Monday, April 24, 2017

Paint Snow Hill 2017

Paint Snow Hill 2017, the short version:

For the past 11 years in a row I have spent the 3rd week in April at the plein air (outdoor) painting event in Snow Hill, Maryland. The stars aligned so that my kindergartner's Spring Break matched up with my painting trip, so once again we also had a family vacation during the paint-out. My little video was the talk of the town and even got me recognized on the street by a stranger. By Saturday I had 7 finished paintings to show for my efforts. 1 of my paintings sold, 1 traded for another artist's work, and 1 stayed in Snow Hill for the upcoming plein air exhibition at Bishop’s Stock Gallery in May 2017.

Paint Snow Hill 2017, the long version:

Work in progress - "Morning on Church Street," acrylic on wood, 8 x 8 inches, sold.

On Thursday I set my alarm for 5am, so I could get fully caffeinated and out the door before sunrise. But I must have needed more sleep because it was 7:30am before I was set up near the corner of Federal and Church to paint the lovely play of light and tree shadows on the side of this home. An hour later I realized it was Ann and Randy Coates' house when Randy came out walking Sarge and Moe (their sweet dogs) to work. They bought the finished painting--THANK YOU!--and it's hanging in their kitchen now. Paint Snow Hill started in 2004, so it is amazing that this year was the first time anyone (me and Alison Menke) chose the organizer's home as their subject.

Work in progress - "Recycle Day on Federal #1" and "Recycle Day on Federal #2," each acrylic on canvas panel, 6 x 6 inches. 

I headed further down Federal, parked in front of the Flag Man's house (an actual place), facing southwest. Not only do I paint sitting in my car most of the time, but, yes, what you see here are my sketches and panels taped to the steering wheel. That is how I worked. And then, a lady named Beth out for a walk on her lunch break leaned in my passenger side window and said, "You're just colorin'!" because she recognized me from my Youtube video. Which was both awesome and sobering at the same time. That evening I said to Robb, "I broke the internet."

Work in progress - "Gone Fishin'," acrylic on canvas panel, 6 x 12 inches, available at Bishop's Stock Fine Art.

Late Thursday I stopped by Porter's Crossing to paint. There was a very chatty group of fishermen, who weren't catching much. I was chatty right back, so I wasn't catching much either. But I returned Friday morning, determined to take another stab at this peaceful spot. Apparently all I needed was a night to sleep on my ideas. I saw the river outfitters drop off a family of canoers. An old farmer from Westminster checked on my progress several times. He liked to draw as a boy but was not able to continue. He showed me his trembling hands and said, "It runs in the family." I told him that painting and fishing are a lot alike: even a bad day painting is better than a good day at work.

Obligatory selfie looking down Green Street after checking in at Bishop's Stock Fine Art. My "Follow Your HeART" t-shirt is courtesy of Savvy Painter. Thank you, Antrese!

"Gone Fishin'," acrylic on canvas panel, 6 x 12 inches, sold.

Speaking of selfies, the Bayside Gazette must have my headshot on file from last year's interview (p. 18) about Paint Snow Hill because they reused it for this year's event coverage. People are really getting sick of seeing me.

"Instigator," acrylic on canvas panel, 6 x 6 inches, traded away to Jess Cross.

Peer pressure led me astray. Again. I saw on FaceBook that Kirk McBride had been painting over at Ocean City Harbor. I haven't painted there during Paint Snow Hill before. Because the harbor is not in Snow Hill. Or near it. Not even close.

But my thought process went like this: "That's less than a mile from my hotel....if Kirk's doing it, it must be fine..."

"Tiki XIV," acrylic on canvas panel, 5 x 7 inches, available.

Nope, completely out of bounds. I completed 2 naughty paintings while there.

The Instigator docks across from The Shark bar & restaurant and Atlantic Tackle (used to be Ake Marine), and I had a particularly calm morning to paint her. The Tiki XIV docks further up, along the municipal lot. I painted her under a streetlight in complete pre-dawn darkness. Sunrise sneaks up fast, so this painting took 2 sittings to complete, starting at 5:30am on Friday and Saturday.

Our hotel room was on the second floor, and I decided not to lug all of my gear up and down the stairs. That meant painting, signing, varnishing, and framing all happened in my car this time. Definitely a first.

Of course the Easter Bunny found us at our hotel. Also, we had lots of
disregarded bedtimes and a trip the zoo and ice cream for lunch and sightings of wild ponies and movies and an egg hunt on the beach and putt putt.

"Morning on Church Street," acrylic on wood panel, 8 x 8 inches, sold.

Back before we had kids and a mortgage, Robb and I lived in Ocean City while he finished his degree. A little known fact about Old Pro Golf: if you've ever worked there, you get to play miniature golf for free for life (as long as someone recognizes you). And this is how we continue to reap the benefits of part time jobs of yesteryear. The kiddos made it through 9 holes of dino-golf before we retreated to the arcade. That little one can really fling a skeeball--guard your head!

"Recycle Day on Federal #1," acrylic on canvas panel, 6 x 6 inches.

I had a wonderful dinner and visit with my dear friends Jessie and Cindy Lingebach. My daughters decided that the Lingebach sisters are twins now, so when the Mowery sisters grow up they can be twins, too. Thanks for making the trek to the shore for me!

Also, the Jess Cross display at my house grew once again. I traded "Instigator" for one of her enchanting alcohol ink on Yupo paper creations. More on this in another post.

"Recycle Day on Federal #2," acrylic on canvas panel, 6 x 6 inches.

My painting “Gone Fishin'” stayed behind to be included in the Plein Air Paintings exhibition at Bishop’s Stock Gallery, in Snow Hill, MD. The opening reception for the show is Friday, May 5th, from 5-8pm. I hope you can come!

Some links for you:
Paint Snow Hill page on FaceBook, so you can get it on your 2018 calendar.
Kirk McBride, general bad influence.
Bishop’s Stock Fine Art, plein air exhibition in May.
Bets Cole, winner of 2017 Artist’s Choice Award. Hooray!
Jess Cross, badass.
Savvy Painter, amazing resource for artists.
Old Pro Golf, source of family fun.

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