Thursday, June 23, 2011
Cedarburg 2011, Painting in the Rain and some Tough Choices
The 11th annual Cedarburg Plein Air Competition was held this past 8 days and I need to tell you it is at the top of my fun list every summer. With over 150 artists attending this open competition there is always plenty of great social time as well as some serious painting. Normally I would paint 8-10 pieces and then pick my best two for entry in the competition. However this year I had a family wedding to attend which required missing 3 days right out of the middle! (all worth it mind you.)
The event kicked off with something new this year...one day of painting at a beautiful nature reserve (Riveredge in Saukville). It was a very rainy day and I had to leave at 1pm. I found a great spot under a deck to paint. I always keep some small plastic tarps in my paint bag so I laid it out on the deck above held down with some well placed rocks and voila...dry space! There will be separate awards for this portion of the event . The staff there was extremely warm and fed us all a wonderful lunch. All the pieces need to be 8x10. Here is my piece:
Rainy Day Blue
The second day (Thursday) was the start of the 7 day painting window and looked to be the best weather for me anyway and as I had to leave on my trip Friday I was anxious to at least get a few good starts. My friend Judith Reidy and I spent much of the day together. In the morning we painted in Horn Park, a delightful place along the river that I had painted in before. "Morning Meditation" (above) is what became of my effort and I have submitted it as one of my 2 competition pieces.
We found a beautiful farm to paint in the afternoon. I was tired and don't feel quite resolved with this painting but the weather has not been the same since and so it will have to wait to be finished for another day.Then it was off to southern Indiana on Friday for the wedding and back on Sunday. I missed the quick paint which is one of my favorite things to do...poor me...:) This coming Saturday there is one more chance for an award as we have from 8-2pm to "Paint the Festival". With an expected 50,000 people in attendance painting Cedarburg's Strawberry Festival will bring it's own challenges. At least ideal weather is in the forecast! Also all the works will be sold by silent auction (ends promptly at 4pm) at the Cedarburg Cultural Community Center this coming Saturday...you should come!
On Monday I was very tired and achy from the trip (fibro is not my friend), it was raining and looked like it might do that for the rest of the week and I admit I had to wrestle with myself to get down to it. I made a decision to paint in solitude as I knew I would be distracted by a friend. So I drove around Cedarburg looking for the next inspiration. It came in the form of a bunch of Dahlias at the Steins garden tent on Western. I was able to back my car up to them and open the hatch to sit. That and both my umbrellas kept me somewhat dry and a little uncomfortable. But the Dahlias spoke to me...there they were, outrageous in their bounty and beauty...rain spilling off their petals...some heads bowed. They cared not who saw their performance...their effort of extravagant praise. They gave all in utter abandon...I watched, cut to the quick with the lesson I was seeing unfold before me. My response is the painting at the top of this post and my second entry, entitled "Selfless Abandon"...I hope I've done them some small justice.