Thursday, October 26, 2006

Sedona - Day Five

Colder weather has slipped in, and I found myself painting in the frost this morning. You'd think I'd know better than to seek a higher altitude and a canyon that's in shadow all but four hours of the day! I drove up Oak Creek Canyon and arrived at the West Fork trailhead around 8. I found a pleasant little spot that seemed like it might receive some sunshine before long -- but I was wrong! I stood in the shade for nearly two hours. I'm really glad I stopped at Wal-mart's hunting department a few weeks ago and bought a pair of those fingerless gloves hunters use, the ones that let you operate important tools such as shotguns and oil painting brushes.

I chose a little ruin of a building to paint. This stone building, nestled in thicket of old apple trees, was, like me, in shade the entire time, too. The only sun was what was creeping down the canyon wall behind it. Not too long after I started painting, hikers began to appear. Several of them joked that if they knew I was going to be there, they would have brought coffee. It's odd, but when your focused on painting, you don't really notice bodily discomfort. But when you are done painting, you really feel it!

One part of the plein air event people may not think about is the time spent dealing with administrative tasks, such as preparing frames. I spent nearly two hours today unwrapping frames, putting in screw eyes and attaching hanging wire. (I brought 8 frames.) Tomorrow, my administrative tasks will include actually framing pieces and filling out paperwork with titles, sizes, prices and so on. Well, I've done 10 paintings so far, so I suppose I can handle a little paperwork!

After dealing with the frames, I went back to SAC (Sedona Art Center) and painted out in the parking lot. I did this for the benefit of tourists, some of whom had heard about the event and were looking for painters. I actually had a few come by as I painted the beautiful, late afternoon view.
Finally, we topped off the evening with a reception at William Scott Jennings' house. What a studio! Big north windows and a big mirror to view work in. (On his easel -- an 8-foot painting of the Grand Canyon.) One curious thing, though. The studio was carpeted with an off-white carpet, and it was curiously clean. When guests commented on Scott's apparent fastidiousness, he pointed out that the carpet has speckles in it, and whatever paint he drops simply blends in. We all decided this is just his "show" studio, and he must have a second, real, working studio elsewhere.

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