Tuesday, May 3, 2011

still considering lilies...

and remembering lessons from my first time...

plein air painting , that is!

In March, I painted out at Open Air Arts in Melrose, Florida. Over sixty artists were invited and gathered to be inspired by and illustrate the Florida landscape.

But...as the dates approached, my anxiety level began to grow right along with the list of "essential" materials and tools to be packed up and hauled from my studio to scenic Melrose. You see, I don't paint landscapes, at least not traditional landscapes. My inspiration comes from the "landscape" of my mind! What in the world (ei. quaint and historic Melrose ) would I paint? And how would I do it outdoors with the distractions of weather, insects, and a buzzing crowd of expectant onlookers? Why did I agree to this exposure, especially under the watchful eye of so many experienced, gifted plein air painters?

Lesson 1: Remember that fellow artists are, in fact, supportive friends and the more, the merrier.

Captured by the sparkling spring weather and our gracious community hosts, friendships,old and new, seemed to flourish. Encouraged and inspired by the kindness of fellow painters, I found the confidence to pick up my brush and get to painting! I'll share the process and resulting paintings in a future post.

Prior to moving to Florida four years ago, I enjoyed the creative camaraderie of studio space at the Contemporary Art Center. The presence of other working artists energized our collective artistic spirit and expanded my own creative capacity. Yes, I've grown to appreciate the quiet solitude of my little private studio, but my week in Melrose reminded me that I treasure art-making companions painting along side me.

How grateful I am for the the fellowship and encouragement of artist friends, both old and new.
Silver and gold, don't you agree?