Wekiva Paint Out – Part One
Each year Wekiva Island hosts the Wekiva Paint Out. Dozens of nationally know, award winning plein air painters from around the country come to Longwood, FL for a week of outdoor painting in and around the Wekiva State Park. These artists, and this wonderful event, help to raise awareness and funds for the preservation of the Wekiva River.
On Tuesday my husband and I went down to the Island to sample some craft beers and take in the live art auction and some great live music. The artists started painting on Monday, and each had contributed a completed (wet) piece to be auctioned off on Tuesday. Proceeds from the auction paintings went to Keep Seminole Beautiful. and the Wekiva Wilderness Trust.
It’s hard not to get caught up in the excitement of an art auction, just saying. Oh how I wanted to raise my bid card up in the air again and again as these plein air paintings approached $1K. But, I had to exercise some kind of self control. After all, these paintings were way more expensive than shoes. Every piece of art that was auctioned off was well worth the price tag, and sometimes MORE, let me just say. I did bid, but was out-bid again and again. Doug leaned over to me and whispered in my ear “We have no more wall space!” Which is true. We are really in the market for outdoor art.
My favorite pieces were by Hai-Ou Hou and Jane Chapin. You can see a full listing of the artists on the Wekiva Paint Out Website. Oh how I really WANTED to own Hai-Ou Hou’s colorful canoes! She put pinks and bright blues and hot reds into her landscape, with thick and meaningful brush strokes of color up front and center of the composition. BUT the guy in front of me outbid me, more than once! AND he took home the two pieces I was most interested in.
I guess we had similar taste, but I had better shoes.
The majority of these artists are working in oil paint when they are out in the forest or floating in a canoe on the river to paint. (I saw one watercolor artist and one pastel in the gallery as well) Oil works the best because it takes forever to dry, they don’t have to worry about their palette drying up on them as they spend a day in the sun watching the light change. What does this mean for the auction pieces as well as the pieces that end up in the gallery all throughout the week? They are still wet.
Christine from Canada spent the day studying with me in my studio two weeks ago. She really appreciated Sunny Florida and shared this anecdote with me “Someone once said to me, that’s so BORING, it’s like ‘watching paint dry.’ and I said to them, ‘I LOVE watching paint dry!!!'” I thought about this the night of the auction, as the paintings were waved around in front of the audience and handed to the highest bidder at the end of the night. Oh my! DON”T SMUDGE THOSE CANOES!
Blowing in the Wind
I, Like Christine, love to watch paint dry. I love the way my collage papers change color and sometimes even effect as they hang clipped to a clothesline in my studio to dry. I love the idea (and the smell) of oil paint, although I’ve not used it in years. I love the idea of landscape painting, although I infrequently focus on that genre. Some days I wonder if I should try breaking out of the proverbial color coded scrap paper box? Maybe I’ll inquire about being the first plein air collage artist on the scene next year at the Wekiva Paint Out. I’d have to put Doug on figuring out how to make me a wind-proof paper palette.
If anyone can figure it out, Doug can.
While I was watching paint dry, and auction prices rise, I was warmed in my heart at how many people came out to support the plein air artists and the Wekiva River. What a wonderful community we live in, Wekiva Island is just three miles from my house. If I did end up being a plein air collage artist, I could sneak home to shower.
And change my shoes.
Thank you for
being part of
My Art Journey,