Monday, February 6, 2017

Fountain of Youth on the raw side

 What a difference a day or two makes. The forecast for Saturday was sunny and 70 when I posted the previous blog entry, but the forecast deteriorated more and more as the week wore on, so that by Saturday morning the  forecast was for cloudy, windy, and mid-50s! I'm sure the weather contributed to our low turnout of FCPS participants.

Nonetheless there were some of us who turned up, and enjoyed getting to see the grounds, and all the peacocks strutting around. Some of us were here with the FCPS in 2012, but there has been a lot of new construction since then.

 In the end there were a total of six of us who showed up to paint on the grounds.

We were asked to set up as much as possible along the perimeters of the park, along the edges of the marshes, so as not to disturb the other folks visiting the park.  Though, with the weather, the crowds were pretty small anyway.

Still, we always enjoy seeing one another. The chill did seep in though as we sat, and in the end we broke about 11:15 and all joined one another for lunch at the small restaurant on the grounds. It felt good to get something warm to eat.

But it was also fun to stroll around the grounds and get photos, though the lighting was not the best.

There was a 16th Century reenactment going on for the weekend also, and most of the folks had certain specialties which they were very happy to talk about. A couple of us stayed behind after lunch and went through the reenactors' village. Because the crowds were so light we got a lot of personal attention and information. We especially enjoyed talking to artist Mark Menendez about 16th century painting techniques. Mark is not only an artist and art teacher, but also a descendant of Pedro de Menendez who founded St. Augustine right on this very spot in 1565 - a connection to history. And another connection: Mark hired a Spanish genealogist to trace his connection to Pablo de Menendez, and the genealogist he hired is also a pastelist, and founding member and President of the Association of Spanish Pastel Painters. :-)

NOTE: If you missed Saturday we are, right now, expecting to do another plein air day in March. Stay tuned for details.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

plein air - Fountain of Youth

What:   First 2017 Plein Air
When:  Saturday, February 4, 9 AM to 1 PM
Where: Fountain of Youth, St. Augustine, FL 

The weather looks perfect for Saturday, sunny and a high of 70. What a day for plein air. We hope everyone can just us at the Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine. It's located on the Matanzas River and offers salt marshes.

As well as exotic peacocks (both normal colored and albino white) strolling the grounds.

And folks in period costumes. See what Lyn Asselta said below  for all the details for what looks like being an excellent day:
Details:When you arrive, please pull in toward the left and back area of the parking lot. It's even better if you carpool with another FCPS member so we aren't taking up all their spaces. We can park in the bus area, just past the cafe, since there will be no school buses there that day. 
Gather up in the parking lot and Cindy will be there to check everyone in at the ticket area.  There is no charge for you to be on the grounds for the morning.
Please note that there will be a 16th century encampment going on while you are there.  The Fountain of Youth Park has requested that we paint on the OPPOSITE side of the park so as not to disturb the re-enactors.   
The rep from Fountain of Youth will let you all know where to paint. Please be courteous and remember that the park is open on Saturday and there will be lots of people coming through who have paid to be in the park.  
Since FOY is not charging us admission, please consider patronizing their cafe and buying lunch after you're finished painting.  You may bring a lunch, but please don't use the picnic tables on the grounds ~ these are for their patrons.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Happy Birthday to Us

Wow, five years already? What an amazing group we have grown into since our inception in January, 2012. We had nearly 30 attendees this morning - including quite a few "charter members" from our very beginning, and lots of other wonderful folks who have joined us over time.

We had to celebrate with an amazing cake as well, a work of art all on its own.

One of the things we have acquired over time is our great rental resource library of books and DVDs. For only $2 you can rent a book or DVD for two months, and can proceeds go to fund purchases of new additions.

The big excitement was the growing pile of plainly wrapped artwork, as each member arrived and added to the pile. We were doing a 5x7 painting gift exchange to celebrate our five years, and each artist would be going home with a painting by a fellow member.

President Cindy Pierson brought us up to date with recap of past accomplishments, and details about upcoming events for the year (like the Nancy Nowak workshop, and our juried member show).

Then we took time for cake, coffee, fellowship, and the painting exchange! What fun it was to see what all the artists involved created, and received as gifts.

