Posts Tagged ‘Beloit’


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 – Saturday

June 25, 2013
Saturday in Beloit; Oil on Canvas Panel 9" x 12"

Saturday in Beloit; Oil on Canvas Panel 9″ x 12″

Ventured back up to Beloit early Saturday morning. I wanted to get a painting of the weekly farmers market. The weather report said sunny. It was…at first. About a half hour into the painting, it got cloudy. Not thick clouds, but enough to play with the light and shadows. I have to stop paying heed to these weather forecasters.

While painting a few folks stopped by to ask about my work and about the competition. It would have been nice of the committee to have supplied us artists with some postcards or something to pass along to help attract people to the exhibition and sale, but alas. At one point a fellow approached me and asked what day it was. After surmising that he was serious, I answered that it was Saturday. I expected him to ask what date. Instead he looked relieved and said that he was wondering why there were so many people around. Ah the adventures of plein air painting.

Finished the market painting, ate lunch in the park and moved over to capture a view of the trees and their reflections at the lagoon.

While painting this work I was interrupted several times by people sponsoring the event. They were moving around town trying to see and follow the works of as many artists as possible. Happy with this painting. Probably should have entered this one for the competition. Oops.

Riverside Lagoon; Oil on Canvas Panel 9" x 12"

Riverside Lagoon; Oil on Canvas Panel 9″ x 12″


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 6

June 20, 2012

Plein Air June 4 – Along the Lagoon Path; Oil on Canvas Panel 11″ x 14″

I decided to have some additional canvases stamped for the competition. So by the time the visitor center opened and I could get my canvas stamped and then get to the park, and find a spot, well, it was getting late.

I had a spot in mind, but as I got to the spot the view just did not wow me. So, I ventured around for a few more minutes before finding this location. I had worked on this for about an hour when a couple stopped by to check out my work. After a few moments of chatting, the man questioned my work. He was concerned that I had not included the light posts. I explained that I was waiting until the end before placing those kind of details into the painting. He questioned why I would not place the poles in at the beginning of my painting. I tried to explain that putting the posts and other details in too soon would make it difficult paint the larger areas. He still did not get it. Thank goodness his wife took over and explained it to him.


Edge of the Rock Plein Air Competition Day 4

June 16, 2012

Plein Air June 2 – East of Turtle Island: Oil on Canvas Panel 16″ x 12″

Edge of the Rock Day 4. Saturday morning and Helen decided to come with me. We got to the park a little after 9 and saw one other artist at work. We walked around so that I could show Helen some spots in the park and we settled in this area. It offered shade for me and some flower arrangements near by which were of interest to Helen. We were near the playground which offered some additional entertainment. Busy day at the park as a fishing tournament was also being held.

The painting was moving along when something happened. First to my hat, then my shirt,  my palette and eventually my painting. Red Winged Blackbirds were enjoying the berries from a nearby tree, then flying over to the branches above my set up and, well let’s just say that they were offering their opinion. Not extremely messy, but gross and an inconvenience. Stubborn artist. I moved my set up a bit and decided to tough it out. A few more incidences, but I think that I won out. Incidentally, all my clothes went into the wash that evening.


Edge of the Rock Plein Air Competition Day 3

June 15, 2012

Plein Air June 1 – Friday Morning at the Park; Oil on Canvas Panel 12″ x 16″

It rained on Day 2. It rained all day. Rather than venture out to paint in the rain, I stayed in Rockford and worked in my studio.

I ventured out Friday morning, Day 3, and found a spot alongside the river. It was chilly and windy. Working in the shade of a tree made it even cooler. The painting was moving smoothly when I realized that one of the maintenance workers was making his way towards my spot on a riding mower. He worked his way closer until he was within about fifty yards when he turned and went back to his base. I assumed it was some sort of break time. A short while later, I noticed the mower coming back, but good news, he drove past me and went about fifty yards past before he started to mow again. Nice guy. After awhile, he drove back near me, then turned and drove away. I assumed that he was waiting for me to finish and leave so that he could finish his work.

I finished my first painting shortly after noon, took a break for lunch then set off to find the next painting spot. I settled in for a view of the lagoon. I was in a more visible locale. I had several visits from curious onlookers as well as volunteers from the organizations committee. Although it was still windy, I was in the sun and was enjoying the afternoon of painting.

I was about three quarters of the way through my painting when I experienced a head shaking moment. It was a comment from another artist. From any non-artist I would have let the comment roll by, but from another artist? Realize that the details are the LAST thing that you put on the painting, this artist looked at my incomplete, unsigned work and said loudly enough so that anyone within fifty yards could not help but hear, “Oh, aren’t you going to include the spray from the fountain?” After taking a m0ment to carefully craft a response, all I could come up with was, “Unlike some artists, I like to wait until the end of the painting to include the important details.”

I finished the work by including the spray from the fountains, packed my gear and headed home.

Plein Air June 1 #2 – Toward the Gazebo; Oil on Canvas Panel 11″ x 14″