Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Perils of Plein Air Painting

I've just returned from back-to-back plein air painting events in Shorewood and Plymouth, Wisconsin. I'm not sure yet what drives an artist to participate in these types of events, but it seems to be somewhat of an addiction. Some of the challenges include painting in who-knows-what type of weather there will be when the day arrives, bugs, wind, time limitations, and potentially giving up a freshly painted, and still wet, painting if you are lucky enough to have it sold. I experienced all of these, and more, in my recent events.

The Shorewood event was the first of what many hope will be an annual event there. I am very grateful for the hard work that went into the planning of this event. But you can't plan for the weather. It rained the first two days, and was only about 60 degrees - although it felt a lot colder in wet gear. Yes, I did paint in the rain - you don't have much choice! My painting umbrella came in very handy and I kept large plastic bags close by to cover things as needed. Fortunately, when working with oil paints, the water tends to run right off.

I sold two of the three paintings that I submitted. The one shown here was held back as a thank you to the kind people who provided a place to stay. I hope to post more photos soon. It has been a very busy summer and I haven't been keeping up on posting my work.

The Plymouth event is a week-long painting spree. You can arrive any day that works for you, and paint as long as you want, but you can only submit 3 paintings to the exhibit. It is to your advantage to paint as many paintings as you can in a week, and choose the best 3. Unfortunately, a hornet decided to feast on me on the first day by climbing up the leg of my jeans and biting me at least eight times. I'm not afraid of bees and wasps, but they do put a damper on your enthusiasm when they are aggressive. And you would be surprised how many insects want to fly into a painting, only to find out that once they land, they are stuck in wet oil paint.

It was cold and windy when we were in Plymouth, so I'm not sure why the hornets were so aggressive. I had only completed 3 paintings when I decided that was enough. The event runs through the end of this week, but I'm thankful to be home and able to sleep in my own bed for a few days before going back for the reception on Friday evening. The paintings are only available for one night, so I hope you can make it to the reception at the Plymouth Arts Center from 6-9pm!

Be sure to check out more of my work at www.kathleeneatonart.com!

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