I have only been into retirement about three weeks but, frankly, I have been sooooo busy! I know, all retirees say that. But it’s true. It rained nearly the entire first week with some epic flooding in this area. I spent much of that week just organizing the stuff I brought home from my office (too much after 17 years). And making lists. I’m a list maker and have always been one. Just love checking off those items.
After awhile, however, I reminded myself that I didn’t want my entire retirement to be one big To Do list. I want to have some fun!
So I signed up for the Quick Draw and Plein Air Painting event sponsored by Jasper Community Arts. I have never been able to participate before since I am an employee so I was grateful for the opportunity this year. It is also co-sponsored by another organization I belong to, RunawayArtists.com.
This two-day event was on the Friday and Saturday before Mother’s Day. Friday predictions were for more rain so I tried to think of somewhere sheltered to paint. I asked my friends at Green Thumb Nursery if they would mind if I painted there and they were delighted so that is where I began. It was a very pleasant morning with the rain pattering on the roof and painting among all the flowers. The most difficult part was to find the right corner where I wouldn’t be in the way of all the Mother’s Day shoppers. The angle wasn’t the most desirable as I couldn’t back up enough to gauge the proper perspective, but a lovely morning, all in all.
Plein Air Painting at Green Thumb on a rainy day. Kit Miracle
Plein Air Painting at the garden center. Oil on canvas, 12 x 16. Kit Miracle
Watching all the shoppers come in for holiday, I thought that I might stick with the flowers theme and went to the other side of town to paint in the Walmart garden center. It was an awesome display of flowers! Again, I found an out of the way spot to paint. I was particularly enamored with the bright colors of the kayaks propped against the building contrasting with all the flowers. You have to develop a pretty thick skin to paint in such a public and well-trafficked space but it didn’t bother me at all. No one from the store came up and asked what I was doing but I did have a few customers asked if I worked there. It must have been my painting apron. Ha ha.
Painting at the garden center at Walmart on the day before Mother’s Day. Kit Miracle
The Garden Center at Walmart. Oil on canvas, 12 x 12, Kit Miracle
Finally, at the end of the afternoon, I participated in the Quick Draw event at the Schaeffer Barn in downtown Jasper. This old log barn was moved here and restored and has a beautiful garden space. Always something interesting to paint. This is a timed event and the artists only have two hours to complete a painting. I came in third. Yay!
Painting at the Schaeffer Barn, Quick Draw event.
Schaeffer Barn Quick Draw event. Oil on canvas, 12 x 12. Kit Miracle Third place winner!
The second day of the event I worked in the morning as a volunteer. Later in the day I did some more plein air painting at a different garden center but nothing came of it. Sometimes it works that way. I must have used all my creative juices the day before. But that is alright. I met some very nice artists and had a good time in the fresh air.