Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Plein Air Rockies 2011 -Day #6 Recap and Finale

"Longs Peak from Lily Lake", 11 x 14", plein air oil
Wednesday was my last day of painting and I did this in the morning before the rain set in. Longs Peak is the 'fourteener' in the park (the peak is over 14,000 feet tall) and is a landmark for Estes Park. While I was painting this (mountain done, but waiting to put in the sky) a visitor to the lake stopped to give me a geography and history lesson on the mountain, which was very interesting if not long winded, and the clouds moved in during this time. I had to scramble to get a lighting condition that matched the now cloudy sky! One of the many hazards of plein air :)

 On Thursday I spent my last day finishing up any touches that were needed on all of my paintings that I did during the week. I knew I dare not wait until I was back home to do this, as I would have lost track of my inspiration at the time. Hand in time for the framed paintings was 8pm, and I got mine there at 7:30! Not the last one mind you, but close. I had ordered plein air frames from Dick Blick, and had them delivered to Estes Park before I left. They were really shabby in the finishing department, but luckily my dear hubby was able to touch them up before putting my paintings in. (don't know what I would have done without his help and support throughout this whole venture!) All the paintings were wet still, and I sprayed them with an aerosol retouch varnish, hoping that the paint would not run! I asked around and nobody seemed to know what the experts do to varnish their works done plein air when they have to hand them in before they have dried. It was necessary to do something as the thin, turpy darks had sunken quite a bit as they dried.

On Friday we took the day off and went for a wonderful hike up to a mountain pass. Here we are at the top. Now my legs were as tired as the rest of me!

 This is Odessa Lake which was well below the spot we were standing at above. Beautiful lake that was just shimmering in the clear atmosphere caused by a shower that ended just as we arrived.

Saturday was the last day of the competition.  The morning began with a 'Quick Paint' event in downtown's Riverside Park. I had scouted out possible painting spots and was very scared about the whole event. What if I fell flat on my face and created a mess? I stayed awake quite a while on Friday night fussing and praying about it, and finally around 2am I felt the Lord tell me to give it to Him and He would take care of it. So I did, and went right to sleep and slept like a baby. In the morning I set myself up on the bank of the river, and when the timer went, I dove right in with full confidence. We had 90 minutes to paint and frame our paintings. I was really happy with the way this turned out (why was I surprised?)

"Waiting", 12 x 9", plein air oil, SOLD
This is a very bad photo of my painting done during the quick draw. I had only a few moments to snap a photo, and obviously didn't do a very good job of it. The paintings then got slipped into their frames, were put on display on large panels in the centre of the park where the spectators got a good look. A few minutes later the live auction began. My number was 23 out of 34 and I just sat there and waited to see what would happen. Well, God really came through, as I got the third highest price at the auction at $700! I was surprised that many paintings got very low bids -the recession really has hit harder in the States than in Canada.

Saturday evening found us at the wrap up party and presentation of awards. If you want to see some of the winning paintings in the competition, you can look at this article from Plein Air Magazine or see the entire cast of winner's paintings here. I would have chosen the awards differently (especially the Quick Draw awards) but there were SO many wonderful paintings done by the fabulous artists in the competition. Lynda Vogel did an amazing job organizing the entire event, and the several opportunities given for the artists to meet each other were very appreciated. The entire experience was FANTASTIC, and I hope I will be invited back next year, but only if Dave will agree to join me!

To purchase this painting, or commission your own painting, please email me.
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