Plein Air

Barns!  Trees!  Rocks!  Ponds and streams!  
Maybe some cows in the background!
Or big soft puffy clouds overhead!  
All the things that turn pastel painters on!

 Our Plein Air Committee has put this 2020 summer plein air schedule together, always mindful, of course, of sites that allow for social distancing and appropriate precautions for us to safe and healthy.
It’s an active Plein Air Calendar for 2020. Please join us.

Wednesday, June 17th.  Mike Kerr’s Farm,  Coatesville. 9:30.  Mike lives on a 90 plus acre farm with a stone house begun in the 1770s, a bright red barn, a waterfall feature in the backyard, a springhouse and pond, and vistas of the newly planted fields.  There’s plenty of room to paint more than 6 feet away from others and ample parking.  Bathroom available (with mask and gloves). For more information contact Pat Riley at  Rain date: June 18

Wednesday, June 24th. Skunk Hollow Park, 600 Darby Paoli Road, Villanova, PA 19085.  9:30. The land is located between the Willows and Saw Mill Park along Darby-Paoli Road.  Darby Creek runs along the park, and the cows from Androssan can be seen in the distance.  There is limited parking, but no bathrooms.  For more information, email Kathy Apfelbaum at  Rain date: June 25.

Wednesday, July 8th, Stoneleigh: A Natural Garden, 1829 County Line Road, Villanova PA (near the Villanova University campus) With soaring trees, expansive vistas, and dynamic displays of native plants, Stoneleigh honors the natural world.  Once a family home, now a public garden, Stoneleigh celebrates the beauty of native plants and the importance of biodiversity.  There are many new plantings this year and the pergola is covered with new blooms.  There are lots of big old trees for shade, although the carnivorous  plants prefer full sun.  At the minute they have a limit of 10 people in a group.  The first 10 people who contact Pat Riley— — will be able to come to this event.  If there’s a big demand we can schedule an additional date.

Wednesday, July 22nd, Willowbrook Farm, 1750 North Valley Road, Malvern, PA 19355 9:30 Willowbrook Farm is an idyllic setting for plein air with a beautiful old stone house and barn, a hen house, a stone spring house, a lovely pond with an island in the middle and sometimes  geese swimming in it.  Behind the pond are quiet woods and a rushing stream. The fields in front occasionally have horses grazing and often there are goats on the premises. We’ve been invited to paint for the morning.  Bathroom available.  Contact Pat Riley at for more information.+ Google Calendar

August 20, Thursday: 9:30Valley Forge Park. We’ll meet in the parking lot of the Washington Memorial Chapel on Route 23, where there are great vistas, woods and the chapel itself. Limited restrooms are located near the Visitor’s Center as you enter the park on Route 23.

September 3, Thursday: 9:30Linvilla Orchards. 137 W. Knowlton Rd. Media, PA 19063. In addition to apple and peach trees, this pick-your-own orchard has other fruits and vegetables as well as animals. We’ll meet in the parking lot. Masks are a must.

September 17, Thursday: 11:00 to 3:00 (zoo closing time.) Elmwood Park Zoo. 1661 Harding Blvd. Norristown Pa 19401. Note the time change for this excursion. Giraffes, zebras, birds, reptiles, all sorts of animals for our painting pleasure! Again, masks and social distancing are essential. I have 6 timed tickets at the zoo’s special sale price of $10.25 (includes a small service charge) for the first 6 people who contact me at and claim them. If you have a zoo membership, you can use that to get in, and if I’ve sold out, you can call the zoo or go online and buy tickets directly. (But check with me first, so I’m not stuck with unused tickets!)

September 30, Wednesday: 9:30. Mike Kerr’s Farm, Coatesville. (Rain date, Oct.1)We started our plein air season in late spring at Mike’s farm, and we’ll go back in the early fall to see a different landscape with the seasons’ changes. Contact me — — for Mike’s address.

Plein Air End-of-Season Gathering Saturday, October 17: 1:00 to 3:00. (Rain date, Sunday Oct.18) We’re planning an end-of-the-season, outdoor, socially-distanced, masked extravaganza to celebrate our exciting plein air year. All who participated in any of the plein airs are invited to share and show your work. It doesn’t need to be framed and can have been finished in your studio. We’re still in the process of securing an open-air pavilion where we’ll have the space to look at paintings while still maintaining social distance with (what else?) masks (how elegant, creative, original is your mask?). We’re also planning some people’s choice awards and musical entertainment. More details to follow, but save the date!

We still need some of you who live up in Montgomery County or Bucks County and are more familiar with these places to help out by coordinating a plein air near you.  It involves almost NO work, just a willingness to paint somewhere fun.  Please contact Pat Riley at or Kathy Apfelbaum at