The McCloud Hotel and Sage Restaurant, in the historic district of McCloud, will be hosting a retrospective showing of area Plein air oil paintings by artist Dorothea Barlett Schoenstein. The exhibit of 20 paintings from 2005 to 2017 will remain indefinitely in the north lobby gallery of the hotel. Visitors are welcome to view the art during open hours of the hotel. An opening reception to meet the artist, with wine and cheese, is planned for November 19, 1-4pm.
A former Livermore resident, she owned the Barlett Fine Arts Gallery in Pleasanton for 18 successful years.
One of the challenges for a ‘Plein air’ artist” is finding a scene compatible for a days’ work in the open air studio of nature. A portable easel, a canvas (secured with a bungee cord), oil paints and brushes are all physically carried to the location. Artist Dorothea Barlett Schoenstein often takes that challenge and ventures to various outdoor vistas to paint. Our area is known for its trails attracting people to the natural beauty and the challenge involved in the climb: but for Dorothea, she’s out painting by a lake, in a field or at the McCloud Lower Falls. She is one of many artists in the country painting in the Plein air French Impressionism manner. “Painting ‘en Plein air’ is not just a representation of the surrounding view; “the challenge in painting from nature is that the artist is faced with the problem of judging between the influence of realism and the power of artistic ingenuity. Nature always challenges” (quoted from Edgar Paine, famous California artist).
Painting Plein air is definitely more of a visual interpretation of a scene influenced by the varying elements of nature. “It is an inspiring experience working outdoors. Swiftly changing natural light creates very real compositional variations which cause prior decisions to be reevaluated constantly, but this is just one of the challenges. The wind can be blowing, the hot sun is often directly on me, and bugs are attracted to the odor of my oil paints. It is an experience!” says Dorothea
Dorothea Barlett Schoenstein is a recognized and collected artist. Actively practicing as an artist for more than 50 years, she holds Art degrees from Penn State University, UC Berkeley, and Doctoral graduate studies in Venice, Italy under New York University. She was an Instructor of Life Drawing, Basic Drawing, Color and Composition, and Art History for Chabot College, Hayward. Dorothea has exhibited extensively, receiving many awards over the years, including one person shows in the United States and in Italy. She has juried and judged numerous shows. Originally known for her work with the female nude and large mixed media abstracts, her recent work has turned toward realism doing ‘Plein air’ landscape oil paintings. She and her husband, Alan Schoenstein, retired to McCloud, CA.
The McCloud ARTS Society (McARTS), Dorothea is the founding director, will have a donation jar available in support of the new visual arts program at the McCloud High School. The McARTS recently donated $2000 toward the program. This donation jar will continue those funds.
Come for the art and stay for a tour of the elegantly restored McCloud Hotel. On the National Register of Historic Places, and prominent in the McCloud Historic District, the massive yet elegant three-story wood frame McCloud Hotel exhibits a refined Colonial Revival architectural style. The spacious lobby beacons one to relax with a glass of wine in front of a roaring fire. With arts & crafts and mission décor, the hotel’s Sage Restaurant is open to the public Wednesday – Sunday evenings 5:30-8pm. The imaginative menu changes with the seasons.
Ms Schoenstein’s work will be on display indefinitely at the McCloud Hotel located at 408 Main St in the historic district of McCloud. For more information contact the artist 530-859-0880; the Hotel 530-964-2822.