It would not have been unusual for Carthage residents to spot someone on a street corner Wednesday sitting in front of a painting easel with brush in hand and paints on a pallet.
That is when the Fourth Annual Maple Leaf Plein Air Paint Out started with more than a dozen artists taking to the streets to find subjects to suit their fancy.
The event concludes today with artists scheduled to turn in their works at 4 p.m. to Cherry's Art Emporium on the Square, which will close up shop for a couple hours while judges look over the works.
The shop, at 311 N. Main St., on the west side of the Carthage Square, will reopen at 6 p.m. today to let the public admire and purchase the works created during the event.
The name Plein Air comes from the French expression “En Plein Air,” which means in open air or to paint outdoors.
John Mills, a veteran of Plein Air Paint Outs in Carthage in the past, said Wednesday's weather was perfect for the artists, although it was a little cool until the sun got high in the sky.
“Fall and spring are my two favorite seasons to be out and paint,” Mills said. “This is a great opportunity to get out, enjoy the weather, and just paint.”
Mills, who planted himself on the corner of Third and Main streets in front of the Carthage Deli, said he'd had a few people stop and watch him paint.
“One man just left, but he wanted to know where the hot dog place was,” Mills said with a laugh. “It is fun to get out and meet people while you are painting. People will come up and ask you questions.”
Mills and another artist, Larry Klingman, have put their works on display this month at artCentral in Carthage.
“In Carthage, like Neosho, art gets a lot of support from the community,” Mills said. “It's nice to see.”