One more posting before heading off to bed:
I made the front page of the paper while painting in the Sonoma Plein Air quick-draw competition. (That’s me in the grey ball cap in the upper left corner of the photo.) For those who may not know what a quick-draw is, it is when all the participating plein air artists of a festival are brought together into a small area and asked to paint something from direct observation for 90 minutes while the general public mills around and watches. (And comments, and jokes, and even sometimes heckles a bit…) For some painters, quick-draw events are a nightmare. But not for me. Anyone who has done as many demos as I have, or taught as many classes as I have — who has had to talk and ‘splain things while I work — folks watching me ain’t a big deal. It’s kind of fun actually because it takes some of the mystique out of making art and I always like that.
Anyway, I digress…
As I said, I made the front page and I’m sure that helped me during the rest of the week since I was a newbie to this year’s Sonoma Paint out. It raised people’s awareness of me. In fact, people brought me the front page of their newspaper several times by the end of the week.
Christopher Newhard, the other artist in the top photo, had hired a young latino girl to pose in the square wearing a traditional Mexican dancing dress and I was way out on the other corner walking back to my car to get something I’d forgotten when I saw her setting up. Now, it’s one thing to paint the figure indoors under electrical light, or natural light pouring in through a window, but it is another thing altogether to have the chance to paint the figure outdoors under a wide soft wash of the sun. So I lost any desire to do an obligatory painting of the Sebastiani Theatre across the square and immediately dragged my gear over to the model. What a fun painting. 90 minute of pure joy. This girl was 16 and steady like a rock. She really held that pose. (What is it about dancers? I’ve had the opportunity to paint a number of Portland’s finest professional ballerinas as of late and they’ve all been fantastic at holding a pose.)
When it was all said and done here was the result:
At quick-draws, paintings are either sold right off the easel wet, or are taken to a place nearby where they are hung for later viewing. Mine made it into a small gallery/wine shop across the way that night and I was informed it sold later in the week. Turned out it hadn’t, but that was okay. Someone I knew who wanted it badly the night it was painted came back on Saturday and was thrilled to find it was available.
Here is some of the milling about after the bell was rung and everyone’s brushes were put down: