Friday, September 16, 2011

Scenes Surrounding Spring City

Last week was the Spring City plein air painting festival. This was my second year in the event. Spring City is a beautiful little town in Sanpete Valley in Utah. It has done much to keep it's old pioneer buildings and charm. Many of the old pioneer homes and even some barns are built out of oolite; large pale yellowish blocks of limestone that give the buildings a unique and attractive quality. The town is surrounded by hayfields and ranches. East and west across the valley are mountains.

The paint waggon, stuffed with painting and camping stuff.
After checking in and getting my canvas panels stamped, I headed to my first painting spot. Last year I wanted to paint this scene, but found another painter there so I passed it up. I thought about it all year, so this year it was the first place I went to. Nobody else was there this time. At least not while I was there. Here's a photo of the place:

It was hard to decide whether or not to add the poles into the painting. A couple pieces of straw were used to help me visualize the poles.

I didn't like the way they cut up the dark shape on the left, so I left them out. This caused a minor controversy later at the exhibit. Here's the finished painting:

Later that day I drove toward the other end of town and painted this, looking in the other direction (sorry I don't have a photo of it in it's frame):

It sold at the show. 

That night I drove up into the mountains and camped. In the morning, squirrels were eating pine seeds and tossing the left over pine cones out of the trees. After my own breakfast, which didn't include pine seeds, I drove back into the valley to a mown hayfield not far from where I had first painted the day before. Here is the second day's painting:

It sold, too.

The next day began nice, but quickly changed it's mood. Just north of Fairview, I set up in a sheep pasture. This scene was sunny when I decided to paint it. After shooing away two sheep who tried to chew on my easel, I set to painting. By the time I had blocked in the initial scene, it had clouded over. When it was time to sign the finished painting, I was huddled under the hatchback chasing raindrops off of where I was signing.

Saturday was the paint out. Out on the west side of town, I made this painting:

It won a merit award.

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