We are pleased to feature a guest author this week, John P. Lasater IV, who also serves as the IRWP Artist in Residence for 2013.  John is a full-time artist living in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. His studio overlooks the beautiful Illinois River valley on the border of Oklahoma. He is also the co-founder of Heart of America Artists Association

Humanity everywhere is commuting past hills, trees and streams, distracted by busy lives, missing the chance to be revived by nature and beauty. Vitality springs from the earth, but like a gentleman, it patiently waits for us to pause and receive its gift.

Sunrise at City Lake
“Sunrise at City Lake” by Bill Garrison


As a landscape artist, it’s part of my mission to record the beauty of the ordinary things around me. I respond in my own unique way to the simple things others might miss. My mission is fulfilled if owning or viewing my art brings healing to the soul. 


Hawk's Landing
“Hawk’s Landing” by M.M. Kent


For the past three months, artists from as far away as Kansas City, Memphis and Shreveport were here in the Illinois River Watershed of Arkansas and Oklahoma, mostly unnoticed. Some were painting, some sketching, and some photographing reference. They were all preparing to enter the 2013 Illinois River Salon, the first landscape art show specifically dedicated to the Illinois River Watershed.


Cave Springs

“Cave Springs” by L.S. Eldridge


The Illinois River Salon was born from a desire to promote the beauty of our region. Thanks to the support of IRWP and the Windgate Foundation, my organization called Heart of America Artists’ Association was able to assemble an outstanding show.

Approximately 50 distinct works by 40 artists were accepted into the exhibition from a total of 85 entries. The mediums represented are oil, pastel, watercolor, acrylic and mixed media. They will be on display and for sale at the Compton Gardens Visitors Center, September 30th through October 2nd.

On the evening of October 2nd, from 6-8pm there will be a show reception that is open to the public at Compton Gardens Visitor Center. Wine and cheese will be served. Awards will be announced, and many of the artists will be in attendance for you to meet.


The Magic Hour
“The Magic Hour” by Tim Breaux

Colonel Myers Bridge 1911
“Colonel Myers Bridge, 1911″ by Margie Moss

Please join me as together we glory in the beauty of the Illinois River Watershed. Bring a friend! I also hope you will consider taking home an artwork, a memory, from this very exciting event.



Related Links

Google Map of Plein Air Painting Locations

2013 Illinois River Salon Art Exhibit

Catalog of Salon Entries

Heart of America Artists Association

Lasater Art


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Pinterest Board – Illinois River Salon