Don Maier is the kind of guy I can relate with—he’s not much older that I (25) and he has so many similar interests. It’s amazing that he’s lived here as long or longer than I have and we’ve never run into each other. Don is the owner and web master of http://pleinairartists.ning.com/ it’s a site catering to plein air artists from around the world and has more than 2000 members. I found it about a year ago and have checked in once a day or so since. For a nominal fee you can post shots of your work, set up your own page, and chat with like minded plein air artists. He’s a real advocate of the art and a fine artist himself. Being in the same town I’ve been curious to get a chance to meet him and last Saturday we finally bumped into each other at the Cobb paint off.
Don emailed me this week and invited me over Saturday to paint in his garden and back yard. I paint every chance I can and I’m always delighted to have some company, so of course I said yes. He knows lot of painters and Shane McDonald joined us. He’d already starched us both last weekend at the paint off by taking first place but he was nice enough to show up and show us how he does it—kidding aside he’s a very talented guy. After swapping some stories we ate a few Dunkin’ doughnuts, drank some coffee and headed to the back 40 looking for available targets. I’m partial to old sheds and boats so when the two of them presented themselves together I dived in. Spread out by about 50 feet each we set up and went at it. I’m kind of deliberate, drawing a sketch and getting my colors pre-mixed. Shane went right to work and Don with a pack of Arches on his lap was into his third before I even had a rough in. Everyone is different but we all enjoyed the good light and good company. Cowboy Shane finished up quickly and was on his way with a great little painting. Don was working on number five watercolor while I finally finished up. As I was putting away my equipment, Don’s wife Suzie came down with Valerie Chitavanni, another local painter. She was seeing Don on some business— so I got to know four new artist this weekend and did some painting too. It’s part of my plan to conquer the world. I’m looking to get to get back to Don’s one day soon—as there were dozens of possible paintings just waiting for canvas and oil plus plenty of good stories and talented people. Thanks Don.