Cedarburg Plein Air Painting Competition – Day Eight: Main Event

Posted on June 22, 2011 in Blog Post, News, Plein Air Painting

Well, after last night I decided I would take a good night’s sleep. Got up late, headed out to Cedarburg and started at the place where I painted the tree painting from yesterday. I spent about two hours there, having to pack up for about 15 minutes to avoid the rain. Managed to get further on that piece, as you can see. I will be adding in some more violets tomorrow, I want to push the color harmony a bit. Today was about modeling the trees, adding leaves, and using a little palette knife work to create impasto for a sense of depth. I also added shadows to the forest ground, allowing the light source to become apparent, and to add to the sense of space. I like this one, and may end up submitting it. This evening I opted to put it in a new frame, however, a simple black frame, a little more massive and less distracting than the ornate gold one I had originally.

After returning to downtown I took a walk to see who else was around. It was time to get some food, but I wasn’t sure where to eat. I met up with Jason Prigge, who hadn’t been painting throughout the event, instead he arrived today to pull an all-nighter. He was planning to do a nocturne and then catch some sleep in his truck before getting up early to continue painting. I’m sure he’ll come up with a couple of amazing pieces.

I finally settled on Fiddleheads, a nice cafe/espresso place on Washington Avenue. I then drove around a bit, looking for a decent place to paint. I tried several views of the sky, as we had heap big clouds today, but there was no where quite poetic enough to warrant painting. Finally I headed back downtown, and took in the view at Boy Scout Park, just Northeast of downtown. This park offers a view of Cedar Creek, on the far bank are a series of buildings, at least two of which are restaurants. I took a chance and decided to set up here, under a massive oak tree, hoping to dodge the rain. I was about 50 yards from my truck, so there would be no running back for shelter. I had an umbrella with me, which was good, but it wasn’t large enough to cover both me and my gear, which was bad. So I covered my gear and stood put my hood up to wait it out. That ended up being about 15-20 minutes, I got doused, but at least it was warm out. I had a heron to commiserate with, a bird who flew from one side of the creek to the other, trying to decide which side was less miserable in the rain. You can see what it looked like here.

Eventually the rain cleared and the sun even came out for about 10 minutes at a time. I managed to get a good start on this piece. For once the subject ideally suited the panel size I had available. This is 8″ x 20″ oil on panel. I may turn this in tomorrow, depending on whether I can finish it by noon, and how well it looks when I’m done. Something tells me that this format may stand out in a room full of paintings. Either way, I think it will be a nice piece. I even included the heron. This is where I left off at just before 9pm. That would make it about 5 hours of work.

Tomorrow is the last day of the main event. I’m planning on heading out early to finish this and touch up the other two. Have to wrap up at 1 pm (2:30 pm at the latest) to turn them in, then head out to Ron’s Memorial Service in South Milwaukee. Not looking forward to that, not at all.