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Plein Air October 15

October 28, 2011

Plein Air - October 15 #1, Oil on Canvas Panel 6" x 8"

Plein Air - October 15 #2, Oil on Canvas Panel 6" x 8"

Plein Air - October 15 #3, Oil on Canvas Panel 6" x 8"

After a busy Friday evening at Rockford ArtScene (yea – one painting sold), I was awake early on Saturday morning to get down to Grand Detour for the Eagles Nest OPA Paint Out.

It was sunny but chilly. I arrived in Grand Detour about 8:00am. A couple of the women were busy setting up a table to greet guests who would join us for this event. I checked in, grabbed my gear and set off to find a scene to paint. It was amazing how much the colors had changed in just the four days since we were last in Grand Detour. I ventured across Rt. 2 to the Rock River. A few cars were present at the park,  but no other signs of people. I found a scene and got busy painting. Hard to hold your concentration when the light is shifting as fast as it does in the early morning. You have to capture the notes quickly and then fill in the rest.

With my first painting complete, I thought that I would venture back to the John Deere Homestead to find another scene. Gear packed up, I was set to leave when I looked around and saw another intriguing view. A spot along the river caught my interest. Quickly set up my paint box again and set to painting. While working, I heard a series of noises. It sounded like firecrackers. About the third time that it happened, I noticed that  following the blasts, geese would fly past. Duh – hunting season.

As I was painting, I had the feeling that I was being watched. I looked around and realized a friend of the group had come to photograph members of the event at work. Bob does a lot of photography, so you can never be sure how much might be for documenting the event and how much may be used for his own artistic endeavors.

I worked #2 by starting with a magenta outline and block in. The color came through subsequent paint applications and really played well with the blues and yellows.

On to find scene #3. I stopped by the greeter to have a doughnut and some hot apple cider. Found out that Barb was being very enterprising and managed to move some of the treats for donations to visitors of the John Deere homestead. Barb must have run some very profitable lemonade stands as a child.

I moved up the street from the homestead with thoughts of going the three or so blocks to the turn in the road to check out the possibilities. Never made it that far. Found a spot of interest, set up and started painting alongside the road. About fifteen minutes into my work, I noticed something at the bend of the road and realized that it was Dan, a member of our group, busy painting. I wonder what view he has? Bob showed up again and began snapping more photos.

As I was painting, I had to move my set up several times to stay within the shadows of a nearby tree. This kept the sun from shining directly on my canvas and blinding me. #3 completed, I started to work my way back toward the homestead. It was near noon and I knew that the group would be meeting for lunch. A chance to view each others work and enjoy some fellowship. On the way back, I noticed several more choice scenes. Unfortunately, not enough time to capture them all. A few quick photographs may help, but will never replace the opportunity to paint directly from life.

Fun time during lunch. Bob showed up again (that guy was everywhere, although, to be fair, Grand Detour is not that big). More photos. A few members asked to see the works which I had completed. Ego boost. Pull the works out, one of which was still in my paint box, a Guerrilla Box. Ego crush. Several of the painters were more interested in my paint gear than in my paintings (way to go Judson’s Art Outfitters).

Lunch over, I packed up and headed home. On the way, a quick stop at the Soap Shoppe in Oregon. A few treats for Helen (Sweetest Day ya know). Home. Unpack the car, clean up my paint box and brushes. Shower, ate an early dinner and then on to Bennie’s for the second night of Rockford ArtScene ( Boo, no sales Saturday).

No trouble falling to sleep Saturday night.

Note: Good news – a few days after the paint out, I received an e-mail. Someone that had seen us at work was interested in the paintings completed that day. They purchased two of my works. Paintings #2 and #3 have found a home.

Alongside the Rock River, working on my second painting.

At work on #2

Not much gear required to paint these scenes.

At work along Illinois Street in Grand Detour

Also along Illinois Street. The folks of the town were nice enough to let us invade their yards without incident.

Painting #3 nearing completion. I had to move a few times to keep from having the sun shine onto my painting.

A photo of the hard core painters on this chilly day.

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