Tuesday, May 31, 2011

'White Picket Fence" (oil on linen, 11" x 14") sold


Sara during the group critique session

A hot day!  Today Sara Poly's plein-air class went to Green Spring Gardens Park in Alexandria, VA.  I knew exactly what I was going to paint--hydrangeas against the white picket fence.  I had unsuccessfully tried the same subject twice last year, and was smarting from my failures.  I had scores to settle, so to speak.  I settled comfortably in the gazebo, which you can see from the above photo (say hi to my teacher, Sara, who is holding my painting during the lunch/critique session).  Everything was going swimmingly until I was mobbed.

I can't say I am a veteran plein-air painter--I have been at it only for two years.  Still, I had experienced my share of the usual difficulties, such as bugs, winds, heat, coldness, noise, crowds, etc.  An entire class of second-graders on a field trip decided to take shade and have lunch in the gazebo!  This was new.  My things got knocked over; I was pushed over; and several children became art critics.  What could I do?  I turned into a painting stone, completely ignoring the goings-on around me.  My art class had to wait for our turn until the kids left, and saw everything.  They shook their heads; some chuckled.

Considering the duress under which I had to work, I think the painting turned out well.  The class--my class--who have become good, fair critics, gave me an excellent advice about the big, trapezoid-shaped brick patio.  It had to lie flat and be broken up somehow.  So I introduced the wooden board leading into the picture on the far right and cooled the top portion so that it would recede.  What a day!

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