2019 Arts en Plein Air Painting Festival

Details about the 2020 Quinte en Plein Air Festival can be found here.


Plein air painting, or the art of painting “in the open air,” avails artists the freedom to work in and with nature, capturing changing light, textures and colours on canvas.

The 2019 Arts En Plein Air Festival is a four-day event where artists will leave their studios behind to paint and showcase their work outdoors. Artists will have the opportunity to capture the beautiful images of historic downtown Belleville, the shores of the Bay of Quinte, the famous ‘Old East Hill,’ the Moira River, and numerous other painting locations in the Quinte region. (Online photo gallery available here.  Live and interactive online map available here.)

This event is a juried and judged competition that is open to artists working in various mediums such as: watercolour, acrylic, soft pastel and oil. We would like to invite you to join us on this special weekend and participate in our unique one-of-a kind-event, celebrating art en plein air!

At registration, artists will receive a participant package and additional area information.

The Festival runs from May 23 to 26, 2019. Artist check-in opens on Thursday, May 23 at 9:30 am at the J.M. Parrott Gallery in Belleville, Ontario, and registered canvases must be submitted for judging by Saturday, May 25 at 5:00 pm. Awards will be announced during a closing ceremony on Sunday, May 26. Please join us at the J.M. Parrott Gallery from 1:30 pm to 3:30.

There will be an Artists’ Reception at Dinkel’s Restaurant (44 Bridge St. E., Belleville, Ont.) on Friday May 24, 2019 from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm.

The Plein Air Exhibit will run at the J.M. Parrott Art Gallery from May 26 to June 6.  All paintings will hang for the duration of the exhibit unless prior arrangements have been made with the curator.

Registration information (online form or downloadable PDF) is available here.
Complete festival Rules and Regulations available here.


Prize for the 2019 Festival:

First prize: $1,500 Antonio Afable
Second prize: $1,000 Roderik Mayne
Third prize: $750 Hasibush Shaheed
Local Artist: $500 Margarest Simms

Jurors for the 2019 Arts en Plein Air Painting Festival are:
Martha A. Robinson and Bob Pennycook.

Martha Robinson is a painter/illustrator whose practice is primarily in watercolour, but also includes working in oil and oil pastel. Martha has exhibited in both public and private galleries and juried shows with a focus on plein air landscape and painting the animal. She holds a BDes in Illustration from OCAD University. With 30 years’ experience as an illustrator and textile designer working across a broad range of subject matter, which includes botanic motifs and the human figure, she is known for the painterly realistic character of her work. Martha received her MA in Contemporary Art history (CADN) from OCAD University, and is currently a doctoral candidate in Art History at Concordia University researching questions of the representation of animals and extinction. Learn more at martharobinson.ca.

Bob Pennycook is a Tweed, Ont.-based contemporary landscape artist. He works mostly with acrylic on canvas, though oil painting and printmaking are also part of his painting practice. Bob is inspired by the landscape that surrounds him. His art is an expressive interpretation of the shapes, colors, textures, rhythm and patterns of that landscape. Using a personal approach to color, he build layers of patterns through soaking, scraping, wiping and direct painting techniques.  Colour provides the emotional impact; the techniques complete the story. Learn more at bobpennycook.com/



Inviting all art lovers! An invitation to participate:

The Quinte Arts Council is excited to host our upcoming weekend of painting and creating en plein air.

But we need your help!

During the festival we need volunteers to:

  • greet the artists, help them to register and provide information. (Shifts start at 9:30 am on Thursday May 23 until Saturday May 25 at 11:00 am)
  • visit artists while they are painting to facilitate with snack & bathroom breaks
  • Receive finished canvases for judging at the Parrott Gallery. (Deadline to submit is May 25 by 5:00pm)

Your help, big or small, will help us to celebrate arts en plein air and make Belleville a welcoming place to cultivate creativity!

You can register online at: http://quinteartscouncil.org/arts_en_plein_air_volunteer_2019/

Or email: communications@quinteartscouncil.org or call 613.962.1232