Posts Tagged ‘Edge of the Rock’

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Edge of the Rock Plein Air Competition – Day 5

June 19, 2012

Plein Air June 3 – Reflections at the Lagoon; Oil on Canvas Panel 11″ x 14″

Prepared to venture back up to Beloit. As I was finishing breakfast, I realized that Helen was preparing to go with me again. A nice surprise. We decided to bring Clawed with us.

We decided to go back to Riverside Park. As we made our way to the lagoon, I thought that there might be a good painting looking back to the boathouse. As I tried to figure my design, I decided this rather abstract version might be more interesting. A play with the reflections of trees rather than the trees themselves. I had a nice shaded spot alongside the main path. I encountered the occasional onlooker, but for the most part I was able to paint in peace. Helen found a bench nearby as well a some shade for Clawed.

Helen enjoyed a relaxing morning, Clawed enjoyed meeting a few children and a couple dogs, and I enjoyed creating this painting.

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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″

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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 areasĀ  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.