July 7, 2010
Plein air painters tend to attract observers, but in the plein air class last Wednesday evening I attracted my most unique observer ever. We had gone back to the KU research land northeast of Lawrence in early evening. The teacher suggested a place I could paint with a view of the distant valley so I, loaded down with all my gear, and one other artist walked up there, set up and began to paint. As we were painting I heard him say, “I just saw a deer.” I looked around behind me and suddenly a doe appeared and stood quite still not more than 10 or 12 feet away as if looking over my shoulder at my work. I don’t know what she thought of it, but she stood there contemplating it long enough for me to get out my camera and snap a photo.
On Friday evening, our last class, our painting destination was South Park, one of Lawrence’s most attractive and highly used parks located just south of the downtown area. We painters all set up within sight of the bandstand. I was on the sidewalk leading south looking toward huge pink hydrangea blooms, yellow daisies and a bank of tiny white flowers.
As I painted, the area came alive with activity. First a young man mounted the bandstand and began practicing a trumpet fanfare. A group of people had gathered on the sidewalk leading to the bandstand and I began to hear instructions being given to them about how they were to proceed up the walk. It was a wedding rehearsal.
Almost immediately after they left, another wedding party appeared, a bride in a long white gown, four bridesmaids dressed in blue and a group of men in dark suits. This didn’t seem to be a wedding ceremony since there was no group of relatives and friends. But there was a photographer snapping photos of the happy group. One of the groomsmen took a look at my painting and suggested I put him in it.
Soon they were gone. Just down the sidewalk from me a group of college aged young people had gathered on and around a bench. It sounded as if they were reading parts from a play. Then two of them began to talk about a song they were composing and singing parts of it. Meanwhile we painters worked away, adding to the very “Lawrence” ambience of the scene.
I’ve posted two new painting photos. “The Sightseers” is on the Western page and “In the Woods,” done in the plein air class, is on the Midwest Rural page.