Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Government Shutdown Couldn't Shut Down This Plein Air Painting Workshop

Despite the ongoing U.S. government shutdown that has closed the national parks, my Baltimore plein air painting workshop went ahead as planned.  Well, not exactly as planned.  When we began organizing this two-day workshop a year ago, who would have thought that our chosen site, the Hampton National Historic Site, would be taken away from us?  The shutdown, which happened just a week before the workshop, created headaches for everyone but most importantly for our organizer, who really had to scramble to come up with a "Plan B."

Demonstrating outside the barn
(Photo by Felicia Barnes)

Fortunately, Cromwell Valley Park opened up one of their barns for us.  It turned out to be a clean, well-lit place for us to retreat to in the event of rain, which did happen a few times during the weekend, and it offered sweeping views of pasture, farm buildings and the gardens around the Sherwood House.  We had twelve students, and I think everyone enjoyed the location and the variety of subject matter.  I certainly enjoyed its pastoral nature and the majestic oaks and willows that presented many opportunities for design.

Demonstrating in the Barn
(Photo by Felicia Barnes)

The workshop, by the way, was hosted by the Towson Arts Collective.  It's a great group with a really special exhibition and workshop space in downtown Towson.  They have great plans for the future, and I look forward to following them.

Now I have a short break with family before heading to Blue Ridge, Georgia, for the next workshop.  While I'm there, I'll be handing out awards at the Southern Appalachian Artists Guild's Annual Juried Show.  I'm eager to see the exhibition, for which I was also the juror of selection, and to meeting the creators of all that wonderful artwork.

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