Jeremy Sams Art Blog

Monday, May 7, 2012

Kinston Plein Air Competition

School Teacher's Garden
8x10 acrylic on masonite

What a great week to paint en plein air. The weather was beautiful. The skies were clear, the leaves were green, the flowers blooming and producing a sweet aroma. The temperature, however, was a little warmer than what I'm used to in early in May... The highs were in the mid 90's! So, shade was a must!

The event began Wednesday morning and ended Friday evening at 5pm. I think there were 20 or so artists in attendance which is a great number. The talent was very high at this paintout according to several who had attended before...and it showed. At the judging, which took place Friday evening, the talent was made apparent as everyone paraded their masterpieces into the gallery.

I met many wonderful artists. All were braving the heat...some in the shade, sitting, while others in full sun sweating it out. I hope they loaded up on sun-screen! I tried my best to stay in the shade as much as possible, sometimes having to break out my "shade-buddy" plein air umbrella to keep my painting and palette out of direct sun. Shade paintings turn out much nicer for me than sun-paintings...if I paint in full sun, the painting will be much darker in value and look horrible when hung in a gallery setting. So, I prefer painting in the shade when possible.

I was blessed to have received 1st place for the above painting entitled "School Teacher's Garden" which is located beside an old schoolhouse behind Harmony Hall. This location was perfect for plein air painting. I was shaded by a nice overhanging tree, and the light was just right. I was drawn to this scene by the reflected light in the shadows of the white schoolhouse and picket fence. It's amazing how green shadows on white surfaces become when reflecting the grass and shrubbery... an average camera won't detect these subtle temperature changes in color. Even the judge, artist Mike Rooney, claimed to have gotten cold chills when he saw the painting. How cool of a critique is that!

Below are some other paintings that I painted during the competition.

8x10 acrylic on masonite

Neuse Sand
8x10 acrylic on masonite

This was an interesting piece...I was painting under the bridge of Hwy 11, when this huge water snake which was about 4.5 ft. long comes sliding out of the water right in front of me. He layed there for about 5 minutes just checking me out. So, I stood there for about 5 minutes just checking him out. Finally, he moved on his way to some nearby grass. Later that evening, a fisherman informed me that he was ran out of that same spot by 4 or 5 different snakes... not a comforting thought understanding that this area is well know for rattlesnakes and water moccasins.

Roots on the Neuse
12x9 acrylic on masonite
  Queen and North
12x9 acrylic on masonite
  City Lights
12x9 acrylic on masonite

Mike Rooney offered some good advice for this painting. He loved it, and so did I...except for the cars. I should've kept the edges much softer and took a little more time with them. I painted them the day after I actually painted the scene...20 minutes before "turn-in" time. And, it, if I get this painting back, rest assured the cars will be repainted!

Special thanks to the Varner family for their always generous hospitality! I can't wait to visit Kinston and all the good people there next year!

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