A breath of fresh air

A landscape artist is hopeful others will join her outdoors painting scenes around Whidbey Island.

As the weather finally begins to warm up, a landscape artist is hopeful it might entice others to join her outdoors painting her favorite scenes around Whidbey Island.

Freeland resident Kathy Lull is offering painting classes “en plein air” at a variety of locations this summer. Bringing your own art supplies and either an easel or a comfy chair is a must, but nature will provide the rest.

“This is traditionally how the Impressionists painted. They would go outside and paint the light,” Lull said. “That’s why I wanted to get outside, get out of the studio. I’ve spent all winter in my studio.”

On a recent slightly overcast day, Lull painted the gardens of blooming flowers and buzzing bees around Greenbank Farm. Her next two classes, both 1-4 p.m. on Wednesdays, will take place at Meerkerk Gardens and the Greenbank Private Garden. She is determined to work her way up north and lead classes all around the island.

At the beginning of the three-hour timeframe of each class, she demonstrates in either oil, acrylic, pastel or watercolor. Students are free to use the remaining time to create a landscape painting. Themes of the class focus on basic composition, value and color theory principles that apply to any medium.

Class sizes are limited to two to four students. Any skill level or medium is welcome. Cost is $25 per person per class.

Clinton resident Bonnie Bradley had been looking for a way to get back into art when she saw Lull’s ad on the Drewslist.

“That’s one of the big reasons I took the class, is because I need something to get me going. I can’t get started on my own. Maybe with more practice, then I’ll feel more comfortable setting up a still life and going for it,” said Bradley, who referred to herself as “an advanced beginner.”

Lull said she enjoys teaching at all levels. One of the goals of the class is to explore new public access areas of Whidbey.

“I’ve been here eight years and I’ve already found new places on the South End,” she said.

She often likes to spend some time wandering around a location before picking a scene to paint. Sometimes she’ll swap out a dull background for more interesting features, such as mountains or trees. The shifting of light over a three-hour time period can be a challenge.

“There’s really no other way to get the feeling of the weather and the sun, just the smells and everything,” she said of outdoor painting.

To view the class schedule and to sign up, visit eventbrite.com/o/kathy-lull-46056231553. Lull can also be found selling her art at the Bayview Farmers Market at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information about Lull, visit kathylullart.com.

Photo by David Welton
The beginnings of Kathy Lull’s landscape painting in the gardens at the Greenbank Farm.

Photo by David Welton The beginnings of Kathy Lull’s landscape painting in the gardens at the Greenbank Farm.