The Yavapai College Prescott Art Gallery, located at 1100 E. Sheldon St., will exhibit paintings by 16 regional artists in a pre-event to the fourth annual Prescott Plein Air Art Festival. The exhibition will run from Aug. 10 to 20.

The artists were chosen from among dozens of hopefuls to participate in the fourth annual Prescott Plein Air Art Festival, “Art in the Pines,” which runs from Aug. 24 through 27.

The featured artists are Carol Benally, Betty Carr, Cindy Carrillo, Tom Conner, Priya Drew, Lydia Gatzow, Terry Gay, Russell Johnson, Cathy Krieger, Gretchen Lopez, Beth Okurowksi, Ken Ottinger, Dorothy Ray, Eric Slayton, Dawn Sutherland, and Johnny Tanner.

Slayton spoke with Across the Street ahead of the upcoming exhibition. The following interview was edited for length and clarity.

Why do you prefer to use oil paint when working outside?

Oil to me is a lot easier because it stays with a lot longer than acrylics and/or watercolor. Watercolor, you have to kind of know where it is that you’re going to end up before you even start. For somebody like me, that’s a little crazy because I kind of improvise all the way around. Oil gives you the ability to change things a bit. Acrylic dries almost instantly and watercolor, when you’re outside, I don’t know how they do it, but it seems like it dries before it gets off the brush. Oil is a lot easier when you’re outdoors.

How do you come up

with new ideas?

I’m always looking at clouds in the sky and the horizon and the mountains and whatever flora and fauna are around and say, “Oh, that would make a nice painting. Oh, that wouldn’t work but I like that,” you know, “If that mountain was a little closer to that creek, it would look a lot better.” So, I do that constantly. And the other thing is, I take a lot of pictures. We’ve been to a lot of towns in Europe and I’ll look through those and find something that just kind of strikes me and say, “Well, let’s give it a try.”

What can people expect

to see at the exhibit?

All the artists who will be participating in this, have kind of a free range of what they want to paint, and where they’re going to go paint is kind of confined more to Yavapai County and close to Prescott and, you know, the various lakes and things that are interesting for people who live in this area. So, I would imagine you will see a lot of, you know, Goldwater Lake or Granite Basin Lake and some of the mountains, maybe Thumb Butte and Granite Mountains.

A closing reception will be held at the gallery from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18. A cash bar and hors d’oeuvres will be available at the reception.

For more information about the fourth annual Prescott Plein Air Art Festival, visit highlandscenter.org/prescott-plein-air/.

Jesse Bertel is a reporter for the Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter @ JesseBertel, email him at jbertel@prescottaz.com, or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2043.

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