Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Door County Plein Air Festival

I looked forward to the Door County Plein Air Festival for a long time. For me, the festival kicked off a week early, as Dan Corey came out to stay and paint. While he was in town he taught a well receive and attended workshop at my home space, the Chicken Coop studio. He covered everything, from ideas for studies that students could explore to more advanced concepts of composition and personal vision. All the while he stressed the power and importance of the abstract. Dan is very straightforward as a teacher which is refreshing. and I took in as much info as I could. I got 15 pages of notes, just off the first demo.

After the workshop, it was time to head up to Door County. The Peninsula School of Art has created and nurtured this event to the current state of it being the premiere event for outdoor painting. Year after year, they bring in a fresh group of the best painters and put them in position to be successful. During the festival, there are several opportunities to paint in specific areas. The staff at the school hands out maps with a list of "who's going to be where" to collectors and those interested to see a dozen or so painters all in a relatively small area. This is a nice touch, as it connects the painters with the collectors and general public.

There are several reasons why the Door County Plein Air Festival is the best event. The Peninsula School promotes the event very well, advertising in several publications and releases a large guide book each year. The organization is well thought out, planning for this event is no small task. The volume of collectors is large and the quality of artists is high. All these reasons aside, it's the staff at the school who makes this week special. Cathy, Kay, Karen, Martha, Tori, Lindsay, and who can forget Trevor, this one's for you! Thanks for building such an inviting and successful event year after year.

Gills Rock Harbor 8x12". I enjoyed painting this working fishing harbor the most of all during the Door County Plein Air Festival.

Girl 10x8". This was painted during the sunset paintout in Sister Bay, on Wednesday night. The evening was just perfect, sparkling light on the water followed by a celebration with wine, crab cakes, and a jazz quartet playing some of my favorite blue note numbers. Jenny Anderson, Dan, and I had a great time listening to the band and drinking Spotted Cow that night!

A piece from the Gills Rock Harbor. 14x18"

Fish Creek 14x18"

Trap Net Boat 16x20".

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chetek Vacation

Summer is gone. This year, the second half was hot and busy. I am going to make a series of posts to pick up where the blog left off... nearly two months ago!

Each year, my wife and I take a fishing vacation for a week in Chetek WI. This year, it was during the second week in July. I like to fish, but when I get out on the boat, I usually end up with the urge to paint. I brought my pochade box with me this year and several panels, instead of my usual french easel and stretched canvases. This made it easier to paint on a whim, because I could just hop on with a loaded palette and a couple of brushes. The week was one of the coolest of the summer, and it ended up being a nice warm up for the Door County Plein Air Festival.

12x16" oil on linen Morning Clouds

8x10" oil on linen Blue Gill

9x12" oil on linen Out To Dry

9x12" oil on linen Golden Hour

5x7" oil on linen Sun on the Water