Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay

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What a great time we had at our Central Ohio Plein Air retreat at Linwood Park on Lake Erie!

img_3337On the first evening there I spotted kayaks on the beach that I wanted to paint so the next morning I hauled the gear down there and set up my new Shade Buddy umbrella in the sand.  That didn’t work so well between the sand and the “gentle” breezes.  In between chats with the beach walkers I did manage to get a painting that I like fairly well.

img_3339That afternoon I wanted to capture something that was iconic Linwood Park so I did a pastel of the chapel.  A few of the residents admired it at the wet paint sale on Sunday but I still own it. To meet it’s a bit cold and sterile.  I might have been happier with less of the building. 

All of the artists at the retreat took their paintings back to the lodge so that we could see them.  I was so impressed with their work.  Such subtle use of color and value inspired me to try to observe more closely.  I also took some of their advice to do touch-ups on my work. 

The next day I decided to get out my oils and capture a big sky.  I picked a row of the cottage rooftops that would challenge my ability to scale the grays.  After tithe painting sat on the table at the lodge for a few days I realized that it needed a lot more work so I fiddled with it on Sunday morning before the sale.  I warmed up the bright side of the main cottage and added clouds to the boring sky.  I ended up liking it better but still not enough to knock on the door of the cottage owner who had shown some interest in it.

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I spent Friday afternimg_3335oon sitting on the wall of the port where I decided to do a 5×7 mini.  I was attracted to a beautiful building across the water and I was so content sitting in the sun enjoying one of the last days of summer.  I worked in pastel but needed to use pastel pencils to get the tiny details.

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When I finished that one I just didn’t want to leave and the curves of the park bench appealed to me.  I was feeling nostalgic that the summer was almost gone so I added a few sad little leaves.

On Saturday we woke to a downpour and a really close img_3336clap of thunder so we declared it a day to do touch-ups in the lodge.  Later in the morning things cleared just enough to go out but you wanted to stay close to some shelter so I did a watering can and flowers on the porch across the way.  Several of the other painters found inspiration there doing the vintage metal lawn chairs in bright colors.

That night we voted for our img_3310favorite paintings.  Mary Ann Miller won the best of show for her beautiful painting and Nancy Vance
got an honorable mention for her pastel painting.  I was awarded a ribbon as the most prolific painter.  I was still painting on Sunday morning between clean-up and the wet paint sale.  I think maybe I have an obsessive compulsive painting disorder???

As we left for home on Sunday afternoon I had a lot of good memories and the satisfaction of knowing that my paintings had improved from the previous year. Maybe next year I’ll get bold enough to sell a few!

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If you want to read more about retreat events, check out the blog of my friend and event organizer, Nancy Vance. http://nartizttravels.blogspot.com/