Alberta celebrated Culture Days last Saturday, and, as we do most years, we were in Fairview helping the crowd at the Fine Arts Centre get to know watercolour. Well, Judy was at the Centre demonstrating in the gallery, and I was painting in the street downtown. At least, I was tucked up under the drug store canopy on the lee side while a little autumn storm fretted above. It was quite pleasant though. I painted in watercolour while other local artists painted in acrylics, drew portraits in graphite, and provided live musical accompaniment. And we all came up with some great pieces!Here’s my set up. That’s a very welcome cup of hot chocolate! I’m surprised the saxophone didn’t get squeaky – it was that cold for a while. I was painting a very warm scene from full summer. Not quite brave enough to try painting a Fairview street scene (from a lawn chair blocked by big Alberta trucks), I did bring a photo from home. I needed a big, bright subject to catch people’s attention as they walked by. Something local and something I could do wet in wet. Paint and paper drying in the sun was no great concern.
The finished painting, Railway Avenue Spirit River, got framed and put in the show in Fairview. A few people recognized it. It turned out to be very rich and warm. I think it was very helpful to paint it outside on a dim afternoon. I just kept flooding it with colour to try to make it look good under poor light, so of course under gallery lighting, set in a dark brown frame, it looks very impressive.
Good results always make a day’s work feel rewarding!