Record number of artists enjoy Plein Air Down Under weekend | Photos

This year's Plein Air Down Under outdoor painting festival in the Peel region broke several records over the September long weekend.

A record 169 artists of all ages created over 300 paintings of Mandurah's picturesque waterways, cultural precinct and the rural landscapes of Pinjarra.

MPAC was superb as the festival hub over the weekend, bringing artists and spectators together for artists talks, music and the daily 'wet painting' exhibition.

Internationally recognised Herman Pekel, Lyn Diefenbach, Leon Holmes, Sue Hibbert and Val Brooks participated in the 'Feature Artist Exhibition' which you can still see at MPAC until October 10.


Plein Air Down Under is the brainchild of internationally acclaimed artist, Leon Holmes, who established the event in collaboration with plein air painter and event coordinator, Barbara Thoms.

"We thought last year's event was good, but this year exceeded our expectations, not only with numbers, but with a strong sense of community and excitement," Mr Holmes said.

"Seeing everyone's smiling face was magical. It reminded me of how I felt when I attended my first international festival in Ireland, Art in the Open. That cloud nine feeling."

"Painting outdoors, amongst nature, is good for the soul. Doing this with over 160 like minded people is an experience to treasure; the camaraderie amongst the artists is strong and the viewing public can feel that something special is happening," Ms Thoms added.

Many artists stayed in the area for up to a week to participate in and enjoy the festival activities.

'Plein Air Down Under' is hosted by Mandurah Plein Air Artists Inc. The festival is made possible with the financial support of the Peel Development Commission, City of Mandurah and Community Bank Halls Head.