Santa Paula Times

BCL: Santa Paulans in for art treat, reception for Orr’s Plein Air students

November 09, 2005
Santa Paula News

Santa Paulans are in for an art treat with the 25 plein air students of Professor Dorothy Orr, now on exhibit at Blanchard Community Library.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesSanta Paulans are in for an art treat with the 25 plein air students of Professor Dorothy Orr, now on exhibit at Blanchard Community Library. Art lovers and those who favor watercolors will have a chance to see the exhibit and meet the artists as well as Santa Paula resident Orr at the display’s opening reception to be held Wednesday, November 9 from 5 to 7 p.m.Santa Paula-based artist Chris Lemon has been a student of Orr’s for years through the Ventura County Community College program where Orr teaches several classes, including “our plein air class all day on Fridays. Dorothy has beginners and people like myself, as well as others who have been with her for four semesters or more.”Lemon said that about 30 artworks of Orr and her students are exhibited in the BCL show. “Dorothy is fantastic, a full professor of fine arts in her 21st year of teaching. She has a wonderful rapport with both beginners and with that have had some or even much experience.... She draws the best out of them.”Orr also has a knack for critique, an often-difficult aspect of art instruction. “Dorothy’s critiques are exhaustive, so helpful, and she bends over backwards for her students,” sharing her “fabulous expertise.... Her students really appreciate how well she communicates.”The BCL exhibit is the second time that Orr’s students - as well as the work of the professor herself - have been showcased.
Orr finds the outdoors the best place to teach plein air. “Working from real life study and experience... we can tell the viewer how it felt to be in a specific location at a certain time.”Plein air means painting in the open air, challenging artists to concentrate all their senses - from sight to sound to atmosphere to temperature to even slight breezes - on the subject before them to create their work. When a work of plein air art draws the viewer into the scene so deeply that they feel that they are actually looking at the subject, the artist has achieved creation success.Orr has been extensively exhibited in juried and invitational groups, as well as through solo shows, and her paintings are in public and private collections throughout North America. Her works are featured in numerous galleries, and she has won many top art prizes.Orr’s works have also been featured in Architectural Digest, Art Week, Los Angeles magazine and the Calendar section of the Los Angeles Times, among others. Her talents are also notable in a very practical sense: “She hangs the show,” noted Lemon.Blanchard Community Library, located at 119 N. 8th St., is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The library is closed Friday.The exhibit will be featured at the library through December 29.