Monday, August 17, 2009

My Painting: "Eagle Harbor, Ephraim"

I had intended to paint cows the morning I painted this.
But, you can't trust a cow. They didn't show.

11" x 14" Oil on RayMar Panel
Copyright 2009

Since the cows failed me, Plan B was to head to Gill's Rock, a working fishing village at the very north end of the peninsula that is Door County. To get there I passed through Egg Harbor, Fish Creek, and on the downhill approach into Ephraim, Eagle Harbor looked pretty good. As I drove past the parking lot for Ephraim's beach, I saw open parking spots. I pulled in. Other artists had the same idea. Mary Ann was painting on the side of the road as I came down the hill, and on the beach were Debra Groesser and John Stewart Pryce. I got out, made the commitment to paint, and from where I was, there was also shade.
Standing where the parking lot and the beach come together, next to the opening in the hedge where folks come and go - and steps from my SUV - I had a wonderful view of the beach, the wetlands, and the harbor in the distance. Not many folks were on the beach yet, and it was fairly quiet.

Here's the photo of my painting on the easel once I decided I had nothing left to say with my brush. I'm glad I thought to take the photo since I didn't take photos of my work later.

Talking about what I had to say, it is the most important thing that an artist can ask themselves before they paint. What I wanted to talk about in my painting was the most distinctive feature of the harbor view, the church steeples nestled into the hillside in back of the marina. Just knowing that helped me figured out the composition and also to simplify all of the stuff one sees out there.

A grandafther who passed me painting as he entered the beach with his family kept coming back to check on my painting. Among other comments he would say, "You're doing great!" or "Wow, the painting has really progressed." Of course I was painting in a competition and sale. I wanted him to be aware of that and tried to give him the booklet about the festival that the organizers gave us to pass out to people we met. His wife said she knew all about the Plein Air Festival and stopped him from taking it. Bummer. I had hoped he might come and purchase this painting that he loved so much.
We needed two paintings on the wall by 5:00 PM on Tuesday, and I was excited about this painting. So I framed it and took it back to Fish Creek and The Peninsula School of Art to hang on my spot on the gallery wall. Talk about hot off the brush!!! I didn't see it again for a couple of days. But it was a good advertisement for me, and it turned out to be one of my most popular paintings. It sold in minutes, and I could have sold it many times.

No comments: