By Melissa Arnold

For many, spending time outdoors is a great way to de-stress and recharge. And for the artistically inclined, it’s easy to feel inspired when you’re face-to-face with a profoundly beautiful scene.

These ideas are at the heart of the annual Gallery North/Joe Reboli Wet Paint Festival, which kicks off its 12th year this weekend in Stony Brook. The festival, hosted by Gallery North in Setauket, was launched to honor the memory of beloved Long Island painter Joseph Reboli. Since then, artists from across the island have gathered to paint outdoors in a variety of Three Village locations.

Stony Brook artist Barbara Siegel has painted at the festival for almost a decade now, and she said there’s nothing quite like “plein air,” or outdoor, painting. “Plein air painting gives you a beautiful opportunity to truly capture a moment — you see with your own eyes the lighting, shadows and detail of a place, in real time — you just don’t get that being inside,” she explained.

This year, the artists are headed to the historic Gamecock Cottage on West Meadow Beach in Stony Brook. According to Brookhaven town historian Barbara Russell, the cottage was purchased in 1876 by William Shipman for hunting and fishing. It earned the name Gamecock from either its bird-shaped weather vane or Shipman’s love of raising wild birds. “It’s really an interesting place,” Russell said. “And it defies understanding how it still exists, considering it’s been hit by every major storm and hurricane in our area since (the 1800s).”

Participating artists:

Rose Barry

Renee Blank

Sheila Breck

Yow-Ning Chang

Robin Clonts

Anthony Davis

Denise Douglas-Faraci

Greg Furjanic

Jim Kelson

Kathee Shaff Kelson Junee Kim

Elizabeth Kolligs

Arntian Kotsa

Lee Ann Lindgren

Esther Marie

Linda Davison Mathues

Eileen A. McGann

Muriel Musarra

Paula Pelletier

Linda Prentiss

Joan Rockwell

Stephen Rosa

Joseph Rotella

Oscar Santiago

Barbara Jeanne Siegel

Angela Stratton

Rita Swanteson

Natsuko Takami

Susan Trawick

Rae Zysman

Artist Muriel Musarra of Stony Brook has been a part of the festival from the beginning, and the Gamecock Cottage is a familiar subject for her artwork. “I’ve painted the Gamecock Cottage several times before from different angles — everyone loves it,” she said. “I’m looking forward to painting it again because something about the scene is always different. You never see the same thing twice.” The cottage was built out of solid wood in a Carpenter Gothic style and includes ample ornate trim, Russell said. Restoration has been underway for some time now, and historians at the festival will give visitors a rare look at the interior.

Gallery North Director Judith Levy said the festival will feature nearly 30 artists painting throughout the weekend, beginning Friday morning, July 15. On Saturday at 10:30 a.m., Russell and Bev Tyler of the Three Village Historical Society will lead a historical walking tour beginning at the West Meadow Beach Pavilion. The tour will move down Trustees Road and end at the cottage. Along the way, the group will learn how the beach and surrounding area was used by a variety of civilizations, from the Native Americans to the Colonials and beyond. A selection of artifacts from various time periods will be on display inside the cottage.

Following a weekend of painting, the finished artwork will be available to view and purchase at Gallery North from July 19 through July 24. An exhibition reception will be held on Thursday, July 21 from 5 to 7 p.m. “It’s a lot of fun,” Levy said of the festival. “There’s a lot of camaraderie among the artists and they all enjoy getting together to paint.”

The 12th annual Gallery North/Joseph Reboli Wet Paint Festival will be held at the Gamecock Cottage, Trustees Road and West Meadow Beach, Stony Brook. Painters will be on-site from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, July 15, and Saturday, July 16, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 17. Gallery North is located at 90 North Country Rd., Setauket. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 631-751-2676.