The 2020 festival dates for the Plein Air Down Under was the long weekend of 26, 27 and 28 September, with additional pre-festival workshops and activities.  The aim of this festival is to promote painting “en plein air” or in the outdoors.

Plein Air Down Under was held around Mandurah’s town centre, cultural precinct and also the nearby historic town of Pinjarra.

Focussing on outdoor and evening paint-outs, the event presented feature artists, as well as over $8,000 in awards and prizes, workshops, youth involvement, demonstrations and an exhibition of plein air paintings.

Cass Gartner held a full Watercolour workshop on the Friday. Bad weather was expected, but it never arrived.

We were in a lovely venue with a verandah so painted the view out over the estuary after watching Cass’s demonstration.

In the afternoon we did a painting from an image that Cass has done many times. A great workshop where everyone went away happy with 2 paintings and new things learnt.

Cass Gartner at her workshop.

Stephanie Boyle with Julie McCormack with her winning painting.

Cass demonstrated Saturday morning outside Todd’s cafe, this went well.

Other painters also got busy doing a warm up before the quick draw in the afternoon.

The weather turned horrendous! Hand driers were used in restaurant toilets for drying paintings!


Julie McCormick was the Watercolourist that won the Watercolour category. Congratulations Julie!

More of Julie’s paintings from the weekend.

Then Sunday we went to Pinjarra for the day. Participants were encouraged to do as many paintings possible in the day.

Each painting got a raffle ticket for a chocolate wheel and there were prizes galore.

Cass won Watercolour items, Jane won gift voucher for local cafe.

Judging went on in the afternoon and there was opportunity both days to price your work to sell from the easel

Steph set up and ready to go.

Jane Zandi’s Motorbike

Monday saw us go to the beach where the weather was threatened but only slightest rain came.

Judges were around to invite participants to submit for the exhibition at CASM the next weekend.


A very well organised weekend, definitely one for the diary next year.

This will only grow with more people coming once the borders are open.

The Organisers have asked to form a working party with WatercoloursWA members to see how things should progress for us.



Big Thanks to the organisers for this great weekend.  Painting is such a pleasure when the process is well run.

Due to the weather it was handy to have an umbrella holder, be it person or mechanical.