This was my second year participating in Paint Snow Hill, the three day plein air painting weekend organized and hosted by Ann Coates and Bishop's Stock Fine Art & Fine Craft Gallery in Snow Hill, Maryland. Seventy artists participated this year.
This is what actual plein air painters look like. If you want to get into plein air painting, you should give it a try once or twice before you invest in the professional gear (shown above), which can be quite expensive, although it makes you look cool. I created this Plein Air on a Shoestring Guide with a plein air "test drive" in mind.
This is what my Paint Snow Hill 2008 setup looked like. I never claimed to be a plein air painter. Last year I struggled against my studio urges and wasted a lot of valuable painting time. So this year, I just went with my gut. And my gut said, "Find a table in the shade!" My daily routine goes like this: I roam around the Town of Snow Hill until I find a scene I want to paint. I leap from my car with a sketch book and draw the scene. Then I draw it again directly on the canvas. I take a lot of photos of the subject area. Not pretty framable photos, just informative shots of the whole scene, specific details, light, objects, etc. Whatever I might want to refer to later. Then I run for cover and get to work. This painting event is very laid back. More serious plein air events would not allow me to use this system.
The party on Saturday night was as delicious as last year. It's a nice way to bring all of the painters in from the fields and streets and marshes for some fellowship and war stories. I did not stay too late, though. I hurried up the highway to Ocean Gallery and caught them before they closed. By 10:00 a.m. the next morning, they had framed two paintings for me. I love that place!
The first painting I completed, Signs of the Times, is the view up West Market Street from the corner of Morris. That morning my view was all realty signs as far as the eye could see.
The second painting, End School Zone, was looking out of town south into the farmland. This painting and Signs of the Times were juried into the Paint Snow Hill show at Bishop's Stock and displayed for the month of May 2008.