The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 4, 2012

Painter paints plain air fairly well

By Andra Bryan Stefanoni
Globe Staff Writer

CARTHAGE, Mo. — John Lasater prefers to paint animals, rural landscapes and nature where they are found: outdoors.

It’s called “en plein air,” a French expression which means “in the open air,” and is used to describe the act of painting outdoors made popular in the 1870s.

As a result, the settings Lasater is able to capture on canvas reflect the light and conditions at the time, as opposed to the artificial light and conditions of a studio.

His work will be artCentral’s featured exhibition until May 20, with a reception opening the display at 6 p.m. Saturday. A Saturday opening is unusual, director Sally Armstrong said -- traditionally they are held on Friday nights -- but Lasater is a featured artist in tonight’s St. Avips Ball and Art Auction and couldn’t be in two places at once.

Lasater’s Art Central exhibition, “Ordinary Beauty,” features a collection of Impressionistic oil paintings.

A former professional art designer, illustrator and art director, he has transitioned to working as a full time artist in oils, painting various simple subjects and meaningful images in an Impressionistic style.

“Faith in God, respect for humanity, and enjoyment of life should be the theme of my very best paintings. I want my work to be a celebration,” said Lasater.

Lasater has studied with nationally known artists C.W. Mundy, Carolyn Anderson, John Budicin, and Todd Williams. Among his honors are multiple awards and inclusion in national shows and outdoor painting exhibitions.

He is co-founder of the Heart of America Artists’ Association, and earlier this spring he taught a plein air workshop in Joplin. Last year, he was a featured artist at the Local Color Gallery in Joplin.

The opening reception will begin at 6 p.m. at Hyde House Gallery, 1110 E. 13th St. The public is invited. Lasater’s exhibition will be open on weekends and Fridays, noon to 5 p.m., through May 20. Details: 417 358 4404.