Trust the Process
4 hours ago
|Last night's Patrons' Gala showed 120 pieces -- 3 from each artist plus the artist's "quick draw" -- and the level of the work was superb. This was the first time many of us had had the chance to see everyone's work. If only I had a budget to buy some of these pieces! To the left is a photo of the pre-event calm.|
|I took photos of my four pieces. Frames do so much to give the work a really "pro" appearance. (Don't skimp on your framing, folks!) Below are two pieces I've posted before, but also two you haven't seen. First is a sycamore. This was done at Red Rock Crossing. I was looking for that cliched view everyone paints and photographs, the one with Cathedral Rock in the distance and the creek in the foreground. It was hot, so I retreated to the shade of this beautiful tree. The painting is an homage and thanks to the tree for giving me shelter from the sun. |
The second image is "Into the Blue," my "quick draw" piece. There's some wonderful, early-morning shadow colour in it that doesn't show up in the photo. Finally are the two you've already seen.
|Today, Sunday, is the final day of the event. It's a six-hour public art sale. I'll be there with my bio sheet, business cards and plenty of chat about what I do. Stop by!|
|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.|
|Day Number Three, and we're hitting our stride. I was willing today to drive further for a painting, so I went all the way down to the Turkey Creek access, past the village of Oak Creek. But wouldn't you know it? I wasn't happy with anything I found there. The views were too distant. So, I headed back toward Sedona and stopped at the Cathedral Rock trail. I liked the rock I found, and it was cool and still too early for tourists. Just as I was finishing up, though, a bus load of Japanese tourists (30? 40? 10,000?) appeared out of nowhere in the distance. I thought they were going to come by me and disrupt my clean-up, but instead they took the steep trail UP Cathedral Rock! They looked like ants crawling up a wall from where I stood. (These photos are off a bit; there's a glare reflecting on the wet paint. I'll try to take better photos later in the week and repost.)|
|Still full of energy after that painting, I went to Bell Rock and one of the pull-offs there. Hurricane Paul's clouds were still around -- the hills closer to Sedona were still swathed in morning fog -- and now I was in the mood to paint a distant view that I wasn't in the mood for earlier. This one captures the atmosphere quite nicely.|
|I had dinner with the artists at Rene's at the Tlaquepaque, another event sponsor. Sorry, no photos of this one! But I do wish I had my camera with me, since a storm was rolling up as I went out. The colors were astounding -- rocks bright orange in the sunset against the bruised-purple clouds....|
|The second full day of painting arrived overcast and with a few sprinkles coming down. To the south, the threat of rain looked less, so I headed for Red Rock State Park. Still overcast, but at least it wasn't raining -- yet! I set up my easel with a view of a rich, red rock wall with a line of yellow cottonwoods below it.|
What's even harder than painting these red rocks in sunshine is painting them on an overcast day. The colour is even richer, and it is tough to render without making it look gaudy. I think this one turned out pretty well, though.
|After a lunch at Bella Terra (another event sponsor) with painters of the caliber of William Scott Jennings, OPAM, I headed out to do my second painting of the day. Hurricane Paul, a Pacific bluster heading up through the Southwest, was supposed to be blowing through later -- and sure enough, just after I set up my gear below the Coffeepot formation near Soldier's Pass, a big cloud rumbled up. I knew my time was very limited on this one, so I let my instinct fly. Not bad!|
|It was interesting to hear what people had to say at lunch. On Sunday, at our orientation, everyone was in high spirits and rarin' to go. On Tuesday, however, people were starting to look a little tired, and some were just downright unhappy with what they had done so far. PAPA member Raleigh Kinney said that the first two days are always the worst.|
I'm still full of energy and happy with what I'm doing. Three more days!
|The good news, the luggage did not get lost. I flew from Portland, ME, yesterday to El Paso*, TX, and now it's now in my hands, and ready to drive with me to Sedona.|
I'll post more as events unfold in Sedona.
*(Why did I fly to El Paso? It has nothing to do with the Rolling Stones, who are giving a concert in town tonight. But wouldn't it be nice to get tickets?)