So here we are, headed into 2017 hoping to continue to grow bigger and stronger. Next up will be our first 2017 plein air event at the Fountain of Youth. Stay tuned here for details, first Saturday in February.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Happy Holidays - and a great new year to come

December was a busy month for so many of us - too busy for me to get this blog post out sooner! But once again we had a great December holiday get-together, and Cindy, our President, kept us up to date with information about upcoming events.

We had well over 20 attendees, closer to 30 actually, and the tables were all set in festive red for our holiday buffet.

As usual there was WAY more food than we could possibly eat, but everything was yummy and it was great to share a meal and chat with folks. Then after eating we had a surprise! Usually at our holiday meetings we set up a group still life or two, but - for a change - we had been promised a live model for this day.

And surprise! Our model turned out to be Cindy, our very own President, dressed in a lovely period outfit. Thanks so much Cindy for sitting for us.

And DON'T FORGET! Coming up is our 5th Anniversary meeting on January 7 at 10 AM. Be there or be square at Ponte Vedra. For the anniversary we are having a painting exchange, so don't forget your framed 5x7 painting wrapped in plain paper. Whose painting will you go home with?

Friday, December 9, 2016

Our Workshop

After the demo last Thursday we had a full complement of attendees ready to start Stan's workshop on Friday morning at Ponte Vedra.

The workshop consisted of two days in the studio and one day of plein air.

And also included more opportunities of getting to see Stan at work!

The weather was outstanding, and for the plein air day the venue was at the Environmental Center at Guana. This is a wonder place at just about any time of year.

However this past weekend it was especially lovely. However there was also a roofed area, so we were prepared in case of rain, but we were luckily and it was sunny and clear and crisp.

Students all lined up their work from the morning as Stand reviewed them.

There was a lot of information covered, both in the studio days, and during the plein air session as well. Some quotes from workshop attendees:
Many thanks to Stan Sperlak for a "thrilling" workshop! My Terry Ludwig's got a work-out. 
Fun and informative now to translate it to my work!!
Stan Sperlak gives a workshop that is valuabe in knowledge, and individually uplifting. "Fab" teacher. Thank you Stan
 Best workshop ever!!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Our workshop - demo

This past weekend the FCPS hosted a wonderful workshop with Stan Sperlak.  We could not have asked for nicer weather to show our visiting instructor. The workshop was full, but those of us who didn't have the time or the money for the full workshop still got a treat as, on the eve of the workshop, Stan did a demo open to all.

We got to see Stan's pastels set up for the demo, lots of Terry Ludwigs!

We had a great turnout as well. Those who were in the workshop got into the demo for free, but others were more than happy to pay a modest fee to watch Stan at work.

Stan started with a grisaille underpainting and said that he always starts out with the darkest darks.

 It was fascinating to watch the painting take shape, and Stan was happy to explain and answer questions as he worked.

When he reached this point he said that he would probably stop right there and just crop the painting.

After a break Stan came back to a darkened room and asked us all to hold questions unto the end, while he painted to music.

His second piece was amazing too, and Stan stressed how important it is to feel joy as you create your art. We certainly got that attitude from Stan. Both of his demo paintings were offered for sale and easily found takers.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Looking ahead to January

I wanted to give everyone a heads up to have time to prepare for our January meeting. We had our first official meeting in January 2012, so this upcoming meeting will be our 5th anniversary. What fun that will be to celebrate, and we plan to have a cake.  However we have one other event planned which is what I need to give everyone advance warning on.

Those of you who were members back in the beginning may remember this from our first year. Here is the quote from the blog entry of the time:
To close out our meeting we did something that was a lot of fun, and I hope we can repeat in the future. We had a painting exchange. Ten members brought in wrapped paintings [5x7] which were each assigned a number, and we then drew numbers from a basket to see whose painting we would go home with.  
Luckily no one drew their own painting, LOL. And we all got mementos of small artwork from other FCPS members. I hope we can do an exchange again like this.
Well after five years we have decided that the time to do it again is *NOW*. So for the January meeting we are asking each participant to bring in:

One small, 5x7 , FRAMED painting, WRAPPED. Once again we will have a painting exchange where you will come home with a painting by one of your fellow pastelists. 

We have such a wonderful group of artists in the FCPS. I look forward to the 5th anniversary meeting, and the painting exchange. It was lots of fun when we did it the last  time.