Saturday, October 13, 2007

San Luis Obispo Paint Out

The first week of October I went to San Luis Obispo to participate in the SLO Plein Air Festival. It's about a 3 hour drive straight north, where the vineyards and farms and world famous cliffs and rocks by the ocean. And I actually, for some weird, maybe hormonal reason, I did not really want to go. Plus, I had pulled a big muscle in my back at yoga class. Maybe I was psyched out about having to paint and show with some of the best plein air painters in the West. Maybe I was sick of being away from home.... Aaannnyywwayyyyy.... I went a day late, drove around aimlessly, didn't know anyone, didn't know where anything was. But I didn't care. It was so gorgeous there. I mean REALLY nice. The air was so clean and smelled like eucalyptus and lavender and grapes.
The first day I did some quick sketches of cows. Very fun. I love cows. They are so cool, and I feel so good that I don't eat them. Then I labored over this painting of the sun setting behind these amazing trees with rolling golden hills and a creek. And when I was almost done, a big wind came and blew my easel over, and my very wet painting skidded face down in the nice loose gravelly dirt. There was no saving it. Ow, well. Day two and no paintings yet. I had 3 and a half days to produce six showable paintings.(*Gulp*)

Plein air painting is done on location, using no photographs or tricks. One must set up in the elements: wind, cold, heat, sun, traffic, annoying people, no bathroom, no food. And finish a painting in about 3 hours. Or go back day after day at the same time. But I had SIX paintings to do.

Here are the best of the paintings I eventally did. I just loved the old villlage feel of the little towns. And I met some incredible painters and made some friends. I am so glad that I went!

1 comment:

saffry said...

Wow! You must work well under pressure, because those look really great. The rusty truck in front of the art deco building is wonderful.

Come visit me and paint. Our pig farm neighbors now have cows instead, and the field across the street got fenced in to hold even more cows. Zeppo really wants to go over and say hi every time we go for a walk now.