Today was the Opus Art Supply outdoor painting challenge day and I must tell you that I’ve been painting up a storm lately for the Art in the Garden show May 27th weekend, and painting plein air all day was something I really didn’t feel like doing today, but the great guys at Opus convinced me to enter and so I did.
And then thought, why do I have to do a painting when there are so many different arts? Since the rules were to register and pick up a 8″ x 10″ canvas or watercolour paper, instead of doing a painting, I decided that I really felt like doing was a lino cut. I haven’t done a lino or stamp cut in what seems like forever, so I was really looking forward to it.
Each Opus store has a sort of city corridor designated where artists can set up and paint, and, since last year I was painting in the forest, this year I thought it might be fun to paint at the beach.
Today was the most beautiful day down at the beach. There were all sorts of boats at work and play,
The seals were out sunning on their rafts,
And dandelions were blooming in the land not yet designated for construction.
I decided that maybe I would like to do a lino cut using the dandelions as my inspiration.
The most wonderful thing about today though, was that Chloe decided to join me in the painting challenge.
So we set out all our supplies and got to work.
I’m not really a printmaker and so not really proficient or even very familiar with lino cuts, (I only know the basics), but soon I had a design drawn out on paper and transferred to the lino. Then I took yellow and white chalk pencils and drew out the positive/negative areas. (So i thought…lol)
Those first few cuts are always so nerve wracking for me, but soon I figure out what I think I’m doing and get into a rhythm.
We were in good company. All along the grassy area were other people taking part in the challenge and lots of people walking by stopping for a chat.
It’s lovely to have strangers stop by and chat and ask questions and reminisce about their last lino cut experience. Usually that turned out to be high school! But almost everyone said they loved their lino cutting experiences and wished they could do it again, and then asked tons of questions. I’m so happy that I could answer, show my supplies, and encourage people to take it up again.
And so Chloe painted and I cut, and before you knew it, it was 2pm! And our pieces had to be handed in by 3pm! And I hadn’t even made one test print!
It was obvious to me that my lino cut design would take several more hours to complete the way I envisioned, and so I scaled back my design a little bit and, at 2:20, pulled the first test print on a spare piece of paper.
I was really happy with the test.
So I inked up the lino cut with a nice, generous amount of ink, and printed two prints on the watercolour paper I was given, and chose what I thought was the better one.
And there we have it. At 2:40, we had our pieces ready for the display.
So we packed up all our gear and drove the three blocks back to the Opus store.
Then we signed over our pieces, they were hung on the display wall, and we mingled with the other artists.
We met several friends who also took part and it was lovely catching up.
Look at all the beautiful and diverse art people made today. I was so thrilled to see that whole families participated. I think that’s a wonderful way to spend your Sunday and I felt so lucky to have Chloe with me. 😀
My camera was super low battery, but I still managed to get these two photos of our pieces hanging on the display wall.
And there you have it. A lovely Sunday and a lovely memory now on display on my mantle.
Thank you so much guys at Opus, thank you for putting on this great community event.