|“Every obstacle yields to stern resolve. He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind.“ — Leonardo da Vinci|
The painting you see here is the first painting I did in this year’s Plein Air Easton painting competition. It is “Cutts & Case Boat Yard”, 11″x14″ oil on canvas board. As usual, it is the best of the collection I put together in four days. Nine paintings in four days. It always seems that the first one I do is the best. But it was a good idea that I had scouted the location on the prior day, and got there early. My energy was good compared to later in the week when I became increasingly ill and had to call my doctor on the West coast. Illness, however, is yet another of the plein air challenges. One learns to work with it, in it, and around it. The obstacle of illness, like any other obstacle, is an opportunity to grow in your resolve, digging very deep to find your inner resources.
Last night, I turned in all of my paintings with the help of another magical helper, Steven, Susan Ploughe’s husband. On walking into the museum to drop off the paintings, we were immediately faced with two magnificent Tim Bell paintings. Bell is just a wonderful painter. He is a rough and tumble Maryland ex-marine who knows skipjacks like no one else. A young master now, I can not imagine how great he will be when he is an old man.
Having left the common world for the world of magic and striving, having battled the demons of self and environment, having faced artistic and physical obstacles and challenges, and having brought back the boon, I rest now, a bit battered, with a sense of accomplishment if nothing else. So, my paintings turned in, back at the home of the Hamiltons, my delightful and generous hosts, I slept deeply, on the mend.
Today is a day off of painting. I am sitting on a sun porch. From this view I can see the Chesapeake bay just on the other side of a stretch of lush gardens, a pool, gazebo, and long lawn. In the background, Christie’s chickens are squawking and the geese are fussing about something. The air is filled with birdsong, sun, and peace. If I am not a blessed person, then no one is.
Tonight is the collector’s show. At six o’clock the doors will open and we will see who are the award winners. The collectors will come in, having paid $150 for the privilege, and the buying will begin. The show is open to the general public tomorrow.
Having pushed through and beyond all obstacles, for the moment, and for the next few hours, I will lounge, nap, and give thanks in this sparkling landscape of wonderful people, water, cicada, birds, sheep, cornfields…and boats!