Weather or Not

Elwha Valley Woods by Roger Morris  

A celebration of plein air
Weather or Not

September 1 - October 29, 2023
Open 12 Noon to 5 PM Thursdays through Mondays
Jeanette Best Gallery
701 Water Street, Port Townsend, Washington

“Plein air painting carries a refreshing freedom. You are in the moment. Everything you know comes rushing up and out through your fingers. There's nothing quite like it,” painter Anni Leedy says. She’s one of the 26 artists whose work appears in Weather or Not, an exhibition celebrating art en plein air.

The Weather or Not name comes from a group of local painters who went out into the elements to do their thing. Kathy Francis (1942-2020) of Port Townsend started it all, gathering artist friends to paint together and encourage one another. The group had no rules and no dues. The artists painted in bright sun, took shelter under eaves when it rained, and revelled in the joy and challenge of it all. The Weather or Not exhibition is a tribute to Francis and to the art form.

"The show is so alive. That hits you when you walk in the door," said juror Catherine Gill of Seattle. She selected the artworks from 175 entries.

Gill also picked the exhibition's first four award winners. Her Juror's Choice prize went to "Cherry Blossoms at UW" by David Smith of Seattle, while three merit awards were presented to "Dosewallips High Tide" by Anne Pfeiffer of Port Angeles, "Snowy Headland - Dusk" by Brian Mathieu of Langley, and "Fog Lift over Ebey Prairie" by Kent artist Susan Payne.

Then there's People's Choice Award balloting, which continues through Oct. 29; visitors are urged to vote for their favorites.

Weather or Not takes the viewer all over the Pacific Northwest, with paintings that capture many of its most beautiful places — Lake Crescent, La Push, Whatcom Falls, Ruby Beach — in all four seasons of the year. Flowers bloom, lakes reflect the sky, snow decorates the forest. All of it is suffused with natural light.

Kathy Francis loved to get out there. Her husband Bob recalled the days when she was the driving force, going out with the Weather or Not painters in their Volkswagen camper van.

“She would load it up with people, and off they’d go, everything flapping in the breeze. It was pretty wild,” he said. He remembers well his wife’s zest for art and life.

“Her paintings were pretty joyous,” he said. “She was a very joyous person.”


Coming Soon

Small Expressions

Our annual holiday show: call to artists open now

November 4 - December 31, 2023

Jeanette Best Gallery, 701 Water Street, Port Townsend


Now in its 22nd year, Small Expressions is a juried exhibit in to all media — from etchings to jewelry, fiber art to watercolors. Each piece is under 16 inches in any direction, including frame and mount. This show, designed to encourage art buying during the holiday season, is open to local artists: Jefferson, Clallam, Kitsap, Mason and Island counties.

For information about the Small Expressions call to artists -- which has a deadline of October 27 -- visit the entry page.