Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Augusta Plein Air 2011


The weather was not great. A few nice days were outnumbered by the rains that are causing so much flooding and hardship. But it did force me to find creative ways to keep on painting in spite of adversity, which I'm thankful for. Let's get right to a few of the keepers from my 10 days there.
In the Zone, 9"x 12", oils
I tried to paint out on the deck at Montelle Winery but eventually the rain forced me under the covered area to start a new one. Other artists had staked out all the best spots so I was up on a dark balcony and decided to paint fellow artist, Daniel Fishback.  Not bad considering the circumstances.

Vulture Vantage, 11" x 14", oils
Klondike Park is a geologic oddity just a few miles east of Augusta. Rolling hills and picturesque farms are replaced with jagged limestone and sandtone cliffs and a clear green lake with a white sand beach. It was once a mining operation using the sand to make glass products. I learned my lesson from Montelle and set up under a picnic shelter with a view of a prominent cliff owned by a group of vultures. The dead tree on top suited them well and gave them a commanding view of the area. There were usually four up there but my inner greeting card artist painted two hoping some couple might relate to this pair.

 Wet on Wet, 9" x 12", oils
At the beautiful community of Augusta Shores I setup outside under threatening skies and was soon forced to retreat from a steady rain. With no shelters nearby I had to find some alternative to quitting. I ended up doing the painting from the passenger seat of my car with the window rolled down halfway while turning my head 90˚ to look at the subject. I was pretty cramped with my pochade box on my knees and in continual fear of getting paint on the upholstery. At one point I heard a knock on my window and it was director Vic Brown delivering a sack lunch. This is why we keep coming back to Augusta.

Morning Light, 6" x 8", oils
Waking to sunlight for the first time at this event, I got a quick start on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River "bottoms." I worked small and gave myself a one hour time limit.

Valley Vista, 9" x 12", oils
The last painting day was perfect. I found this scene high up on Schluersburg Road but it had no shoulder for parking or painting. There was a farmhouse getting the best of this view and an old man mowing the yard so I asked if I could set up there. He was very gracious and I later found out from him and his wife that this was a very popular place for artists. Even though I was on the highest ridge around, there was almost no wind. That's as good as it gets.

Since people ask, I'll add that I received no awards and made no sales at the conclusion. Sometimes that's the way it goes. It's not how I judge success. I challenged myself every day, made new friends and am pleased with what I accomplished. In closing I'd like to thank all involved in putting on this event and especially Jim and Jan Rohfling for their hospitality.

1 comment:

  1. Nice work, Larry!! My fav is the "vulture" painting...really tough lighting situation, but you captured it!

    Miss you around the big H!