Bristol Renaissance Faire Event

What an adventure last weekend was. The temperature was ridiculously hot, high 80’s to mid 90’s both days, not much cloud cover, just direct punishing sun. Fortunately the Faire offered a good deal of shade.

I arrived a little after 9am and stopped in the office to check in and pick up my artist kit. The organizers furnished us with a black apron which had the logo for the charity and the Faire on it, as well as a map, a pamphlet, and some food vouchers. I met Julia, and some of her staff, who were all very friendly and eager to see what we’d paint. After dropping this off at my truck, I did a walk-thru with my camera to see the grounds. It had been eight years or so since I was last in Bristol, and I couldn’t believe how much had changed in that time, they’ve really added to the grounds. It took awhile to get my bearings. The staff and cast were milling about, preparing for the crowd, which entered at 10am. I was able to scout around and set up before the bulk of the visitors got there.

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Door County, Day Two


After a long night without much sleep, I managed to get up early enough to pack up and turn in my keys and get to the park in time to find a great spot, right across the street from the tent used for registration for the Dockside Quick Paint event. This event gave us ample time to set up and sketch, within a two block radius of the park, but only two hours to actually paint.

I took a protein shake with me for breakfast as I scouted possible locations and greeted some of the other artists who were just arriving to do the same. I spoke for awhile with my friends Larry Schultz and Jason Prigge, then went off to look at some possible vantages for the day’s events. I had an hour before I could get my panel stamped, and another two before the event started. We were all looking at the overcast sky and judging the winds to estimate what the light would do between 9-11 am.

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Door County, Day One

Well, July has been a decent month, and as a result, I was able to attend the Dockside Quick Paint in Door County. Each year the Penninsula School of Art sponsors an exclusive week-long plein air painting competition, inviting only 40 artists from around the states. Some of the best painters in the US participate in this event, which culminates in a rather successful auction, all to raise funds for the school.

To get invited to this event you have to have firmly established yourself as an award winning painter, and to get invited back, your work has to sell. That being said, the school goes out of its way to promote the event, and the auction-style sale is far more successful than any other event in the state.

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Cedarburg Plein Air Painting Competition – Day Ten: Paint the Festival

Here is today’s painting from the Paint the Festival event in Cedarburg. “The Light was Green” 9″ x 12″ oil on panel. We had from 8 am until 2 pm to finish and turn in a framed painting. I was fortunate that my Sister and Nephew arrived in time to watch my gear while I turned this in, it would have been a very close finish otherwise.

I am in the process of summarizing the significance of the results of this competition. I’ll be discussing it in the next few blog posts. I want to wait until after tomorrow before commenting, I’ll know then whether anything sold or not.

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Cedarburg Plein Air Painting Competition – Day Nine: Main Event

Well, another long day in the books. Started early today, left around 7:30 am, was painting by 8:10 am. I wanted to get out early to beat the rain. I had maybe an hour of painting time to myself before I got drenched. But I was onto something, and by this time it didn’t even phase me. I had my umbrella over my palette and canvas, and my hood was up with my visor low. Just another day of painting.

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Cedarburg Plein Air Painting Competition – Day Eight: Main Event

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.

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Cedarburg Plein Air Painting Competition – Day Seven: Main Event

What a long day. Another late start, I arrived in Cedarburg just in time for the Artist luncheon and workshop by Bonita Budysz, one of the jurors in this year’s event. I stayed for the first half hour of the demonstration, but soon had to leave. (How can I be politic about this…) I have found that I have to severely limit the amount of time I spend looking at artwork and artists who possess characteristics that I am rigidly trying to eliminate from my own painting. The workshop started very slowly, a bit more talkative than was necessary, but I chalk that up to nerves. It takes a lot to get in front a group of your peers, and talk to them about your process, while painting. Props to Bonita (please don’t jury me harshly).

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