Friday, August 23, 2013

Nellie's Angel in South Park

On Friday, Aug. 2, I participated in Greensburg’s Plein Air Paint-Out.  Greensburg is my hometown, so it was especially fun for me.

At 8:00, artists could go to the tent on the downtown square to sign in and get a complimentary continental breakfast.  Then off I went to an unknown, undecided spot.  At 10:00 I finally chose my location and subject (GOT to get faster at that).  I set up in South Park Cemetery in front of the gravestone that most spoke to me.  It was the marker for 9-year-old Nellie Woodfill, 1902-1911.  The angel statue is sitting and looking sadly at the flower arrangement on her lap.  She also seems to be looking at her missing foot, one example of the massive destruction caused by vandals earlier this year. ($9000 worth of damage by idiot teens looking to “wake the dead”.  Prosecutor let them off scot-free.  Not even community service.)

Okay, so anyway.

My mother came and joined me under my umbrella to keep me company out there.  She even drove over to the Art on the Square Gallery to pick up my complimentary sack lunch, and brought it to me so I could finish in time for the 3 pm art sale, which was coinciding with the farmers’ market downtown.  Thanks Mom!  The timed deadline forced me to paint much faster than I am accustomed to, but that is a good thing. 

Around 2:30, Gary, the cemetery Superintendant, stopped by to chat.  He said the cemetery office might want to purchase my painting, then he left.  I didn’t think he was serious.  I framed my painting right there in the cemetery and started packing up my car.  Then, Joyce, South Park Cemetery Office Manager, drove up to introduce herself.  I told her about the sale to be held on the square.  She was interested.  By the time Mom and I finished packing and traveling back to the tent, Joyce was already there with SPC Board Chairman David Miers.  I put a price on it and they wrote me a check.  They told me that they were very grateful that I chose to paint at South Park, bringing attention to the beauty that is all around there.  

 My painting will hang in their office.  What an honor! (I didn’t realize they had an office… if I did, I would have asked to use the restroom…)

About Nellie Woodfill (1902-1911):

Sat. Eve. Post cover from the same year
I felt the need to know more about this little girl from long ago.  Greg Meyer at Greensburg Public Library kindly looked up her obituary and emailed it to me.  As a nurse with pediatric experience, I found her story interesting.  As a mother, I could almost imagine her parents’ (Harry and Katherine) devastation when they realized their well-intentioned actions to protect her, almost instantly killed her.  Although it was a long time ago, I feel for them.  There are two obituaries for her, one from the Greensburg Standard and one from the Greensburg News.  Both are interesting reads.  
Click on the images to enlarge


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pen & Ink Waiting Room Stalker

While I was getting my oil changed, and leaky water pump replaced ($$$), I entertained myself in the waiting room.  I sketched this older gentleman, who was unaware he was being drawn.  It's sometimes an advantage to have reading glasses on, as you can sneak peaks over the top of them to see your subject.
Pigma Micron 005 pen/Strathmore Bristol Visual Journal   3" x 3.5"

Then I sketched his wife.  I think she was on to me.  Every once in awhile she would catch my gaze.  She probably knows all about the "peek-over-the-cheaters" trick.
Pigma Micron 005 pen/Strathmore Bristol Visual Journal   3.5" x 3.5"

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Top of the Ravine Garden

In my last post, I showed the backside of the bridge where the Ravine Garden starts at the IMA.  This painting is of the front side of that bridge.  You can much better see the beautiful "Nymph and Fawn" statue.  The trickle from her water vessel not only intrigues the fawn, but it starts the sequential little waterfalls that fill the fish ponds in the descending Ravine Garden.

"Top of the Ravine Garden"   10" x 8"   Oil on Raymar Panel

I painted this in a series of visits.  Whenever I lugged my painting gear out to this spot, I would get a rush of happiness the minute I could hear the waterfalls and see this statue in her perfect setting.  I would say that it was done 90% plein air and 10% in the studio...because I loved being out there.  Many nice people stopped to talk to me.  A couple of ladies asked me for private lessons.  One photographer took pictures of me painting.  

One woman, who is also a painter, came up to talk to me while I was struggling with a certain area of the painting.  I told her of the particular area I was fighting with, and she simply said, "Yeah, paint general-to-specific," then she moved on.  Ah yes!  I had known that principle, but she reminded me of it at the perfect time, as I was drowning in the details!  Everything flowed well after that.  Sometimes people give you just the right words at just the right time.  Thanks lady, wherever you are.