Thursday, May 14, 2015

Bainbridge Island Paintout

It's amazing how a short ferry ride can make you feel like you're in a completely different world. That's how I felt when I met up on Saturday with our painting friends. The Bloedel Reserve was an especially beautiful location to paint, or just stroll around. I thought I missed out on painting at Bloedel as the Saturday schedule was for Bainbridge Vineyard.

It turns out, different artists had different ideas (as they usually do) for the day. So some of us went to the Bloedel Reserve, some of us went the the vineyard, and some went to the Tilbury festival which was also happening at the time.

It's May in the Seattle area so everything is positively verdant. And by verdant, I mean very, very green. I admit I found it difficult to paint so much green. But it did not stop the fabulous artists from doing some nice work. Here are some photos shared on our facebook group:

(Sharon Curran)

May is quite the busy month for us, the next paintout is in a couple days May 16 in Federal Way, for the Blue Poppy Festival. PAWA members who are painting get in for free. Sign up on our EventBrite page to find out more.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Painting with friends

I went to Ellensburg on Friday to attend Melanie Thompson's first one woman show "Western Vision" at the Clymer museum. I must say it's really worthwhile to make a trip there just to see the work.

But as a bonus, Melanie, Laura Gable and I decided it would be fun to paint in Ellensburg the next day. So I stuck around Ellensburg, and the three of us headed out to the Yakima River Canyon early on Saturday.  We painted under a pedestrian bridge by Umptanum Creek. It was a nice day with unusually calm winds.

It was really enjoyable painting with friends, despite the bug swarm that stuck on the paint! And I felt a real camaraderie, I think with the many other plein air painters in Washington State and the wider world that are doing the same thing. Setting up their easels with friends, exchanging art gossip, and painting. 

Sometimes, painting can feel like an isolated pursuit, just you, your paints, and your struggle. I imagine that to produce something of the quality, volume, and scale of Melanie's paintings for her show, there is a lot of locking yourself up in the studio required.

But I believe there's a lot to be said for also painting with friends. For me, it fills my well, being outdoors, watching other artists paint, and seeing what inspires them. To me, this is what Plein Air Washington Artists is about, a group that enables people to paint with friends.

So come paint with us! As of this writing, there are three upcoming paint outs that you can sign up for in PAWA's Eventbrite page. Bainbridge Island is coming up in the few days. Palouse Falls and Walla Walla are May 22-24, where you can paint with Laura and Melanie as I did. The Mt. Baker paintout is a bit further out in September, but you can sign up early.