Saturday, August 11, 2007

Oakville: Part 1

I am here, in my room at the Oakville Inn. It is very clean, I have lots of room, a kitchenette and a beautiful sleigh bed. Betty from Nigeria is the owner, and she greets me with friendly enthusiasm. African prints adorn the walls of my room, which faces a street that couldn’t be more white bread. I enjoy the contrast.

Morning, coffee is good. It is a hot, humid day already. Hazy. Sunny.

I get my gear together and head three blocks down to the Win Henstock Gallery where we are all to register for the paint out. I wait on a bench out front. Along comes one artist, and then another and then a pair traveling together, easels in tow. The latter two head out to paint, saying they’ll register later. We three left chitchat about this and that. One is a likable teacher, teaches teens and adult drawing. The other has been a studio painter for many years, but wants to take the plunge and work from life outdoors. Both are champions of traditional realism. They heartily bash an abstract watercolourist juror who did not allow the studio painter's works into a recent show. He sees it as “too easy” “splashy” and she claims, “you have to have SOME form in there.” The war of the realists vs fast 'n loose abstractionists continues!

Soon, gallery manager Andrea unlocks the door and gives us our name tags and a tour of the gorgeous gallery. She is friendly and helpful. We head off to paint.

I go down to the harbour and start there, then biked over to Gairloch for the afternoon. The gardens are small. The waterfront has some potential, and I adore painting water. Was doing a dance of avoiding biting flies while attempting to stab at a values underpainting when organizer and accomplished painter John Stuart Pryce (of Arctic Quest fame) saunters over. He is such a gentleman, and easy to get along with. We bitched about the biting flies, as was everyone else apparently!

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