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Monday, July 27, 2015

2015 Cedarburg Plein Air Event

This event has come and gone, but wanted to share some of the experiences and learnings that unfolded during the week long event held in mid-June. 
First morning at South Shore Beach in Port Washington
The first few days began in Port Washington, a town where I paint often.  So grateful to live close to Lake Michigan and Port Washington has such great access points. 
South Shore beach, mid-day
"Serene South Beach"
The following morning I was up before the birds, jumped in the car and headed back to Port to catch the sunrise.  Much to my surprise, being set up by 4:30 a.m., the pre-sunrise turned out to be the amazing part of the morning.  Plus, I had a chance to use my new clip-on reading lights for the pre-dawn magic.  What a peaceful experience and I had a chance to watch the town and marina wake up.  Heard lots of excitement in the voices of customers who were on fishing charters and ready to catch the big one. 
Predawn set up with clip on lights
"Port Before Dawn"
Then it was off to paint in Cedarburg, always love this spot. The following day I went back to one of my favorite subjects, cows.  Painting cows plein air is challenging to say the least.  Like chickens, they are always on the go.  But this opportunity was one I couldn't resist.  Farmer Mike told me one of his cows just had a calf, so I hiked to the spot and quickly began sketching in the newborn.
Getting right to work
"Mother Knows Best"
On Saturday morning the artists take part in what is known as the Quick have 2.5 hours to find your location, get inspired, paint, frame and turn it in.  I'm always inspired by chickens so I set up at the most beautiful chicken coop ever.  Here's my set up and painting of The Conversation. 
My Quick Paint set up
"The Conversation"
With dark clouds on the horizon, my friend Lori and I found a delightful farm with more chickens and beautiful flowers.  It was fun painting with a friend and gracious hosts.  The overcast skies were so beautiful and we managed to get the paintings finished between the raindrops.
The set up
"Me and Julio Down by the Henhouse"
The next morning, I hiked down to Lions Den Gorge.  Had wonderful conversations with families who were taking a hike on Father's Day. 
My painting at Lions Den along Lake Michigan
That afternoon, I'm back at the coop for a relaxing evening with friends (both the human kind and feathered friends).
This year, we added historic Thiensville to our painting area for one day only.  I was out the door early and am fond of the Fiddleheads in Thiensville.  Many, many years ago they gave me my first solo exhibit and I've always been grateful.  The tall pines always get my attention and once again, enjoyed watching my little town wake up.  The deer came up by the river and we both startled one another.  The sound of their hoofs scampering across the pavement is one etched in my memory now. 

"Morning Brew"

So the last day of the event is full circle for me....begins at Lake Michigan (in Port) and ends at Lake Michigan (Lions Den Gorge).  I really enjoyed this morning, but didn't have time to finish it.  The event was wonderful and full of fun, exploring and learning.  Believe it or not, there were about 3-4 more paintings sprinkled in throughout this week.  Some I forgot to photograph, others are really unfinished.  As always, thankful to all the property owners for letting us explore and create. 

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