Posts Tagged ‘Clark Park’


Pink Improv

September 27, 2014
Pink Improv; Plein Air Oil on Canvas Panel 9" x 12"

Pink Improv; Plein Air Oil on Canvas Panel 9″ x 12″

My wife and I planned our annual summer retreat to Door County Wisconsin. Our main purpose was to utilize the week to paint. All other “touristy” activities would take a back seat to our art. A couple weeks before vacation, Helen realized that if we traveled up to Door County a couple days earlier than planned, I could participate in the Door County Plein Air Dockside Quick Paint.

The Quick Paint event is the culmination of DC’s annual Plein Air Festival. In short, on Saturday morning, we have the opportunity to paint in and near Clark Park in Fish Creek. Although artists such as me have to pay an entrance fee to participate, we get to join with the festivals 40 artists in attempting to capture scenes in this park area. While the paintings of the festivals artists are auctioned immediately following the Quick Paint, our paintings will be on display during the evenings public reception at The Peninsula School of Art.

We arrived in Door County late Friday evening. The Quick Paint begins at 9:00am. After breakfast, we took a brief walk to determine a suitable subject/design for my painting. Settled on a workable subject and set up my easel and equipment. Realized soon into the painting that I should have set up a little closer to my subject. Throughout the painting, I had to deal with gawkers standing in between me and these flowers, while they were watching other artists at work. I kept my cool and just dealt with it. Not much else that I could do. About thirty minutes into my work I realized that my design was a bit off. I knew the changes that could be made to improve the work. Unfortunately, changes were not an option at this point. Just deal with it. I did decide to make one important alteration. Both flowers were in red clay pots. That just was not going to work. I looked to the other side of the porch and found my inspiration. While I did not move the flowers around, I did utilize the design of the green pot and used that instead of the pot that was on the subject plant. Artists prerogative.

That evening at the reception, I was gratified to see that my painting was one of several which were sold. I was able to meet the patron that purchased this work and quickly realized that this patron had visited  while I was creating this work.

A good painting and a sale, nice way to start a painting vacation.


Door County July 20

August 8, 2012

Plein Air July 20 – Harbored at Fish Creek; Oil on Canvas Panel 6″ x 8″

We planned to have dinner in Fish Creek. The boys offered an idea. They wanted to visit Clark Park to relax and read a little bit before dinner. That gave me a chance to set up my gear and work on a small painting.

Had a little bit of trouble. I quickly found three possible designs but only had time to do one. Enjoyed doing this piece. Fortunately, I locked in the main boats quickly. It was a busy harbor this afternoon. One key boat left the docks while I was painting and three others came in.


Door County 2011 – Part 3

July 28, 2011

Plein Air July 23 - Windswept Day; Oil on Canvas Panel 11" x 14"

We awoke Saturday to overcast skies and a weather forecast of a cloudy morning with possible thunderstorms for the afternoon. Although the Dockside Paint Out sponsored by The Peninsula School of Art would not start until 9:00 am, we aimed to be at Clark Park in Fish Creek around 7:15 am-ish. This would be our best chance to lay claim to “a good spot” from which to paint. By the time we arrived, a fair number of artists were already in position and awaiting the start of the competition.

We made our way to a spot which I thought would work. It had a good view of my subject and would offer a little bit of shade in the event that the sun broke through the clouds. Although the spot was available, I sensed potential problems. Immediately in front of me was a set up for a “Kids Paint” family activity. I anticipated that between the kids, the paint instructors, the parents, grandparents, etc., this spot might have too much interference. I moved around and found another spot and subject matter that I thought would work.

While waiting for the competition to begin, I set up my gear and did a few drawings in my sketchbook. At 9:00am the starters horn sounded and we began our paintings. About fifteen minutes into my work, the sun was beginning to break through the clouds. Bright sunshine on the canvas is a bit blinding and makes it difficult to properly judge colors and values. About twenty minutes into the competition, I had a feeling that my design was not going to work as I had envisioned. If not for the competition and time limit, I would have wiped out the painting, found a new spot and started over. However, not a lot that I could do at this point except to go with the flow and make the best of it.

By now, the sun was out and the clouds were moving away. Seems that the weather forecasters missed this one. With the sun and clearing skies came wind. A lot of wind. Gusts of wind. The sailboats, my subjects, were constantly on the move. My canvas panel was moving. The palette extensions of my set up would routinely blow over onto my palette.¬† I almost lost my hat and a brush to the wind. Murphys’ Law prevailed. The gusts intensified every time that I needed to be steady for details. Most likely a very good morning to fly a kite.

Post contest evaluation. I was not elated with my results. It was a nice painting and passers-by mentioned that they liked the sky and felt that I captured the feel of the choppy waters that morning. I failed most by not sticking to my strengths. Sailboats and bays are fun to paint, but not at a competition when I lack the necessary experience. I do not get much practice at those subjects around here. I hope to participate in the 2012 Dockside Paint Out and will plan to work with subject matter ashore that plays to my strengths – sunlight, shadows, trees, and buildings.

Piles of paint and miles of canvas before next year.

Boats moored off the pier at Fish Creek

Working at the Dockside Paint Out

Working in between wind gusts

Framed and ready to install for judging.


Door County 2011 – Part 1

July 26, 2011

Plein Air July 21 #1, Oil on Canvas Panel 6" x 8"

Plein Air July 21 #2, Oil on Canvas Panel 6" x 8"

Plein Air July 21 #3, Oil on Canvas Panel 6" x 8"

My wife has spent the past 2-1/2 years completing graduate courses. Classes are finally over. It was time to rest and relax. We left our sons in charge of the house and headed up to Door County for a few days. Conveniently for me, the trip coincided with The Door County Plein Air Festival.

We entered DC Wednesday afternoon. After a stop at The Artists Guild (an art supply store) and Woodwalk Gallery, we checked into our hotel. After dinner up in Gills Rock, we made our way to Waterfront Park in Sister Bay to witness the Sunset Paint Out. Forty artists spread throughout the park, painting designs inspired by the sunset over the bay. Got the opportunity to visit with a few of the artists.

Following breakfast Thursday, we made our way down to Clark Park in Fish Creek. It was a day of relaxation. I painted, Helen caught a few rays and read a book. I completed two small paintings in the morning. After lunch, I completed one more painting while Helen visited with a couple onlookers and later, took a short nap.

By mid-afternoon, I put the gear away. We made our way to the main drag, visited a few shops and then dinner. We then traveled down to Egg Harbor. Artists were painting sunset scenes at Woodwalk Gallery, Plum Creek Pottery and the marina. We visited all three locations.

One long day. For resting and relaxing, we were pretty tired.

Working on painting #2 - Malibu Moo's

Working on painting #2 - Malibu Moo's. From Clark Park, Fish Creek, Wisconsin