Sunday, July 16, 2017

Wekiva Paint Out.

At the end of February and the first week of March, 29 artists created plein air paintings at the Wekiva Island Paint Out. I went on the evening of a night paint out to watch the artists at work. Wekiva Island (1014 Miami Springs Dr, Longwood, FL 32779), has a a bar called the Tooting Otter. A band was setting up as I arrived inside the bar,  and I decided this was a perfect sketch opportunity. Plein air painter Barbara set up her easel between the bar stool I was sitting on and the stage. I sketched the room as she got the easel in place. Since she predominated the scene I included her in the sketch.

Barbara focused on a close up painting of the performers. A game of Jenga was stacked up on the table in front of Barbara. In Jenga, you have to remove a wooden block from the stack, without letting the entire structure fall down. The fiddling and guitar music added to the festive evening. Barbara was a bit distracted. I stopped sketching after the first set and I think she got more work done during the performer's second set.

I later learned that she was a bit uncomfortable with my being at the bar and sketching. She had the strange notion that I was copying her painting. I really didn't pay attention to her work in progress. My back was against the bar, so there was no opportunity to back away from her work in progress. We joked about the difficulty of working in a tight space and parted ways on decent terms. I later saw her finished painting in the wet gallery where it hung with all the other paintings completed at the paint out.

My favorite work in the wet gallery was by Elizabeth St. Hilaire who does collages instead of plein air paintings. Her pieces were mostly of palm trees executed with colorful strips of paper. seeing all the variety of work created on the one week was in itself exciting. Outside artists were doing nocturnes of the riverfront. One artist had Christmas lights wrapped all around his easel which acted as his working lights. That was a sketch opportunity, and perhaps Ill catch him at work next year.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

No comments: