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Open air painting event welcomes fall

Jennifer Riefenberg from Castle Rock describes her art as “capturing the beautiful, one brush stroke at a time.”

By Elise Brassell; photos courtesy of Peter Morales

Not since Bob Ross painted his happy little trees have we had such an exceptional opportunity to see a painting take shape from blank canvas to work of art. From September 10 to September 15, the public will be able to watch local artists paint scenic Colorado open spaces at an event across various sites in Jefferson County.

The event, called In Plein Sight, features 25 professional artists painting their impressions of Jefferson County open spaces from dawn to dusk. The artists, including Jennifer Riefenberg from Castle Rock, have been chosen through a national search.

Riefenberg has painted professionally for about 15 years and paints nearly every day in the Castle Pines and Castle Rock areas, often using the plein air style, which literally means “open air,” developed by French impressionists including Monet and Renoir.

Plein air paintings are completed on location, a style that began with French master painters in the 19th century.

During In Plein Sight, each artist will find their own inspiration and interpretations of scenic areas. “We can’t always say exactly why we are drawn to a subject or scene while painting,” Riefenberg said. “It may be how the light hits the hillside or the beauty of an old, gnarled tree. The time of day and seasons may change how the scene unfolds and is selected to paint. If you stand two artists next to one another, looking at the same scene, it is often surprising how different each artist sees the view. I have found that I am best off if I paint the first thing that really grabs my attention that day,” she said.

To catch Riefenberg and other artists in action, visit any of these Colorado event locations:
September 10: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. – at Lair O’ the Bear Park (Idledale)
September 11: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. – Artists’ choice, Riefenberg at Mount Falcon Park (Indian Hills)
September 12: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. – at Alderfer/Three Sisters Park (Evergreen)
September 13: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. – at Elk Meadow Park (Evergreen)
September 14: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. – at Centennial Cone Park (Golden)
September 15: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. – along the Clear Creek Trail in Golden, west from the corner of 10th St. and Washington Ave. (Golden)

Following the event, all of the paintings produced will be on display at a gallery exhibit running September 12 – 16 at the Golden Community Center. To see examples of Jennifer Riefenberg’s paintings, visit her website at



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