With temperatures in the 90’s, I had a hot time at the Alameda County Fair yesterday. I took part in their annual Plein Air Competition. After arriving at the fair and getting my canvas stamped, I not only faced the heat, but also the usual tough decisions. What should I paint? Where should I paint it from? What should I leave in? What should I leave out? All of these decisions need to be made fairly quickly in a timed competition.
I eventually settled into a shady spot with a view of the kiddie rides. I wanted to capture all of the colorful, fun, excitement of the area. After a slow start, and a few compositional “bumps in the road”, I finally started making progress. With the 5 PM deadline looming, and temperatures soaring, I was working pretty quickly. In the last few minutes, I was making quick gut decisions, based on pure instinct. When you are out of time, that is it.
I am very happy to say that those gut instincts paid off. I was awarded 3rd place in the competition. What a thrill! The judges said that they chose my piece because the “gutsy, playful, loose, informal style is fabulous”.
What a great feeling to know that there is room for playfulness in art!