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.

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