Artist who finds inspiration outdoors featured in national magazine

Published: Dec. 4, 2020 at 8:32 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - On a cold and gray morning, Hale Trotter set up his easel indoors to show us how he works when he’s outside.

“The ‘plein air’ term means painting outdoors, or on location,” Trotter told WDBJ7. “And it’s really a great way to capture the scene.”

Trotter is a North Carolina artist with ties to western Virginia.

He lives in Charlotte, but a family farm in Alleghany County provides many of the outdoor scenes he captures on canvas.

“Painting in the studio can be great,” Trotter said, “but when you’re outdoors and you’re actively doing something there’s an inspiration that comes with it.”

His work is available in Roanoke at LinDor Arts, and in Hot Springs at the McGraw Gallery. And the painting that won Best in Show at the Plein Air Roanoke Festival in 2018 is now featured in the January edition of PleinAir Magazine.

“It’s absolutely wonderful. We’re so excited,” said Roanoke artist Margaret Sue Turner Wright.

For Turner Wright seeing Trotter’s work in a national magazine is validation of the Plein Air movement she says is growing here in western Virginia.

“We have so many beautiful spots around here to paint,” Turner Wright said. “It’s great, very easy and accessible, including the Blue Ridge Parkway.”

The Plein Air Roanoke Festival was canceled this year, because of COVID-19, but Turner Wright and Trotter say they’re looking forward to its return in late May.

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