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Plein Air Stories

I’ve been painting outdoors all around my home area in South Dakota, and in Minnesota, Michigan, and Iowa too! Here are some of the paintings. Scroll down or click the images to find out about the stories behind each painting, or to purchase a painting.

Painted at the nationally attended Juried plein air competition in Grand Marais, MN.

This little house hut really made me smile. It rotated constantly as I painted, so I’d work on the structure while it was in this position for a couple minutes, then worked on the environment.

The structure stopped facing away from me for quite some time, so I just mixed up the shadow and light colors and got those in and then… when it rotated back to this position for 10 minutes and I painted those chairs and details as fast as I could.

I think I captured that happy feeling that this little building gives me.

A Good Place to Sit, 9×12″, oil on linen.

(Scroll down for more stories)

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Plein Air Stories

Here’s me, laughing because I’m being photographed… But also very happy because I’m surrounded by amazing artists and painting in a gorgeous location.

This was my first time going for longer than a day-trip to paint outdoors. I drove down to Omaha and stayed in an airb&b close to the American Impressionist Society national exhibition and convention.

Omaha NE | We got early access to the zoo (which is world class, and the animals all look happy) – so AIS artists got to paint while the zoo staff were doing behind the scenes zoo things… That was amazing.

My most finished piece from this day at the Omaha zoo has no animals, which I think is pretty funny. But this composition was too good to pass up.

9×12 inches
oil on panel
ships directly from my studio

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american impressionist society award for opening

Omaha NE | On another painting day at the AIS national event, artists painted at a gorgous private re-creation of Monet’s garden. At this event the artists were all much closer together, so I got to paint right next to amazing artists the whole day. It was exhilerating.

And to make the trip even better, I won a top award for this painting (Best of Quarry) in the wet paint competition, and the painting has it’s forever home with the lovely couple who created and that garden.

9×12″, oil
Sold through American Impressionist Society

Brookings county SD | This is a lovely horse ranch to the NW of Brookings. I talked to the owner to let him know what I was doing out on the road, and he was very gracious. While I was painting he came by and let me know that that cute little guy in the lower left area of a painting had literally been born the day before. So exciting!

Horse Ranch en plein air
9×12 inches, oil on panel
Sold through Shain Gallery in Charlotte, NC

Close to Oakwood SD | While trying to prepare myself for the Red Wing event, I went out painting close to home a number of times.

This was one of those days where I found spot after spot that were not quite right, and then finally I found this field of cows and … the clouds piled in. But that’s OK because I absolutely love clouds!

Outside Oakwood
9×12″, oil

Red Wing MN | On a Friday morning I taught my workshop, then had a nice lunch with my son (slightly tear-filled on my part, getting ready to depart), and then drove about 5 hours to a town I’d never seen before, to participate in a plein air event as a “Featured Class Artist” for the first time.

By the time I greeted my host and then drove up to the plein air event for the night it was already getting dark. But this is the view that greeted me.

The next day I went back out to the same spot and set up to paint this scene.

This is the first painting I finished in Red Wing, MN. The water there really is violet in the afternoon light.

Afternoon Light at Frontenac Overlook
9×12 inches

oil on linen

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bay point boat houses red wing mn

Red Wing MN | On the second day of the Red Wing plein air event, in the late morning, I set up by this scene. I painted for several hours, and then the light changed too much to go on, so I put the painting away and went out scouting for painting locations.

The next morning I got up at 5 am to catch the morning light in a different painting, and then in the late morning went back to work on this panting – and kept working on it as my temp gage climbed up to 104′, but stopped again when the sun moved behind me.

And then the following day I did the same. So this is officially the first plein air painting I’ve worked on for three days in a row. 

Green Door at Bay Point
9×12″, oil on linen

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Red Wing MN | I just found out this painting had been in the running for “best oil” at the Red Wing Plein Air competition, and I am so thrilled and honored about that!! The artists in the show are excellent, and it was a pleasure getting to meet some of them.

