Saturday, June 19, 2010

MONA Auction tonight

Artist Anne Schreivogl along with other artists demos on "preview night".

The Museum of Northwest Art will hold it's annual benefit auction tonight.  The exciting part of this benefit has been the preview last night.  Many Northwest artists demonstrated their art.  Several models were lined up with three times as many artists painting and drawing them, work in progress.  From "whimsy to encaustic to sculpting to portraits", they did it all. 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Wettest May in 23 years in Umbria

Unlike the previous few days, of clouds and rain, this morning held promise for our group of painters.  As we sat in the sun room munching on croissants and sipping our morning cappuncinos, we noted the fairly clear skies and sunshine. Finally- a day to relax and simply enjoying painting in Italy in the springtime.

Our painting expedition would be held just outside Torgiano at Tony and Elizabeth Turpin's house.  From their house there are fields of vineyards nearby, and vistas of the hilltop towns.  Plein air painters dotted the fields as we each found our special spot to set up and paint.  In no time at all, we were painting, even though a slight mist of rain had appeared.  However, this was not to last.  We were served up a generous portion of rain.  Some donned vogue red raincoats, while others went for the more avant garde fashion of a "black leaf bag" dress which I'm sure will be the feature of the next Milan fashion show.

But when the side dish of thunder and lightning was added, we all scurried inside, all 12 of us in Tony and Elizabeth's cottage kitchen.  Can you imagine twelve drenched artists with muddy shoes crammed into your kitchen.  Elizabeth just smiled and we all felt at home, a sweetheart.

It seemed about lunchtime, so we ate the sandwiches we brought, and about an hour or so later, the skies cleared.  The light was beautiful, and we thought, "Okay, we can do this.".  So out we went. 

Fifteen minutes later....dark skies, buckets of water pouring down. The thunder returned.
By this point most were soaked and we decided to call it a day.  But there was still a lot of laughter at the incredulity of the situation.  This will be a day that we will all remember. 

Nine days out of the eleven, we fought the rain-sodden landscape of Torgiano Italy.  This was not what these plein air painters were hoping for but, as crazy as it sounds, a lot of lessons were learned and some really good paintings came from it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Umbria, Italy 2010, the advance party to Torgiano

Umbria 2010, the advance party to Torgiano

Two hours north of Rome, we arrived in Torgiano, Italy five days before the workshop attendees. This advance party consisted of artists Anne Schreivogl, James Moore, and Alfred Currier (yours truly). Executive Director of the Pacific Northwest Art School, Sue Symon, accompanied us as we were greeted by local artist Tony “Torgiano” Turpin. The purpose of our advance party was to iron out certain logistics and scope out painting locations for the next 11 days.

Torgiano is a very quaint little Umbrian town, seemingly untouched by the tourist mania that is ever present in other popular European destinations. James, Anne, and I salivated at the potential painting we had at hand. Almost immediately, we headed for the plaza for our first plein air adventure. We broke the ice! The next day, a streetscape of the bell tower, we’re on a roll. Off James Moore and I headed for the vineyards and walked about 4 miles back because we had no car but, a good day. Tony Turpin dropped Anne, James, and me off past the town of Brufa for a day of painting. Now, for your interest, James and I were equipped with our backpacks and lightweight “pochade” boxes. Anne, however, decided she’d bring her trusty, but heavy, French easel. Six miles from home, we head back taking turns carrying Anne Schreivogl’s French easel. As we turn right on the street heading back to our hotel, Anne grabs her French easel from James and proceeds with a high-stepping, arm-swinging gate for the final sprint to the front door! (hmmm?, store that in the memory bank)

Day five, the group of 17 arrived with rain clouds in tow.

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