nationally and internationally.”

Meet Plein Air Artist Deborah Krzyzaniak!

As a native South Carolinian, Deborah has spent most of her life living in the Charleston and Norfolk areas. Currently, she is dividing her time between working as an artist and teaching at Old Dominion University. She is a versatile artist, using oil, pastels, and watercolor to express her art. The vivid colors can be seen in her marsh scenes from the Carolina Coastal areas and her paintings of flowers from botanical gardens throughout the country.

Meet Plein Air Artist Cindy Lane!

Cindy (Britton) Lane grew up in Va. Beach and graduated from First Colonial. After earning a B.S.in Forestry from VA Tech, she spent her first working life in forestry and wildlife management in New Zealand, Senegal, Northern California, and then back home to Tidewater where she wrapped it up at the Great Dismal Swamp NWR. She’s been painting for over ten years, studying with masters, taking workshops, and painting with her friends in the Elizabeth River Artists, Suffolk Art League, and Suffolk Plein Air Society. She is working on her BFA in Painting and Drawing at ODU. She lives on a farm in Suffolk with her wonderful husband, Mike, and she loves to travel and paint outside where she listens as “all creation sings.”

Meet Plein Air Artist Allen Lassiter!

Allen Lassiter learned the basics of drawing and oil painting years ago as a college student from Maxine Sweeney, a wonderful artist and teacher based in the Elizabeth City area. More recently, Allen was introduced to the wonders of watercolor by Ms. Betty Anglin, a fine arts teacher at the Peninsula fine arts center.  Allen has just retired from a career in lighting and electrical system design.  He finally has the time to keep a promise that he made to himself when he was 12 years old–that when he grew up, he was going to become an artist.  Allen is endlessly fascinated by the story and vision of the Impressionists, and sees the interplay of light with color as the very essence of art.

Meet Plein Air Artist Elisabeth McGinn!

Elisabeth is an oil painter with 20 years experience of painting both in Pleinair and studio. Her subjects include landscapes, seascapes, farm scenes, floral and nature. Elisabeth’s does portraiture as well.

She’s particularly attracted to the play of color and light on a subject.

For more info: elisabethmcginn.com

Meet Plein Air Artist John Meyers!

John Meyers (www.johnmeyersart.com) is a local Plein Air artist who lives in a small coastal community on the Chesapeake Bay called East Beach. His paintings most often depict the rhythmic movement of water, ever changing reflections of light and color, and the feelings of a salty atmosphere. Picturesque marine and seascapes, tranquil morning haze, contemplative reflections, and endless skies are all brought to life with a narrative that tends to draw you into his experience. John has studied under the late Bea Kuhlke, who was a prolific and popular impressionistic painter and teacher in South Carolina. Kuhlke’s tutelage is reflected in John’s use of color as well as his ability to capture the essence of a scene as if someone had just caught a glimpse of it.

SCCA Plein Air Theresa Miller

Meet Plein Air Artist Theresa Miller!

My name is Theresa Miller and I am a painter of watercolors and oil paintings. I find it most satisfying to paint en plein air whenever and wherever I can, and I look forward to weekly painting sessions with a local plein air painting group, in private gardens and at public parks in the greater Washington DC area. Likewise, I enjoy painting from life in my home studio in Northern Virginia and at the Artists’ Atelier in Great Falls, VA. Moreover, I am a copyist in the Copyist Program of the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. It gives me great pleasure to spend one day a week copying the masters and interacting with people from all over the world.

Meet Plein Air Artist Marilyn Miyamoto!

Marilyn Miyamoto is the co-founding member of Nova Plein Air Artists. Her work features landscapes, still life, and portraits.  She received her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, and continued her graduate studies at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and California State University at Long Beach.  Marilyn focused primarily in Jewelry/Metalsmithing while in graduate school showing at galleries throughout the United States, but has transitioned to oil painting.  She was an art teacher for Fairfax County Schools and was the recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Power of Art Award, for Teaching.

SCCA Plein Air Brian Murphy

Meet Plein Air Artist Brian Murphy!

My introduction to oil painting took place in California during the revitalization of the Plein Air movement. My inspiration came from the California Impressionists. Teaching painting classes and workshops has helped me develop my technique and share my knowledge with others. I try to capture the natural light and temperature of a landscape in my oil paintings. I use a limited palette when painting which helps my work retain a cohesive feel and color balance. I stay true to details of a particular location while maintaining loose, bold strokes.

Meet Plein Air Artist Orit Reuben!

Award-winning artist Orit Reuben, is an impressionist landscape and figurative pastel painter. Orit likes sunny day painting and is inspired by light effects. She is based in Florida and is inspired by nature, and loves painting outdoors. Her favorite locations include a combination of architecture and nature. Her innate instinct for color results in playful and colorful interpretations of nature. Orit is represented by Park Avenue Contemporary Art, and Be On Park in Winter Park, Florida. She is a signature member of The Florida Painters. a member of Pastel Society of America, Pastel Society of Central Florida, American Impressionist Society, and a Member of Excellence of the Southeastern Pastel Society.

