Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The irony of it all

I've posted both of these two paintings before, but I was holding them for the Farms & Barns show at the Next Picture Show Gallery which is held every year in September (usually). Since it costs me an arm and a leg in gas money to get out there I don't attend the opening of every show I'm in, but like Ted Williams said once "I feel hitterish". For you non-baseball fans, that means he knew he was going to get a hit and somehow I felt like I was going to get one of the awards. So when the winners were announced, there I was holding the 2nd place certificate and the check that goes along with it. Sales there are spotty, although I did sell two at the last show, so a winners check adds a little needed money. Painting on the left is "Hills and Horses" 18" X 36" and the award winner on the right is "Farmhouse at Pumpkin Patch" 22" X 28". Here's the interesting story: Last year I did a one day portrait workshop there at the gallery. One of my students had three paintings in the Farms & Barns show. Who takes the Best of Show award -- she does. Ah, well, it was a really nice painting...and what's the old saying?? -- the student who doesn't surpass his master, etc, etc. The next show out there will be the Shades of Gray and I've entered three drawings...we'll see how many of them get in. That will be the entry for next time.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fresh Paint -- plein air in Amana, Iowa

I happened to come across an ad for a plein air festival on Facebook. It's held in Amana, Iowa sponsored by Catiri's Art Oasis. Since Amana is only four hours by car from me, I considered it quite a good thing and sent in my fee ahead of time. Over the Labor Day weekend I was with about a dozen others -- although I considered myself an outsider, I think they were all from Iowa. That being said, off I went into the streets to paint. The first two paintings are the old abandoned building and the red brick house you see pictured. I did these two 8" X 10". I realized that it was quite hot, but being involved in painting I can pretty much ignore my own inconvenience. I had lunch and then moved on to Lily Lake, which is just west outside the center of town. It's a large lake (well, not that large) with lily pads over much of the surface of the water. There I did an 11" X 14" on linen. That one took me a bit longer, close to two hours. It looked something like the last painting (a 6" X 8") pictured. Anyway, I did five paintings on the first day and just after finishing my painting at Lily Lake, I stood up in the sunshine and experienced such a blast of heat that I realized I should stop there. I packed up, put things away in the car and when I drove off, I noticed the temperature readout was 103 degrees. Record setting. The second day I did another five paintings and two on the last day. I left two paintings with the gallery for their sale and luckily I sold one of them that day. It was a 6" X 8" study of a tree and shadows. I had to leave the festival early --- the motel I stayed in had the worst mattress on the bed and after three nights on that thing my back was hurting really bad. So, a good experience -- Catiri's was an excellent host for the gathering and Amana is a nice place to visit, although it turns into a tourist haunt for the weekend, which can complicate matters for parking, etc. Friday was a lot better. I've never done an actual sponsored paint out like this before. I constantly worry about my skills eroding because I am not always active painting, but the two I left in Iowa were two of the best I've ever done. Now the irony --- I forgot to take a picture of them. In my haste to get them ready to hang I forgot to get the camera out and get a picture.