Thursday, April 16, 2015

En Plein Air

Not just painting outside, but sculpture, fiber arts, woodworking, bonsai, ikebana, too. The Art Festival was so much fun, so engaging, Maria and I went back the next day, with Bambi and Alex. The first day there was a contest called a Quick Draw, participants were found throughout the gardens, plying their crafts with paints, charcoals, silk, and pencil, and they had three hours to complete a work for judging. We were thrilled for Toni Williams receiving a blue ribbon, and the sale of her oil painting. We'd enjoyed such a friendly visit with her, while she discussed her work, and encouraged Maria in her own art. Having seen the changes she made, her thoughtful application of light and shadow to her painting, it made the finished work even more beautiful, familiar.

We found another kindred spirit in Jan Greenwald, a wood turner, and patient teacher. He also has a mischievous humor, which added to the fun of watching him work, and waiting for Maria's turn at finishing her ginkgo branch turned mushroom. Jan has a gift for giving each child all the time in the world to make their choices, and finish the lathed piece with markers... all complimentary, all with his amusing remarks. And when he's not turning tops and mushrooms on his lathe, he is making much bigger, more elaborate bowls, urns, and chalices from locally found wood. Each piece is so carefully, painstakingly finished, it feels like the smoothness of warm silk, timeworn wood, buttery, comforting.

In the gardens we saw spring, and growth, changes. It was nice to be back, nice to see friends, and make new ones, nice to walk for hours and feel reinvigorated for it. When we returned the next day, Alex and Maria came with their own art supplies... being creative en plein air is irresistible.


Jennifer said...

So much to enjoy and celebrate and learn -- wonderful!!

Unknown said...

What a beautiful day! I loved seeing these pictures of the gorgeous gardens and your beautiful family.