I was able to make it down for the YWA plein air outing at Simonian Farms Wednesday. A full schedule has prevented me from making these lately and it’s one of my favorite activities each month. The turn out wasn’t great: Sandee Scott, Sandy Kowallis, a new-comer, Liz Davis, and one other member who left before I got a chance to see who it was and say, “hello.” In fact everyone, but me, left pretty soon after arriving there.
I believe the problem was that Simonian Farms wasn’t your typical pastoral plain air location: two or three large industrial buildings, dressed up a bit to look like barns and a lot of antique farm equipment (some of it really, really old), bicycles, pedal cars, tin advertising signs, a pumpkin patch, hay bales and a couple of mini-haunted houses. While there were rows and rows of orchards there, they weren’t very picturesque.
Seemed like we all were having difficulty in locating a setup that warranted a work of art.
After picking, what I felt, was my best shot and setting up, I noticed everyone else was in the process of leaving. So, I too thought about packing up and heading back to the studio.
I believe stepping outside your comfort zone, as an artist, makes you a stronger, more versatile artist. That and the fact I’d just used several gallons of gas and a large part of my day traveling to get there and would do the same on return. Don’t know which was more persuasive my frugality (I prefer this to cheapness), ecological guilt or my philosophy. Let’s say it was philosophy!
Working in a medium you’re uncomfortable with or forcing yourself to try and make something beautiful out of something less than ideal flexes your creative muscles and contributes to your being a stronger, more versatile artist, so I powered through, painting until 3pm.
Don’t know if I’ll finish the painting or not, but I feel I’m better for the undertaking!