8AM. I am packed and ready to drive to West Reading but, man, I am not sure I want to get in that car. I have been on the road for several weeks and what I really want is a break. BUT…That is not on the schedule, so in the car I crawl and off I go. The forecast is sunny with clouds rolling in in the afternoon. I have a 90 min drive. I am hoping to be painting by 10:30.
The day turned out to be a beautiful sunny day. I got 2 paintings in. The 1st one I found easily and was a pleasure, except for the delivery trucks that kept blocking my view. Luckily they were never there very long. Painting number 2 took me a while to find. I drove around a bit and then ended up ½ block away from the 1st painting I did! Nice to have 2 under my belt as the forecast for Thursday is rain.
5PM. Off to find dinner and check in to the place I am staying while doing this event.
8AM. Rained last night but stopped by about 10AM. The rain affords me a late start this morning. My plan is to sketch some, drive around and scope out spots to paint tomorrow morning. If the rain seems to be holding off…maybe get one painting in today. We’ll see.
5PM. I did get a painting today. Since I have 2 done I felt I could play a bit and try a different approach. I tried blocking in shapes and color …. it was so devoid of personality I hated it so I started wiping it out and then I liked it!
Rain started just as I was finishing up this painting so I called it a day. Knowing I had 3 paintings completed was a comfort and allowed me to play a bit. Then I drove around exploring and sketching. I found 2 spots to paint tomorrow (Fri) that I am quite happy about. Always nice to have a place in mind to paint so you can just get up and go to that place and get started.
The forecast for Friday morning is sunny but windy. I hope to get 1 if not 2 more paintings in. That gives me a choice of what to put in the show. I will have to get up and out early to have everything framed and turned in by 2PM.
5PM again and time to head to room for dinner, social media etc…..
Not a good night…sleep was not my friend. Got up at 6AM. Hoped to be painting by 7AM. I was painting by 8:15. And the sunshine was nowhere to be found. It was 58 degrees and 15mph winds which is really COLD. Why am I doing this…? Sometimes one wonders…hahaha.
I arrived at my spot and I stood and stared knowing it had excited me the day before. I still liked the sketch I had done and I wanted to try this new panel size….BUT the lighting was flat. DEAD. I decided to start, give it 45 minutes and if I wasn’t happy, I’d move on to my 2nd spot of the day.
About 45 minutes in, I noticed the clouds had parted and the sun was shining. AHHHHHHH.
BEA-U-TIFUL!!!! But it didn’t last. The morning oscillated from gray skies to blasts of wind to little spurts of sun and it actually rained at one point. The wind was unrelenting and I pulled gloves out of my car because my fingers were numb. And this is June you say..?? The advantages of working with your car nearby and always having various weather gear in it!
But there was something about this scene and this new panel shape that made me persevere. I did a lot of drawing into the wet paint…also like the contrast of the dark tree mass versus the light sky and bright green grass as well as the highway structure.
Finished up the painting around 11AM. Got everything framed, titled, paperwork filled out and everything turned in around 1:30. Head back to room to clean up, pack up and then head back to town for the reception.
7PM. Award ceremony. The Juror is Kenn Errol Backhaus, a renowned plein air painter and teacher. I honestly do not expect an award...I am just hoping for a sale and not even very sure that will happen.
What? 2nd place! Wow! As an award winner last year I never thought lightening would strike twice. But I am glad to say that sometimes it seems lightening CAN strike twice...and in this case, it doesn't even hurt...hahaha! Actually feels GOOD!
8PM. Drive 90 minutes back home....Happy!
3PM. Return to West Reading to hang out a bit for Art on the Town.
People’s Choice Award is announced at 7PM. Michele Byrne's Day in the Rain gets that honor. At Home Just Off 422, the 2nd Place award winner Sold. That is a wonderful feeling. Nothing like knowing that someone will be enjoying that paintings for years to come. We artists grab our paintings and head in all directions to our various homes.
8PM. I say my goodbyes to friends. I have my 90 minute drive back home. It has been quite a whirlwind of painting and weather the past 4 days. Fun, yes, but I am ready to be back home too.
Think that is typical of a plein air event!
Hope you enjoyed coming along with me on this plein air trip! Please stop back again and if you'd like to get these directly in your inbox DO sign up for my email list. Thank you for you support and have a fantastic day! Sarah
Art is Contagious. Pass it on. Albert Einstein.
West Reading Plein Air 2019 award winners: for pictures of show go to Art Plus Gallery
First Place, All Berks: Marita Hines
First Place, West Reading Scene: Angelo Cupani
Second Place: Sarah Baptist
Third Place: Michele Byrne
Honorable Mention: Thomas Bucci
Honorable Mention: Martha Ressler
People Choice Award: Michele Byrne
Sharing her journey of becoming an urban landscape plein air painter.......