Christine Mistretta Dupuis always enjoyed plein air painting, but in an effort to enjoy it even more the Riverhead artist launched a group five years ago so painters didn’t have to go it alone.
Island East Plein Air Painters is a group of local artists who get together to paint local scenes.
Dupuis said she likes painting with other artists for the “joy of it.”
“It’s fun gleaning from each other and inspiring each other,” she said, adding that they usually meet at a different location each with the property owner’s permission.
Just about every Monday she announces the “paint out” location on the group’s Facebook page. Most weeks the group gets a handful of artists to show up.
This week they went to fourth generation potato farmer Martin Sidor’s land on Oregon Road in Mattituck, where he has a large collection of old potato trucks, everyday trucks, tractors and farm equipment on the north side of the road across from his barns and farmhouse.
Supuis said Sidor even moved a few of the trucks so she and the other painters could get a better view.
Carol Sidor, Martin’s wife, said the trucks have always been a special attraction for photographers and artists. Brides and grooms even stop there for wedding day pictures.
Frances Sherman of Quogue and Janine Harrigan of Cutchogue joined Dupuis for this week’s session.
Shermans said she carves out the time to paint outdoors to get away from life’s distractions.
“You can’t get better (at painting) unless you actually do it,” she said.
Added Harrigan: “I just love the North Fork and I have such a feeling for it I just want to put it on a canvas to share with other people.”
Dupuis is a mostly self-taught artist who does take classes at different art guilds on Long Island and at the former L.I. Academy of Arts in Riverhead.
“I loved to paint and draw as a child,” she said. “I was a quiet little girl who loved being by myself, drawing and reading.”
She that while plein air painting had died out at a point in time it is “back big time.”
“There are plein air invitationals all over the country,” she said. “Color is so much better outdoors than when you are in the studio. In real life there are colors in the shadows, it is not just black.”