I was so excited to return to Big Cedar Lodge this year with my painting buddy, Cynthia Morris, from Arkansas. My family has vacationed there over the years and it is such a fabulous place to visit and also to paint, now that I am a plein air artist! This was their third year to host the paint out, and there were over 100 artists participating! I was happy to have been juried into the group of “guest artists” there. The talent was unbeliveable, among the guest artists and the participating artists also! The event was top notch – we were treated very well and everything was so organized and well thought out. My friend, Jeanie Morris (not related to Cynthia, but good friends also!) started the paint out there because she is an artist also and loves art and promoting art. I have “known” her for awhile online, but finally got to meet her in person, which was great also! All of my blog readers know by now that one of the reasons I travel and paint and go to art events is to meet new people. It really is one of the best parts of this whole art journey I am on. My life has been enriched and blessed by the people I have met and will continue to meet and for that I am thankful.
Anyway, back to the paint out!! It was a 3 day event, with 2.5 days of painting. The first day I was wearing a short sleeved shirt and it was sunny and 73 degrees outside. A front came through and it was below freezing the next two days!!! But fun anyway! We all stuck it out and painted our little hearts out! On Saturday evening, their beautiful convention center was turned into a huge art gallery, with all the artists displaying their week’s art for sale. Lots of visitors came and bought paintings and chatted with the artists too. It was fabulous! I sold the painting above to a collector from Springfield, Missouri and was excited about that too!
Another big thing for me was meeting some artists who I have been wanting to meet. A special one is John Lasater. If you are not familiar with his work yet, you will be. He is a fabulous person and a really nice guy. Since I am a plein air event novice, I got up on Saturday morning to frame my paintings for the judging and the event that evening. Although I brought everything in my studio (haha!) from Memphis in the back of my car, I quickly realized I forgot to bring the point pusher tool to actually put my paintings in the frames I brought! The paintings had to be turned in for judging by noon, so I went in search of a friendly artist with the tool I needed! I found John in the convention center setting up for a demo he was doing that morning. He kindly loaned me his point pusher and I was able to frame my paintings. Also, I didn’t realize (still being a novice!) that I wasn’t supposed to sign my paintings submitted for judging. Again, John rescued me and let me use his paint and palette to paint over my signatures on my paintings. Then, during his demo, he was so giving and answered all the questions from the aritsts there, all while creating a beautiful painting of the grounds there out the picture window we were all sitting by. It was again very cold outside and it was so fun to sit there and watch him paint and answer all of our questions! I love his work, and ended up buying two of his paintings (see below) that evening that he painted that week. Check out his website John Porter Lasater when you get a chance! You will be hearing more about him in the future, I promise!
I also met and bought a painting from artist Jason Sacran. I love his work also, and he, like John, is an awesome guy too! He is an ole Tennessee boy, and we enjoyed talking together about art and Tennessee. He has primarily been working in portraits, but has recently fell in love with plein air painting, so expect to see more of him in the future too. He won an award that evening too and again, what an accomplishment that is with over 100 artists there. I failed to get a photo with him but below is a photo of the beautiful painting I purchased from him. See his wonderful work here.
After the judging, I forgot that I had covered up all of my signatures of my paintings and had to sign the one I sold before the collector took it home. Again, being the event novice that I am, I didn’t have anything with me to sign it! My new hero, John, volunteered his stuff again for me to use, but my buddy Cynthia came up with this fork that you see me using to scratch my signature back into the wet paint! We artists can sure be creative when we need to be!
If you would like to read more about this exciting plein air event and the specific awards given out that night, please see this link
You can also see more of my paintings from there on my website, under “Landscapes.” Thanks for reading!