All the preparation that goes into getting ready for Christmas is what we had experienced getting our paintings and photographs ready for opening night Thursday. The true joy of Christmas morning! The REAL gift is our loved ones--gathering with them, dining with them, and opening our hearts wider than the other 364 days of the year. That's what our opening felt like to me.
So many came to finally see the work we had talked about producing during our week-long trip to Maine. From Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and Long Island, art lovers came to see our art, to celebrate its creation, and to share in our joy. Some came from as far away as Nevada! That is LOVE!
Many who couldn't attend the opening came yesterday--despite the rainy, blustery weather. Thank you ALL for that.
Last evening's round table plein air discussion was one of the highlights of my day. We had brought our plein air equipment to the gallery for "show and tell." Jan began by recounting the experiences we had the day we all painted at Schoodic Point.
Claudia explained more in depth about her painting "Artist Painting, Schoodic Point," of me painting in front of her. She had decided before beginning that the focal point would be the crashing waves. She explained the techniques used to ensure the viewer's attention went to the waves. Then by putting me and my tiny painting in the lower right corner of her painting, the viewer's eye is pulled away from the focal point before returning to it.
Lou spoke of his adventures getting the perfect photos from atop the cliffs of Schoodic Point. Daryl corroborated the harriness of THAT adventure! I was most interested to hear how Lou managed to get the perfect portrait of a lobster with attitude--"Mr. Lobster," which sold at the opening. It's wonderful! I just love the gleam in that lobster's eyes!
We talked about the equipment and techniques we each use--as well as the diverse media: oils, acrylics, pastels, gouache, casein, pastels, as well as pen and ink. Claudia shared the mishaps that occurred and the laughter that knit our friendships together.
Members of our audience listened appreciatively and shared some of their own joys and frustrations at plein air painting. We learned from each other.
The most exciting idea I learned was from Roxanne Steed of Mystic, Connecticut. One of my own frustrations with myself is being so stingy with my paints. Yesterday afternoon was a good example. After getting my Gloucester easel all set up, I had blocked in a painting using up all the diverse bits of color left on my palette after finishing "The Saco River" (sold at the opening) earlier this week in my studio. Why? I don't know. I just can't bear to throw out perfectly good paints. After all, think of all the starving artists in ....? It's illogical, ridiculous, and silly, but I take it as a challenge.
Leftovers aren't necessarily to be scoffed at; they can be delicious. But admitedly, I know when I accept my own personal challenges to "lick my palette clean" before filling it again, I am also giving myself what can sometimes be a huge handicap.
Roxanne offered me a suggestion that had been given to her by another artist: try painting a pound of pigment! In other words, use a limited palette of 1 or 2 tubes of red, yellow, and blue. Squeeze out 1/2 a tube of each, choose a small canvas, and paint only with those limited colors but USE ALL OF THEM! I love this idea! I can't wait to try it. Perhaps by doing so, my inner artist will give my inner critic permission to indulge in "wasting" all those glorious colors. I'm going to do it as soon as possible. I'll let you know how I make out. Thank you, Roxanne Steed, my hat's off to you!
When I told my husband about this great suggestion, he said, "Please don't try that while we're driving in the car!" He was thinking of our trip to the Scoodic Peninsula when I just couldn't wait any longer and painted "The Road to Maine" as we bumped along.
I hope you stop in to see the exhibition at 10 North Main Street in Essex today. We'll be there till 7 PM. You are invited to stop in from 2-4 to see Claudia Post demonstrate her use of pastels. She is a fine teacher--I know first hand. I always learn something from her.
If you've already visited our show and seen a piece that spoke to your heart, come back today or tomorrow from 10 - 6 and see if it's still there. It just might have your name on it!