Plein Air

Upcoming PleinAir

The 2018 schedule will updated soon.

Lake County Plein Air Group 2018 Schedule

January was lost negotiating a winter plein air at Union Station, but to no avail. That out of the way, the whole year was
scheduled for the following twelve Saturdays in nine months. Some dates may change as the year progresses.


February 10 – Art league member Thom Kapheim opened a Waukegan studio with warm brick interiors in a Waukegan
building half a block from where Washington St. ends at the 40-foot bluff overlooking the lake. We can paint interior
views, views from the front windows, and in nice weather we paint broad views of the lakefront from the bluff. You will
receive a detailed notice of this session shortly.

March 3 – We will once again paint classic cars at the Volo Auto Museum. There are also interesting old utility vehicles and, well, there’s the Batmobile.

March 31 – We will return to downtown Lake Forest. It may be a little early to catch some trees blooming, but that may happen if this winter stays mild. There are lots of warm places for a cup of coffee if you get cold. It’s also an opportunity to hone your urbanscape skills for the April 28 plein air in Schaumberg.

April 28 – The Village of Schaumburg is holding their annual plein air competition from April 27 to May 11. Try your hand at painting there, and maybe enter the fray. Art must be done within Schaumberg village limits, so downtown may not be the most imaginative choice. Published competition details and some personal insights will be sent soon.

May 12 or 19 – We will have our usual guided wildflower tour at one of these dates and a location to be determined.

June 2 – We always include Waukegan’s annual Ray Bradbury Dandelion Wine Fine Art Festival on our schedule. There’s lot of color, shapes and energy a the festival, and many of our artists will be there to show their art.

June 23 – St Mary of the Lake, an old seminary in Mundelein, has long been a favorite plein air location. Ornate old buildings, a classical barge landing on a wooded lake, and twisted old pine trees that stand in contrast to the formal setting all make for fun composition.

July 14 – Gurnee Hunt Club in Mill Creek was designed by the famed Chicago architect Davie Adler, so it’s utilitarian buildings have a lot of class. It’s a great place to photograph, draw and paint, especially if you wander to the kennel in the woods for a little canine chaos.

August 4 – This will be our third regional plein air gathering at the Fox River Forest Preserve in Port Barrington. It’s as much a social gathering as a good time and place to paint. The idea is to visit with artists from several counties, and we’ve reserved the large shelter there for conversation, lunch and maybe a beer or two. We will start the drumbeat on this soon.

August 25 – The annual Potawatomi Trails Pow Wow at Shiloh Park in Zion has been recommended separately by watercolorist Tom Smith and art league photographer Aki Albakri, so this year we will check it out.

September 15 – Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve in Lake Forest and Highwood has always been a favorite place for early fall color. The color probably won’t be in the trees that early, it will be in the grasses and shrubs, and it will be worthy of your focus. There are also restored old military barracks and officer’s homes.

October 20 – Art league member Vivian Morrison has a former horse, sheep and mink ranch near Mill Creek, just a mile south of the Wisconsin border. There is plenty to photograph, paint and draw, plenty of parking space in the mowed paddock, and Vivian is a gracious hostess. We were here for fall color in 2016 and 2017 and she has agreed to make this an annual celebration to close out our plein air calendar years.

November and December are set aside for the holidays, but artists are encouraged to continue to chase fall color, even stubborn scraps of it, any time there is a sunny and warm day. There is a poetry in those last colorful leaves on a bare branch.

This year’s schedule is dedicated to Libertyville’s Jamaican Gardens nursery. The proprietors were kind to the plein air group when it started in 2006, and were our first haven in winter. The group went there again a couple of years later, but after that the business seemed to fail. It was demolished last year and the property is now a senior living community surrounded by the Old School Forest Preserve.