|My painting sold to Deborah, owner of Blueberry Gardens.|
It was cloudy when I arrived at Tanglewood for the artist check-in--it had rained earlier and I was afraid there might be more rain, but fortunately, it cleared up as the day went on. I walked around Tanglewood and then up the road to Blueberry Gardens to look for places to set up. I settled on some of the picturesque out-buildings at Tanglewood for my morning painting, and walked back with my gear. Two other ladies were already there, and I accommodated myself between them trying to not get in their line of sight.
After a while another three artists set up close by, and as the morning progressed the sun gradually came out. At mid-morning the owner, Michelle, let her chickens out of the coop. We enjoyed seeing her Rhode Island reds and guinea fowl pecking around. I managed to quickly put in a few chickens in my painting. By the time the painting was finished, I was standing in full sun and it was getting hotter by the minute.
|Farm Buildings at Tanglewood, oils on canvas panel, 11" x 14."|
I packed up and took the painting back to my car, deciding to skip lunch--I hadn't thought to bring a sandwich and there was not enough time to complete a second painting by three o'clock if I went out to get a bite. It was too hot to stand in the sun to paint. The owners of Blueberry Gardens had set up a tent at the end of their drive for their business. They were having open house today as part of the day's events, with free demos of the offerings at their Octagon Studio: Yoga, Reiki, Acupuncture and massage.
I asked the owners, Robert and Deborah Boggs, if I might sit on one of the chairs to paint in the shade of their stand, and they most kindly welcomed me. From there I had a wide view of the neatly laid-out rows of blueberries and the pickers, with a plastic frame greenhouse and trees as a background. I had to make this painting much looser than the morning's if I wanted to finish it in time, so I attacked my smaller panel ruthlessly, blocking in the rows and grass paths between them with broad, sloppy strokes. I tried not to worry about the mess and just concentrate on covering the entire canvas with color quickly, sticking to the big shapes, then adjusting the colors, Only when it was pretty far along did I start to bring out some details in the rows of plants and trees beyond, and add a dash of color here and there to suggest a few people picking berries. Deborah watched these steps with curiosity, especially the last ones, seeing objects emerge from this apparent confusion. I must say it surprised me too, and I liked the effect. This was closer to what I wanted than the more structured morning painting.
The time for the reception and wet-painting sale came much too soon. I carried up my painting on the easel into the Octagon studio and left it there. I had to walk back to my car parked at Tanglewood and drive around to the Blueberry Gardens to bring the other painting and the frames for the show. I slipped the Tanglewood painting into a frame working in the trunk of my car, took that one into the studio and brought back the Blueberry Garden painting to frame outside, again in the trunk, then took it in to set back on my Guerilla Painter easel.
There were lots of folks at the reception, and some delicious home-baked goodies: a blueberry buckle, blueberry mini-tarts, blueberry muffins, a shortbread with Mascarpone made by Tara, and fresh blueberries, of course! I was so starved, I scarfed these up gratefully with a glass of wine. I was so pleased that Deborah bought my painting as well as a lovely pastel by another artist. Michelle bought Tara's painting of the fields at Tanglewood.
Herb came to the reception and managed to get a taste of the last of the blueberry goodies. After the reception ended and we had packed up all my art gear, we went out to the garden and picked a pint of blueberries to take home. I will be stopping by to pick more berries this summer, now that I know the blueberry season is longer than I thought--to the end of August.
You can see more photos of the Blueberry Gardens reception in my album here at Flickr.