Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sedona Plein Air Festival: Day 3

Scott and Me

Monday morning came with a noticeable chill in the air.  It is fall, after all.  I was planning to meet Scott Gellatly (Gamblin Product Manager) just after dawn to go up Oak Creek Canyon to paint.  It can be cool up the canyon, so I hunted for my down vest and red wool cap.  Scott showed up at our meeting place in shorts, but it wasn't long before it warmed up and I doffed both vest, cap and fleece jacket.

We painted at Midgely Bridge.  Or rather, just under it, perched on the edge of a cliff.  Traffic roared and bucked overhead as we worked.  We had a great view of Oak Creek far below.  Many of the cottonwoods and sycamores were beginning to show some fall color.  The low angle of the sun made for some beautiful shadows below us.

Canyon Light, 11x18 pastel

By the way, this was my "pastel day."  My pastelist friends have wondered if I would ever paint in pastel at one of these festivals.  To be honest, I find working in  pastel in a situation that requires me to frame on the spot cumbersome.  With oil, it's so easy to carry along a plein air frame and just pop in the painting when done.  But with pastel, there is glass, maybe a mat - and certainly more care to keep things clean.  (I do know several pastel painters who manage quite well, though.)  For the Sedona festival, I decided to do some pastel after all, since I have the advantage of a home studio I can retreat to for framing.  For those times when I do have to frame on-location, though, I will be sticking to oil.  (We have three events that require me to frame on-location:  the initial Main Street event, "Jerome Day," and the Alcantara Vineyard afternoon.)  All that said, I painted three pastels today, and I am very happy with each of them.

After finishing up at Midgely Bridge, I wandered slowly down to Red Rock Crossing (Crescent Moon Ranch) to paint.  As much as possible, I am trying to avoid red rocks this week, having painted a surfeit of them over the last decade.  Red  Rock Crossing has water, sycamores and cottonwoods - and shade!  It's a beautiful spot, and it wasn't too busy with tourists.  I painted a lovely sycamore and then the wonderful colors of Oak Creek.

Location Shot for "Colors of the Creek"

"Colors of the Creek" 9x9 pastel

Location Shot for "Red Rock Sycamore"

"Red Rock Sycamore" 12x9 pastel

Afterward, I went home to do a little cleanup and to organize for tomorrow.  Tomorrow is the ever-popular "Jerome Day."  Artists paint all morning, get a free lunch courtesy of the supportive restaurants, and then we will have a show at Cellar 433 from 2-5 pm.  Each artist will hang one painting from the day.  Awards will be given out by Guerrilla Painter and Gamblin Oils.

(For a full schedule of events, please visit www.sedonapleinairfestival.org)

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