Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Wirlwind Trip to Escalante 2012

Devil's Garden Hoodoos, 9" x 12" Oil on Canvas Panel
Last year I spent nearly the entire week at the Escalante Canyons Art Festival, but because of other matters, this year Escalante was put off until the last moment. I called on Wednesday to ask if I could still register for the plein air competition, and left at 5:00 the next morning for the long drive to southern Utah. Finished paintings had to be turned in by 7:00 that evening. Sandy Larsen registered me and stamped my canvas panels around half past ten, then I headed straight for the "Devil's Garden" where I did the painting shown at the top of this post. The painting was finished, framed, and turned in before 5:00 PM, well before the deadline. Later that evening I spent a little time at the artist's reception, then headed out into the desert to find a place to camp for the night.

Competition rules require that paintings entered not be signed until after the judging so as not to influence the judge's decisions. I wonder about the rules effectiveness, but of course follow it anyway. The paintings have to be signed before the "silent auction" on Saturday or they won't be sold. So, late Friday morning I drove back into town to sign my painting. Taking my little cherry wood pochade box into the exhibit hall, I signed my painting. Then Brad Holt, last year's winner and a featured artist at the show, asked if he could borrow my brush and paint to sign his painting. Of course I was happy to let him do that, and left him so I could go peruse the exhibit and visit with other painters there. When I returned to my pochade box, I found other painters had used my stuff to sign their paintings, too, and most of them were this years award winners! If I wasn't an award winner this year, I was happy to be of good use to those who were.

Later, I traveled out to a different place in the Escalante Desert to camp, once again under the full moon. That evening I did a painting in the little cherry wood pochade box and the next day painted two more before returning to the plein air show. There I found my painting had sold.

More about Escalante 2012 later...

5 comments:

Paula Swain Swain said...

Hello James Gunter from Oil City, or is it Titusville, Pa. (my Mom is from there) I was one of the artists to borrow your rigger to sign my paintings too! thank you! I am enjoying reading your blogging, makes me wish for warm weather and plein air painting that is more comfortable that 16 degrees in Zion... my most recent plein air adventure! Look forward to seeing you at the plein airs coming up! happy painting! take care, Paula Swain

Paula Swain Swain said...

have fun, Paula

James Gunter said...

You're welcome, Paula! I remember your painting, and that you were one of the award winners! Thanks for checking out my blog and commenting!

I'm looking forward to warmer painting weather, too. In the mean time, there's lots of snow to paint!

Paula Swain Swain said...

Yes! And lots of snowto shovel!!! See you around!!! Paula

Paula Swain Swain said...

Yes! And more snow to shovel! Happy painting!