Artistic Safari: The Howard Pyle Studio Group’s Plein Air Adventure

On exhibit October 21, 2023-January 23, 2024

Join us for the Art Loop on Friday, November 3 from 5-7:30 p.m.

Since its founding in 1935, the Howard Pyle Studio Group has played a vital role as a hub for artistic growth and collaboration in the Brandywine Valley, honoring the legacy of American illustrator Howard Pyle. Workshops, classes and events create a supportive environment fostering learning and camaraderie among member artists.

Painting en plein air, or in the open air, offers artists an authentic way to capture nature’s true beauty. The presence of diverse creatures in these landscapes adds depth and interest to the artwork, but they don’t stay still for long!

To overcome this challenge, the museum becomes an invaluable substitute en plein air location for
Studio Group members. Here, carefully recreated natural settings inspire creativity, allowing artists to skillfully depict diverse species on canvas.

About the Artists

My art includes natural and urban landscapes, from the Brandywine Valley and the Southern Appalachian mountains. Whether painting en plein air or the studio, I enjoy combining a variety of natural shapes and elements from nature and other sources. It has been a special pleasure to paint in the Museum of Nature and Science.

Betsy received a BA in Math from the University of Delaware but turned to art shortly thereafter and studied with many local artists. She has been an exhibiting member of the Delaware Foundation for the Visual Arts and is a member of the Studio Group Inc. and the National League of American Pen Women Inc. She has held many offices including president and treasurer.

She has participated in juried shows at Chester County Art Association, Pen Women Biennial Shows, Pen Women National Biennial, Holly Branch of NLAPW in Dover, Biggs Museum of Art in Dover, DE, Delaware Art Museum – as part of the Studio Group Show, and other local venues and received awards.

She specializes in landscapes and portraits.

Painting in the morning or middle of the day has inspired great opportunities each season. Carol continues her impressionistic / expressive style of painting in oil and acrylics. Lovely weather or stormy warnings allow for the changing of the color palette. Carol sets out for en Plein Air invitationals throughout Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.

Beauty of the destinations are reflected in paintings from Chestertown’s – Paint the Town, Brandywine Conservancy, Historic New Castle’s gardens, Bryn Mawr, Kuerner’s Farm, Brandywine River, Laurel Preserve and farmer’s markets. Recently, the artist received an award for ‘Winter Eventide’ in the Artist Magazine’s January 2023 issue. ‘Sunflowers & Blueberries’ was selected as the international cover for the Pen Woman publication.

The artist engages in a series of painting invitationals by: Mid Atlantic Plein Air Painting Association, Historic New Castle Plein Air, Brandywine River Museum, Delaware Museum of Nature & Science, Land Arts Events (Brandywine Conservancy), Chadds Ford Historical Society, Brandywine Valley: Children’s Beach House, Blue Streak, Unionville Arts Gala, Barbara Moore Fine Art Gallery, River Arts in Chestertown, and the Opera House Antiques & Rodney Pratt Framing & Gallery.

A graduate of Moore College of Art and Design, Bachelor of Science, Philadelphia; Graduate credits at University of Delaware and Tyler School of Art; Towson University, Masters of Secondary Education. Former Executive Director for the Cecil County Arts Council and educator for students of all levels. Received accommodations as a Board of Certified Professional Educator. A member of the Howard Pyle Studio Group and the National League of American Pen Women, Diamond State Branch.

I paint because I don’t know how to live without painting. I have been painting ever since I can remember. It is my therapy, my escape, and my world. If I don’t like the world I am in, I can paint a new one for myself. I paint anything; I paint things that connect to me that I feel drawn to – they have a personality, a story, or they just speak to me. I need to capture them on canvas. I am an acrylic painter, but I am always enthusiastic to learn something new. My process is to first make a mess on my canvas, with loads of energy, throwing paint on it and then cleaning it up. While I am cleaning I create my art. I paint with loads of energy and excitement. I do approach the canvas with an idea of what the final painting will look like, but if the painting decides it doesn’t want to go that way I am open to creating a new painting. Some paintings I leave messy. Some paintings I polish. I allow the painting to tell me how it wants to be finished. Every painting is a growth moment for me.

