When the weather turns sour and your painting kit collapses, it helps to have friends.
|Dry Bones, by Carol L. Douglas|
Imagine dropping half a pint of fast-drying varnish into your tool-box and not finding it for a few hours. That is what happened yesterday, when the top of my painting medium jar came loose and dumped its contents into my backpack. I wiped off what I could, but a few items need replacing, including the fishing gloves I’ve used to paint since Alaska.
I stopped at a liquor store and begged a box. It now contains my painting tools. I’m passing through Albany on Sunday and I think I can replace both the backpack and medium there.
Yesterday we were instructed to paint within Saranac Lake to gin up interest in this weekend’s show and sale. There are fifty artists, so the town was littered with easels. This is an old mountain city with a small brick downtown and sprawling frame houses, so we were spoiled for choice.
I found a lovely green dinghy on the shore of Lake Flower. It was planted beside a young willow, one of the almost infinite varieties of shrubby willows that grow here in the mountains.
|A little dinghy, by Carol L. Douglas|
Artists are asked to do a small painting to benefit the Saranac Lake Central School District’s art program. In the seven years of this show, the Adirondack Plein Air Festival has donated over $11,000 back to community arts organizations.
I painted a tiny view of hydrangeas against a shabby yellow apartment building. I’m not a flower painter but that wall of hydrangeas has been talking to me since we arrived. This is the first time in years I’ve painted on an untoned canvas, and I’m not used to it. The color seems flat to me.
|Hydrangeas, by Carol L. Douglas|
I met up with Chrissy Pahuckiand her daughter Samantha at Saranac Lake Artworks. Chrissy always travels with her kids. They’ve become competent young artists. I asked Samantha if she was interested in a career as a painter. “No,” she shuddered. She’s more interested in digital design.
Chrissy told me I might be able to find some dead trees at Bartlett Carry. This is a quarter-mile portage trail that enables canoers to get from Upper Saranac Lake to Middle Saranac Lake, since the river that connects them is unnavigable. I would never have found this location without her help, since the dirt road to the tiny public access site is posted “private” and “do not enter.” However, there is a public space of a few feet for the carry. It faced an island with some superlative dead trees. There I reworked yesterday’s idea from Ray Brook with some foreground interest.
|My new backpack is not weatherproof.|
I was awakened by thundering rain on the roof. I need to figure out a place to frame my work that isn’t wet. It’s a day when we need friends. “Though I feel I’m just as strong as any man I know. I’m not able on my own,” sang Need to Breathe. This morning, I can relate.