On Saturday I participated in the Quick Draw event at the Easton Plein Air Festival. It was the first time I had been to this area and only my second plein air competition experience. I loved the charm of the town full of well restored homes. There were plenty of opportunities for paintings, but my main criteria was to find a spot in the shade to escape the oppressive heat.
The Quick Draw was 10-12:00. At 12:30 more than 130 artists who braved the heat set up their easels and framed paintings along the street and spectators crowded around to view the finished work. It was extremely exciting! There was a huge range in artist's skill levels, but I was impressed and inspired by the quality of many of the paintings. Many of the painters, some big names in the world of plein air painting, traveled from as far as California for the event and it was worth the trip for me just to see their work up close.
I am working on this painting of a pair of leopards for a client. At first I was intimidated by the project and had a slow start. I thought maybe it was the 48" x 48" size which was holding me back - but then, I do paint wall sized murals for a living so I don't think that was the problem. Maybe it was that leopards, or even animals are not my usual subject matter. But really what I am most inhibited by is painting for the client and wondering whether he will like the results.
I have made some good progress on the work so far. The rear leopard is almost finished. I still have some issues to work out on the front leopard. It is tricky when you don't have an actual leopard to model for you.
One of the best things I will take from this commission is all the research I have done to learn about this magnificent animal which is now a rare and endangered species.