Thursday, July 30, 2009

Door County Plein Air Festival

I just returned home from a full, wonderful week of painting in Door County WI, participating in the Door County Plein Air Festival. It was an incredible week full of inspiration, wonderful subject matter, great people, and a timeless sense of place! What a dream to paint there for an entire week, meet other very inspiring artists, and to be in a place where everyone is in love with art and everything about it!
Posted below are my paintings from the week. For my details on the event you can visit their web site

Door County Plein Air Festival

"Door County Round Bales"
Sunday Evening, just got in and headed out to paint. It always feels good to get one painting under your belt when you're in a new place and this in my mind was the PERFECT way to start the week! I love love love round bales and this land was FULL of them! I was in heaven. And luckily the very sweet farmer who owns this land allowed us to paint and tromp on his very loved land.
"Long View Road"
Day one, out on the roads of Door County! Coffeed up and ready to go! This was so typical of what you see there, the farm land is stunning and lush. Wheat fields and round bales as far as you can see. The roads were interesting to me because the pavement was WHITE. I mean WHITE. I had never seen that before and found it intriguing. While painting this 2 BLACK steers got loose from the farm you see here. They started coming towards me down the road and with the lovely RED flags we were given by the 'Festival' to mark us as 'official painters' mounted on the corners of the truck it made me think. . . . I thought "I'll wait until they're half way down the road before I consider moving" then they wondered off through the wheat field realizing they were free! It was hard not to chuckle at their animated-ness as we watched them fade off into the distance.
"There Once Was A Time"
Oh boy, how can I possibly translate how much I loved this place? You could truly feel the history here and I have a soft spot for this painting. The place had the deepest sense of 'at one time . . . . .' This was at one time a very productive cherry orchard and this was the main road. Now both the cherry orchard and the road have been abandoned and no longer in service.
THIS was my favorite place to paint.
A funny story: we were supposed to be doing our 'demo' this day. We were given the schedule and it said something about a being at a "bla bla. . . .clay pottery" something or other. So, we ended up here, just paying attention to the words 'pottery', thought 'well this must be the place'. We went in and introduced ourselves to David, he along with his wife own the pottery studio in front and are incredible artists themselves! (David came up and visited us while we were painting and filled us in on the history of the place) When nobody showed up for our demo we thought it a bit strange but thought "oh well" and painted anyway. It wasn't until we were getting hungry after 1:00 waiting for our lunches to be delivered that we thought we'd call to see what was up. Very kindly we were told we wouldn't be getting our lunches because we were 'in the wrong place'. :) I will say it here, IT WAS WORTH IT!

"Summer Cottage"
This was painted Monday afternoon at Peninsula Player's Theatre were they held an artists welcoming dinner for us. It's an amazing theatre nestled in the forest on the water! This cottage was so charming with the willow drooping over it, I couldn't help but paint it.
"The Chef's Hat"
This was Painted on day 2 of our week in the very charming town of Ephraim. I found this little cafe (which became our favorite place to eat lunch for the week - num!) and instantly fell in love with the light and color of these umbrella's. I set myself up on the street between my truck and another truck parallel parked. It was a busy traffic area. In front of me street traffic and walkers behind me, curious to see what I was painting. I met a couple of special people that day. Both budding and inspiring painters!
"After The Rain"
One of my favorite times to paint is in a warm summer's rain or just after one. This piece was started around 7:00 AM on Wednesday morning, we had to finish up because of a demo we had to be at by 11:00, so I believe we were packed up around 10:00. It's a quiet piece but one of my favorites for it's mood. I'm planning to do a large studio piece inspired by it.

Door County Plein Air Festival

"Sunlit Trellis"
This piece was done Thursday afternoon at Edgewood Orchards Gallery, a beautiful gallery with stunning grounds! I along with several other artists were scheduled to 'do' our 'demos' there -PAINT. We had the opportunity to paint the gallery's beautiful gardens while people had the opportunity to walk around and watch us paint. This is what I chose to paint, and no it is NOT Italy. :) It's Door County WI believe it or not! :) We met some very nice people as well!
"A Quiet Spot"
A quiet spot for ME! This piece was done on Thursday later in the afternoon. By this time of the week (and the 10th painting we had done in 4 days) I was ready for a quiet spot and I found it hiding on the side of the road, Marc was painting across on the bay. I tucked myself away in the ditch looking at this sweet little piece of water. I met a friendly golden lab puppy and his owner who happened to proudly own this piece of land, but besides them I was well hidden and found great tranquility in the comfort of this water.

"Pink Door Alley"
This was a really fun piece to paint! It was done on Saturday, the last day of the event during the 'quick paint', held in Fish Creek. Those of us featured painters along with anyone else who wanted to participate in painting, were to paint from 9:00-11:00. The horns would sound at 9 and 11, brushes down! The town was FULL of spectators walking around watching the painters work and at the end of the 'quick paint' the featured artists had 30 minutes to get there paintings framed and to the central park area where there was a live auction on each of the 40 paintings. It was going beautifully until the black storm clouds came rolling in and half the auction (including my piece) was postponed until later that evening at the Peninsula school. All was well! :)
"Peninsula State Park"
This piece was painted on Tuesday evening from the Peninsula State Park. It's an amazing park with SO much to paint. The night was much more subtle than we had hoped but it ended up being interesting with all the sale boats across the way. This was the first time I had ever painted sale boats. It was nice to have the vertical lines breaking up the horizontal land and water masses.
"Anderson Dock Ephraim"
This was painted in the quaint town of Ephraim on Wednesday evening with all the 39 other painters. It was a publicized event called "Evening With The Artists" where people were free to walk around and watch us paint from Anderson's Dock. It was a gorgeous evening and fun to meet so many interested people!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fresh Cut Field

"Fresh Cut Field"
11x14 Oil On Linen Board
The fields are great this time of year! The colors are warm and inviting and so fun to paint. This was painted just north of town on Sunday evening.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cabin Painting

"Metallic Waters"
Oil On Board 6x8
I painted this on Friday evening at my family's cabin. The kids and I were down at the lake when the sky turned into this amazing pink. I was not even set up to paint, so ran and grabbed my painting stuff and mixed the color I saw as quickly as possible. It was truly amazing to witness such beauty! While I painted at the end of the dock the kids swam with complete excitement to what was happening in the sky. :)
" Lily Pad Path"
9x12 Oil On Linen Board
This is on of my favorite places to paint, the beaver dam behind my Dad's place where I grew up. There's a little platform they build out there when I was a kid for the hunters to duck hunt from. I stand on it to paint and get a great perspective. The afternoon I painted this piece it was so windy I had my 9 year old son Nick sitting under my tripod holding it down so it wouldn't blow over on me. The wind along with Nick asking every 5 minutes if I was done yet made this a 'fresh' painting , quick and honest! :)
I'm currently working on a large studio piece from this study.