Friday, June 27, 2014

Montague, Prince Edward Island, Plein Air Festival - Day 3

Panmure Lighthouse and Fog-Horn Building

And it rained.  (There, I got that out of the way and don't need to mention it again.)

For our third painting day, we met at the Panmure Lighthouse on Panmure Island.  Rather than take the provided shuttle, I drove my own car as I planned to paint out of the back of it, hoping for more shelter.  First stop was the lighthouse itself to get some panels stamped.  The lighthouse, built in 1853 and 19 meters tall, is Prince Edward Island's first wooden one, and like many in Canada, had been sold to a private organization that agreed to maintain it.  A group of volunteers was busily doing some repairs.  They told me to take a tour to the top, so I did.  I had a fine view of Cardigan Bay and the sweeping curve of the shore.  When I came down, the volunteers offered that I could paint in the lighthouse if I wanted.  With the weather forecast, it was tempting.

As much as I love old structures, I couldn't get the angle on the lighthouse I wanted, so I drove down the road to paint a little wedge of St Mary's Bay that had some nicely storm-crafted trees along it.  The rain had slackened a bit, so I only needed one umbrella.  But by the time I'd finished and had moved up the road to paint a view of Cardigan Bay, the rain had renewed strength.  I pulled out my Jullian umbrella.  I already had my Best Brella clamped to my tripod, and the Jullian had a clamp that wouldn't fit that, so I clamped it to the Open Box M itself.  The Jullian's clamp is huge, but it managed to fit on the box's thin lip.  I adjusted things so I had a nice shelter that didn't drip water on me or on my palette.

Panmure Island Firs #1, 9x12 oil

Panmure Island Firs #2, 9x12 oil

For both of these paintings, I made good use of Gamblin's Portland Greys.  One might call these "convenience colors," since you could mix three values of grey yourself, but it's mighty convenient to have a lot of it pre-mixed when you're painting rain.  These are also perfectly neutral, and I find it difficult to mix a perfectly neutral grey.   Although they hail from Portland, Oregon, they worked well as Prince Edward Island Greys.  I would mix a color that I thought was close to what I saw, and then add a dab of Portland Grey to knock down the intensity.

Afterward, I sat in my car, ate a late sandwich and pondered my next move.  The rain was getting heavier.  Environment Canada warned us it would get worse before it got better, predicting up to 50 millimeters (nearly 2 inches.)  I already had two good paintings.  But I had been asked to donate a 5x7, on a panel provided to me by the lighthouse group, so I painted a quick view of the fog-horn house.  The building had been decommissioned in 1980 and moved onto some adjacent property that was now horse pasturage, so I managed to get a couple of horses into that little painting, too.  That's a lot for a 5x7!

Panmure Island Firs #2, 9x12 oil - framed and ready

Now the rain was really coming down.  I packed up and headed for Murray River.  Friday's location will be in nearby Murray Harbour, and I thought I would scope it out.  But the rain was so heavy that it was ponding up on the road, and I looped back to Montague instead.   Because I stopped painting early, I had extra time to give my brushes and palette a good cleaning - something I always like to do that about midweek in a painting event.  I also delivered my third painting to the exhibition space.

This morning, there is a 20% chance of showers.  Although they are reporting dense fog, I can see just fine out my window.  Maybe the sun will pop out and I'll have enough time to paint that 12x24 I've lugged along.

Some painters found a nice tent to paint under

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