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!

The weather’s getting better; things are beginning to open up, and it’s time to begin to think about plein air painting!  We’re putting our 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.

Our Pastel Society is planning an active Plein Air Calendar for 2020. Here is the beginning. 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

We will have more events in July and August as more and more parks open up to visitors, including Ridley Creek State Park, the Willows, Valley Forge, and the Audubon Center.   We are also considering the state parks such as Fort Washington, Ralph Stover, and Green Lane State Parks.  But we 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