Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Black Butte Willows, Oil on panel 9 x 12
Sally O'Neill and I head over to Black Butte Ranch, where we will take part in the National Forest Foundation's annual paintout.  This is a totally new area to us, so we are arriving the day before.  We check out several locations in the mid-afternoon, trying to guess where the shadows will lie during the morning of the competition.  After selecting several possibilities, we settle in for a warmup painting.  We are halfway into the work when wind starts gusting across the meadow and lake.  I fight with my umbrella, feeling a bit like Mary Poppins as it nearly lifts me off my feet.  I end up finishing the painting in full sunlight, with my feet braced on the easel to keep it from blowing over.

Willow Shadows and Aspen, oil 12 x 16, SOLD
First thing the next morning, the shadows are long and inviting.  We are wishing we could start painting at 7 instead of waiting until 9.  But we have to get our canvas stamped for the official paintout.  The lake starts out glassy, then as the morning warms up, little breezes tease the surface into riffles.

There are lots of distractions.  People walk by, wondering what 40 painters are doing around the lake.  An art class arrives, and some kids join us in concentrating over their easels.  Boaters and paddle boarders dot the lake.  A fishing class convenes in the meadow on the far side.

We finish our paintings, frame them, and turn them in for the show that begins at 1.  Willow Shadows and Aspen is gifted with the Artists' Choice award.

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