Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Painting in the Great Outdoors

Today was the first day of this seasons Vistas and Vineyards painting “en plein aire” at local sites in the mid-valley. I have been so excited about this day!

I awoke this morning with a sinus headache. Oh, the joys of spring. This was nothing to sneeze at so I took some medication and packed my gear. I decided I would not set high expectations for my first day out. I just wanted to go, nothing more. Camera, chair, pencils, art sticks, paper, lunch, all loaded in the car and off I went.

I arrived at the park where our first paint out was scheduled and started looking around for a suitable site to work. I grabbed my camera and set out on foot up and down trails to find my inspiration. Alas, nothing was very inspiring, everything just looked green! Don't get me wrong I love living in Oregon and the Willamette Valley because it so green and lush but this spring has been very wet and damp especially after a long rainy winter. Everywhere I looked all I could see was green, green, and more green.

I got back into the car and drove to the opposite end of the park where I could find more natural scenes and less manicured grass. I finally found a grove of trees in a small ravine with yellow and purple wild flowers growing among the long grass. I parked my car and set up my chair and reached for my small sketch pad to work out my composition. Oops, no small sketch pad. It was not in my bag where I usually keep it. I must have used it over the winter and did not get it put back into my bag, darn. Luckily I found a small piece of scratch paper to use.

It was cold out and the sun was not going to break through the cloud cover, in fact it was beginning to look more and more like rain. Not to let this dampen my spirits I decided I could set in the back seat of my car and work instead of out in the rain and cold. I set my supplies on the seat next to me and began working. Hours went by. What time is it anyway? I looked at my cell phone for the time, I cannot see the hands on a watch anymore, much to my surprise it was nearly noon. At noon we usually meet as a group and critique our work and eat our lunch. I took a look at my work. It looks like crap! I decide to skip the group critique and see if I can salvage anything in my painting. My feet are cold.

Thirty minutes later I am getting nowhere with my painting, my feet are numb, my head is beginning to pound and I am getting hungry. I give up!

I did not get a "keeper" today but I did what I set out to do, I went.

I can't wait till next week!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Art Shows... emotional roller coaster.

My painting of the "Rhubarb" has been accepted into the International Colored Pencil Show.

I entered the international show many, many years ago and did not get accepted. I told myself it was because I was not yet good enough. Many years later I decided to give it another try. Alas, once again I was not accepted. I told myself it was the judge. I entered last years show thinking I would surely get in this time. No, drat foiled again! I told myself it didn't matter, the judge must be an imbecile! I don't need to waste my effort, money, or time.

A friend told me I needed to change my attitude. I needed to start looking at the entry as I have told my students for years "It is one persons opinion on one day". She said I may or may not get in this year or next but I need to keep trying and improving. I decided to enter again this year.

I have mixed feelings about being accepted. I know I should be thrilled but I am not. Maybe it just hasn't sunk in yet, or maybe it is all those years of telling myself "It is no big deal". Then again maybe the pressure is on now to make signature status, I don't know.

I entered the same painting last year and was not accepted. I guess it is true "It is one persons opinion on one day". It must be really hard to be a judge.