Monday, October 12, 2015

Plein Air in Bagdad

Jacobs Bayou - ©Theresa Grillo Laird - 14x18 oil
(with apologies for the iPhone photo!)
Yesterday, October 10th, was the 5th Annual Bagdad/ Milton Plein Air Paint Out in this little corner of Northwest Florida. Each year it has become bigger and better and this year was no exception.
For anyone who has never participated in a paint out, here's what happens. Some paint outs are days long and you have to compete for a spot in them. Others, like this one, are only one day long and are open to anyone. In either case, they're an excellent way to meet other artists and see a variety of approaches to painting on the spot outdoors. Paint outs are also an excellent opportunity for the public to see artists at work and to purchase the freshly created paintings. Usually there is a reception open to the public where anyone can view and purchase the works and speak to the artists who created them. Great fun all around!

relaxing after the day's painting while the show was being hung
To participate, you need to arrive prepared with blank canvases or panels, and frames to fit them wired for hanging. If you usually paint only in your studio, some supplies you might not think of are sunblock and bug spray, a hat to shield your eyes and keep you from getting a burnt scalp, garbage bag and paper towels, an umbrella that attaches to your easel to shield your canvas and paints from light and glare, and an easel substantial enough to not blow over in the wind. If you usually use an extensive palette of colors, you might want to think about paring down to make your load lighter and your palette easier to manage in rapidly changing light.
At the beginning of the event, you get your panels stamped by the organizers to ensure that no one is cheating by bringing in work that wasn't done during the event. Then you head out, pick your spot/s and start painting. The paintings are then turned in by the stated deadline and are hung and judged for prizes.

waiting for the judges decision
In yesterday's event, judged by Craig Reynolds, I was surprised and honored to receive first place! Inspiration helped since I chose a spot I've had my eye on for a couple of years.

Best of show and second place went to the same artist Mitch Mann

 Mann's low key and very effective piece of work

Third place went to pastellist Fred Myers. And sponsor's choice to Teresa Rogers.

awarding the prizes
All in all, a great way to spend an October day outdoors! Hope you can join us next year!

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