Lawrenceville landscape artist will discuss ‘plein air’ painting at ESAL meeting
There’s really no big secret about how Ron Donoughe got into the plein air art movement — he wanted to be a painter, and he also wanted to be outdoors.
“It wasn’t a big fad when I started with it in the 1980s,” Donoughe siad. “But there were some painters from the region who were working outside and I just thought I’d give it a try.
“Once I did, it just felt like the right thing for me to be doing,” he said.
Donoughe will be the featured speaker at the East Suburban Artists League’s March 7 meeting, where he will discuss his approach to landscape painting.
Donoughe is in the midst of a project he is calling “Brownsville to Braddock.”
“I’m sort of documenting the Mon Valley,” he said. “My goal is just to complete it at this point.”
He has some experience.
The Lawrenceville resident began his outdoor painting with rural landscapes, having grown up in Loretto, Cambria County, but said that over the years, he’s become enamored with Pittsburgh’s cityscapes, which led to his “90 Neighborhoods of Pittsburgh” project, which was acquired by the Heinz History Center.
“There’s a lot of texture in the city,” he said. “Painting outdoors is great, especially if you’re into light and shadow. You’re outside and it’s just a total different experience from being in a studio.”
Donoughe’s work has caught the attention of city officials, who proclaimed Aug. 1, 2018, as Ron Donoughe Day. He has also published a book of his work, “Essence of Pittsburgh: The Paintings of Ron Donoughe in the Plein Air Style.”
Even the chilly “plein air” of Pittsburgh winters doesn’t bother him, to a point.
“I don’t go out if it’s snowing or raining. And wind is my nemesis,” he said. “But generally cold weather isn’t a big factor unless it’s single digits: the paint gets stiff and so do my hands and feet.”
The book will be available for purchase at the ESAL meeting, which will be at 6:30 p.m. March 7 at Christ Lutheran Church, 5330 Logan Ferry Road in Murrysville.
There is no cost to attend, and the public is invited.
For more on ESAL, call Nancy Dalverny at 412-373-0711. For more on Donoughe, see his website, Donoughe.com.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .