Posts Tagged ‘Beloit College’


Beloit – Edge of the Rock – Monday

June 29, 2013
Enlightened; Oil on Canvas Panel 9" x 12"

Enlightened; Oil on Canvas Panel 9″ x 12″

I ventured back up to Beloit on Monday morning. Found a spot on campus which gave an interesting view of  Middle College (the administration building). Had a fun time painting under the shade of  oak trees. Only a few minor interruptions. A couple of campus employees, a family visiting the campus with their young child, and a person gathering photos of painters for the committees website.

After lunch, I made my way to the lagoon at Riverside Park. Found a spot and had an enjoyable afternoon. Again, only a couple minor interruptions. Wish that I had some flyers, cards or other information to hand out and  help get people to the exhibit of these plein air works.

Unfortunately, the afternoon painting was a flop. Brought it home anyway to get confirmation from Helen. Agreed – it was not worth salvaging. To the studio where the effort was wiped away with mineral spirits and paper towels. Certain amount of satisfaction in violently trashing a failed piece.

Out of the five works completed, I selected the two works which I felt were the strongest. These two works were transported up to Beloit on Thursday morning for delivery to the exhibition venue. where a possible snag revealed itself.

Well before sending in my registration, I had contact with the committee. Due to my sons wedding, I would be out of town and therefore unable to attend the Friday evening reception and, more important, the required Sunday morning retrieval of any unsold paintings. At the time, I was told that they would be able to work with me to pick up my works early the following week. I included a note on my registration. On the first day of the competition, picking up my artists packet and getting my canvases stamped, I reminded the chairwoman of my “unique” situation. I was told “No problem.

While delivering my paintings, I asked about retrieving my works Monday morning and was told that all works MUST be picked up Sunday morning – no exceptions. After a few minutes of “negotiation” (basically  I indicated that perhaps it was best for me to take my works now rather than exhibit them). Brief discussion and I was told to contact on member of the committee Monday morning and pick up the works by 9:00am. (Note – this too got fouled up, but that is another story).

Follow up – The committee spent a lot of effort, time and money placing ads in national publications in an effort to attract more artists to the event. They ended up with the usual number of artists. As far as I can surmise, the sales of paintings were weak to non-existent. The exhibition of the works was only Friday evening 6:00 – 8:00pm and on Saturday 9:00am – 1:00pm with no additional options for us to exhibit and sell our works to locals and visitors. What a shame. If asked for my thoughts and suggestions, I would say that perhaps time, efforts and resources should be invested in bringing in more buyers to generate purchases of the produced art work. Us artists are like mice to cheese. If we have good results selling our works to an eager,willing and  supportive market word will get around and they will have more than enough good to great artists coming to Beloit to compete in this event.


Beloit – Edge of the Rock – Friday

June 24, 2013
I Was Told There Would be People Here; Oil on Canvas Panel 9" x 12"

I Was Told There Would be People Here; Oil on Canvas Panel 9″ x 12″

First day painting at The Edge of the Rock Plein Air Competition. The weather report said partly cloudy. It was raining. Not hard, but a steady drizzle.

After getting my canvases stamped, I inquired about the Fridays in the Park weekly event. The folks said that the event was still a weekly event with lots of people. I ventured over to the corner and found an advantageous location. My plan was to get as much of the basic framework in place and add the people and vendors during the noon hour activities.

I worked on the painting and was happy with my progress. As noon approached, I realized that I heard noise, but nobody was around the park. Turns out that due to some construction, the activities were temporarily moved from the park, to the plaza right around the corner from me. Thus the title of this first painting.

After finishing this now boring painting, I had my lunch while enjoying this weeks entertainment then ventured over to the Beloit College campus to find another scene to paint – no people necessary for this work.

