Paint Historic Wheeling 2016

Several years back I participated in Paint Oglebay, a September plein air event in the park with an art show at Wilson Lodge.  I really enjoyed the event and though I was novice plein air painter, I sold a small a painting.  I planned to go back but it seemed that year after year I had scheduling conflicts.  During that time Paint Oglebay morfed into Paint Historic Wheeling.


I decidIMG_3155ed this was the year to return.  The event was headquartered at Artworks Around Town a nonprofit for the local artists located in the Center Market in south Wheeling.  After registration  and announcements on Thursday I headed to Chapline Street where there’s a row of beautiful old buildings.  A morning rain stopped just in time.  I had originally planned to paint a different house but I was suckered in to this one by the sunflowers and the orange doors. I got a lot of encouragement  from the local folks walking past.  I could have painted views there all weekend if it wasn’t so hot.


IMG_3165That afternoon I headed up to Oglebay.  Since it felt like it might rain again I decided to paint on the veranda of Wilson Lodge.  I wanted to catch the view looking through the chairs so that meant I needed to sit on the floor with my pastel paper propped against my knees.  I’m surprised that someone didn’t throw a few coins my way as I sat there!  It didn’t take long to realize that this was not going to be easy.  I had to simplify the rocking chairs to get contrast with the background and add the flowers at the bottom for balance.  Of course there were challenges with cars and people coming and going.  One of the Wilson Lodge guests who stopped to talk was a high school classmate I hadn’t seen for 45 years!    That was probably the best part of the whole weekend.

Each day the artists were supposed to check in and wait for announcements.  The event organizer was not a plein air artist so I don’t think he realized we were wasting the best light of the day, not to mention the only cool air.  I headed back to Schenk Lake at Oglebay where I thought the heat might not be so bad.  I really liked the patterns of the shadows so I did this oil painting.  It just got hotter and hotter so I was pretty envious of the kids peddling their boats under the spray from the fountain.


I probably should have called it a day, but Oglebay is so beautiful that I wanted to do one more painting before I headed home.  Although I tried to stay hydrated and walked under the landscaper’s sprinkler, the 90+ degree heat got to me.  That’s one painting that isn’t likely to see the light of day!  I missed the First Friday event at the Center Market so I don’t know if the traffic through the gallery was comparable to what there had been with vacationers staying at Wilson Lodge.

Because of other commitments I didn’t paint on Saturday. On Sunday I did another pastel on 23rd St. of a porch that caught my attention and had a nice conversation with the residents of the house.IMG_3176

I headed back to Artworks as the final reception and awarding of prizes was already under way.  Alas, my paintings were not what the judges were looking for.   The show will stay up for a month and the paintings are for sale.  The event organizer summed up by saying that the event was a good way for the local artists to get together once a year to paint together and renew friendships.  That’s probably the way I’d describe it, too.

The organizers are talking about moving the event to the fall because of the heat.  Would I go back?  Maybe???

Hot Air, Plein Air

Despite the hot, hot weather I’ve been able to get out and paint a few times since the trip to Scotland.  It’s nice to actually have some sunshine to work with.  Here are a few of the paintings:

This one was painted with our Central Ohio Plein Air (COPA) group at Slate Run Historical Farm.  The farm has so many scenes to choose from.   I liked the darkness inside the barn contrasted with the sunlight hitting the hayloft near the doorway.




This painting was done at one of the ponds at the new Ariel Park in Mount Vernon.  It was a  beautiful day only spoiled by a drone that kept buzzing around us.  I chose the view because I liked the little island in the water and wanted to see how well I could differentiate the middle ground trees from those in the background. It was almost time for our COPA critique.  Then I spotted the scene below.


The sky is was created with just the underpainting and a few small touches.  I didn’t finish it because we were headed to the little Greek restaurant on the square for lunch.  The next day I finished up the pastel painting, toning down the golden grass and adding details.

While I was on a roll I painted this one from my Mom’s porch looking at her flowers. IMG_3141 I downplayed the stone wall in the back and substituted grass for a set of concrete steps on the left.







Since I began using pastels, my oil painting gear hadn’t been out of the house.  So I went to nearby Blacklick Woods MetroPark to get back into brushstroke mode.  Here are two paintings I did on different days.



They both needed a few touch-ups back at home in the air conditioning.  Even though I thought I’d differentiated values, the second one was so dark when I got it indoors that I had to bring up the light, warm colors quite a bit.

I learned a lesson from the painting below that I did at Stratford Ecological Farm with the COPA group.  It was the hottest and most humid of days.  I walked around a bit to choose a site whIMG_3138ere I could stand in the shade and decided to paint the barn (cliche, I know).  It was massive and I liked the way that you could see through to the sunlit foliage beyond.  I hadn’t put a sketchbook in my oil painting kit and I was too hot and lazy to walk back to the car to get one, so I figured I could skip the thumbnail stage.  Had I done that I might not have ended up with a barn that took up 75% of the painting.  The farm dog came over, looked at it, and left a 3D critique on the ground.  Oh, well, I had fun spattering the paint to create the gravel.

This last painting is my favorite.  It was done in oils with COPA in the Community Garden at Franklin Park.  IIMG_3143 loved the little path into the garden and I’m a sucker for flowers, especially when everything else is so green.





So I’m off to Paint Historic Wheeling this week and hope to create some good paintings despite the heat!