Local Color

Plein Air Painter Getting Ready for LBIF September Show

Aug 09, 2017
Photo by: Curt Travers Laurie Meher from Basking Ridge is painting plein air under the Causeway Bridge in preparation for the ‘Island Life Plein Air Exhibition’ at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences in September.

Between now and the end of August, expect to see more than a few artists setting up their easels at some of the more picturesque parts of Long Beach Island. This is in preparation for the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences’ “Island Life: Plein Air Plus” exhibit beginning Sept. 8 through Oct. 27, with a reception on Sept. 24. The exhibit closes the LBIF’s “Summer of Plein Air’”events, which have included instruction on painting in the sun and wind and in front of the public.

On Saturday, Aug. 5, Laurie Meher of Basking Ridge was at the foot of the Causeway Bridge in Ship Bottom, trying to capture in oils the structure and shadows of the bridge as it rose out of the shimmering water. She is one of the 35 artists chosen this year to be in the exhibit.

“I saw the Foundation’s plein air exhibit last year and hoped I would get in this year – and I did,” said Meher from her home in North Jersey. Meher has been to LBI six or seven times this summer, staying at the Surf City home of her friends Fred and Maria Rica. “If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have been able to do this,” she said. “It’s difficult transporting the wet canvas or paper (she also works in watercolors), and I’m limited to smaller paintings.”

The artists each select four of their paintings done on site and finished in the studio for the exhibition. “I also did a watercolor of Viking Village,” she said.

Meher is a full time occupational therapist, but painting is more than just a hobby. She has her master’s in art from Marywood University and said, “I’ve been painting forever. My earliest childhood memory is of me drawing.”

The Causeway Bridge was a “real challenge” said Meher. “That was my first attempt at a bridge, but I loved that day. A barge floated by with construction workers. I really got to soak up the atmosphere.”

— Pat Johnson


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