Shadows at Chapin; Oil on Canvas Panel 9" x 12"

Shadows at Chapin; Oil on Canvas Panel 9″ x 12″


Edge of the Rock Plein Air Competition Day 7

June 21, 2012

Plein Air June 5 – Reflections at a Calm Lagoon; Oil on Canvas Panel 12″ x 16″

Paintings were due on Thursday morning and I needed a day to get my works photographed. So I traveled to Beloit for one last day of painting. I would like to have gotten a couple more days. I find that the more I paint in an area, the more subject matter I find. I suppose that as I winnow through the design possibilities, the designs start to weave together and reveal greater opportunities.

As I finished Mondays painting, I witnessed a design on the east side of the lagoon. I was tempted to paint it, but as I looked at it, I estimated that a morning rendition might be more dynamic. So I ventured up to Beloit early. I had a 16″ x 20″ canvas panel in the car which I had brought in on the first day to be stamped. I was psyched to get this going and finished before noon. Tragedy. As I got to my spot, I checked the canvas panel before I started, thank goodness. It was not stamped. I suppose that in the confusion of stamping eight panels, the volunteer missed this one. The visitor center would not be open for another fifty minutes. Too long. I can not wait. I called hoping that, by some miracle, some one would be available to stamp the panel. That would only cost me about fifteen minutes of painting time. No such luck.

I did have a 12″ x 16″ panel which was available AND stamped, so I went with that. The design, the brushes, the paint went so smoothly, it was as though the painting created itself.The toughest part was that about three quarters of the way through the painting, the wind started to kick in and obliterated the quality of the reflections. To finish the work, I had to depend on my early brush notations and my fleeting memory. But I think that it came together.

I was happy with the mornings effort and broke for lunch. I decided to venture over to the college campus. I thought that there might be an exciting view from the campus looking toward the park. Eh, it was alright but not a “Wow”. I meandered through campus and was about to move on when I came across this scene. I happened to look at the right time as sun broke through a cloud and flashed light onto the flowers. They jumped at me. I had been past this house at least six times over the past week and did not see this possibility. But today was different. I studied it for a few moments and settled on the design. I took a little longer on this piece than I probably should have, but I think that the results were worth it. Others did too. The painting, Stately Blooms, was honored with a Third Place Award and more humbling, The Peoples Choice Award.

This was a well run event. Great staff and volunteers. Supportive community. I already have thoughts for and plan to participate next year. Beloit, thank you for a memorable week of painting.

Plein Air June 5 – Stately Blooms; Oil on Canvas Panel 11″ x 14″


Edge of the Rock Plein Air Competition Day 1

June 14, 2012

Plein Air may 30 – Toward the Pump House; Oil on Canvas Panel 11″ x 14″


I registered to participate in the Edge of the Rock Plein Air competition. The competition was in Beloit Wisconsin. The town is about 20 miles away, but with this areas  competence at coordinating the timing of traffic signals, it takes more than thirty five minutes to get there.

On the first day, I had to stop by the visitors center to get my canvases stamped. Stamping the canvases is their way of verifying that the painting was created during this competition. One challenge is that the center is open for stamping canvases between 9am – 11 am, a prime time for painting. So after getting checked in, canvases stamped, getting a map of the official areas to paint, I headed off to find my subject and get painting. So after cruising the sites, finding a spot for today’s painting, and setting up to paint, it was a little after 10am.

The spot I located was quiet, so that was nice. Occasionally people would walk or drive past, but otherwise I was able to work undisturbed. A challenge occurred. The sky was changing constantly and somewhat dramatically. It went from a few clouds, to thick cloud cover and back again. It became difficult for me to hold my initial vision. Then, because of the lateness of my start, as I got past the noon hour, the lighting on my scene also changed.

After another stop at the visitors center to use the restroom, I ventured over to Beloit College to scope out the possibilities there. By now the clouds were moving on and the sun was making it’s way through. I stumbled around the campus and finally found a spot which I felt could work. I started on the painting, but after analyzing the block in, I determined that this design would not work (could have worked as a watercolor, but not an oil).

I decided to call it a day and head home to clean off the last painting, my palette, brushes, and set a game plan for the next day.