Guild of Berkshire Artists GBA (formerly Richmond West Stockbridge Artists' Guild)

Plein Air: Creating Art Outdoors in the Berkshires

Creating Art Outdoors: Berkshire Plein Air

Come make art with us!

Join our plein air to paint, draw and photograph outside group at different Berkshire locations each day of the week, weather permitting, 9:30-1pm for $50 for the season.  You may sign up and pay here.  

Watch a demonstration of the start of a work of art, watch others and work, then join us for lunch (each pays or bring a lunch) followed by positive critique to get constructive suggestions. Oil, acrylic, photography, watercolors, pastel and digital painting are encouraged. Bring your own supplies and leave the area pristine.

Fully interactive and open to artists of all levels, you are encouraged to join your favorite site at a level of North America Reciprocal Museum (NARM) for access to our beautiful locations and 800plus others as entrance fees can range from $15-25. Check our website sign up and at 8 am for updates on weather and special instructions. Season is usually April – October.

HOST: Please volunteer to host two sessions a month. Pick your favorite day or your favorite location.


Berkshire Plein Air Schedule


Join our plein air (painting, drawing and photography outside) group at different Berkshire locations each day of the week, weather permitting, 9:30-1pm for $50 for the season.


Monday: Hancock Shaker Village 1843 West Housatonic Street Pittsfield, MA 01201, 413-443-1088.

Tuesday: Great Barrington, Housatonic River, downtown and Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Lecture Center 84 Alford Rd, Great Barrington, MA 01230, 413-644-4400.

Wednesday: Stockbridge, town center, Ice Glen, Naumkeg, and Berkshire Botanical Garden, 5 West Stockbridge Rd, Rt. 102, MA 01262, 413-298-3926.

Thursday: The Mount, 2 Plunkett St, Lenox, MA 01240, 413-551-5111.

Friday: Lenox, town center, Lilac Park, Library Park, Frelinghuysen Museum, and Eastover. 430 East Street, Lenox MA 01240, 866-264-5139.

Saturday: West Stockbridge. Meet at municipal parking lot across from Post Office. Williams River with its three bridges, Pond, Turn Park, 1854 Town Hall, Shaker Dam Coffeehouse, No. Six Depot, Shaker Mill Bookstore, Diana Felber Gallery.

Sunday: Norman Rockwell Museum grounds. 9 Glendale Road, Rt. 183, Stockbridge, MA 01262, 413-298-4100.

We are looking for folks to demonstrate a start for the first half hour to hour in the morning.  We are also looking for volunteers to host 2-3 sessions a month in good weather. Pick your favorite day or place. Just come ten minutes early to help folks sign in and read the rules of the location. Then just enjoy the morning, have lunch together at noon and positive critique after lunch until 1pm


Have fun, learn, explore and delight in the beautiful hills and dales of the Berkshires.





If the weather looks great off season, go onto our Facebook page "Berkshires Plein Air" and propose a time and place to meet. You might want to post the night before and then confirm the weather at 8am that day.We have actually had Plein Air sessions outdoors in good weather in January and February, so propose it if the weather looks like you want to paint or photograph outside.



RULES for ALL locations: Leave area pristine! Clean tools and brushes at home. Take everyhting with you. Meet at 9:30, sign in with host and enjoy! Watch others start working and work till noon when we break for lunch and a positive critique of our morning's work..

Photographers might want to join us at 10:30 or 11 to take photos and review them and pick two or three of your favorite ones that day to share after lunch.


In July and August we hope to have volunteers demonstrate how they are getting started that day so that people new to Plein Air can learn and we can learn new tricks. 


MONDAYS: Hancock Shaker Village rules:

Do not work on wooden paths or paint inside buildings. Leave pristine taking everything with you including watercolor water. Clean tools at home. You must go to ticket office after 10 am to buy ticker or -much better- buy or show your NARM membership which gets you into all our sites and 850 plus more including the Clark and the Frick in NYC.

TUESDAYS_Bard College at Simon's Rock rules:

Park in Lecture Hall parking lot. Use bathroom at Kilpatrick Athletic Center where you can also get coffee.

WEDNESDAYS:Berkshire Botanical Garden Rules

Sign in and show your membership card. You can buy a NARM (850 plus other sites) and ROAM level supporting membership here which gets you into many more places! Ticket office opens at 9am.

THURSDAYS: THE MOUNT:  Here are the steps and rules:

1.Have fun and paint and sketch and take photos! Let Karen know you are coming by signing up below. on our website or sign up genius by 5pm the day before. (The Mount wants to know who comes).

2. Get there early 9:30 am so you can go park in the lower parking lot by the main House. If it gets close to 10 you may have to walk or take a Cart there. Leave the spots next to the house for the handicapped. 

3. Be friendly to visitors.

4. Take everything you need and leave with everything you brought including watercolor water. don't dump it out on the grounds or in the bathroom or clean your brushes in any bathroom. 

5. You may not paint inside any building.

6. If stormy or rainy, go to your car 

7. Enjoy lunch on the terrace. The sandwiches are huge so we usually share them. One lunch is about $10. We break at 12.

8. Share your work together after lunch usually 12:30. Positive critique. We have a one page on suggestions for positive critique. 