Lithography is my medium.  It is the physical labor of graining the stone, drawing on the stone, and printing to produce an edition of prints that resemble what was drawn, only richer and deeper.

My college education began at Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn, New York, culminating with a BFA from The Maryland Institute, College of Art, in Baltimore, MD, where I studied drawing, painting, and developed into printmaking.   I continued my study of lithography for over 25 years at the Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia, where I now monitor the lithography and etching studios, as well as continue my studies with Tamarind master printer, Peter Haarz.   I am a member of the National League of American Pen Women and the Howard Pyle Studio Group, where I have enjoyed the camaraderie and support of fellow women artists, writers, and musicians.

I love nature and animals and am always looking around me for inspiration. Drawing to me, is about relationships of tones and lines and how they are inked and transfer to beautiful printmaking paper.

Karen Kuhrt is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology with a BFA degree. She studied photography with Minor White and painting with Fred Meyer. Karen is a member of the Howard Pyle Studio and the National League of American Pen Women and has a painting in the Pen Women’s permanent collection in Washington, D.C. Her favorite subject matter is landscape, and painting the gardens at Mt. Cuba is always a treat!

My oil paintings express the play of light and shadow on the architectural forms that make up our towns and cities. Having worked and studied as an architect, I am fascinated by the relationship between our built environment and the landscape. I find inspiration in the unique character of our towns in the Delaware Valley and seek to interpret these views in a colorful perspective.

Chester County artist Kathy Ruck’s paintings reflect a strong sense of composition, color and light. Her attention to detail and skilled media technique draw the viewer into the scene.

Working out of her home studio in Landenberg, PA, Kathy paints the beauty of the surrounding areas of Chester County, PA and northern Delaware. She works primarily in watercolors, but also enjoys pastels, oils and gouache.

“I believe that in today’s hectic world it’s important to fill your home with art that will relax your mind and lift your spirits,” says the artist.

Kathy exhibits her work in local juried art shows, having won several awards for her paintings.  Private collectors and corporations own her paintings. Kathy has been commissioned to create paintings for corporations and institutions including DuPont, PNC Bank, Wilmington University,  Wilmington Flower Market Poster and Yellow Springs Art Show Poster. She is a former president of the Delaware Foundation for the Visual Arts, and a member of the Howard Pyle Studio Group and a signature member of the Philadelphia Watercolor Society.

Roberta is a Delaware representational fine artist who enjoys painting landscape and figurative subjects. She works in studio and in Plein air using a variety of mediums but most often works in oil or pastel.  She was raised by parents who were both artists and can’t remember a time when she didn’t love creating art!

Roberta attended college at the Pratt Manhattan Center, and Long Island University where she studied; Illustration, Art Education and Fine Art. She was also honored to be awarded a full scholarship from the Art Students League of New York where she studied; Life drawing, painting and portraiture.

She has worked in the fields of, Illustration, textile design, advertising and art education. In recent years her primary focus has been creating a body of work that is more representative of her personal feelings, impressions and vision of the world around us. This is strongly influenced by her faith and appreciation for nature. Her work has been featured in numerous shows in the area. She is a member of the Art Students League, the Howard Pyle Studio group, and more recently the Painters Folly Studio group.

Painting for me is a way to express the joy and beauty of the world, using light and color to capture a moment in time. My childhood passion for the outdoors and nature are brought into my paintings. The uplifting feeling that nature provides is expressed in every brush stroke, the warmth of the sun, the cool of the shade, the majesty of the trees and the serenity of the sky. Painting in the studio gives me the opportunity to perfect the techniques that I have studied over the years. But even in the studio, I am drawn to the outdoors, the light and promise of another day.

To learn more about the Howard Pyle Studio Group, visit