A small crowd gathered beneath a streetlight on the southeast corner of the Neosho Square on Monday night, to watch as artist Jason Sacran painted a nighttime scene of Neosho.
Sacran, a professional painter, is in town for the Neosho Arts Council's 10-day Herman Jaeger Festival.
While he acknowledged that the historic buildings lining the square, the Newton County Courthouse located in the center, and the clear night sky provided a beautiful scene, those were not what he aimed his sights on.
Instead, with paintbrush to canvas, he focused straight ahead, down South Washington Street, from the corner of Main and Washington Streets.
"Typically, especially when I do nocturnals, I don't paint the most stereotypically pleasing scenes," Sacran said.
The scene he selected on Monday consisted of a dimly lit street, some powerlines, and a few cars parked along the sides of the roadway.
"I love the contrast of the light pole against that dark background," Sacran said. "I really just like more urbanized, dark, dramatic scenes that kind of have the whole 'stereotypical, beautiful' not there at all, because I think that the most beautiful subject matter can be the most mundane and I think the most boring subject matter can be the most stereotypically beautiful."
Though he often paints nighttime views, Monday was Sacran's first time creating a painting with Neosho as the subject.
"I've been kind of known the last year or two for doing the nocturnal," Sacran said. "I personally like going out painting at night, it's pretty peaceful. It does restrict how much you can see but the good thing about it is you don't have to deal with the ever-changing light of the sun. You can spend as much time as you want on a painting, it's not going to change."
Sacran's nocturnal painting demonstration was his second event in the 10-day festival, following Saturday's plein-air oil painting workshop, where he served as the instructor.
He said 11 people enrolled in the class, which was held in the Neosho Civic.
Sacran said he offered several tips to his students during the course, one of which was how to go about beginning a painting.
"When I begin painting, I look at it in terms of big shapes," Sacran said. "We really focus on big shapes and we really focus on those abstract larger shapes when we design our paintings and we break those shapes down as we go."
The second annual Herman Jaeger Festival, which kicked off on Friday, April 26, continues this evening with the Crowder College Evening of Jazz, starting at 6 p.m. at the Neosho Civic.
Artwork from the festival's three-day painting competition will also be on display at the jazz event, with winners to be announced during the intermission.
Page 2 of 2 - Schedule:
Tuesday, April 30:
• Crowder College's "Evening of Jazz" Benefit Concert. Neosho Civic. Starring the Crowder College Jazz Band and Neosho High School Jazz Band. For times and ticket information, call 455-5701.
• "Paint Neosho" Awards Presentation to be held during intermission of "Evening of Jazz."
Friday, May 3:
• 4 p.m.-7 p.m.: ArtSquared Spring Art Show and Sale. Neosho Civic Center. Wine tasting.
Saturday, May 4:
• 8 a.m.-2 p.m.: Boulevard Bank Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest. Neosho Square.
• 8 a.m.: "Eric's Run for Life" 5K Run/Walk. Morse Park. To benefit American Cancer Society's "Neosho Relay for Life."
• 10 a.m.-4 p.m.: ArtSquared Spring Art Show and Sale. Neosho Civic Center.
• 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.: "Jaegerfest" Music Celebration. Neosho Civic Center.
Sunday, May 5:
• 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.: "Wine in the Garden" 608 Oakridge Dr, Neosho.