Staff Writer

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — If you stumble upon an artist in Ocean Park this week, stop and say hello.

The Ocean Park Association’s second annual Plein Air art festival has attracted 10 artists from across the state and beyond. Plein Air painting taken from the French term “en plein air” ”“ in the open air ”“ is the art of painting outdoors, on location.

The artists have stationed themselves around the seaside community, painting the scenery around them. Talking to the artists is encouraged, as the festival is meant to be a learning opportunity for both the artists and the residents and visitors of Ocean Park.

“The artists see things in a community that its regular inhabitants do not see, or take for granted. The regular inhabitants are welcome to ask the artist what attracted them to a certain site. This way both groups learn from one another,” states an informational brochure about the festival published by The Ocean Park Association.

Artists in the festival began painting at daybreak Wednesday and have until 11 a.m. Friday to complete paintings of the Ocean Park environment.

The festival began Tuesday with a reception for the artists and will end Friday evening after paintings are judged with a Grand Exhibit and Wet Paint sale from 5-7 p.m. at The Temple, 50 Temple Ave. A portion of the proceeds from sales will go to the Ocean Park Association.

Anthony Watkins from the Bangor area had his easel and oil paints set up at the corner of Temple and Seaside Avenues Wednesday painting an image of the Ocean Park Soda Fountain.

“I like the color combinations ”“ the blues, the red, the white,” he said.

Many passerbys walking through the community’s center or to the beach stopped to chat, or just to admire his work.

Watkins, a full-time artist, had never been to Ocean Park before. “I love it,” he said.

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext.325 or [email protected]

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