Saturday, April 27, 2019

Winter Park Paint Out Sunset Paint In

Twenty Five artists have been creating plein air paintings all around Winter Park this week as part of the Winter Park Paint Out. On one evening, the artists gathered at the Winter Park Racquet Club (2111 Via Tuscany Winter Park Fl) to paint the sun set. The paint out is the Albin Polasek Museum's big fundraiser for the year. As a participating artist I  was told to sell the painting as soon as it was created. One artist from Venice Florida had several paintings already framed and somehow hung on a tree. I wondered about the logistics. I'm sure he didn't drive nails into the tree. He must have wedged s shaped hooks into the bark.

I decided to focus my attention on the view down the boat dock. For some reason there were orange traffic cones on the sidewalk, and I decided to sit next to one. I decided to leave out the orange cones and a sign that said that only Racquet club members were allowed on property. As artists set up they chatted with each other. I arrived about 5pm and the sunset wasn't until 7:56pm. Many artists put a single ground color on their canvas and then waited for the right moment to strike.

Pam ended up going to the Polasek Museum since most of the Paint Out events are there. We were texting ans she said "I am here." I responded that I was down by the dock. Well, there is a dock at the Polasek as well. By the time we realized the mistake the grounds keeper at the Polasek had closed the gates and locked them effectively locking her inside. Ultimately he spotted her car and let her out.

An artist in a straw hat leaned up against the boat dock posts sipping his wine. I considered putting him in the sketch but erased him when he walked away. This turned out to be Jonathan Stemburger who is an artist who like myself documents events around town by sketching. He asked me questions about the paint out and I mentioned that I had sketched the event for several years before becoming a participating artist. I planted the seed that made him want to join in. Whereas I tend to blend in since I work in a tiny sketchbook, he works large. As he tried to get in with his easel and supplies he was stopped since he wasn't an invited artist. He took it in stride and stayed, continuing to ask artists about their work.

Pam and I shared a pita creation from a food truck. Lettuce drizzled in balsamic vinegar fell off. The problem was it fell off onto my dress shirt and the balsamic made it look like I had been shot. I moved the Paint Out name tag over the splatter on my shirt but then another spot showed up somewhere else. I should never eat and paint at the same time. I'm not that coordinated.

The sun dipped down behind a bank of clouds which I figured would be the end of any spectacular sunset. Then at the last moment the horizon lit up the most spectacular vibrant pink color. The under sides of clouds also suddenly glowed that bright pink. I panicked, there was no way I could reproduce that color with the limited palette I had. I ultimately had to admire it and just enjoy the show.

Tonight is the big gala Paint Out Garden Party at the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens (633 Osceloa Avenue Winter Park). All the painting created during the week will be on display. Tickets are $125 at the door. Patrons can mix and mingle with the artists and enjoy an array of food from the areas finest caterers, all while enjoying the gardens, local entertainment and the exhibit. All of my paintings created over the course of this week are available for purchase with proceeds benefiting the Museum and Sculpture Gardens. Come on out and support the arts.

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

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