Salmagundi Paint Outs, Iowa

                  In Des Moines you may see an outdoor painter almost anywhere, from one of our local parks to a downtown street. Solitary artists and groups too
                  spend time sketching and painting outdoors and they seem to have always been here. One local band of artists has been painting outdoors weekly
                  for seven decades. Some favor oil paint, some use watercolors or other materials, but plein air painters are becoming even more common in Iowa. 
                  Local Salmagundi member Gary Hoff is one advocate for painting outdoors. “Painting plein air requires intense concentration, sure observation,
                  and a quick hand,” he says. The Salmagundi was the start of an annual event, a Salmagundi Great Paint Out, recognizing the trend to plein air 
                  work. Our first Paint Out was held and promoted in conjunction with Mainframe Studios, a local studio entity, the Polk County Conservation 
                  Board, and The Blok (purveyors of quality art materials). With an eye to convenience and wide participation, the event was held on three consecutive
                  evenings during the golden hours before sunset. Three separate locales provided a wealth of subject matter for the two dozen or so participants,
                  who responded with a fine body of work. The Paint Out finale was an exhibition of works by participants hosted at Mainframe Studios.  

                 Dianna Liepa paints the covered bridge at the Great Paint Out

                 Featured sites included the Des Moines River and a huge skate park
                 nearby plus two large city lakes and their surrounding parks. Featured
                 in one park is an old covered bridge,  one of Iowa’s signature items.
                 Participants had an opportunity to meet, form new friendships, and
                 spend time acquiring new insight and honing skills.

                 Because no skill level was specified, some who participated had
                 little painting experience, some were committed amateurs and
                 others were professional painters. Mainframe Studios is planning
                 another this fall.