Plein Air Peonies – 11″ x 15″ (quarter sheet) Arches 140# watercolor paper
Well, the show was a success in every way and I have lived to tell the tale. Kudos to Lori and her family for not only organizing the event but offering their home as our gallery and creating an atmosphere of conviviality and creativity. We all arrived an hour before the studio tour began to set up our easels and help with last minute details … but everything was in perfect order so there was little we needed to do. Tour guests began arriving promptly at 1 and continued throughout the afternoon with only a few lulls and many surges. The organizing committee asked if artists might have some sort of demo set up at their studios, and several of were happy to oblige, setting up our easels around a beautiful still life arrangement artfully presented by painter Carolyn Jean. I haven’t done very many floral still lives but I loved the challenge of these peonies – which we cannot grow in Southern California. These buxom blooms came from Whole Foods market, and I understand from my artpal Nan that Trader Joes is carrying them as well.
The light changed quite radically during the hour or so that I was painting these, but I tried to keep the memory of the glow even while they slipped into the shade of the umbrella and grapefruit tree. I invoked the muse that speaks to Charles Reid to please give me a hand with the looseness – that is to say, to please stay my hand if I should try to get too fussy. Because I paint landscapes more than arranged flowers, this experience has given me the incentive to do more painting out on my back patio this summer.
All in all, we had a good day. I sold this painting of the garden at Casita Del Arroyo
to a lovely collector, and Robin, Ginny, Carolyn, Louisa and others in our group had sales as well. It was an auspicious beginning. But the best part was being in the company of good painting friends, family and art lovers on a perfect late spring day. Assuming the stars all align correctly, I can hardly wait until we do it next year.