>Wow, what an event. The event started on Friday, I got there just before 10am, got my panels stamped, then started walking around to scout out locations. It was HOT and humid – temps ran between 85-99 degrees Fahrenheit both days.
I was told there was a river on the other side of the tracks, but when I got there, it was all “No Trespassing” signs…no go. So I went back to the waterfront area and eventually happened upon a gravel trail that led to a clearing, obscured by trees on either side. It was going to be a challenge, many subtle layers of green, the light showing from the opening was actually more intense in chroma than the foreground trees, which made for some tricky color mixing. I actually wiped out most of this painting three different times, and quit it when I felt I was just wasting paint. OK, no big deal, the first painting is almost always a wash, something to settle my nerves and get into the swing of things. 4 and a half hours gone. I ended up turning this piece in, although there are parts of this that I didn’t like. Got some compliments on it anyway.
After low blood sugar levels and near heatstroke, I had some food and water in an air conditioned restaurant (Brewers Two Cafe has amazing sandwiches), then headed for the pavilion where there was more shade. Unfortunately, the weather was beginning to turn. I set up to paint the lake with a large sky area, to capture some of the clouds that were rolling in. Unfortunately the wind started to pick up. We got notice that there were Tornado warnings in the area, and we were in the path of the storm. Further, it was a band of storms, and the weather was probably going to go sour. And it did. About an hour into this painting, the wind kicked up to around 60 mph. If it weren’t for the help of Mike Neilson, I would have lost everything, but managed to get my stuff around the corner of the pavilion where it wasn’t so bad. To give you an idea of how strong the winds were, one of the rented tents next to the pavilion ripped in half. It was bad.
I had only just gotten my panel into the panel carrier, but the wind had kicked sand and debris into the wet oil paint. Grrrrr. After the wind died down, I tried to salvage it but it was a lost cause, there was noticeable grit on it, no matter how I scraped it. So I wiped down yet another painting. In the process of restarting, I fell into a composition that I really liked. A group of dark ultramarine clouds were blowing through, the layers of clouds was pretty amazing, and the land masses were almost engulfed in fog. I managed to give the foreground a strong diagonal and dropped in a couple of areas of color, some raw sienna to compliment the cool ultramarine tints of the background and sky. It was cookin’ and I knew I had a keeper. It ended up having a tonalist palette, as everything was so subdued. White, Ultramarine, Raw Sienna and some Blue Black.
Again, about 45 minutes into this piece, the wind started kicking up again. I wasn’t going to let this one get ruined, so I packed up just (just) in time, before the winds hit their peak, this time MUCH stronger than the last. I got soaked. My hat blew across the street, my painting bag was doused and everything was wet. Fortunately, my panel carrier was pretty strong and well made (if I do say so myself). I decided that was enough for me for a day. I packed up and changed my shirt when there was a break in the weather, then headed home. More storms blew through that evening.
The next day I got there late. I was too amped up to sleep Friday night, and too tired to get moving early on Saturday. I started with a mile-long hike to the area (the street was blocked off for the festival and parking was wholly insufficient for the event). I set up immediately, knowing I had only about 5 hours total to wrap up two pieces. I touched up the storm piece and it turned out nicely, then turned that in early. Then I went back to the original spot with the opening between the trees, and tried the piece again with a horizontal format. I had only a hour and a half to do it, to safely have enough time to frame and turn in the second piece. This didn’t go well. I tried to simplify things but ended up with a painting that will soon be wiped. Still not good at fast high-pressure painting.
Well, it seems the judges liked my work again. My storm painting took third place in the event. I was beat out by my good friends Jason Prigge, who took second, and Jenny Anderson, who took first. Mike Neilson and Bill Suys took an honorable mention. There were a few other awards given out as well, some artists with whom I was not familiar. We were treated to an amazing meal at the Artist Reception after the event closed. I believe there were less than 40 artists in the event. A few people sold artwork, I was not one of them. Oh well. In the end I got to spend some quality time with some talented, inspiring people.
Tomorrow I pick up my artwork from Oconomowoc, it doesn’t look like anything sold from that event either. Very frustrating. I would have liked to have sold something this year. I did find out that there may be another event, at the end of September, in Plymouth, WI. Once more into the breech…at least the weather will be better.
This makes 75 separate paintings this year. The best painting of the year is yet to come, with the fall colors and the cooler weather. 100 paintings is easily in reach. The next I’ll be working on are the 2 for the Rockford event, due early September.Read More
In preparation for this weekend’s plein air event in Pewaukee, I’ve been trekking down to the marina by Cupertino Park to do some research and work on this type of subject matter. I started this piece yesterday, but at the time I had only a couple of hours to paint. There is a rather wide concrete boat launch just north of the yacht club that is a common place for fishermen. As I was painting, I had no end of distractions, noisy fishermen, bicyclists passing by, a handful of rowdy kids catching and torturing little fish and their parents who kept shouting at them, some Vet who wanted to take my picture, and finally two airheads in a row boat who were determined to land their craft where I was set up. After an hour and a half, I called it a day.
This afternoon I managed to get back there, and although the light wasn’t as overcast, I managed to resolve a lot of this piece. Another three hours work, three peaceful hours. 6″ x 8″ oil on panel. This is on the Raymar double primed canvas panel that I got as part of the Artist Package in the Wauwatosa event. It’s not bad. I’m not a big fan of such a prominent weave, but I think maybe the linen ones might be more to my liking. The panels are very strong and very light weight. I think these would be great for taking on a trip. These would have to be bought in bulk however, as they are rather expensive.Read More
It seems the judges liked my work this time. My painting “A Quiet Day on Lake Fowler” took 2nd place in the 2010 Midsummer’s Brush Garden Quick Paint event. This included a $100 prize. It’s odd that the piece I had the least invested in did the best of the three that I submitted. More important than this prize, I met some interesting people and received some great comments about my work in general from artists whose opinions I respect. Looking forward to next year.Read More
I have created an online gallery through Fine Arts America. This will allow visitors to purchase prints of my work in a variety of sizes, framing options and paper/canvas selections. They are also relatively inexpensive. If you or anyone you know are interested, please forward this link: http://fineartamerica.com/customshop/anthony-sell.html
Inquire about this Painting
Thank you for taking an interest in my work, please use the form below to inquire about this painting.