Newburyport Ten pin
Painters in Amesbury, MA
“Escape Artists” photo for a 2012 show

Painters in Newbury, MA
Early spring on the marshes

The Newburyport “Ten,” had its roots in the “Plein Air Interest Group” at the Newburyport Art Association in Newburyport, Massachusetts. It was originally a watercolor group founded by Carol Reynolds and her mother Marie Crone. The group meets outdoors once a week to work in a variety of mediums, support, critique—and have lunch.

While the Ten exhibit as a group, participation in the Thursday morning sessions is open and flexible; the group invites other painters in the area to join them at their location to encourage more people to explore the challenges and rewards of plein air painting. Currently, over 40 artists receive the weekly emails announcing our painting location.

In inclement weather, the group might head to a museum and in the winter they take refuge indoors to work on their own projects, work with a model or paint each other’s portraits.

The group has an annual exhibition at the NAA. We all pursue our own opportunities to show at various galleries and exhibits. Over the years, the group has also collaborated for local shows in unique settings, including the Spencer-Pierce-Little Farm in Newbury, Mass., Lowell’s Boat Shop in Amesbury, Mass., and the Senior/Community Center in Newburyport. In 2014 the group worked with art students from Newburyport High School during an outing to Maudslay State Park.

The name “Newburyport 10” did not come in to play until a few years had gone by. Bud Smith (a.k.a. Jacob Towle) came up with that name, and he also made gifts of small hand painted palette pins, with Newburyport 10 inscribed, for each member.

Susan Stranc painting
Susan Jaworski-Stranc
at Tower Hill Botanic Garden

Dan Shaw painting
Daniel Shaw at Halibut Point, Rockport, MA

Early in the group’s existence, our Godfather and charter member Bob Gertz introduced the "Painter's Lunch" to our program; which has become a regular part of the routine. Susan Spellman once described the N10 as “an eating group with a painting disorder..”

Susan Jaworski-Stranc describes how you become “part of the landscape” as a plein air painter, “privy to elements of nature that you otherwise wouldn’t notice”. Stories abound: coyotes running between easels, turning on the cliffs of Monhegan Island to be surprised by whales, an audience of friendly Vermonters.

The group usually paints in Essex County, Cape Ann and southern New Hampshire, but sometimes takes longer trips.

“After Bob Gertz, Joan Hancock & I took an enjoyable extended painting trip to Monhegan Island in May of 2002,” Dan adds, “we decided we should plan an annual extended painting trip for the entire group. Since 2002, I have solicited members for suggestions of good places to go and have coordinated September excursions each year. We have visited Monhegan Island, ME a number of times, as well as Acadia National Park, Charlotte, Vermont, Stonington, ME, and some members to the Pemaquid Peninsula, Boothbay Harbor and Bucks County, PA.”

Bob Gertz
Bob Gertz, 1928-2011

For more information, contact Susan Spellman @ 978.465.3536