This was from last Sunday morning. We drove downtown and then wound up in Chinatown. It was a gray morning and the car stalled as it was backing into the parking spot. I set up, no one seemed to be around…and 15 minutes later, the street sweep vehicle was heading right towards me. Mercifully, he just kind of stopped short of where I was set up. I finished. The car stopped and started…and I made it to the drop off for the show and competition with 10 minutes to spare. We sat around Bottega Louie eating brunch until around 3:30, then made our way to the bank building where the show was…And I wound up winning first prize in LA’s first Plein Air Festival. And then we had to sputter our way home. But it was still a great day.
Downtown LA Plein Air Festival again–this time with B doing the driving while we scouted locations. Passed by an incredible area of fabric stores–unlike anything I’ve ever seen and had no idea it was there after 30 years of living here. At around 9th and Santee. Looked like I imagine Istanbul looks. Anyway, not too far from there we found a relatively quiet street with a meter at $4/hr. So I set up. Sometime during the process some kids came by and gave me a compliment. Next thing you know, one of them literally skateboarded into my set up sending my turps, paints, etc. flying. Luckily, neither I nor my painting were hurt, unless a near heart attack counts. Have I mentioned that plein air painting is not for the faint of heart? At some point, an African American gentleman wearing a suit and driving a black Mercedes pulled up and got out to talk to me. He said he wished he had a gift. I tried to tell him it’s more about hard work, but people never want to hear that, so he took off. I painted this building many years ago from an office building window and one of the lawyers that worked there purchased it, so of course I have a fondness for it…and besides, it’s a cool color to play with, kind of like pistachio ice cream.
News flash: I typed this up on Saturday night but was too tired to post it with the image. Since then this piece won me First Prize in the First LA Plein Air Festival that ended this Sunday and hundreds of dollars of art supplies. Yippee!
So the LA Plein Air Festival is going on for four days. I must admit I felt some resistance/trepidation about going downtown, trying to find someplace to paint, trying to find someplace to park that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg, trying to find the check in point. A good sign: a student who had taken my class twice was out front…and an even better sign, I pulled up to parking right in front of the store! It was mercifully less hot than it’s been lately but still hot. I parked and asked if I could paint in the lot. I just couldn’t deal with schlepping all my stuff to the street. I still need to get my supplies more manageable. Anyway, it was a great plan and someone else tried to steal it, but then left and other than that, I didn’t really see any of the other painters–something like 100—who supposedly were painting up and down Spring. Some homeless guy started hurling insane accusations at me but I just ignored him and fortunately, he shuffled on. One guy passed by and the stench was one of the most intense I’ve experienced…and I grew up in NYC. So it’s not for the faint of heart. And I wouldn’t have even thought to do it. Gottta love that people come up with these cool things to do. I may skip tomorrow and just go Saturday and Sunday. We’ll see.
No, I’m not vain–that was the name of the show! It’s a nice show and I’m proud to be in it. We went down to Laguna–B’s first time, watched the sunset and then headed to the gallery. It was a tough day–1oo degrees, Yom Kippur fasting, Day of Disconnect(so no internet allowed), Mercury Retrograde…but through it all, we managed to enjoy it!
My 4th 30 paintings in 30 day Challenge and this has been the best one so far…I’m starting to get the hang of it. 9 florals, 6 seascapes, 10 still lifes, 4 paintings of B, 1 cityscape…30 days! Some days I did 2 and some days I did zero. Some of my best pieces were done when I least wanted to paint. I sold 4 paintings, 2 of which were done before the challenge. My blog traffic increased 500%. Lots of generous compliments. It’s been great. And I wonder where I will go from here. One thing I know, I didn’t paint today and I’m not painting tomorrow! I’ve had a bit of a boomerang after each challenge….but that’s okay…I now know it won’t last…forever.
I had come down here a couple times to chat with a friend and it looked so beautiful that I wanted to paint it. We schlepped the equipment about a half mile (mostly B) and then I set up. It was a zoo of people. And not the same as in the morning…this was closer to sunset. The colors were not the same. During the week it’s much quieter too. Surprisingly, most people kept their distance. One woman did approach and asked how I could concentrate with all the people around. I told her it wasn’t a problem unless I was talking to someone. I had a teacher who told me to say how much the painting cost and that would send them fleeing…but I forgot to employ that trick.
These little pears and this bowl were still calling out to me, so I took another shot.
These little pears have so much spunk. And the bowl was purchased that day…we are so low on little bowls! I loved how the colors hit off each other.
This one was done with the Zorn palette.
The other piece I did like this sold so fast it made my head spin. I was inspired by the sunlight bouncing off this white guy’s bald pate and legs as he lay on the blanket, but of course, just as I was laying it in, he got up and left. I continued, hoping he would return or thinking to make it up. He did come back and sat in the chair next to his partner. They had a pretty good set up. I want it.