We were, again this year very fortunate to have the weatherman in our corner... with a huge storm and torrential rains occurring after all participants were inside the dining establishment and site for the evening demo. We were indeed fortunate to have avoided the distinct possibility of having had people on island sites... rather than in Rockport.
As with all undertakings... there are "hitches n' glitches" than come at you from nowhere... and last minute adjustments are the order of business to cover the bases. Both of our scheduled presenters for both night were forced to cancel for health and personal reasons... leaving the after evening meal entertainment gas tank measuring... empty! I volunteered to do a painting demo in oils... and ended up doing a demo and talk based on plein air preparation on both evenings.
The evening meals were excellent at The Galley Restaurant here in Rockport and at Caiger's Fishing Resort located a few minutes east of the village on The Parkway. I think this fact greatly helped both my delivery... and the reception of my offerings on both occasions. Put that with my committee duties and three consecutive days of outdoor painting... and you will accept that this morning... I'm feelin' a little "out of gas" myself!
All of the attending artists reported enjoyment on each day... amazement at the unique beauty of The Thousand Islands... and for many... their newly found joy in having painted... "out there"... en plein air! Judging by the wonderful and varied results of their joint efforts displayed at the closing wine and cheese reception hosted by the Rockport Development Group... all left for home not only with good memories... but with paintings that indicated new and exciting growth for each!
I am certain after my discussions with each participant... that our numbers should swell further from 24 artists for the 3rd Annual Rockport Plein Air Paint Out. I will treasure my own time spent
"out there"... partly with students and new friends and for the most part... alone as I prefer painting the glory of Creation as I "see" and feel it. My day on Pine Island spent mostly on my own... painting a site that I only became aware of as a result of reading "Of Time and an Island"... a novel written years ago by the now deceased owner of this island retreat... JK Keats. Keats was a respected political journalist who "packed in" city life... and his "job" in Washington... to live on Pine Island year round with his family... still "doing his work"... writing as a free lance contributor to travel and sporting publications from his "office/refuge" on the Island.
As migrating warblers tweeted and visited... I painted his office... and a path he must have followed to his "work" many times. I felt his presence throughout my day there. It was a high honour to have the permission of his three children to paint and sojourn here. I think that JK and Margaret both... wherever else they are presently... in the Universe might have smiled and have been pleased to see their rich and private legacy being shared... by so many complete strangers. But then again...perhaps we're not really strangers at all. We are simply sharing parallel journeys only at different time planes. Thank you Keats Family!
My thanks to Wendy and the other committee members for a great experience... and to the many village folk who also shared their properties with us during the course of the weekend. Thank you too... to the restaurant owners and servers for making our event this year ... HUGELY successful!
The result of my Friday evening demo and talk about the value and hows of plein air painting. An oil version of the water colour sketch I did in one of my painting classes in August... up scaled from 14x10 inches to 24x20 inches. "River Sentinel, Sunken Rock Light, Alexandria Bay, NY- oil on canvas.
"Wind Swept Refuge on Pine Island", a 10x8 inch black toned canvas completed quickly with one brush in about 40 minutes. It would serve as the subject for the evening demonstration to show the value of a sketch in developing a strong appreciation of the structure of a subject in one's mind.
Hard at work at the 10x8 oil demo on black canvas... using positive negative relationships and masses of colour only to replicate a sketch done on the Island in the afternoon. Done from memory... no reference used.
The result of that exercise is a reasonable... but very different interpretation of the original subject... focussed more on sky effects than the foreground interest in the first!
These were the People's Choice award winners for this year's event! Big smiles... Guy and Gals!
Thank you to all participants for their fine spirit and and camaraderie! What a fine weekend we all shared together! New experiences... new sites and new friends! See you next year!
Till next year... Good Painting to ALL!!