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Blackwater Gold Wild Goose Farm Side Light Red Barn at Massey
Colhouns Barn Standing Stones II Soy Field Saxtons River View

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August 20

A clear and warm day, and what a turn-out! As word about these plein air sessions is getting out, Iím getting to meet and paint with a whole new bunch of artists, and itís really energizing. We now have people working in oils, watercolors, and acrylics regularly joining us pastelists, and the variety of interpretations is amazing. On this day there were 8 of us: me, Maria, Kate, Rita, Barbara, Kathy, Kim, and Hai-Ou, whom I remember from the Mountain Maryland Plein Air Event last June. We went to Scottís Cove, again Ė always a favorite place of mine to paint. A special focal point for the last four artists in that list were the colorful kayaks lined up along the opposite shore, reflecting brightly in the water: the first four of us stayed further up hill and focused on the long view down the reservoir to the trees in the far distance. I was working on a scrap piece of pastelMat that had a rather muddy underpainting on it (left over from our May 28 outing to Clarkís Farm, and I am not terribly thrilled with my performance: I may use this and the photos for a larger painting, but probably not any time real soon.

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August 13

Harry and Sam Hog the Chair

Almost exactly a year ago Ė August 14, 2009 Ė we painted for the first time at Piney Run State Park, in southern Carroll County, and it was a fine day. Today, not so much. Itís been raining heavily off and on for a couple of days, and the morning dawned wet and cloudy. Listening to several different weather reports this morning (all of which had different guesses as to when the weather would clear) left me confused but optimistic, so I drove up to the park to see whether we would get lucky. Got there around 9:45, but was deeply uninspired by what I saw: cool, gloomy light, no shadows to speak of, and the surface of the lake just a sheet of dull gunmetal. I waited a while, playing with the radio and hoping, but everyone was apparently much smarter (or more pessimistic) than me. The clouds did not miraculously disappear, and no one else showed up. I called it quits about 10:15, and it started to rain as I drove away. So I have no plein air work to show for today, but I have posted a photo of what I found when I got home and went up to the studio to work on a colored pencil piece: some days, just getting into the chair is a challenge!

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August 7

Field Study, Aug 7, 2010

Iím happy to report that not only did the weather cooperate, but it was a really nice day, not humid at all, and with a moderate heat, for August. We had a record turn-out, too: regulars Barbara, Kay, Brenda, and Maria were there, along with Kate, Kathy, Sue, Ellen, and Linda, who joined our group for the first time this year. We met at the Avalon area of Patapsco State Park, where many of us had painted before. Most of us set up at or near the Visitorsí Center, housed in one of the only remaining structures from the 18th century mill town, attracted by the field of golden grass and the silhouetted trees. Ellen and Linda went down and painted by the pond in the Glen Artney section of the park, and I donít know where Maria got to Ė although I drove around a bit before I left, I didnít see her again. Iíve posted the piece I did here, but at this point itís just a field study: too dark, and still quite rough in places. It needs a good bit of work before I decide whether itís a keeper.

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