The weather was supposed to be perfect so my plan was to get up early and find the view on the square with the best light. I checked in at the Museum at 7:30 and was set up 15 minutes later. There was no one else on the square for an hour and I found a great location to catch the sun coming across the square, lighting up the oaks and casting shadows on the front of the shops. It took about an hour before the light was at it’s prime but that gave me time to do a small sketch and rough in the shapes, colors and values. When it came across I was in good shape to capture the effects. I really enjoyed working on this painting and I think it shows. The color is a mix of gold and purple and it has that early morning feel to it. It’s only lacking a few figures to liven up the sidewalk.
I finished up #3 and headed over to a another previously planned spot across from the coffee shop on —-street. By this time there were plenty of people out and about. The view is of the alley down to Main Street and is dominated by a large magnolia and the backs of the buildings with service entrances. Another alley crisscrosses it and ads some light about halfway. After a sketch I worked on those values in the background for long time getting them the right tone and temperature to carry the effect of mid morning shadow. I then spent another hour or so up front on the back of the old brick building and the magnolias shadow. I came to the conclusion that this was not going to be one of the two that I was submitting so I finished it and packed everything up. Returning to the Museum I spent about an hour getting everything framed and ready for the judging. I bought 9 x 12” readymade on Friday for this purpose and I had an antique frame that I used for the second entry. I has a tuff time picking which two to submit, but in the end went with the street scene and the back yard view of Elwood. I then loaded up the car and went home feeling confident.
At five I returned with my wife Penny and daughter Megan Roe for the display and judging. At least 100 people were in attendance at Surace Studios directly behind the museum. In the end I was delighted with a third place prize for my street scene— Sunday morning on the square. Top prize went to Shane McDonald for a fantastic rendering of the famous Big Chicken. Second to Greg Holzhauer for a water color of the Irish pub. Honorable mentions went to my friends Don Maier, Junko Ono, and Elizabeth. Of course, I want to do better but I can’t think of a nicer way to spend a Spring weekend and the preparation and planing that went into each painting paid off with some of my best work to date.