NC Plein Artists Paint Out in Rowan County

Published 12:05 am Saturday, August 13, 2016

By Shavonne Walker

SALISBURY — Cherrathee Hager chose a peaceful spot, sat up her easel and began to paint in the cool of the morning. She is one of over 20 artists you likely saw on Friday throughout Rowan County painting. The artists are a part of the annual Plein Air Paint Out event, where artists from around the state paint in the Impressionist tradition of what they see around them.

Organizers chose 18 different sites throughout Rowan County, including the China Grove Roller Mill, Sloan Park/Kerr Mill, the N.C. Transportation Museum, Old Stone House, and Hurley Park, where Hager set up to paint.

She began painting around 11:30 a.m. and planned to stay until the late evening and then change locations. If you’ve seen holiday scenes on local restaurant windows, like Checkered Flag Barbecue on South Main Street, then you’ve seen Hager’s artwork.

She and son Jeff Hager are owners of Twin Oak Development, a local home restoration business.

Last year was Cherrathee’s first year with the event, now in its second year. She met a Plein Air artist a couple of years ago and became interested in the concept. She estimates she’s been painting for over 50 years.

Self-taught artist Joyce Orphanoudakis was the person who introduced Hager to Plein Air artistry.

Hager used to mostly paint using oils, but switched to acrylic because it was easier to clean up.

She could’ve chosen any location, but liked the park for its variety, gazebo and it was close to her home. On Saturday, she’ll venture further out into the county.

Hager first completes a sketch, more of shapes, she said, and the horizon and paints the building layout and where she wants the trees.

Artists can use any size canvas, “it’s smaller than what I usually paint on,” Hager said, but it allowed her to finish quicker.

On Sunday, artists will display their paintings at the F&M Trolley Barn. The show is open to the public from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. with an artist, sponsor and guests reception. Judging for the event will occur from noon to 2 p.m. The first place for the contest is the Sarah Kellog Award for $1,000 and second place (donated by Fisher Realty and Fisher Construction) is $500 and third place $250 (donated by Fine Frame Gallery).

For more information about Plein Air Carolina visit their website at