Tuesday, June 19, 2012

On Location at Camp Iroquois

For the last two summers I have been taking a group of adult and teen artists to YMCA Camp Iroquois to paint on location. We get there around 5:30 pm...after all the kids have gone home. We usually set up along the waterfront and try to capture the ever changing color of the lake and surrounding vegetation as the sun gets lower in the sky. A few people opt to paint one of the cabins or the trails leading into the woods. Our set-up is primitive, at least by studio standards. We get by with just the barest minimum of supplies, and as we load our palettes and gather our brushes, inevitably someone starts telling "best and worst camping trip" stories. Usually everyone has a story to share and the conversation is lively. After my demo, (short for demonstration, not demolition...although there was that one time...) each person wanders off to the area they have selected and begins to work. Conversation continues for a while, but as our artists get more involved with their subject matter, it grows quieter. I love to watch the complete absorption each artist has with their subject. Some find easy success, others will need to experiment with several color combinations and blending techniques before they are pleased with their efforts. By the end of the evening each artist has something to show; some are finished pieces, others are not. But there is always tomorrow night! This year I have made a change. Instead of working in acrylic paint, we will be using pastels. I love the vibrant, immediate color we achieve with pastels and the clean-up will be so much easier. No messy palettes to clean (OK exaggeration here... we always used paper palettes) but you get the idea. We are not just trying something new, we are streamlining our process. If you are interested, come and join us on July 24, 25 and 26 for 3 evenings of pastel painting on location from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm. You need to register by July 15 at the East Area Family YMCA. $50 for YMCA members; $60 for Non-members. All art supplies are included. We will meet in the parking lot at Camp Iroquois, 4795 Sweet Road, Manlius. And yes, there is a shelter in case of inclement weather.

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