Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Grand Canyon 2016 - Part 5

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

After Tuesday’s midday sleet storm, I spent some time making minor adjustments on the morning’s work. Once in awhile at these plein air painting festivals, the question comes up: Must a plein air painting be finished entirely in the field? The question usually is asked by painters new to plein air painting festivals. In my opinion, as long as the bulk of the work is done in front of the subject and your main goal is met, you can tweak the painting later in the studio. My rule of thumb is to keep adjustments down to a half-hour per painting. After all, these are “tweaks” and not major renovations. Any longer than a half-hour indicates the painting has a big problem and should either be scraped or set aside for analysis.

Of course, you don’t always have the opportunity to adjust. Saturday morning we will have the “Quick Draw,” where artists will be asked to paint between 8 and 10 a.m. followed by immediate delivery of the finished and framed piece to the auction table. How many of us wish we had a few extra minutes in the studio to touch up those pieces!

After my studio time, I noticed the wind had gotten worse. The high wind advisory was set to expire at 7 p.m., but I didn’t see any sign of slacking. Fighting the wind is tiring. So, I took the afternoon off to explore. On Friday, artists will be asked to paint along the rim anywhere from the Trailview shuttle stop on the Hermit Road to Mather Point by the Visitor Center. I wanted to scope out an area I was curious about as a painting spot, so I hiked a little on the Rim Trail. I got off the trail to explore nooks and crannies, and I did find some good views. The only problem is that my exploration was in the afternoon but the painting will be in the morning, so the light will be different.

After another spectacular sunset, the Grand Canyon Association sponsored a pizza party for the artists at one of the local restaurants. Most of the artists I spoke with said they, too, had taken the afternoon off because the wind had been so tiring. Everyone looked a little beat. That’s typical, I think, for the middle of a long plein air event like this one. But everyone rallies as we get toward the end and the energy ratchets up.

Wednesday morning dawned cool and with big, fast-moving clouds. At 44 degrees and with the fickle clouds, I decided to do a little laundry first. The machines at campground were fast; I was heading for a painting spot within an hour. I also wanted to check out the location I’d discovered the day before to see what the morning light was like.

I went up the Rim Trail where there is a distant view of the Kolb Studio and El Tovar. The clouds had started to break, and the canyon was filled with a golden haze from all the dust stirred up by Tuesday’s wind. I did a small piece first, a close-up of a temple getting the sunlight; and then a second piece, a little larger, that features the clouds with El Tovar and the Kolb Studio as supporting characters. I think this will be a great location for Friday. Maybe I should stake my claim now?

Now I’ve just enjoyed an early lunch at the Maswik Lodge, and I’m just about ready to find another painting spot. I have plenty of inventory now, and I don’t need to paint much more for the show. But with today being Wednesday and paintings needing to be delivered Thursday or Friday to the gallery, framing is imminent!

I showed the exerior of my Dodge Promaster City in an earlier post; I thought it'd be enlightening to show the interior.  How'd I ever fit all this stuff in a little sedan?  (Which is what I rented in previous years.)

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