Maine to Telluride, Colorado. Artist in the Alley

Maine to Telluride, Colorado. Artist in the Alley

Telluride Plein Air Painting. Colorado.
Telluride Plein Air Painting. Colorado.

Maine to Telluride, Colorado. Artist in the Alley. American Painter, Erin McGee Ferrell, Urban Architectural Oils. Sheridan Opera.

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Maine to Telluride, Colorado. Artist in the Alley

All Paintings 18 x 24 inches. Oil on Hand Stretched Canvas and Framed

Telluride Artist
Telluride Artist

“My experience being selected and participating in the 2015 Telluride Plein Air Event was phenomenal. Not only did I created a body of strong paintings in 3 days but was able to really get to know the town. Such a fun collaboration of artist’s and Sheridan Opera House Staff!”

Work from the event can be purchased through the Sheridan Opera House.

Telluride Plein Air Painting 2015

Two Hour Quick Draw Competition. Erin McGee Ferrell’s painting was recognized but judges in second place.

Erin McGee Ferrell. Telluride Plein Air Painting. Colorado.
Erin McGee Ferrell. Telluride Plein Air Painting. Colorado.

Sheridan Arts Foundation’s Telluride Plein Air 2015

Old idea. New blood.


Eugene Boudin was one of the more adventurous 19th-century painters, known primarily for his beach scenes and seascapes of northern France and luminous skies. One of Boudin’s students was a young painter named Claude Monet, whom Boudin taught the importance of painting a scene directly from nature in the light, in the air, just as it was. In the stroke of Monet’s brush, painting en plein air was born. Out went the dark palette of Realism and the Barbizon School. Here comes the sun. (Go ahead, sing it.)

When they first came on the scene back in 1874, however, artists who ultimately became brand names – Monet, Manet, Renoir, Bonnard and Degas – were considered rebels. Defying the traditions of the official Salon de Paris, they moved their studios outdoors into the open air – en plein air – to facilitate direct observation of nature.


They originally called themselves “Societe Anonyme,” but a critic hatched what he believed to be a derisive handle based on the title of one of Monet’s paintings in the new fraternity’s first group show: “Impression: Sunrise.”

The Impressionists as the new painters came to be known chose to use landscapes and scenes from everyday life as covers for their true subjects, color and light, defying a trend popular throughout the 19th century (and with the Salon de Paris) to paint historical or literary subjects.


America’s love affair with Impression began when a popular French dealer mounted the first professional show of Impressionist images at the American Art Association’s galleries in New York in 1896.

This coming week, starting Sunday, June 29 – Saturday July 5, 31 nationally recognized American plein air artists pick up where the old guard left off, painting in and around Telluride, recording their responses to our mountains and meadows, highways and byways, historic buildings, street scenes, and people for the Sheridan Arts Foundation‘s 12th annual Telluride Plein Air event.


The fruits of their labors – images of flower-filled meadows, purple mountain majesties, colorful town scenes –  go on display Friday, July 3, Saturday, July 4, and Sunday, July 5, at the Sheridan Arts Foundation’s exhibition and sale. Artists typically paint 10 to 20 pieces, which means 300 works to view and purchase over the course of the sale. (Rules are artists can display only eight-10 pieces at one time.)

Plein Air artists are selected through a juried process in which applicants submit images and a biography to be reviewed by a panel of artists, gallery owners, and educators. The top sellers from the 2014 event were also invited back to participate in the 2015 Telluride Plein Air. The top five sellers from last year, in no particular order were: Rita Pacheco, Nancy MacDonald, Douglas Morgan, Wayne McKenzie, and Kirsten Anderson. Susiehyer, the 2014 Artist Choice Winner, was also invited back as the SAF’s special guest artist.


The Sheridan Arts Foundation created Telluride Plein Air a dozen years ago to benefit community programming and restoration at the historic Sheridan Opera House.

The Sheridan Opera House has provided quality entertainment to Telluride for the past 102 years.


All artwork profits will be split with 40 percent benefiting the Sheridan Arts Foundation’s community programming and 60 percent retained by the artists.

Susan Viebrock

Susan is Telluride Inside… and Out’s founder and editor-in-chief, the visionary on the team, in charge of content, concept and development. For 19+ years, Susan has covered Telluride’s cultural economy, which includes non-profits and special events. Much of her writing features high-profile individuals in the arts, entertainment, business, and politics. She is a former Citibank executive specializing in strategic planning and new business development, and a certified Viniyoga instructor.
Telluride Back Alley
Telluride Back Alley
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Erin McGee Ferrell

Erin McGee Ferrell studied oil painting at Mount Holyoke College, Pennsylvania Academy of Art, University of the Arts Philadelphia, and The University of Louisville, KY. Collectors include TD Ameritrade, AtlantiCare New Jersey, Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, INC. Philadelphia, The Episcopal Diocese of Boston, the CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, professional hockey player Kimmo Timonen, and America’s Cup Winner- Robert James Gale.