This past weekend - well week actually, I participated in a plein air competition. Now landscapes are not my cup of tea, but it sounded like fun so I signed up. In conjunction with the competition they had a two day art festival so I signed up to have a booth as well.
On Thursday I loaded up my paints and went to participate in the competition. Thanksgiving Point has these massive formal gardens and with so much beauty it was hard to choose what to paint. Having visited the gardens a month ago I decided to paint something that had previously caught my eye. It was a statue of herons (I think) located in the Monet Gardens. The competition actually ran 3 days in which I could paint but because of previous commitments I could only paint on the last day. By the time I got setup it was noon and the paintings had to be done and framed by 5:00 that afternoon. I suddenly realized that I didn't allow myself much time!
I set to work, sitting in the full sun, plastered in sunblock as I enjoyed the warm September day. Not being a plein air artist I had chosen acrylic as my medium. It wasn't too long I realized the folly of mixing acrylic and hot sun. It dried almost immediately! Nevertheless I pressed on and painted til 4:10, then hiked back to my car to frame my piece.
I didn't win a prize in the competition, but I surprised myself that I could paint a landscape and I enjoyed the peacefulness that I found in the garden that day. I think I will do it again next year but definately paint in oils instead!