Monday, October 20, 2008

Sedona Plein Air Festival - Days 1 & 2

Day 1

Trina and I arrived in Phoenix by mid-morning on Saturday and headed right up to Sedona to escape the heat. It was already in the high 80s before lunch! Sedona is a pleasant oasis, made so by a higher elevation and the cool waters of Oak Creek. This time of year, I always look forward to painting the cottonwoods, which edge the creek with golden hues. The trees seem a bit late this year, though, and have only just started to turn.

We crashed early Saturday evening. We didn't get much sleep the night before in our airport hotel in Portland, Maine, and we had to be at the airport by 4 a.m. Also, Campobello is a good four time zones away from Sedona, so when the sun dropped behind the red hills, we dropped, too. It'll take a few days to adjust to the new time. I'll probably do most of my painting in the mornings.

After a nice hike along the Broken Arrow trail with stops at Submarine Rock and Chicken Point, we headed to the Art Barn at the Sedona Art Center in town for orientation. We dropped off work they had brought for the Artists' Showcase, an adjunct show that starts Monday. Next, we had our painting panels stamped and then grabbed a seat so we could go over the week's schedule. Sponsors have invited us to paint at their locations and provide us with a meal to sweeten the deal, and we have a number of other events to go to. It'll be a full but fun week!

Orientation ended with the artists scrambling to find a location on Main Street for the afternoon paintout. The Festival has an educational aspect, so the goal was to give the artists and the Sedona Art Center a bit of exposure. I set up in the shade (smart idea) and near a coffee shop (another smart idea) to paint a street scene. Many people stopped by to chat. Some of them were artists themselves and others who were just interested in what I was doing.

Here's today's piece.

Day 2

This was a real work day. Up on Schnebly Hill by dawn, followed by two paintings, one at sunrise and the second a little later. (Tom Lynch was there early, too!) Then, Trina and I had a quick bite before heading out to Red Rock Crossing, probably the most photographed and painted vista in Sedona. It was 81 degrees today and hot at the Crossing. I was lucky to find shade! In the evening, we had the opening of the Artists' Showcase, which consists of pieces participants brought in to exhibit for the week. Some are plein air pieces, other are studio works.

Here, in order, are my three paintings for today. By the way, I'm shooting all these images with an old digital camera, so they're not the greatest. Once I'm home, I'll replace these with properly-photographed ones. All paintings are 9x12 and oil.

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