March 4th – 9th I was honored to have been included with 27 other artists painting En plein airin and around Wekiva Springs State Parkand Wekiva Island; this was my fourth year participating in the event.
It’s Not Easy Being Green
Basically, the Wekiva River Basin is a lot of green on green on green; this presents a challenge for someone who loves color. Mostly I try to look deeper and see MORE than what is there when I am working at the Wekiva Paint Out. Above, my under-painting involves a lot of orange to offset the green, with a bit of periwinkle sky reflection in the water.
It’s not easy ripping and gluing in the wind either… but over the past four years I’ve perfected the process. I had an easel custom designed for my collage papers, I purchased a shade umbrella to help me see what I was doing on bright sunny days, I learned how to work faster, I became good at schlepping lots of stuff in two bags plus a backpack.
Is That a Gator I Hear?
I’m basically afraid of all wildlife, I won’t swim in the ocean for fear of sharks and this week I was afraid to paint alone for fear of gators, and tigers, and bears, oh my! (well maybe no tigers, but one of the artists did see a lynx)
Because of this, I stuck to Peter Carolinlike collage glue when we were painting near the shore of Prevatt Lake and a gator was grunting in the reeds nearby. “Peter, if that gator comes out here… YOU’RE going first!”I exclaimed multiple times.
Peter was fine with it, mumbling something about more likely that I would be struck by lightening, Charlie Dickinson agreed. Sure, that’s what they say about shark attacks.
This year, since my Very Tall Boy went to college, I decided to bunk at Wekiva Youth Camp with the other painters for a couple of nights. I live only five miles from the event, so I’ve always gone home to take care of my Boy and the dogs. This year I sent the dogs to the sitter and spent some time hanging out in the camp’s infirmary cabin with Manon Sander, Michelle Heldand Ruth Squitieri.What a wonderful time we had getting to know each other!
Hard Work, Great Fun
This is a week I work harder than most. Since I am mainly a studio artist, it’s pretty grueling for me to drag my gear into the woods, stand in the sun and the wind, and create at least one, hopefully two collage paintings per day!
Tuesday was pretty darn cold and rainy, I had to pack it in about 10 minutes after I got set up–the rain started coming down in sheets. I saw it coming and had set up my easel right next to the car, thank goodness!
As the week progressed, the weather cleared up and continued to get hotter and hotter… “Were’s the sunscreen to go with my bug spray?”
Luckily, we had both in our artist goodie bags.
We Love Our Patrons
This event wouldn’t be successful without the support of our loyal patrons. Doris and Chuck, Susan and Steve (above) have purchased work every year from me at the Wekiva Paint Out. They are happy to support the cause, since this entire event is to benefit the Wekiva Wilderness Trust and Keep Seminole Beautiful, these foundations are taking care of our beautiful Wekiva River.
You gotta see it to save it.
At the end of the week we have to clean up our cabin, camp, and the kitchen. We washed down the tables, swept the floors, and stacked up the chairs; another Paint Out week was coming to a close. We all worked together to clean up and cook breakfast on Saturday morning.
Bill and Mary Weinaug own Wekiva Island and sponsor this event–they treat the artists like royalty for the week. They wine and dine us, house us, entertain us, and take good care. We had happy hours, pasta bars, catered meals, a camp kitchen stocked with more food than we could eat in a week, we had cabins, a mess hall, and a bar stool at the Island with our name on it. As if that weren’t enough, the end of the week Patrons’ Gala featured live music by the Hindu Cowboys!
You can’t beat that.
If you have never checked out Wekiva Paint Out, we’ll see you next year!
for Being Part of
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