Day One at Plein Air Easton

The day before the first day of the competition was a day of scouting locations. With my friend Tim, I explored Oxford, Maryland, a beautiful town of old houses and marina and boat yards. The weather was mild, in the low 80s and not humid. This was a good sign, an unusual sign for Maryland in July.
I found a starting place for my first painting. It was in the Cutt and Case Boat yard. Hauled up on blocks was a small sailing boat that was being worked on. Standing just so, the was a view down its length to the water. I calculated that the sun would be coming up exactly there on the water. This would be the first place I would paint the next morning. It was good to have this settled.
Early the next morning, day one of Plein Air Easton, I arrived at the hauled out boat to find that the sun was coming up in a completely different direction. One of the challenges of plein air is to improvise. Fortunately for me, I noticed that the tops of the mast and rigging of the boat were bathed in sunlight while the rest of the boat was in shadow, a wonderful and dramatic contrast. I was excited about this.
Quickly I blocked in the basics of the painting and had painted for an hour before any artists came along and discovered the scene. By the time I had finished the painting around noon, there were a few artists scattered here and there painting different views of this boat. I finished up, exhausted and sick.
Another challenge of this competition is that I came here on antbiotics from a severe ear infection. This has sapped my energy, making it very hard just to stand.
After packing up from the first painting, I set up again nearby painting the entrance to a little dock. The entrance was between two small, overgrown trees that arched to gether to make a tunnel entrance to the dock. A boat is visible.
My hosts have loaned the use of their van and, needing a nap, I realized that I could rest in the van. So, leaving the doors open I collapsed in the back and slept during the hottest part of the day, for about two hours. I really needed this. Then I scouted around Oxford and eventually discovered Campbell’s Boat Yard on the other side of the harbor. This on had the advantage of a restroom and a coke machine. It was getting late in the day, and the clouds were heavy, the light dimming badly. But I painted one more of a row of boats parked in a sort of boat garage, a boat house, I suppose, their bows pointed outward. As the last of the light waned and it began to sprinkle, I packed up and went back to my hosts house for a lovely dinner and good company, full of stories.
I will post my images toward the end of the week. Today, the second day, my health got worse and I had to call my doctor back in California. I’m okay, but I’ll tell you about today, day two, tomorrow…

1 comment for “Day One at Plein Air Easton

  1. Amy Iversen
    July 22, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Thanks for your post Robert. I hope you’re feeling better! Looking forward to reading more posts and seeing your work. I’ll be in Easton on Sunday for a week long plein air workshop with Camillle Przewodek. Hope the weather continues to be nice… Happy Painting!

Leave a Reply