Summer 2024



Bruce Ammerman – June 2023

Special Word from James …

Photo by Jim Sargent

Thanks to everyone who made it out to Mills River yesterday, and thanks to Jim Sargent for taking this picture. I again apologize for the late notice that I couldn’t make it, and remind folks to please check Facebook page in the morning of our paint-outs. Things do happen, and in this case it was poor planning on my part and taking on too much.

It’s nice to know this group can carry one without me! Glad all went relatively well!

With several newcomers joining us we’ve had a few posts asking how the group works. It’s easy. Events are listed here, on our Facebook page, Instagram, or at There is no membership fee or costs of any sort, with the exception of special events such as demos and workshops. Find a paint out that fits your schedule and come join us! With very rare exceptions, all of our paint outs start at 9:30 and wrap up around noon; except for a few selected sites, of which I will make note, you’re welcome to arrive a bit early and stay late. We’re a VERY flexible group.
Of course if you’re new to plein air and have questions about materials and such or would like to be added to our mailing list, feel free to email me at
I hope you’re encouraged to come out and paint with us!

A special note: We have many more names on our mailing list than we have attendees. Part of that is we have folks who only visit our area on an irregular basis. But if you’re a local and haven’t yet joined us I want to extend a special invite to do so. This is a wonderful group of folks who are coming at this from all levels of experience. No judgement, as we are not here to critique. We’re here to draw, paint, have fun, and support each other. So don’t be shy, we’d love to have you join us.

As Yoda says, “there is no try, there is only do.” And how are we to argue with Yoda?

James ….

Another great turnout today, 16 in all. Thanks to everyone who made it out and thanks to Reems Creek Nursery for hosting.

It was especially nice to see returnees Colleen Gilgenbach , Cindy Shaw, and Ferdinand Poulin. You’ve been missed! And a great big welcome to newcomer Sara S.

Look for announcements filling our June schedule in the next day or two, as I am still hammering out a few details.


We just wrapped up the fabulous weekend workshop with Cleo Vilett and it was wonderful. Thanks to everyone who joined us, to Cleo, and an extra thanks to Brent Adams for doing some of the “behind the scenes” legwork, including offering his lovely yard when today’s weather took an unexpected turn, that helped make this happen. As Cleo said as we were wrapping things up “pats on the back all the way around.”

Casa Cassara – May 25, 2024

Thanks to Carol, Linda Heineman Cherry , Jim Sargent, Michael Havelin, Michael Moon, Debra, Deborah Hughes, Marsha Laroe, and everyone who came out today to make art at Casa Cassara.

June Bug Retro – May 21, 2024

Photo: J. Cassara

Photo: J. Cassara

Photo: J. Cassara

Another great day painting with the group. Special welcome to newcomers Urdulf and Charlie and a huge thanks to Tom and Charlene Pagano for opening June Bug Retro to us.

Our second gathering at the North Carolina Arboretum’s Azalea Festival was a roaring success! Ideal weather and great attendance. About 25 artists all told; welcome newcomers John, Maria, and Wendy, and welcome back to Mayra Taylor , Bee Adams , Catherine Twomey , Lesha Jacyszyn , Leslie Dickerson, and any others I might have missed!


 As requested, here’s the online gallery of paintings done at the NC Arboretum Azalea Festival. What a great event that was!…/art-gallery-asheville…/Pastel artists, and we have several among us, are encouraged to check out the NC Pastel Society at They’re looking to expand their numbers in our area and I am sure many of you would be welcomed!
Likewise with the newly formed Urban Sketchers of Asheville group. I’ve twice gathered with them and they’re a fine group of folks. Check out their Facebook page at
If you receive our emails but haven’t yet joined us, NOW IS THE TIME! Don’t be timid!
…. As one first timer said “thanks to everyone for being so welcoming. It was wonderful to spend time doing what we love.” I couldn’t agree more!

Welcome to all new members
& be sure to contact James at if you want to be put on the mailing list and join the group!

Do check out the sidebar here, the Calendar or Facebook for more information.

Happy Painting!

Planned Schedule of activities – subject to change, so check Website, Facebook or Calendar!

Some changes I am proposing: Last year’s alternating Tuesday/Thursday schedule seemed to work well, but it still leaves out those who work during the week. I’m suggesting we move to a three weekday paint outs and one Saturday per month format. If anyone wants to host a fourth weekday, PLEASE let me know. But I find myself unable to attend four (and sometimes five) paint outs per month. We are the only local group who maintains a weekly schedule, but with my teaching work and desire to travel more I need to scale back a bit.

A Final Word From James:

In addition to our website and Facebook page I will be sending out weekly reminders 3 or 4 days prior to each paint out. If you wish to receive these reminders you must email me (James) at to be added to the list. Please don’t assume because you’ve been a member of the group you’ll automatically be added. In this regard we’re beginning from scratch.

email List:

If you would like to be added, please email James Cassara at 

If you want to share your paintings for the event day, post them on the Facebook site or send them to Rosemarie and we’ll add them to our galleries for each paint-out. We also have a general gallery for each month which you can share something you’ve done during the month.

Also note: If the weather looks very bad we will post to the Facebook page and our website that a paint out has been cancelled. Always check those places the morning of the event to be sure. If the weather is “iffy” it’s left up to your discretion whether or not to go.


NOTE: On the Listings pagecheck for a list of this years paint-out events.

Next Event!

June, 20 Thursday, Beaver Lake
North Merrimon Ave

Our next paint out is this Thursday, June 20th, at Beaver Lake in North Asheville. There are several places to paint but I suggest you park at The Bird Sanctuary next to the North Asheville Library and take the short walk. That will put you closest to the wildflowers. If you prefer to paint the boats you can park on East Avon Parkway and cross Merrimon to the Boat House. Just be careful as there is not a crosswalk there.

Since this is a privately owned lake, and we are painting there with their kind permission, I’d like to “pass the hat” for their donation box, which helps cover a small portion of their maintenance. Please kick in a buck or two if you can!

We’ll begin at 9:30 (feel free to arrive earlier if you wish) and gather to share about noon at a spot we’ll decide upon when we get there. The day looks to be very warm, so I strongly suggest you bring an umbrella, folding chair, and something cool to drink. We’re entering the warmest times of our season so please prepare accordingly.

Planning ahead

The week of June 24, we’ll not have a Tuesday or Thursday paint-out but will instead be gathering on Saturday, June 29th, at Carrier Park (220 Amboy Rd.) in West Asheville. There are several places to park but we’ll gather at the covered pavilion as a starting point and scatter out from there. If the pavilion is not being used by a group we’ll gather at the usual time to share out. Otherwise we’ll find a shady spot and display the flexibility this group is known for.

Be sure to check out their calendar at for the latest.

Our first paint out of July will be on Tuesday the 2nd at Blue Ridge Daylilies. This is always one of our most well attended events, and parking can be very tight. Next week I’ll send out some details about carpooling, as there simply isn’t enough space at the venue to accommodate many cars, and we must be respectful of giving first priority to their customers.

Remember to always check the Facebook page, our website, and the weekly Mailchimp for changes. I’ve done my best to create a tentative schedule for the entire year but things do come up, and changes do have to be made.

If you love to sketch (and who among us doesn’t need more practice?) be sure to check out our “sister” group, The Urban Sketchers Asheville. Their Facebook page can be found at

North Carolina is blessed with many local plein air groups. If you haven’t done so I suggest you go to their Facebook page at If you find yourself traveling, what better way to see our state than painting with other plein air artists?

Thanks and happy Painting, James

Where We’ve been in 2024

Check the Galleries to see past locations of our paint-outs!