Friday, October 2, 2015

Back To Linwood Park for the 2015 Painting Retreat

I organized another painting retreat with my local plein air painting group. This year, we returned to Linwood Park in Vermilion Ohio right on Lake Erie. I took far fewer photos this year. I wanted to enjoy the experience and not play photographer!

We had a spectacular time! The weather was perfect and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves, making new friendships! Most of us normally only spend a couple hours painting on Saturdays and never really get to know each other, but this retreat really gave them time to learn about each other.
 This retreat offered three nights and two whole days painting! I never seem to get much painting done on the first day. I was busy getting everyone settled in and I was enjoying the camaraderie. Next time, I am going to reserve for 3-4 whole days.

I only painted a couple things. My first day were two "wipers", but finally did a little 5x7 pastel on Pastelbord.
The second day, I stood on the beach and painted this scene with a kayak and a inner tube thing in the weeds. Not sure that reads right, but I am very happy with this painting. I need to get studio photo of this painting.

9x12, oil on gessoed board
Everyone did an outstanding job painting! Here are some snapshots of the tables we loaded with new art! There were oil paintings, pastel paintings, watercolors, and sketches.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Travel to Campobello Part 2

Thursday was a beautiful day. We met Michael at the coffee shop in Lubec for breakfast to talk about our day. Wendy chose ONE blueberry pancake. She barely made a dent in it and took the rest home.

We stayed on the US side and met at the West Quoddy Head State Park near Lubec. This location is the farthest eastern point of the US.
The views here were spectacular! Even a photography class thought so!

Michael goofing off in front of the view he used on the cover of one of his books.

Moss carpeted forests

Fairy Gardens
Michael did quick oil painting demo with a painting knife:

Then I chose this view to paint:

This is as far as I got. Even though the temps were only in the high 60's, I was burning up with fever and getting a sore throat....had to quit. I walked back through the mossy forest to sit in the shade near the car while the others painted. Very disappointed.  ;-( I may try to finish this one later using the photo.

Here's Donna and Wendy working hard:

Wendy climbed down the hillside to paint directly on the rocks.
When the girls finished painting, we headed back to Lubec and stopped in Michael's Lubec gallery. We were very impressed with his large selection of beautiful paintings. Then we had to head to Campobello for a very important appointment with Eleanor Roosevelt!

The Roosevelt Campobello International Park hosts a "Tea with Eleanor". We reserved seats in the paid tea and expected an artist dressed as Eleanor. She failed to show. Instead, we had a couple lovely young tour guides reciting about Eleanor Roosevelt's life. We had tea and molasses cookies and received a small cookbook of her favorite cookies.
Some Airstream campers who shared our table.

For dinner, we attended another local Lubec event at the Masonic Lodge. They host a weekly public BBQ with chicken, burgers, hotdogs, salads, and rhubarb crisp, while listening to a country group play on the bandstand. Reminded me of my father-in-law's bluegrass festivals.

Last day of workshop. We met over the bridge on Campobello, and had intended on painting at the Cranberry Point, but it was socked in with fog, so we went over to the Mulholland lighthouse where Michael said the fog would lift sooner. He did another pastel demo:

I'd talked the girls into buying $6 folding chairs at KMart before we left Bangor - they came in handy! We left them with Michael for his next workshop classes.

Since my oil painting failed yesterday I wanted to work in pastel. I was inspired watching Michael carve out this tree in pastel so I pulled out mine hard pastels and went to work on a small 5x7: 

Gamsol wash on first layer.

 Now I'm cooking! Yes, I went clear to Canada to paint trees! But this is a fir tree instead of my favorite pine!

Mulholland Fir, 5x7, pastel on UArt 500
After class, Donna treated us to lunch at the Fireside Restaurant in the Roosevelt complex. 

 Great food and great views! Dessert was warm fresh red raspberry cobbler with ice cream. Yummy!

We headed back 'home" and walked a bit in Lubec browsing some of the few gifts shops, then came home and napped. Later, Wendy cooked up a huge pot of spaghetti for dinner.  

I had a bad time sleeping but woke in the night to find that my sore throat was easing somewhat! YAY! But still had the goopy throat and aches.

We had a free day and decided to go to Friar's Head view on Campobello to paint. We all loved this view from the parking lot of the fire weed. I had thought that maybe I was allergic to this and had caused my symptoms, but after looking it up on Google, it is not an allergen. Must be cooties from the plane!!

Gamsol wash over hard pastels

Fire Weed at Friar's Head, 8x10, hard pastel on UArt 500
I got done in no time and decided to paint a little 5x7 of some birch trees:

Gamsol wash

Friar's Head Birch, 5x7, hard pastel on grey Pastelmat
After painting we headed back home and did some final cleanup of our painting gear and started to get packed for the trip home. We went back to Frank's for dinner, but it took forever because the 15 member photography group was there and ordered ahead of us! But surprise! They were done in time to take some photos of the sunset behind Frank's!

Travel day home. We cleared out the refrigerator and made a brunch buffet before we hit the road.

Wendy frightened with all the food! LOL
We loaded up the car and headed out, stopping at the LL Bean outlet in Ellsworth.We all grabbed a couple bargains. I stuffed mine into my suitcase and once at the airport, my bag was 2.5 lbs over the limit! Had to take several things out and carry them on in my backpack. We had a 3 hour layover in Philadelphia and we had a nice dinner and roamed the terminals, and the time went pretty quickly. Made it home to my bed by 11:30pm.... Ahhhhh.... my own bed!

What a great trip! We all had a great time, got along great, and had several big laughs at my stumbling at the border to the guards' questions each time we crossed the border! We never got searched though!

Thanks again to Michael for the great experience!

If you are ever interested in a plein air workshop, please consider Michael Chesley Johnson in either of his home location - Campobello Canada or Sedona Arizona. The advantage you get is his knowledge of the area and best painting views, weather conditions and access. The 4 hour sessions work well for everyone's stamina. His personality and teaching style is confident, kind, and laid back.