Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sedona Plein Air Festival - Day 1

It's that time of year again, and the 2011 Sedona Plein Air Festival has started.  About 30 invited artists attended orientation this morning, where rules were laid down and questions answered.  It was also good to see some old friends from past events.  I was especially happy to see an old friend who hasn't participated before, Lois Griffel.  (Lois included a couple of my paintings in her new book, Painting the Impressionist Landscape.)  Also at the orientation, Scott Gellatly, Products Manager for Gamblin Artists Colors, introduced a custom oil palette for the event.  I'm proud to say that I was the consultant for the palette and also worked with Scott on designing the new "Sedona Red" that the artists will be using.  Everyone got a full range of colors to work with.  Thank you, Gamblin, for being one of the sponsors!

After orientation, artists wandered off onto Main Street to pick a painting spot for the afternoon.  It can be a cruel thing, throwing artists to the lions so early in the game, but I found the public polite and interested in what I was doing.  I selected a shaded spot near a new restaurant, Taos Cantina.  Although I originally was going to paint the bright yellow umbrellas out front, I ended up focusing more on the bright blue exterior of the restaurant.  You'll note that it's a knife painting. I had so much luck with painting with a knife at the Grand Canyon event that I decided to do more for Sedona.  I do my initial block-in with a brush, though, to speed things along, as a knife can be rather slow.

At 4:00, all the artists had to stop, frame their work and lug it down with their easels to the Sedona Arts Center.  This was the first public sale of the event, and artists had to display their framed pieces on their easels.  Although I had mine well-secured, it didn't stop someone from bumping into the easel and sending the painting crashing to the pavement.  I'm always extremely careful with this, and I've never seen it happen at an event before.  The frame broke, and the painting smeared.  Kevin Macpherson, who was reviewing the paintings for an award he was due to give at 4:30, saw it and said, "You can fix it.  Go ahead, do it now."  So I did, and it was an easy fix.  (For the painting, anyway; the frame is going back to my framer for repair later this week.)  I didn't get a sympathy award, though.

For the record, here is the finished painting with a new frame:

"Taos, Sedona" 12x9, oil
Now we have three days of free painting ahead of us.  Sunday I'll be attending an event at Sedona Art Supply, where Scott Gellatly will be demonstrating Gamblin paints and mediums.  After that, I'll go painting with Lois Griffel, probably at one of my special secret spots.

By the way, here is a full list of the participating artists:

Joshua Been
Betty Carr
Bill Cramer
Cody DeLong
Linda Dellandre
Tracey Frugoli
Bruce Gomez
Lois Griffel
Maggie Hellmann
Carolyn Hesse-Low
Sterling Hoffmann
Hai-Ou Hou
Peggy Immel
Michael Chesley Johnson
Sibyl Johnson
Becky Joy
Raleigh Kinney
Mike Kowalski
Robert Kuester
Ann Larsen
Robert Lewis
Roger Parsons
Susan Pitcairn
Terri Sanchez
Stephen Sanfilippo
Dave Santillanes
Julia Munger Seelos
Will Tapia
Pat Woodall


Mary Pyche said...

Sorry about your collision. Do you have tips on how to pace yourself to finish on time with these types of paint-outs? Please say hello to Lois, I did a week-long wrkshp with her a couple of years ago and she was great, animated, inspiring, knowledgable, has endless endurance. Best of luck for the rest of the week.

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Hi Mary - I pace myself by remembering that I can always go back later to the site to finish. Also, rather than doing a whole slew of half-baked pieces, I try to take my time and do more finished pieces.

Peggy wilson said...

Michael: I have a photo of you painting this scene. I'll be happy to send it to you.