The plein air season is warming up and Paint Snow Hill 2017 was a great kick-off! The people there and the variety of subject matter makes this event an ideal way to get those juices flowing. Clear out those dust, winter cobwebs and PAINT!
This was my 3rd year at Paint Snow Hill. Just what is that??? 70 artists come to paint the town and surrounding area for 2-3 days. There is a sale on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon of the work created in that time frame. 25% of sales support a local arts organization.
Day 1 was a challenge. I arrived on Wednesday at noon, stopped by my host housing to say hello and unload the car. Then I headed straight out for painting #1. By the time I found a spot the wind had really kicked up and it got quite cloudy...ugh. The 1st painting was a struggle. The light kept changing, the paint was sticky, the wind was relentless, I was cold and the painting itself seemed lifeless, rather clunky....is this fun? I struggled for a while...then threw in the towel for the day and hoped for a better tomorrow.
Day 2 did bring a sunny morning and a fresh start. I went to the same location I had been since I'd seen a few possibilities there. I took a deep breath and began....
I took my time and the painting went well. I was happy with how this one turned out so I decided to pop back over to yesterdays location and re-work painting #1 a bit. The sunlight helped tremendously. I brightened up the sky, worked on the green building and popped lights and darks a bit. Surprising how it just came together with just a few tweaks.
I did one other painting from scratch and re-worked a painting from a previous year in the afternoon. The whole thing just needed going over and refining. The colors are more varied and there is more definition , I think. Be happy to hear your thoughts....
Day 3 I woke with a mission. I wanted to try painting a mini mart in town. This place had been calling to me.... so off I went. I took the time to do a sketch.....often a good idea! This was one of those times when everything worked. Sunny out, perfect temperature, good sketch, painting felt comfortable, color and shapes fell into place nicely. I had a blast! This is when the frustration of the previous days pays off and you feel like you might just be..... (shush) ..... an artist!
At this point I realized I needed to work a bit smaller if all my paintings were going to fit onto the 3' x 6' panel we're given for the sale. I decided to have some fun with some 6x6 studies.....
Now it's Saturday and I must frame my larger paintings and re-paint the edges of the square paintings, make sure everything is signed, labeled and wired to hang....then go hang the work and be ready for preview sale that evening! Ah, the life of a plein air artist!
What I learned ...well, re-learned... this week was to take my time and be patient with myself. it's so important to take a step back and breathe. Not every painting is going to go well and that has to be ok. That's how we get better at this thing called ART.