Sunday, November 8, 2009

We have just completed our Dobbin Gallery (Church St) Plein Air workshop in Charleston SC. I want to thank the artists for a wonderful workshop. We started out with a get acquainted reception at the gallery, where I introduced them to a few techniques and discussed a little of the history and purpose of painting en plein air. The weather was beautiful and we put in three long days of painting in one of the most beautiful places in America. Each artist completed five to six paintings each in three days.

We spent the first half of the first day painting the marsh of the intercostals at Mt Pleasant. The expansive view to the east was lit by the early morning light and the view to the west looked to the city skyline of old historic Charleston. We moved to the Shem Creek area after a quick lunch and set up on the deck of The Wreck, a seafood restaurant at the shrimp fleet landing. The owner of the restaurant was very gracious to let us paint there and invited us to come back, which we did the next day. Once again the setting was very picturesque with the old docks and shacks and shrimp boats. We all painted a view of an old dock and shack with a couple of shrimp boats that afternoon.

We painted at The Battery on the morning of the second day focusing on a view of the #2 Meeting St house, which is one of the most painted sites in Charleston. We all had to stand in the cool shade that morning to capture the light playing through the leaves of the giant live oaks and then illuminating the house in the background. We left there at lunch for a warmer spot and went back to Shem Creek for the rest of the afternoon to catch the same light as we had from the day before to do another painting each of the shrimp docks. I think I could paint for an entire year in the same area and never paint the same picture twice.

The third day we painted at the waterfront park in Charleston. Our subject of the day was to do the interesting people in the park. Some were jogging, some were walking dogs, and some were sitting on benches reading the morning paper. We set up on the boundary path and would capture a person walking by from time to time and would just sketch them in quickly until we each had an interesting composition. We had a light lunch in the park and spent the rest of the day there touching up our paintings for the wet paint sale at the gallery.

I want to thank The Dobbin Gallery and the participants for a wonderful time. All the artists did a fantastic job and produced some beautiful work. We are planning another workshop in Charleston in the spring. I will keep everyone posted as to a final date and schedule.

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