I had the honour of painting live at Luna, the grand opening celebration of the David Braley & Nancy Gordon Rock Garden on Thurs night.
As a painter of landscape, flowers & foliage, I have long had a membership at the local Royal Botanical Gardens, and have been waiting for almost 3 years for the Rock Garden to re-open, to see how it has been transformed & updated.
So I was thrilled to get the call from Jeremy Freiburger of Cobalt Connects inviting me to be one of three artists painting live.
Here is a description of the sold-out event, from the RBG website:
Thanks to the gentleman who took this photo of me painting. I was so focused on doing a good job in the time I had, that I forgot to take photos myself, which I regret, because I’d love to show you what the place looked like. You can search #RBGLuna for images online though.
Several people did ask if they could photograph me painting, and there were some video cameras, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get to see their footage. In the photo above I’m calm, but if there is video of the last 20-30min, I probably look like some crazy person with blurry hands and six paintbrushes on the go!
It was almost dark by the time I took the painting up to the main building, to where people would pick up the items they’d won at auction.
There were several names on my bid sheet, but I had no idea who they were, because when I looked up from my easel I’d just see a sea of business suits and fancy dresses. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed painting in public, chatting here and there with people who had questions and comments, but I mostly kept my eyes on my painting or my subject, so I didn’t remember too many of the faces.
Luckily after the light show the couple with the winning bid came by to pick up the painting, and they seemed happy with it.
This photo is a little fuzzy, it was taken quickly with my phone, at night, with indoor lights.
I spent a long time laying in the composition, because that is key, but then I was rushing near the end, adding in colour and detail. I can still see areas I’d like to address. But really that’s the difference between a plein air (outdoor) sketch – painted from life, with a time constraint – and one of my regular paintings which I may spend a week, or two, sometimes longer on, in the studio.
All in all though, I really enjoyed the experience, getting to do what I love to do for a few hours, while lovely people stopped by and complimented my work. I’d certainly welcome the opportunity to do something like this again.
Meanwhile, I have been working on a floral painting from photos taken at the Rock garden when I did the guided tour last week. I will be posting it in the next few days, so look out for it!