Monday, September 5, 2011

Summer Passing

24"X36" oil on canvas

"Summer has set in with its usual severity." ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

I haven't dropped off the map, just off the grid for almost a week. But I did get some good painting time in. I've found my efforts to paint much bigger outdoors eats into the time I would've spent blogging about it once I finally get back inside. I've always loved doing smaller plein air works (averaging 8x10 in size). But I did want to stretch and challenge myself in a big way this summer by taking larger canvases out in the field.

Painting bigger outside is not for the impatient. Each day I thought I might finish, I would find that I wanted 'just a bit more time' (as in at least 3 more hours). Each of those 'three more hours' continued on until I got to a point where I was satisfied with the 'statement'. I was fortunate to start this before hurricane Irene came through and took the rest of the flowers off of the plants. The purple Russian Sage and the yellow day lilies were pretty much blown off. By having a solid block-in of color to begin with, it was easy to see where these all fit it. Luckily this area did not see any damage, at least in the direction I was looking. Behind me, large old oaks & evergreens had split, and workers were clearing limbs from trees and yards in the hill above me.

It's been a bit frustrating around here, as any one who has survived a hurricane or tropical storm (or even bad winter weather). No power for four days makes you realize how spoiled we are, especially in regards to those things we see as necessities now. How did our ancestors do it? Still no cable for internet, tv or phone around here....and of course it's not a life & death sort of thing, but you do get the feeling the world keeps spinning whether or not we put in our two cents or daily-painting or facebook updates. I've found that my cell phone is holding a much shorter charge these days. Time for a new battery perhaps? Hunting down large bags of ice became the daily routine, to make sure I had enough to keep my cooler of food chilled. After one morning of finding no ice to be had any where, I figured I'd try the liquor store. The guy had sold all 72 bags that he had, but.....they had power back on, and his ice-maker was in the basement....and if I would mind the store while he went down stairs, he'd bag up a couple sacks for me! So, there I was chatting up all the customers who came in, talking storm news, when we thought we might get power back on. And there he was, back with my ice, mid-conversation with a small group of folks who were not strangers any longer.

And talk about 'survivors guilt', I've just discovered that one of my fellow Daily Painter artists, Carol Marine, has likely lost her home to wild-fire yesterday. She, and her husband and son managed to escape, taking with them computer, purse, and a few of her small paintings...everything else is gone.

There are still some in our region with no power (as I write this). But I'm glad I finally am able to pass on the news to you, I'll be painting in the annual Chincoteague Eighth Annual Plein Air Event this week. If you are in the mid-Atlantic, I'd love to see you. Saturday, September 10th 6pm - 10pm is the exhibition and reception. It's held in Paschal Hall, 6288 Church Street on Chincoteague Island, Virginia. All hurricanes have been banned from the island, so please head on over and join us Saturday the 10th for a wonderful evening of newly painted works painted by 45 fabulous East Coast artists!

For more information regarding this painting, please contact me here.

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