Thursday, November 1, 2018

Plein Air Painters of the Southeast (PAP-SE)

Back in September, the Plein Air Painters of the Southeast had a paintout and art show in Leiper's Fork.  I WISH I were a good enough painter to be a member, but that is currently way out of the realm of possibility. However, I am a member of the Chestnut Group, and the Chestnut Group acted as hosts for the PAP-SE group.  We were asked if we would be willing to host some of the painters in our homes.  After talking it over with Ron last spring, I said, "sure."  So three artists spent a week with us - Perry Austin, Jim Carson, and MaryO Smith.  MaryO is the artist I worked with when Ron and I went to Sea Island last winter. We had never met Perry or Jim before.  And Perry's wife, Carol, was here with him - and we loved getting to know her, too. It was a fun group of people.

I was a little nervous about having three strangers spend a week with us, but it turned out great, and all my concerns were laid to rest within a few minutes of the artists' arrival.  By the time they all left on Saturday, we hugged like old friends.  It was a most enjoyable week!  We sat out on the deck and had drinks and appetizers in the evenings, ate breakfast around the kitchen table in the mornings, and just did a lot of talking.  They painted much of the day - and were in and out.  There were a couple of evening activities that Ron and I were invited to since we hosted some of the artists, and that was so much fun. We got to know many of the artists, and when they had their "wet paint" sale on that Friday and Saturday, I could have easily spent many thousands of dollars on paintings.  Perry, especially, had one I really loved of the chicken house behind our house - and another one of the farm behind us on Carters Creek Pike.  And my friend, Sheryl, beat me to a gorgeous painting by Kathie Odom. My goal for the next year or two is to buy a Kathie Odom painting - but I want to wait until I find one the "speaks" to me.

The artists that stayed at our house each gave us an original oil painting as a gift for our hospitality - which, if you think about it, is a pretty amazing and valuable gift!  Perry painted "Gnarly Oak" for us - and I will treasure that painting always. Ron and I have loved that tree since we first saw it when were walking on our land.  It was "Gnarly Elm" for awhile until we figured out it was an oak instead of an elm.  Here is his painting.  I love it!

 Jim gave us a painting he had done previously - a house with a dirt road leading up to it - really beautiful. I love his loose and impressionistic style.  

 Then MaryO painted Ron's John Deere tractor - and she gave that painting to us.We both love the painting, but Ron, especially, does since it's his tractor and he has so many memories of working with and on that tractor! MaryO also did a couple other paintings from around our house - of the wildflowers at the front of the driveway, and of a tree near the front.  Both beautiful paintings.  

I loved having the artists here.  It was a great week.

While the PAP-SE artists were in town, I signed up for two mentoring sessions. The first mentoring session was with Dawn Whitelaw - a wonderful artist that I had heard about and had seen when I've taken classes at On Track Studios where she has a studio.  She, another mentee, and I went to Justin Timberlake's farm here in Leiper's Fork, and painted a barn there. Dawn was very helpful, and although she did her own painting, she kept a careful watch on her mentees, and came over to me often giving suggestions for improving my painting.  Here is an "in-progress" photo that shows the actual barn in the background - and then the finished painting.

My second mentoring session was with MaryO, but I didn't end up with a painting from that one.  She did, though.  LOL! So, alas, I don't have a painting or even part of one to show for that experience.

All in all, it was a great week. We made new friends, I learned so much about painting, and it was simply fun. If PAP-SE ever comes back to Nashville, I will be volunteering immediately to host some artists again - especially if "our" artists return.  

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