Compete en plein air with Opus art store

Langley art supplies store participating in a company-wide outdoor painting contest on April 21

Whether it’s a picturesque park or a bustling street scene, local artists are invited to take a seat in the great outdoors next weekend and paint whatever they see.

Opus art supplies will host their first Outdoor Painting Challenge on Saturday, April 21. Although they have participated in other community events in years past, this is the first time in the Langley store’s 15 year history, that it has hosted its own contest.

Every Opus store from Victoria to Kelowna and around the Lower Mainland will participate that day, encouraging local artists to get outside and paint.

It is open to all ages — both professional and amateur artists — however, everyone who participates will compete on the same level for prizes.

Each Opus store will award prizes to three works, chosen on site by an impartial jury.

The top prize in each location is a $500 Opus gift card, with second and third prizes being $250 and $100 gift cards, respectively.

April weather can be unpredictable in B.C., but the event will go, rain or shine, said Chakara Brown, manager of the Langley Opus store.

“If somebody is into plein air, they will paint in all weather,” she noted.

Working outdoors from life — as opposed to from a photograph — can change the entire feel of painting, explained Brown.

Light quality, weather — and the changing nature of both — can profoundly affect an artist’s choices and techniques.

Canvases and paper will be provided — depending on what medium each artist is working in —  but  everyone is expected to supply any other materials they require, from paints to brushes and easels.

Participants will set up around Langley, but there will be restrictions in how far afield they can go.

Once she has a better idea of how many people are participating, Brown said she will be able to designate a contest perimeter.

Artists will be asked to sign in by 10 a.m. and return to the store with their finished work no later than 3 p.m. Winners will be announced at 5 p.m.

Anyone who is interested in participating in this free event is asked to call or stop by the store at #95  5501 204 St. in the Langley Mall to register.

Visit the Opus website for more information about the contest. There is also a short video online featuring a demonstration and discussion about plein air technique.