Friends of Scotchman Peaks third Annual Plein Air Paint-Out scheduled for September 24-26.

For the third September in a row, painters from around the Northwest will converge on North Idaho and Western Montana for a unique opportunity to capture on canvas the proposed Scotchman Peaks Wilderness . . . from inside and out. “Plein air” is a French term meaning, “open air,” and plein air paintings are produced in a short time, generally, in the out of doors. This creates interesting challenges and complications for the painters, but also renders some beautiful and unique works of art.

The paintings will then be displayed at Kally Thurman’s Outskirts Gallery in Hope on the last day of the event. In addition to the “pictures du jour” produced by the Paint Out, paintings captured during the second annual “Extreme Plein Air,” a five-day, four-night pack-and-paint affair held in July will also be hung at the gallery..

Extreme Plein Air painters Jared Shear (L) and Aaron Johnson painting in the wild of the proposed wilderness.

Extreme Plein Air painters Jared Shear (L) and
Aaron Johnson painting in the wild of the proposed wilderness.

The Scotchman Peaks Plein Air Paint Out begins Friday night, September 24, with an opportunity for the artists to get acquainted or reacquainted, an artist’s reception hosted by Thurman. Some of the artists will also be housed at the Outskirts, where “camping space” will be provided on the gallery floor.

Saturday, the 25th is Paint Out Day, as the artists will take their tools and tubes and tripods and head out for a view of the western Cabinet Mountains, the Scotchman Peaks. Painters will work from many different vantage points in Montana and Idaho. They will spread out into the Lightning Creek, Bull River and Clark Fork River valleys, as well as to various viewpoints around Pend Oreille Lake, looking for a fresh perspective, a different angle, a moment of light.

On Sunday, the 26th, Thurman’s gallery, which resides within the Hope Marketplace in East Hope, will be incredibly busy in the morning as painters get the work of the day before ready to hang for a show that begins at 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Judging will be done by both the public and fellow artists between 1 and 2 p.m. A “Best of Show” award will be presented at 3 p.m.

“This annual show is a great way to showcase the Scotchmans,” said FSPW coordinator Sandy Compton. “A good number of people come to see the art, and even better, buy it. Sales benefit the artist, the gallery and the Friends, so it’s a good investment in the community and the art itself.”

Thurman has invited dozens of artists to take part in the Paint Out, but there is room for more. If you are an artist who would like to participate, call 208-264-5696 or write to

If you are an art lover, plan to attend the show at the Outskirts Gallery, 15 miles east of Sandpoint on Highway 200, located in the Hope Marketplace on the 200 Business Route next door to the Hope Post Office and the old Hope School. For more information, write to or

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