The work of eight Mahoosuc Plein Air artists is displayed and for sale at McLaughlin Gardens in South Paris. Rose Lincoln/Bethel Citizen

PARIS — At McLaughlin Garden in Paris is the art of several Bethel area artists who have been meeting weekly to practice plein air art (the act of painting outdoors).

Betsey Foster’s encaustics are on display at McLaughlin Gardens in South Paris. Rose Lincoln/Bethel Citizen

Contributing Artist Floyd Lawrence said, “There is something special about being outside and trying to capture a moment in time as the environment keeps changing around us.”

The show includes renditions of Swain’s Farm in Bethel; Screw Auger Falls in Newry; McLaughlin Garden itself and other localities.

Mahoosuc Plein Air artists are: Elina Shatalova (watercolor), Betsey Foster (encaustics), and Peter Musso (watercolor), all of Greenwood; Melody Bonnema (watercolor and giclee prints of landscape tiles) and Floyd Lawrence (watercolor) of Bethel; Sisters: Mary (pastels) and  Linda Isham (watercolor with ink) of Albany Township; and Sandra Crowell (oil).

Karla Horecky, director of  McLaughlin Garden, said they have a rotating gallery every month with a different local artist but this exhibit has been extended and will hang for nearly three months. It began Oct 1 and will stay up until Dec. 22.

McLaughlin Garden is the first property in the state of Maine to be listed on the National Historic Register as a cultural landscape. The 1851 house has a two-acre garden and historic barn. It is under the stewardship of the nonprofit McLaughlin Foundation.


The gallery is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day except Monday. The exhibition room is beside the gift shop. All works are for sale with a percentage benefiting McLaughlin.

Linda Isham’s media includes: acrylic ink, watercolor, graphite and charcoal. Rose Lincoln/Bethel Citizen

Shatalova said the Mahoosuc Plein Air group “has been around for several decades, with people of mixed ages, genders and painting styles coming together to enjoy the art, the creative process, to support each other and give genuine critique.”

She notes that Melody Bonnema has prints of tiles of the McLaughlin iris. Shatalova recommends returning to McLaughlin Garden to see the iris when they are in bloom.

“We have the art of the garden out back. It’s nice to have the art in the house as well,” said Horecky.

McLaughlin Garden, 97 Main Street, Paris.

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