Evening Light at Bay Point

oil on linen

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Red Wing MN | On the third day of this Red Wing plein air adventure, I went down to Bay Point at sunrise to start a new painting. 

On the walk to set up, the sweetest big dog greeted me. I’ve been missing my dog, and having this girl wag her tail and lean against me was so nice! 

Then while I painted, a number of people came by to check my progress a few times. It was such a joyful place to paint. 

I was drawn to this boat, and worked on the painting for a couple hours before the early morning light changed into a midmorning light (and then came back first thing the next morning to finish it).

Morning Light at Bay Point Park, oil on linen, 9×12

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Red Wing MN | Paintings for the Red Wing Plein Air event show were due by noon on Thursday. The minimum number of paintings for featured class artists was 3, and the maximum was 5. 

I turned in four framed up paintings. For my last painting, I had 2 options in the car that I would have felt good about turning in – but I wanted to try one last painting session – so Thursday morning I parked in a spot I had scouted several times, including earlier that morning, and painted Gas Stop at Bay Point Marina. 

I parked, got my stuff out fast as possible, and painted with some gusto. 

When the best spot to paint from is out by the street, I like to set up next to the back of the car and leave the trunk door up and use it as a shade / windbreak / umbrella. And the car makes me more visible and less self conscious out in the street. 

Gas Stop at Bay Point, 5×7 inches, oil on canvas, SOLD

Red Wing MN | After I turned in paintings for the plein air exhibition I went back to my host’s house and set up in her back yard to paint some of her flowers – as a gift to say thanks for hosting me.

A tiny squirrel hung onto a tree by couple toes, as still as a statue, to watch me paint for a while. A bumble bee sat on one of these flowers, and I tried to grab the right paint quickly but it moved before I could paint it. A little while later it came back and I tried to grab my phone quick enough to take a picture of it, but it moved before I could click. We played that game several times.

And so many birds and a couple frogs serenaded me the whole time I was painting.

Peg’s Lilies, 5×7″, oil on canvas, in private collection

Brookings county SD | There was no where to pull all the way off the road, so I just did my best to get out of anyone’s way, and set up my easel. I got the most confused looks in this spot. One person stopped to say “You’re painting?” When I said yes, he just seemed surprised.

The previous day when I painted, the wind was blowing 30 miles an hour so I crouched down in front of my car to use it as a wind block while painting. So many people slowed down to see if I needed help changing a tire. It made me feel pretty great about humanity.

Cool Drink of Water
9×12 inches
oil on canvas panel

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desmet sd plein air painting

De Smet SD | At the plein air paint out at the Laura Engles Wilder homestead, I sat down to paint a rooster, and he promptly went inside his house. While I was deciding whether to wait for him to come back or move on, a little kid came up and asked me a bunch of questions about what I was doing. When I told him I’d been painting the rooster, he said “I’ll get it back” and then made some bird noises and it did come back! Long enough for me to get a few colors down.

After that I moved over to the location you see here, and a few minutes later the little guy came over and sat right next to me while I painted. It was nice.

STUDY | Wilder Wash, en plein air
11×14 in, oil painting on canvas

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This page is a listing of most of Jessie Rasche’s currently available paintings, but there is a delay between painting and adding work to the website – so if you would like to see Jessie’s artwork as soon as it is completed, sign up for Jessie’s new art news.

You can also view artwork by category: Jessie Rasche’s impressionist paintings of birds, Jessie’s impressionist paintings of horses, Rasche’s impressionist paintings of cows, Jessie Rasche’s impressionist paintings of people, Jessie Rasche’s “Painting South Dakota” landscape painting project, Jessie Rasche’s paintings of fruit, flowers, and other still life objects, and Jessie Rasche’s plein air paintings

Jessie works in a distinctive contemporary impressionist style, with a painterly use of brushes and palette knives. All of these paitings are created with professional-artist quality oil, acrylic, or gouache paints on archival supports.

Each painting says in the description whether it is painted on canvas, linen, or gesso panel. Ask the artist a question.