Monday, June 27, 2011

Plein Air in Red Wing

Catching up on sleep and work after a week spent in Red Wing, Minnesota.
I was so excited (and nervous!) to be a part of the fifth annual Red Wing Plein Air Arts Festival, June 20 - 25.
I ended up having a wonderful time, thanks in large part to a jolly group of super-talented artists that I got to hang out with throughout the week.
You guys left me feeling inspired and challenged; wanting to throw out half my paintings, and throw myself into the creation of more and better work!

There was rain and gray skies most of the week, which made outdoor painting a bit tricky.
My new easel held up well to the buffeting from the wind during the creation of this piece:
Just after I'd finished up, the tornado sirens went off. :-P
Then came the rain.

This was done sitting in the shelter of the depot later that afternoon:

The old Iron Works building is really cool. I chose to just do the top against the clouds, where a little bit of blue sky made a brief appearance.

On Wednesday I was privileged to paint at a lovely farm outside of town. Driving out was like going home: big sky, rolling farmland... a Hannah in her natural habitat. ;)
The sky was so gorgeous, and there wasn't an ugly spot to be found. However, one of the reasons the sky was so interesting was because it was poised for a downpour. Just after I'd begun to paint, the clouds let loose. Even with my big umbrella I got pretty wet.
This painting was officially finished when a large clap of thunder and flash of lightning sent me scurrying to my car like a scared rabbit.

Thursday was more of the same, minus the interesting-ness of the sky. Had a good time painting, but my painting was as drab as they come, especially when compared the work of my painting buddy that afternoon. (If you go to the show, check out the watercolors of James Turner-- wow! Color explosion!)

Friday morning we all had assigned places to paint, and there was a map for anyone who wanted to find the artists and check out what everyone was working on. I got a late start, but had a good place to paint by the Golden Lantern.See that above the rooftop? That's what's known as a blue sky!

Saturday morning, from 10 until noon, was the quick paint. I loved the ivy growing up the side of this big old brick building, and focused on a small part of it.
It was raining again by noon!

If you're in the area, you can check out the plein air fest exhibit at the Red Wing Depot through August.

My paintings might look a little smug, because they feel pretty cool getting to hang with the work of some amazing artists, like this guy, and this one, and this one, and this one, and many more. It really is a great show, and there's a lot to ooh and ahh over.

If you're not in the area, plan a road trip!


  1. That's really neat and you are so good! I'm always impressed with your paintings, especially since you seem to do them so quickly!

  2. Aww, thanks Jessica! My canvases were all pretty small (8 x 10") so that helps. Usually I'm pretty slow!