OK So I’m off to ‘Art in the Open’.
Probably the largest plein air festival in Europe! It takes place in Wexford, in the Irish Republic for a mad week of even madder painting, in all weathers, and accompanied by approx. 200 other artists, from beginners to professionals, using all mediums in all sizes and all styles.
The people of Wexford know what to expect, as this is the 8th year of the festival. Activities will include, six ‘paintouts’ in places all over Wexford county, painting workshops, life drawing sessions, evening social activities, including a barbeque and a dinner, a charity ‘Quickdraw’ event in Wexford Town, a lecture, an exhibition at the end of the week and awards and prize givings, for those lucky enough to attract the judges attention.
So why do we do it?
Because we hope the weather will be dry and warm and the locations colourful and picturesque. However, this is southern Ireland, where it rains a lot, it’s not called ‘the emerald isle; for nothing. Very often, its those rainy, windswept and stormy paintings that convey the most exciting atmospherics, which buyers just fall in love with and it’s the same few ‘hardy’ artists who manage to capture those effects so splendidly. So I look forward to painting with some of these ‘hardy’ professionals, in ‘all’ or almost all weathers, and hoping some of those stormy atmospherics will be captured in my work. You can be the judge of my success or otherwise, when I post some of the results.
What kit will I take?
I’ll be working in watercolours and acrylics. So I’ll pack a metal sketching easel, a folding chair, which I can carry on my shoulder, (I know I should stand up to paint, but I can’t stand all day) and a small lightweight folding table.
For watercolours, I’ll include a small drawing board, water bottle, folding cup, a pallette, tubes of paints, lots of 1/4 imperial ‘rough’ finish paper, some bulldog clips, various pencils and pens including dip pens, Indian Ink, masking fluid, and last but not least, my four best watercolour brushes.
For acrylics, I’ll take lots of canvas boards, ready primed for use, tubes of acrylic paints, palette knives, a selection of brushes, I reserve only for acrylics, a stay-wet palette, spray bottle, texture gell and slow drying medium, varnish, kitchen rolls, and an apron.
I’ll also take for the exhibition, some frames, and pre-cut mount boards, point gun to secure works in the frames, tapes, hanging cord, labels, and a screwdriver. Then of course, I’ll need a sun hat, sun cream, warm weather clothes, wet weather clothes, cold weather clothes, what have I forgotten, oh yes, smart clothes for the exhibition and the dinner, and a pocket camera and sketchbook. to record material for future use, including writing my next blog post!
I’m glad I’m not flying, and having to carry all that gear.
Do you paint with a group or in a class? It would be nice to hear your thoughts.