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.
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.
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!
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.