Got a late start this year due to family visits and a chest cold. So, last week, I joined my group and painted out at Rockford Bay in one our member's neighborhood. Suzanne, our planner, said it was the first day of icky weather since they started in May - yes, it was chilly, cloudy and windy.
My friend, Mary, and I chose a spot down near the boat docks, but back away from the water and out of the wind. Not too bad. Mary had her watercolors and was fairly pleased with the outcome of hers. My pastels stayed dry and I painted a little point just beyond the boat docks. We painted out there last year and a goose decided we shouldn't be there and squawked, running back and forth. He was especially upset with one of our members and forced her to move a couple of times. But, our hero of the hour was a small dachshound, who came down the hill with two children, and chased the offending goose back into the water. Woo-hoo! We loved the little hero. fortunately this year, the goose is gone.
One of the joys of painting outdoors is the friendly visitors that stop by and look at the work being done. Most of the time, they look, chat a bit and move on. This time, two children came down the hill and Susan and Abbi Gutting, a mother-daughter painting team, let the boy and girl paint and take their work home. They both are used to teaching children and enjoyed the efforts. The two painters battled the wind out on the docks - what troupers. Abbi's palette had to be scooped out the the water once.
Afterwards we had a critique session up in Karen's Pfeiffer's home. It was a bit chilly to do it on the deck. Not only that, she and her husband, Earl, sent us home with plantings of mint and/or poppies.
This week, with summer finally showing its' face with sunshine, we painted out at the south end of Twin Lakes at the home of Paulette Minatre. What a beautiful place it was, offering vistas across the lake, a grassy area down by the boat dock, lovely gardens, and a picturesque home. Paulette is a gracious hostess, visiting the different artists as they set up and offering cold water and a place to have our lunch (we are brown-baggers.) As usual, we critiqued our paintings, which is so helpful. We ended up with five oils and a pastel. I especially liked Suzanne's fun painting of Paulette's huge rooster sculpture which is parked out by the garden.