Tuesday, May 8, 2012

First Brush of Spring 2012

The historic cottage that we stayed in.
    My first plein air competition of the new year was the "First Brush of Spring" in New Harmony, Indiana. It was my first time to participate in this event that featured over 160 artists. New Harmony was founded as a utopian community in the early 1800's. For lodging, fellow artists Jason Sacran, Ken Chapin and I rented a cottage built in about 1820, part of the original settlement. On the landing between the floors is an exposed wall where you can see how the homes were made without nails. There were artists painting the house the whole time we were there. One morning I was standing in the hallway, bleary eyed and in pajamas and notice a woman with her face pressed against the window. She said "There's a man in there!" to which I mumbled "paint me."

"Steamboat Gothic" 8 x 10, oils. SOLD
    Most plein air events promote painting in their downtown areas but none I've seen has as many interesting options as New Harmony. Architecture is not my strong suit but I had a blast painting this little town. On Thursday I broke a personal record, doing four paintings in one day, finishing up at midnight with a nocturne on Main Street.

"Five til Midnight" 9 x 12, oils.
   On Friday we painted along a trail on the grounds of the New Harmony Inn until rains came and ended our efforts for the day. In the end it turned out to be a good event for all of us. Jason placed in the Quick Paint event and I received an Award of Merit for "Morning Walk." Jason and Ken sold several paintings each and I had a sale as well. Missouri artist Michael McClure joined our merry band for part of the trip and also did well. I definitely plan on going back next year.

"Morning Walk" 9 x 12, oils. Richard McKnight Award of Merit

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