Sunday, May 6, 2012
Paint Snow Hill 2012 the long version
Friday was Robb's 40th birthday. Yay! But aging has him in a funk this time around, and he insisted I not make a big deal about it. So I refrained from filling the front yard with cardboard tombstones and removed the black crepe paper from the chandelier. Old guys are no fun at all. Instead I shall give you the full recap of Paint Snow Hill 2012. Pictured above are Momo and the birthday boy at the PSH picnic. Too bad they never smile.
For PSH this year I had to take my entourage: husband, teething toddler, dog, and carpet steamer. Yes, I have a rug doctor in my posse. Don't you? The old abandoned apartment needed a little pre-summer TLC: new curtains and a good scrub. None of that happened during the painting weekend, though, because Maureen is a very busy lady these days. Perpetual motion, that one. Robb played hookey from work Monday so we could finish up our chores.
This year we had 70 artists painting--about half of them squeezing into a photo here--which makes it the biggest PSH to date. I barely saw anyone when I was out painting. That makes sense because I didn't paint in or around town this year. I went out into the countryside around Snow Hill, Newark (MD, not NJ), and Berlin. Generally Ann Coates doesn't care where we paint as long as no one shows up with pictures of ferris wheels and cotton candy.
This is a farmhouse on Basket Switch Road in Newark purchased by artist Laura Wilke.
I backed into a pulloff across from Timmons Road near Snow Hill to paint this field. What caught my eye (and I'm not sure it reads so well in the painting) was the little gap in the center between the two stands of trees. Ann took this one home.
I intended to paint a field of mustard in full bloom (I LOVE fields of wild mustard) when I setup my paints just south of Mystic Harbor (near Assateague), but this woodsline took center stage instead. Funny how paintings sometimes have their own ideas about what's important. Cindy Reed bought it for her friend Apollo's first birthday, to start his art collection.
I can't tell you how many times I've pulled over on the side of Assateague Rd. in Berlin to photograph this old house. It's so weird looking I guess because there it is in the middle of a farm field falling to pieces. They work around it. With each passing year it seems more and more to only be held together by the vines that are consuming it. I finally made a painting of it and named it "Nature Finds a Way." Yes, it's a line from Jeff Goldblum's character in Jurassic Park; John Eiseman busted me. And Lynne Lockhart purchased it because she drives past this house every morning on her way to Assateague.
The weather stayed nice for us during the paintout, but Sunday morning was a real downpour that continued all day. We were worried it would keep the art enthusiasts away from the show. And yes, we replaced the windshield wipers on the Jeep the day after I took this picture of the old one flapping in the breeze.
I finished a fifth painting near the end of Porter's Crossing but neglected to get a good photo of it before Laurel Campbell took it home with her. In the picture above it's the third one down on the left. And I brought along two small paintings from last year to pad my panel a little. I hung up my work and realized belatedly that I had chosen the panel right next to Stewart White's paintings. Like I really want my work compared directly to his. His work is RIDICULOUS. And by "RIDICULOUS" I mean mind-blowingly crazy good. And in watercolor. No surprise when he took this year's Artists' Choice Award.
But the rain did not scare people away from the show. In fact, it washed the crowds right in the door. Overall sales were excellent. And I had a great time mixing and mingling and socializing and schmoozing. And then this happened to me:
Holy red dots, Batman! Color me astonished. And flattered. Let me throw a couple of metrics at you. Four of my paintings went home with other artists. Two of my paintings went home with people who chair plein air painting events. Two of my paintings went home with repeat customers. One painting went home with a college art instructor. Wait a minute, that makes it sound like I sold nine paintings... I sold five and traded one.
Doesn't my new Jess Cross Davis painting look good with the new curtains?!