Painting demo, competition returns to library

Mike Easterling

FARMINGTON — When the Farmington Public Library introduced its “Plein Air Celebrates Fall Colors” event last year, there was just one notable issue — the event was held in early October, and there weren’t many fall colors for the participating painters to capture.

Kathy Walling completes a landscape painting outside the Farmington Public Library during the 2015 "Plein Air Celebrates Fall Colors" event.

That won’t be the case when the event returns this year. The painting demonstration, exhibition and competition takes place Saturday, Oct. 22 at the library — two weeks later than last year — and there is no shortage of autumnal foliage to spark the participants' imagination.

The event is open to all painters, who must supply their own materials, said Flo Trujillo, the youth services coordinator and a member of the library’s Make.Do team. She said nine painters took part last year, and organizers are hoping for even more this year.

Artists are invited to stake out a location on the library lawn and craft a scene of their own choosing. Trujillo said most of last year’s participants chose to focus on the library’s striking architecture to a large extent, but almost every scene also included the landscape.

“What’s interesting is, we have a lot of people, depending on the weather, … who stop on their way in to the library to see what the painters are doing,” she said, explaining that some artists were set up by the waterfall while others were camped out under the cottonwood trees.

Artist Fran Mayfield puts the finishing touches on her painting during last year's "Plein Air Celebrates Fall Colors" event at the Farmington Public Library.

So there was a good deal of interaction between artists and library patrons last year, something Trujillo regards as one of the best aspects of the event and something she hopes to see repeated this year.

“Definitely, it’s a one-on-one (situation),” she said.

Artists are expected to be finished with their work by noon, at which time the rapidly drying works will be moved inside. Members of the library staff and library patrons will have the chance to examine the pieces and vote for their favorites, and then an awards ceremony will be held where the winners are announced in people’s choice and staff choice categories. Winners will receive a $100 gift card.

The works featured in the show also will be for sale, and Trujillo noted that five of the pieces produced for last year’s event were purchased — one of them by her.

Julane Jensen, one of the participants in last year's "Plein Air Celebrates Fall Colors" event at the Farmington Public Library, sets up her easel on the library's lawn.

The works created for the event will remain on display at the library through Oct. 29.

Mike Easterling is the A&E editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4610.

If you go

What: “Plein Air Celebrates Fall Colors” exhibition and competition

When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22

Where: The Farmington Public Library, 2101 Farmington Ave.

For more information: Visit or call 505-599-1270