Artists inspired by local sites


This summer and fall local plein air artists from Ogle, Winnebago and Lee counties came together weekly to paint.  

They found much to inspire them as they visited several local sites. This year, plein air (outdoor) painting became even more desirable. Artists moved way from indoor group sessions in favor of the out-of-doors, in order to avoid the concerns surrounding the covid pandemic.

They visited the Nachusa Grasslands (Franklin Grove), the Jarrett Prairie Preserve (Byron), Castle Rock State Park, Fairgrounds Park (Oregon) as well as local farms, historic sites, private homes and garden centers.

This past week 12 artists met at Equestrian Pointe, off North River Road in Oregon, to paint and photograph the colors of autumn at Terry and Bev Olson’s flower and vegetable gardens.  It was a wonderful time for artists to capture the very unique garden setting, which also includes many sculptural elements created by Terry Olson. Many locals may know Bev Olson from her regular participation in weekly Farmer’s Markets in Bryon and Oregon.

These outdoor art sessions were organized by members of the Rock River Valley Painters Guild, Eagle’s Nest Art Group, and artists from The Next Picture Show gallery in Dixon.

For more information about the Rock River Valley Painters Guild or to join the Plein Air group, call (815) 652-3508 or email To learn more about the Eagle’s Nest Art Group, call (815) 732-7783. To see the wide variety of art offerings at The Next Picture Show, visit their website