Plein Air Painting: Where the Wild Things Truly Reside

This summer, Los Gatos Plein Air 2014 in its sixth year presented a wonderful art show with the interpretations of the beauty of Los Gatos, California, and the surrounding areas. As part of the Student Apprentice Program, one of our talented teens, Arya Natarajan, was selected getting the chance to work with artist and teacher, Timonthy Tien.

Arya shares her experience and excitement for her very first art showing!

Art is my passion.

It’s one of the things I really love to learn about and spend practically fifty billion hours a day sketching and drawing (no, seriously, just ask my mom). I love making up characters; designing them, writing their stories, creating full-out comics with them. I love designing shirts, posters, bags, stickers, you name it. I love to get my thoughts out onto paper, and I strongly believe that drawing is a great way to do that. So, when I was chosen to be part of an art apprenticeship program in June with the Museum of Los Gatos, I was extremely excited. I had applied a while before nominated by Kids & Art Foundation, and after receiving a note saying I was one of three students chosen to participate, I was ecstatic.

The morning I was scheduled to paint, I was all set with my backpack full of brushes, canvases, paints, and of course, my mom’s old student easel. You see, I wasn't going to paint at a studio; I was going to be shadowing an artist to learn how to paint en plein air.

What is that exactly, you ask? Painting en plein air is basically going outside, setting up the trusty ol’ easel, and working outside itself. The Museum of Los Gatos had a program planned that involved getting student artists to work with masters and create paintings in this style.

I worked with the artist Timothy Tien and we painted at a park near the museum. I was up at what felt like the crack of dawn (In reality, it was only 7:30 am). The light in the morning was absolutely perfect, though it did shift around a lot as the time ticked on.

We were out in the park until about 12:30 pm, which was an hour more than what we had originally planned for (oops). I completed most of one painting while we were there, then finished it off at home. I also worked on another one based off a picture I had taken at the park.

The entire experience was amazing for me, I was able to learn a lot about something new and I’m very grateful that I had the opportunity to go out and paint with such a fantastic artist. The paintings are being displayed along with paintings by the other student apprentices as well as paintings by professional artists. I’ll definitely be working more with oil paints in the future to sharpen my skills in this style of art. I look forward to learning lots more! If I sell the paintings, I plan to donate the proceeds to Kids & Art Foundation


Thank you Arya for sharing your experience and supporting us!