9. Use the bathroom in the basement of the house near where you enter. 

10. Membership is required but it is only $65 which means about $6.50 dollars week so buy a membership. An even better deal is to buy a North American Reciprocal Museum membership for about $130 for the year. Two adults then get in at the Mount and 800 other museums in North America including Hancock Shaker Village, Norman Rockwell, Berkshire Museum and the Frick in NYC and lots of museums in Santa Fe. So this is a deal!!! Host bring along a membership brochure which is found near the bathroom on the basement level right near the handicapped parking area. Be sure to park in lower lot if you arrive before 9:45; later you may have to wait for a cart to bring you to the main house and the gardens. Explore the area: pond, field, grotto, stream, woods (watch out for poison ivy! even on paths!) People without memberships may purchase them later at the entrance.


Most important: have fun!  

Membership is required but it is only $65.  An even better deal is to buy a North American Reciprocal Museum membership for about $140 for the year. Two adults then get in at the Mount and 800 other museums in North America including Hancock Shaker Village, Norman Rockwell, Berkshire Museum and the Frick in NYC and lots of museums in Santa Fe. So this is a deal!!! Host bring along a membership brochure to give to those who aren't members and let Karen know. They can buy the membership later at the table near the main house or at the front gate.

FRIDAYS: in Lenox. When we are in EAstover you must first park behond the mansion, go into the glass doors in the middle of the building and sign in with your name, adreess, etc for insurance purposes (so if anything happens you and Eastover can be covered). Use only the bathrooms at the left end of the mansion as you face the mansion from the parking lot.

SATURDAYS: in West Stockbridge! Park in the municipal parking lot across from the post office which is where we meet at 9:30. Do not paint from platform garden next to the walking only side on the Main Street side of the bridge. Watch out for poison ivy in some places like by the small memorial maker next to the river behind Shaker Mill Books. Mny good places to eat here including taking things out to eat together from Public Market, SOMA, Six Depot, Shaker Dam Coffeehouse and Shaker Mill Tavern.

SUNDAYS: Norman Rockwell Museum grounds. Meet at 9:30 but the bathrooms do not open until 10am. You may paint earlier!!! Be sure to check Berkshire Plein Air Facebook page at 8am since sometimes even the grounds are closed if they are receiving a big delivery. The terrace is open for lunch and if it rains we might be able to paint on the edge of the terrace.  Explore the river and the bridge below sometime.




Created by:   Karen Carmean

Date (mm/dd/yyyy EDT) Location Available Slot
(Mon. 9:30am - 1:00pm)
Hancock Shaker Village. Meet near picnic tables before entering grounds. Ticket booth opens at 10am 

Hancock Shaker Village (40)

($15.00 each)

Gather by picnic Tables for Demostration at 9:30 and to check in. Pay $15 for special group ticket for non members and members without a HSV or NARM level membership Ticket booth opens at 10

(Tue. 9:30am - 1:00pm)
Lecture Hall parking, Bard College at Simon's Rock, Great Barrington- ponds, farm buildings, nature walk, church, 84 Alford Rd. 

Great Barrington (40)

($15.00 each)

$15 for day May 1,

(Wed. 9:30am - 1:00pm)
Berkshire Botanical Garden, 5 West Stockbridge Road, R. 102, Stockbridge 

Stockbridge; Berkshire Botanical Garden (40)

($15.00 each)

Susan Pettee will demonstrate .

(Thu. 9:30am - 1:00pm)
The Mount, 2 Plunkett Street, Lenox 

The Mount (40)

($15.00 each)

Keith Emerling will demonstrate. We meet at the Stables. the House is not open yet

(Fri. 9:30am - 1:00pm)
Eastover, 430 East Street, Lenox, sign in at the Mansion 

Lenox: Eastover (40)

($15.00 each)

Sign in at the Mansion first. Walt Pasko will demonstrate.

(Sat. 9:30am - 1:00pm)
West Stockbridge, Meet at municipal parking across from the Post Office. 

West Stockbridge (40)

($15.00 each)

Meet at muncipal parking across from Post Office. Anne Wickham Smith will demonstrate

(Sun. 9:30am - 1:00pm)
Norman Rockwell Museum grounds, 9 Glendale Road, Rt. 183, Stockbridge MA 01262 

Norman Rockwell Museum grounds (40)

($15.00 each)

Anne Auberjonois will demonstrate. We will not paint inside the museum

(Mon. 9:30am - 1:00pm)
Join Berkshire Plein Air for the season, a week or few days for $50 

Join us one week or all season long or a few days (60)

($50.00 each)

Join us, watch others, play/create/explore/work, lunch at noon, followed by positive critique for constructive suggestions

(Wed. 9:30am - 1:00pm)
Daily. Check "Berkshire Plein Air "in FacebookMon: Hancock Shaker Village, Tues: Great Barrington, Wed: Stockbridge, Th: The Mount, Fri: Lenox, Sat: West Stockbridge, Sun: Norman Rockwell Museum grounds  

All season long, a week or a couple of days (60)

($50.00 each)

Check "Berkshire Plein Air" on Facebook at 8 am for daily weather updates and special instructions


Stockbridge- Berkshire Botanical Garden

we might continue Berkshire Plein Air even longer in good weather. If if looks good, propose a place and location on Berkshire Plein Air FaceBook page.

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