SCCA Plein Air Karen Sallaz

Meet Plein Air Artist Karen Sallaz!

Karen has enjoyed painting since 2012 and has had the opportunity of learning and being inspired by the many talented artists in the Hampton Roads community. Her artistic goals include growth and technical skill with each new painting. She is a member of The Elizabeth River Artists, The Suffolk Art League, and The Suffolk VA Plein Air Society.
FaceBook: Karen Sallaz Artist

Meet Plein Air Artist Karen Spaulding!

After earning her BFA from the University of Michigan School of Art & Design and getting her feet wet in advertising, Karen ran her own freelance graphic design business  for over 20 years, where she designed ads and corporate identity and wrote advertising copy for several Virginia companies while being home with her children.  She has explored the decorative arts, from murals, portraits, and pen and ink commissions to custom-painted roof slates and floor cloths.  Influenced by childhood summers painting with her uncle on Lake Huron, and many years spent sailing on the Chesapeake Bay, then Mobile Bay, many of her paintings  reflect her spontaneity and love of the water. While living on the Gulf Coast for 11 years, she was able to focus even more on her painting, attending workshops, plein air paint-outs, and selling work in several galleries in the area. From 2018 to 2019, she served on the board of the Mobile Arts Council, which is at the forefront of raising awareness and funds for the arts, sponsoring art shows and promoting local artists. She also served on the Religious Arts committee of Spring Hill Presbyterian Church and introduced an outreach painting program in 2011 to help reach out to those suffering from depression. That has evolved into a fellowship of new and seasoned artists who continue to meet every week. She continues to explore and pursue various surfaces and subjects, most recently dedicating time to plein air painting and studying botanical dry brush watercolor. She believes in always having a sketchbook or journal handy. Karen is a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists, Virginia Watercolor Society, Virginia Plein Air Painters, Chesapeake Bay Watercolorists and Newport News Sketch group. In addition, her love of cooking and baking led her to start teaching pie-baking workshops four years ago, hoping to eliminate the fear of baking a homemade crust. 



Meet Plein Air Artist Norma Swan!

The studio is outside encompassed by the sounds and fragrances of nature. Inspiration comes from the beauty of God’s creation. Drawing since childhood, this journey began about 12 years ago before retiring as a draftsman. Taking art classes and painting in a dedicated art space led to a desire to be outside immersed in the subject and to study the effects of light and color.

SCCA Plein Air Eric Thingstad

Meet Plein Air Artist Eric Thingstad!

Eric was born in Norfolk, VA. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Old Dominion University. As a Plein Air painter, he is inspired by the beauty and power of the landscape. Influenced by the impressionists’ style, he tries to capture the light and atmosphere of the natural world as an expression of color. Short impasto brush strokes are used to capture the essence of his subject rather than the details. With the use of brushwork and broken color, he creates an illusion of movement and spontaneity with emphasis on the effect of the whole scene. He works mostly in Plein Air, not copying nature but interpreting its beauty. Nothing is more rewarding to him than painting directly from nature.
Website: www.ericthingstad.com

Meet Plein Air Artist Sandy Waters!

Sandy Waters is a Suffolk, VA artists who also serves as the assistant manager of Exhibitions at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts and Jester’s Gallery Shop. She and fellow artist Barbara Harris founded the Suffolk Plein Air Society, and are co-chairs of the 2021 Suffolk Plein Air Festival. Sandy paints in oils and enjoys the challenge of capturing a scene during plein air outings. Her works have been sold through numerous locations throughout the Hampton Roads area.

Meet Plein Air Artist Carey Woodruff!

Since I was a child I always loved art and was drawn to creating. My mother painted and always encouraged me to paint. I attended Marymount University and completed my Bachelors of Arts in Fashion Design. After four years I knew I wanted to focus on painting, so I moved to Aix-en-Provence, France to attend the The Marchutz School of Painting and Drawing. During my time in France I became alive with capturing the essence of my experience in nature. The light and beauty of the landscape was so captivating it changed the way I saw the world around me. After that time, all I wanted to do was bring expression through my brush strokes to help others see nature in a new and vibrant way. I was greatly influenced by the impressionist as I painted in the towns that were so familiar to Cezanne and Van Gogh. Over twenty-five years of painting and I am still striving to capture the dance of what is essential and true in all of nature.

Meet Plein Air Artist Terry Wylie!

Terry is a fine artist from San Antonio Texas who has spent 30 years in the Navy, sailing the seas and oceans of the world. His art career started while still in school doing portraits and landscapes in pencil. He then took a job as a commercial artist, doing art for newspaper, books, magazines and other media. His commercial work includes projects for the Houston Rockets and Coastal Oil Corp.

As Terry moved into his military career, his artwork evolved into fine art pursuits, where he produced a variety of work in watercolor, oil, acrylics, pencil, pen and ink. His focus has primarily been nautical but he still enjoys mixing it up with Plein Air, Portraits, Figures, Landscapes, Seascapes and Westerns.

He currently resides in Norfolk Virginia and continues close ties to the Navy. He produces fine art for sale, including limited addition prints and commission pieces.