After a breakfast of pancakes and sausages, I toured a group of ten very ardent fellow painters aboard the Rockport Cruise Line's Chief Shingwauk to Boldt Castle, located on Heart Island in New York State. There... we spent the complete day painting at that world-famous tourist destination. Needless to say... there were fewer touristas on the island... so we artists were kings and queens of the Castle for a day!
My long time painting pal, Frank Edwards and I wasted neither valuable painting time, nor energy searching out a painting site. We set up immediately... out of that nasty wind and painted the power house from a very picturesque vantage point. I had eyed up/scouted out... on my two earlier visits to the castle this summer. I had chosen a rather largish canvas format of 30x24 inches for the day, so I had a lot to deal with... in a very short period of time. I was pleased with the result however. It required only minimal work back at the studio to the bottom foreground area to close it out on Sunday morning before the exhibition.
In the evening, all of our group gathered for a social hour and sumptuous dinner at The Boat House Restaurant... once the site for the the first business in Rockport, The Cornwall General Store. This relic and architectural jewel of Rockport, was established in the 1840's by Charles Cornwall, a US citizen from upstate New York. His brother had a stone general store... still up and running directly south of Rockport in Alexandria Bay, NY. Our after dinner speaker, Brian Phillips shared an interesting historical power point presentation based upon the Cornwall heritage in Rockport to close out the day's activities. My bed sure felt comfy... and sleep came easily - a fitting end to a highly productive and thoroughly enjoyable day with my ol' sidekick Frank!
This view shows the bow of the Chief Shingwauk in the fore... and the Boat House Restaurant and Inn directly behind
Saturday, September 14th
All artists were required to paint within the village to offer the invited public to visit the village, to watch the plein air painters fully in action and to visit local businesses and eating establishments. In many cases, this was their introduction to Rockport and to the plein air movement. Everywhere one went... one could feel and hear the connection that folks were making with artists and many permanent village residents... who had generously opened their properties to artists and the public for the weekend. Win-win ... for everyone involved!
After the full day of painting... artists, their guests and interested public observers met on the dock at The Rockport Cruise Line and boarded the Ida III for a complimentary one hour Sunset Cruise into the Islands... courtesy of The Rockport Cruise Line in generous support of our weekend adventure. Mother Nature... put on her best dress and bathed us with the beauty and light so characteristic of Autumn in The Thousand Islands region. All aboard were smitten with the golden ambiance of this initial entry of Fall into the region. Plenty of "oohs and ahs"... and a barrage of steady camera clicks filled the cool night air. It was a wonderful end to another days together... "out there"!
Here are some pre dinner visual "hors d' hoeuvres" we enjoyed... leading up to another evening get together at The Cornwall Pub and Grill
The Boldt Castle Power House and bridge... "at ease" after a hectic day
The Castle Dock and Facade
The Triumphal Arch and Children's Play House...
Sunken Rock Light ... guarding the treacherously narrow International Seaway Shipping Channel
The "Skull and Crossbones Secret Society " Fraternity summer house on Deer Island. George W. Bush was a member. Wonder if he ever partied here with the other many "Yalies" who have visited and stayed on the island over the years?
Two magnificent summer houses located on world famous "Millionaire's Row" west of A-Bay!
A modern replica of the gaiety and High Victorian grandeur of "The Golden Age" in The Thousand Islands
After filling our bellies with "whatever we pleased"... our artistic spirits were satiated and uplifted by a wonderful water colour demo by my new painting friend, Paul Taylor, who hails from Henrietta, NY.... a suburb of nearby Rochester. The presentation not only enriched the thoughts and imaginations of the water colourists present... but for everyone else too who enjoyed watching this creative individual sharing his passion and his skills. Thank you Paul... for your presence and your contributions to the success of our Rockport Paint Out!
Paul... on location at Fish Rock painting the tug work boat Ishpeming
Another maritime theme... from "the other side" of the River... subject for his evening demo piece
The demo at closing... structure there... can be finished at any time
Sunday, September 15th
The sun continued to shine... and spirits ran on "high beam" as well. Artists finished up some of their works while others chose to add another small one before the noon deadline for submission of works to the Patio Deck Restaurant location for the final public Reception and Exhibition scheduled for 1:00 pm.
The event was formally opened by Chair Person Wendy Merkley... assisted by Township Mayor Frank Kinsella who passed out the Awards to the winners. Since our event is deemed an "artist-friendly" event... all awards were based upon "People's Choice" principle, and were decided by public voting.
Surprise!... Surprise! The Grand winner was.... Paul Taylor for his acrylic painting "Ishpeming" shown below! Congrats Paul!.... Well deserved!
A sunny... sparkling... loose portrait of Ishpeming (Thundering Waters)... a plein air Gem!
I will close out my post issuing my thanks to all of my fellow friends and committee members for their hard work... to Kathleen Allen, President of The Rockport Cruise Line and all of her staff for their friendliness and generous contributions to the success of The 3rd Annual Rockport Plein Air Paint Out. Thank you all! Thank you to the Rockport Development Group non-artist members, who generously offered their time and energy to the event's success! Thank you too... to Frank for joining me this year! What a blast to be "side-by-each" again!
I will add one sentence ... borrowed from Paul Taylor's web page. It is a quote he feels and obviously adheres to strongly in his own work. I deeply believe this mantra to be true as well. It derives from Edgar Whitney, a revered and charismatic American water colourist... now deceased:
"[A] Painting must be a love affair - you cannot paint half-heartedly."
No one that I watched did less than that during this painting adventure! Thanks for participating all! See you next year... I hope!
Good (Plein Air) Painting!... to All!
PS Despite my responsibilities... I managed to complete two nice paintings
Time ... at a Stand Still... on Heart Island - oil on canvas 30x24 inches
The Loner and Tonto... reunited... en plein air
Ishpeming... At the Ready - oil on canvas 24x20 inches