We just finished up a three-day plein air pastel workshop in Springfield, Illinois. The workshop was full, as are all of my spring workshops this year. Although we had gusty winds the first day at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, we had good weather over all. The Lincoln Home is four city blocks that has been returned to "the way it was" back in Lincoln's day. The sidewalks are wood planks, not concrete! The second day we painted at the Lincoln Memorial Gardens, where some of the spring flowers by the lake are still blooming. Our last day was spent at the Lincoln New Salem Center. Lincoln spent his early days in New Salem before he became a lawyer. It's a rustic village of log cabins and an interpretive site with costumed docents. We had such a great time with this workshop that we're looking forward to the next one.
Above is a sketch I made of the Lincoln Home. Word has it that the little tree in front of the house is dug up and replaced with a new one every few years. There's a famous photo of Lincoln standing in front of this house with a tree that size. I suppose it's done to enhance the feeling that things haven't changed.
Now we are in Valparaiso, Indiana, getting ready to teach a three-day workshop for the Art Barn. Here we have 69 acres with chickens, burros and ducks and lots of farm buildings. There's even a dogwood blooming by the red barn, which will make a nice picture. At the end of the week, we're off to Vermont to teach a two-day weekend workshop for the Vermont Pastel Society.