Sunday, June 2, 2013

In The Meadow - En Plein Air

  May all your weeds be wildflowers. 

In The Meadow

11.5" x 15" hand painted 'en plein air' watercolor on Yupo paper
16" x 20" double matted w/ foam core backing
See purchase information here.
This image is available for license here.

Yesterday I competed in the Medford NJ, "2013 Paint Our Town - Plein Air Challenge". Although temperatures soared into the mid 90's, I managed to find a shady spot and held up pretty well. This year the event took place on the Medford Leas Retirement Community's 160 acre impressively landscaped grounds. It was lots of fun and a very well run event. Upon arrival, our painting surface was marked and we were supplied with maps and information about possible painting locations.

Here is my set-up.

I learned so much, on many levels through participating.  I haven't really painted on location in years and setting up and working outside is not like being in the studio where everything's at your fingertips! The only thing I forgot was a spray bottle and my paints kept drying out.  I'm planning on putting together a "Checklist for Plein Air Watercolorists" in my next newsletter. Be sure to sign up to receive it in your inbox.

This picture of me  was taken by Beth, a sweet resident I met
who contributes to the community newsletter.

It was really good for me to get off the property. I tend to be a hermit. Most days, I'm here in my studio, painting, on the computer or hanging out with my critters. It was good to get out in public and it was definitely good to get out of my routine and comfort zone. Even though it was a lot of work, I'm charged up to do it again, hopefully when it isn't so darn hot.

Cutie Pye inspects the maps, brochures, and winnings.

Everyone I met or was reacquainted with was so nice! There was even a reception with food and wine after the judging. I am happy to report that I got a second place award and a cash prize for my painting of Katzell Meadow, titled "In The Meadow". That was just the icing on the cake though. The true prize was just being there in the moment, observing, feeling, painting, outside, in the zone, in the meadow.

Go to the meadow to stretch and grow
Get lost in her plume topped amber glow
Sparkling with gems in every color and size
Joyful appreciation the true grand prize

When is the last time you tried something
out of your comfort zone or routine?

What was it?
  What did you learn from it?  

 As Always, I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks for stopping by!