Friday Night at Uptown Village
9x12 plein air watercolor
A couple of weeks ago, the Ellis County Art Association was the "featured non-profit" organization at the Uptown Village shopping center in Cedar Hill, Texas. Every Friday night throughout the summer this upscale shopping center sponsors a music concert - the price of admission is a donation of money or supplies for the featured organization. We were honored with a special location under a tent with a table for our information pamphlets and brochures.
When the music concert started, another artist and I set up our easels and began a painting demonstration on the Uptown Village lawn. There we were - among more than a hundred adults and children - painting to the beat of a really good blues & jazz band! The scene was chaotic; children running & playing in a water sprinkler; the music was so loud it was impossible to carry on a conversation; adults singing along and dancing to the music. I've participated in many a plein air event with people looking on, but this was by far the most distracting painting situation I've ever been in. It was about 7 pm so I only had about 90 minutes before the light disappeared. I decided to keep the composition as simple as possible; an umbrella table with figures in shadow, a street lamp, a backdrop of buildings and a pedestrian couple in the sunlight. Once I finished the drawing, the painting came together quite easily although this definitely tested my ability to focus and concentrate!
It was a fun evening which resulted in a very generous monetary donation to our association by Uptown Village. As a token of appreciation, I gifted this painting to the Uptown Village Center's marketing director. She was surprised and delighted with the painting and promised to give it a place of "honor" in her office.
I've mentioned this many times before, but it's worth saying again.... I really, really love what I do!