Monday, September 22, 2014

Reporting from Hillsboro: Warning: LONG and picture-heavy post!

"Water Lilies"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas
$250, framed

Last weekend, I set out on yet another plein air painting adventure. I'd been told that Hillsboro had an absolutely amazing plein air event, and I wasn't misinformed. It's a little town about 15 miles North of Portland, Oregon, and I rolled in early, ready to explore and paint! Here's what I saw downtown:

Promising painting spots everywhere I looked.

After getting my canvases officially stamped, I set out for a local park, designated as the day's painting spot, complete with models! (The above painting of water lilies was sketched as a warmup, just getting a feel for the park.)

A huge reason I wanted to attend Hillsboro's paintout was that they provide "Tableaux Vivants," or "Living Pictures," in case you don't speak French (which I certainly don't). Last summer, I taught a workshop on painting the figure en plein air, but it didn't end up being outside because of weather. The light outside is so much more colorful and random than anything the studio can provide.

Here I am happily - and nervously - starting my first "tableau vivant." A work-in-progress:

And here's the finished product! I was happy - and hot. The Hillsboro paintout folks were very attentive to both artists and models, providing chilled water and lots of sympathy, but secretly all of us Oregonians were enjoying the unseasonal September heat.

That evening, a Nocturne-paintout was hosted by a downtown eatery. Never having painted at night, I was once again nervous, but ready to try:

I could see my subject well enough by the ambient light from the shop windows, and my headlamp alternately illuminated my palette and my canvas (as I looked up and down), but I still wasn't entirely sure what I'd done until the next morning! Hey, that happens at home in the studio, too, with being exhausted.

It turned out OK!


Bright and early the next morning, there was another Tableau Vivant, this time with models in historical costumes. Being a huge Anne of Green Gables fan since childhood, I was captivated!

The whole thing began at 9:30 am, and I was out warming up even earlier - wandering the local farmer's market and painting some early light. My flip-flops were off and my toes were in the grass by 10 am, and it was sweltering! What a great late summer paintout.

 And here's the finished product from that session, which lasted two hours! How those ladies made it in their costumes, I don't know. But I hope they enjoyed some of the good farmers market food that I did after it was all over.

 All of these pieces are for sale, although they will be on view in Hillsboro at the Walters Cultural Arts Center until November. So contact me if one captures your fancy!


Diane Mannion said...

Thank you for your long and wonderful post! Lucky you! Terrific work, as usual. Exciting to see so many great things to paint. Wish all paintouts were like this one.

Dave Casey said...

Great paintings from this event. One thought I had though was, "those poor ladies" during the live paint out. Sitting out in the sun like that for however long it was. I hope they got a standing ovation when they were finished.

jake george said...
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