Cedarburg Plein Air Painting Competition – Day Four: Quick Paint & Main Event

Posted on June 18, 2011 in Blog Post, News, Plein Air Painting

What a turbulent day. On my way to the event, I was nearly in a collision. I got to the event around 9am, did some scouting to find a vantage for the Quick Paint event. I set up on what I thought would be a great spot, right in front of the place where we had to turn our paintings in. This way I could work until the last minute and not have far to walk to turn in my painting. I also felt fairly comfortable leaving my stuff set up outside, which meant I wouldn’t have to allow time for take down.

I got my panel stamped then quickly set up (should have done that in the opposite order – 1st mistake), then realized I had left my phone at home (my primary time piece – 2nd mistake). After setting up, the traffic on the major thoroughfare through downtown started picking up, meaning that cars were driving between myself and my subject…, followed by foot traffic, an endless deluge of passersby and onlookers…then I realized that the venue put up a “Closed” sign to keep the general public out, which lead to a series of artists coming up to ask me where they had to register.

Personally, I think it is the height of crass to interrupt a fellow painter during a timed event. I finally had to wave people off when they approached. This however didn’t help to keep a fat clumsy kid from kicking my easel as he went past, nearly ruining my piece. After about 40 minutes of painting, I realized that the composition I chose just would not resolve itself well, and I actually wiped everything down to start over. So I managed my submission in about 35 minutes. Add to this the fact that I chose a rather tricky subject matter, the drawing of which was giving me fits, I ended up having to run back inside repeatedly to check the wall clock. With about 20 minutes left, I framed my painting, then put it back up on the easel to touch up. With about 5 minutes left, I went in to turn it in. After waiting for the volunteer to finish a conversation, I was finally checked in. Needless to say, I forgot to shoot a photograph of the painting. I’ll do that on Monday, when next I’m there.

After packing up my stuff, I walked with my friend Jim Selle down to the closest open bar and we had a couple of beers and some art conversation. After this I headed back to my truck, ate a quick lunch, then on my way to scout out another vantage in Cedar Creek Park, ran into my friend Brian Sindler. We had a great conversation about painting. I left and went out driving, hoping to find something interesting.

After driving through some new parts of the city, I ended up at the same farmhouse I painted yesterday. I found a new perspective and decided to wipe down the large painting I started the day before and use that panel for this view. It turned out alright. I may go back and touch up on some areas, this photo has some glare in it, but it’s pretty close. Not bad for about 3 and a half hours worth of work.

Cedarburg Farmhouse, No.2 – 16″ x 20″ Oil on panel. After packing up, I drove back into downtown. Met up with a couple of artists painting on the street, then went to the Washington House Pub to join a discussion with Tom Nachreiner and one other juror and some artists, on painting. Glad I did. Cedarburg puts on a class act, each night from 6-7:30 pm, they put out wine, cheese, crackers and fruit for in a local pub, free for the artists. This is a chance for artists to share stories and relax after a day of painting.

Anyway, not only did Mr. Nachreiner remember me, but he remembered a painting he awarded second place to over a year ago in an event in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. That was a supreme compliment, made my night. Tomorrow is a day off of the event, I have four private lessons to teach including a double private, then I have to start preparing a ground for a commissioned portrait. Can’t wait to get back out there. Now that the big one is done, I can start cranking out smaller ones at 8″ x 10″ and 11″ x 14″, sizes I’m much more comfortable with. Everything is due on Thursday, next Saturday is the final event – paint the festival.