Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Plein Air Events not to be missed

This view of Mt. Hood is from the WA side. In fact I painted it a couple of weeks ago overlooking Hood River where a plein air show is about to take place at the Columbia Art Gallery, the Pacific NW Plein Air 2010. I participated in the first event but for some reason the family in the Midwest seemed to come first thereafter. I was hoping to be a participant this year again but it wasn't meant to be. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise with all that has happened in my life of late. Funny how things have a way of working out the way they are meant to without us knowing the reasons why. I will start trusting in that more as time goes on. I was blessed to have had the opportunity to paint when and where I did ... and the weather was a bit warmer! Anyone remember the weather a couple of weeks ago? What a difference a day can make for our plein air painting experiences! I've been watching the blogs of a few fellow artists, Celeste and Eric Bowman among others. Each should give you a good indication of the event. I want to commend all my colleagues "in the field" for their talents and of course their fortitude this windy week in the Columbia Gorge. Hopefully many fellow artists and patrons will come out to support these wonderful painters and their testimony to the elements as they captured the essence of outdoor painting in the NW. I for one can't wait to see the results of their efforts!

If anyone should venture to Central OR this weekend and/or through the month of September there is another Plein Air Event at the Clearwater Gallery in Sisters, OR which hosts the Plein Air Painters of OR (PAPO) 3rd Annual Juried Exhibit 2010 called "Impressions of the Seasons" juried by Richard McKinley. An event I did participate in this month. It features over 40 works by artists from all over the state. The opening reception on Sat Sept 4th will surely be worth the journey! Enjoy the bountiful plein air paintings and activities available this season!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Our Daily Gift

I have been traveling this past month and have been reflecting on many things that have happened in such a short period of time. More than I could have imagined in terms of life and death involving both family and friends. The painting at left is entitled "Quiet Solitude" and it is good to go back to that moment now and remember how life seemed to me in that moment. My parents were so proud of my new career as an artist. They looked at it as a wonderful gift to be able to capture the beauty of an ordinary day with paints and brushes. It didn't matter to them if the paintings sold or not. I may not have understood how important that was for them at the time but I think I understand it a little better now. Having lost my dad who was one of my earliest influences, and a good art friend very recently, I realize what a gift each day can be. As an artist, I've been asking myself; Do we always have to look beyond what we have created and feel we have to make it better? Are we led to believe our work has no worth unless it won an award, sold for a great price, or that it has been given approval by others? I look back at this painting and remember this glorious week that I was asked to come along to Puget Sound to paint with a few artists who were in pursuit of kicking back and painting for fun. I had second thoughts knowing I had deadlines coming up but went along on a whim. I am so glad I did. Closer friendships were forged, I learned a lot, some of my best work was achieved on that trip, and I had FUN! There was no competition, no gallery to fill, no awards to achieve. We just painted for the sake of painting. It is a great memory that I will always cherish. Those memories are worth a lot in a lifetime. So, having a recent brush with life's uncertainty, I'd like to say to all my art friends, "yes, as professionals we need to work on our skills, but life's too short, let's not forget to occasionally have fun doing it too." For a recent example see Celeste's blog .
That said, another art friend asked if I could plug an upcoming plein air event in WA this coming week. It takes place on Whidbey Island. Yes there is a competition and yes, awards are involved but hey, think of it as a bonus. It isn't thee reason we paint...it doesn't change how and why we see what we see as artists...it doesn't determine what we want to capture on canvas. So...Go with your gift! OR maybe...go on a whim! Check out: http://www.pleinairopen.com/