Ready, set, paint.
In true plein air style, artists of all ages are being invited to take part in the Opus Painting Challenge 2013 which takes place on April 27 - rain or shine.
The art supply store Opus provides each artist with an 8x10 inch watercolour board, an illustration board or a canvas panel.
Then they spend the day creating an original work which can include multimedia pieces.
This is the second year for the Opus Painting Challenge. Last year Langley had the largest contingent, with more than 100 people participating out of the 335 in total at the various locations.
"Every year we want to build on this," explained Crissy Arseaneau, the Opus marketing manager.
She stressed that the event is open to all ages and all skill levels. And it's very deliberate that the event is held outside.
"It's about breaking out of the norm," Arseneau said. "You see things differently when you're outside."
The challenge takes place in a painting zone that runs from the Langley Bypass to the north, as far south as Grade Crescent, west to 198th Street and east to 208th Street. She said that gives people opportunities for natural, industrial, urban and suburban sights to paint.
To help people get ready for the April 27 event, the stores have offered free demonstrations, part of efforts by Opus to give artists opportunties to teach and learn from each other.
The demonstration Painting on Location, See & Think (Oil) with Bryan Coombes takes place Wednesday, April 24 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There are still a few spaces left.
People can register for the outdoor challenge at any Opus location but the painting sessions take place at the Langley, Granville Island and North Vancouver stores.
In true plein air style, the challenge will happen rain or shine.
People need to bring their own art supplies (except for the surface which Opus supplies) as well as any food or drinks, chair, or easel/stand. Recommended is bringing an umbrella, either for protection from the sun or the rain.
Each location will have three impartial judges, many being renowned local artists such as Murray Phillips, Dene Croft, and plein air master Alfonso Tejada, judges at Opus' Langley, North Vancouver, and Granville Island locations respectively.
Opus will reward the judge's top picks at each location with an Opus gift card. The top prize is a $500 gift card, and the second and third prizes are $250 and $100 respectively.
Those who want their work to be part of the judging must return it to the store by 3 p.m. on April 27.
The judging will take place between 3 and 5 p.m. with the winners announced on site. Arseneau noted that if people don't want to stay around for the judging, they can pick up their works in the few days following.
The Langley store is at 5501 204th St. in the Langley Mall and can be reached at 604-533-0601. Registration can be in person or by phone.
@ Copyright 2013