Marshall County students take in the scenery for an outdoor painting | News, Sports, Jobs
picture by: Alan Olson
MOUNDSVILLE — Crisp morning air and the misty Appalachian hills provided the backdrop for a Friday morning painting lesson attended by dozens of Marshall County students.
Art students from John Marshall High School, Cameron High School and Middle School, Moundsville Middle School and Sherrard Middle School gathered at Grand Vue Park to participate in the annual Ohio Valley Plein Air Paint Out. Students and adult artists drew inspiration from their surroundings to paint the landscapes, buildings, and everything in their surroundings.
Eric Dye, who is president of the Ohio Valley Plein Air Paint Out and is a retired teacher, reached out to the county school system to get students involved in the outing. The event aligns with national standards for the arts program while providing an opportunity for a new generation of artists to be inspired.
“I want to involve as many young people as possible. A lot of us artists are starting to have white hair – it’s something that since the school of artists in the Hudson River Valley has been a mainstay of American art,” said Dye. “It’s just to encourage them to go out and discover nature, drawing and art at the same time. I’m so glad they got started.
“I think it’s very important for the next generation to continue,” he continued. “It strengthens many schools – observation skills, community skills, hand-eye coordination, color perception, and it keeps them away from (their electronics). There’s a sense of accomplishment that you can’t have on another day.
Dye added that artistic skills can help students who may struggle to connect to their education in other ways. Dye said he had been a “marginal” student until he started getting into his art, which gave him the confidence to succeed in other fields.
“I was, in public school, a very marginal student. It wasn’t until I started doing something with art that I gained confidence and then all my other grades went up and I did better,” Dye said. “They can communicate a lot through what they paint and what they are able to communicate with each other. It’s amazing how two people can stand side by side and see something completely different.
Student Lynndee Bear added that she appreciated the change of scenery.
“You have to go out and look at what you’re actually painting in order to get the details out of it,” Bear said.