I joined my Locke artist friends Ernie Wester, Chris Spencer, Martha Esch and other local artists including gallery owner and painter Brock Alexander for a paint out competition in Locke. The occasion was an Pacific Asian Cultural Festival. Parking was banned on Main Street (Something they should do every weekend) and there was a nice crowd. The weather in the early part of the day was beautiful. I managed two paintings, very unusual for me. The first was done in one of the back alleyways that shoot off Main Street.
For this painting, I decided to ignore the cars...which wasn't easy! I had to step to the side and look beyond them to see some parts of the buildings. I had already toned the canvas with an acrylic wash. I used a black gesso to draw in the shapes and establish some of the darks. This is a little gimicky, but I wanted to break out of the normal approach to see if I could get a little energy in the painting. It went quickly. In no time I found myself beginning to overwork passages, so instead of continuing to overwork everything, I quit for a change. Now there's a new approach! This makes me think of some sage advice I received from Howard Rees in one of his workshops: "When you see you are putting down the wrong color, stop putting it down!" In this case, when you see the painting is done, stop painting!
"Behind Main Street" 12" x 16" oil on linen panel.
This time I reminded myself I was painting plein aire and to concentrate on shapes and color and capture the impression of the scene. This was Main Street with the Festival underway. (" Festival on Main Street, Locke" 8x16 oil on canvas panel.