Something else comes along to fill the vacuum. Last week, I had to announce to all on my list of figure artists that I was ending the Monday Life Group, after more than five years I think. It does not work as a drop-in kind of thing unless a sufficient number of artists are willing to show up a few times a month. I needed five artists to break even at the other studio, three to break even at my home studio. When times were good, more than the minimum would show up, and I would have extra money to tide me over those weeks when not enough artists showed up; but when you get down to three, there’s just no slack to work with.
Being forced to paint every Monday from the live model was very good for me and for my progress as an artist; I feel lucky to have had that experience for so long. There is a silver lining though, in the opening up of a whole half day in my calendar. I’ll have more time to lead tours at the Currier, work on my blog and finally get to more floral paintings. Perhaps flowers will replace figures.
So here is the last of the MLG output: my granddaughter Natalie.
I booked her for only two weeks, and it just proves that two weeks is not quite enough to complete a portrait, no matter how loose the style. I would have like to do more work on the hair and skin tone, but I pressed to get a face in. It is a pretty nice likeness, right down to the pained expression. Her hip was hurting.
My other output last week was in Canterbury, the town center of Canterbury. I have many times painted in Canterbury Shaker Village, but never before in the town of Canterbury. We (plein air artists) were invited to paint during the Farmers Market and bring some works to sell, but Flo Parlangeli and I went out there in the morning, before the Market, so as to have something of the town to show, maybe sell. We were warmly welcomed by the people of Canterbury, especially the hospitable librarians. Chocolate cake with vanilla icing left over from a library anniversary party the night before! And bathrooms! The Market itself takes place in the Library parking lot. To paint our first painting, however, we set up outside the general store, called the Canterbury Country Store. I later learned that the Town owns that store, probably because it’s not really a going proposition. But it sells good ice cream! There was a constant stream of residents stopping in for one thing or another. That was when we noticed one coming out with the ice cream cone. We had to immediately take a break and try the ice cream. Also the storefront looks adorable:
Maybe I can count this as a floral painting.
We moved downhill to the Library and the Market mid-afternoon, where we were joined by Sharon Allen, Mary Crump and Ann Traynor Domingue. The Market was fun. School kids were given some kind of scavenger hunt which required them to ask an artist what “plein air” meant. That’s why we were invited!
I was at that point a little tired, and being pleased with what I had already painted in the morning, not in the mood to stretch myself. I looked for a convenient subject, one that allowed me to keep my easel shaded and the table with my paintings for sale nearby. By facing toward the sun, I can keep my painting shaded, and the painting itself keeps the palette in shade. The subject I found when I faced the sun was Sharon:
I don’t know why she needed two things protecting her from the sun–her canopy chair was backed up by her ShadeBuddy–but my depiction is accurate (as always). Notice the plastic bag that she throws her oil-smeared paper towels in. She uses those blue shop towels, as do I, because they are much sturdier that ordinary kitchen paper towels, even Viva, and I wish I had got the blue towel more prominently present in the picture. Sharon has burned her name onto the back of her Guerrilla pochade box. See that orange straw coming out of the plastic cup? Sharon keeps Dunkin Donuts in business single-handedly. I believe, but am not positive, that Sharon was painting the musician who was playing his heart out just behind me. I could have done him instead, but it would have been complicated since I could not use my ShadeBuddy on the hard macadam surface where I was so comfortably chilling’ out. Yeah, I was just lazy.
The rest of my week was taken up with so much interference: meetings, exhibit chores (I was appointed chair of an exhibit in Concord — see below), physical therapy (I’m going to solve the new knee problem and maybe even the old lower back problem that keeps me from standing to paint). At my age, because of my age?, I am productive only half the time I am awake; the rest of the time I am chillin’ out. I like to think of chilling out as restorative, but worry that it’s not restoring anything useful.
Aline Lotter is currently exhibiting:
At the Bartlett Inn in Bartlett; at the Bernerhof Inn in Glen; at the Red Jacket Inn in North Conway; and at the law offices of Mesmer and Deleault at 41 Brook St in Manchester. I have also had a painting at the Red River Theatre all month, which I had overlooked in previous posts, but it comes down at the end of the week. And for the month of October I have two paintings in the Womens Club of Concord, part of a three-part 20th anniversary exhibit by the Womens Caucus for Art. However, the hours during which the WCC is accessible to the public are unpredictable. You can visit the other two parts of the 20th Anniversary exhibits at the Kimball Jenkins carriage house and the Concord Chamber of Commerce.
As usual, you may view paintings with prices and order prints, iPhone cases and the like at my Fine Art America page. If the painting you are interested in is not there, or if you prefer to bypass that experience, you may contact me by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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