Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Memorable Weekend

Frankie Willis, my newest collector with Golden Dreams
My setup at the
stone bridge on Sunday

PAG painters

Bambi, Phyllis, Durinda & Sandra

(We've been painting together for years)

The Reception at Pinky's Parlor

Sandra at the river
I don't know what possesses two reasonably sane people to drive to middle Georgia on Memorial Day weekend, setup to paint outdoors in 90 degree heat with pending thunderstorms, but all it took was a "ya'll come" from friend Phyllis and off Sandra and I went. The event was sponsored by Plein Air Georgia in Flovilla. Yes, Flovilla. I had no idea where it was. It is between Atlanta and Macon. We actually were in the Village of Indian Springs. There is a state park which contains the mineral springs that the Indians thought contained healing powers. The village was in its heyday during the late 1800s until 1920s. Without telling you too much history, it is now restored with a cafe, museum, shops and gallery, rental cottages, and gardens.
So what do you do at a paintout? First, you register and the canvases or paper you think you will use that day are marked or stamped on the back. That insures that you do something on the spot and haven't brought a painting you did earlier or in the studio from a photograph. Then you have a time limit to submit your paintings for judging and a display. Our deadline to have work framed and submitted was 3:00. Whew!
The three of us, Sandra, Phyllis and I painted in or near the botanical garden. I setup on the hillside near a small stream with purple iris lining it. I tried out the new MatteFinish Alkyd paints from Gamblin for my underpainting. Working with them on my linen boards went well. They do dry out quickly on your palette in the heat. After lunch at Pinky's Parlor, I again painted in the same area, this time an arbor with a wooden bridge.
Twelve painters from different areas of Georgia presented one or two works each for the reception. Pat Burns won First Place for her Mossy Tree and two other awards were given. Phyllis had made up the "I Survived" awards for the people who were first timers painting en plein air. I always say painting outdoors is not for sissies. Besides the sun, the wind, the bugs, the animals, the kids eating ice cream, you also deal with folks who just naturally are curious about painters. "Do you know Thomas Kincaid?" a sincere bystander asked Phyllis once. "No, do you?" Well, I am sure that sweet Phyllis had just the right thing to say back, but I would have been tempted to say that.
At the end of the reception, it was such an honor to have Frankie Willis purchase my two oil paintings as well as Sandra's and Phyllis'. Frankie is the one who has brought Indian Springs back to life. What a wonderful support for the local vendors and families. Her insight into recreating the village and establishing the gardens makes the area well worth the trip. You can stay in the state park, the Indian Springs resort, or rent one of the cottages in town. I guess a bonus of being a painter is getting to see interesting places and meeting other artists. It sure helps to have friends who enjoy the same things you do!
Now go make some memories!