Saturday, May 30, 2009

Palletteers return to Est. Mt. Washington

I love this one... Melissa caught us in action as the third shower of the morning took us by surprise. As Brenda ran to protect her watercolor I dug in my heels determined to finish my oil painting!

Work in progress... can't wait to see the finished painting!

Why do we love painting at Estate Mt. Washington? Let me count the reasons: 1: it's a restored sugar plantation plus an orchard so there are almost too many things to paint; 2: it's a nature preserve so we're surrounded by the subdued "sounds" of nature at its best; 3: it's private, yet public so the amenities are there along with the solitude; 4: it's tree filled and lush and there's almost always a breeze to be found; 5: there's shelter in case of rain. Have I listed enough things yet? So, once we arrived, we chatted a bit before sorting through all the subject-enticements. One of the topics of our "chatting" was a news article we'd received from Palletteer Alexis Levine about a plein air group she painted with in North Carolina. The time constraints of painting plein air had been mentioned in the article (the Palletteers are limited to about 3 hours to paint) and narrowing one's focus had been suggested. So several of us, myself included, had this in mind when choosing our painting subject. Unfortunately, the plein air gods weren't totally with us for the morning and we had to run for shelter from sudden rains several times. Also, summer's arrived on St. Croix and it was unusually hot.. really hot! In additon to this, some hungry ants found me and invaded the spaces in my Mary Jane Crocs to sample me for breakfast. But in true plein air fashion , we all painted on! Yay for us! It turned out to be a great painting morning for each of us and we were all really pleased with our results. Lunch afterwards at Sunset Grill topped off a great Palletteer morning!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Palletteers enjoy painting at the St. Croix Yacht Club

A work in progress.. how could I think I could paint 10 boats in one plein air session?

More works in progress...

and a sketch for a future painting..

One Palletteer painted more than one artwork...

We had lovely weather for our morning of painting at the St. Croix Yacht Club. The sea was extremely calm and tranquil, the sky full of gorgeous clouds, the sea littered with many moored boats, and the dock busy with activity. We did what we always do: spread out to paint as our whimsie's guided us. Of course, the morning presented its own challenges: the boats wouldn't "sit still" long enough for us to draw them, it was really hot, even in the shade of a palm tree, and the clouds kept changing. I'll try to add a pix of the unfinished or proposed artworks when they're done. After painting, it was so nice to just sit down right there and enjoy lunch at the yacht club too.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Palletteers Paint the Town in Many Colors

Alma's finished painting begun last week... see her sketch in last week's blog.

This morning we painted in Christiansted, either on the boardwalk, in Kings Alley, or on Strand Street. It began as a gorgeous sunny morning but around 10AM, the winds blew hard and the rains found us and interrupted our work. Despite the change in weather, we all loved the ambience of painting in town. we adjourned to Cafe Christines for our show and tell, a good story by Emeline, a great lunch and... yes, we splurged on Christine's yummy pies for dessert! Our numbers have dwindled but the spirit is still very much alive!

As you may have noticed, sometimes our paintings are incomplete when I post them from our show and tell sessions. Today Alma brought her finished painting that she'd begun last week.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Palletteers Enjoy a great painting day at Green Cay

Our hostess Ruby chats with Alma and Colleen, Elizabeth's grandaughter.

Kate, Alma and Ruby enjoy a coffee break during a sudden rain shower.
On Friday morning we were the guests of Ruby and Tom MacDonald at their home in Estate Green Cay. Their home is gorgeous and the views were fabulous, enhanced by a bright blue sky full of magnificent billowy clouds and the iridescent colors of the Caribbean sea. Wonderful! We had perfect painting weather, too, with only a scattering of raindrops that gave us time for a mid-morning coffee break.
After show and tell we adjourned to nearby Chenay Bay where a discussion of "What is a Palletteer?" took place. Our Palletteer history says "The Palletteers is a loosely organized group of people who like to paint (plein air). We get together year round, once a week at a different location, paint for two to three hours, gather to show and tell (not required) and often go to a nearby restaurant to have lunch together." Should we change that definition? If you're on our mailing list, does that mean you are a Palletteer? Do you have to come and actually paint with us to be a Palletteer? For that matter, is it even necessary to paint at all to be a Palletteer? Can you just draw, use crayons or pastels, take photos, write, or only visit or have lunch with us to be a Palletteer? Some of you may know that there's a group of former Palletteers who have moved off island and have written to tell me that they still want to be on our mailing list. That's no problem for me. I think of them as our Palletteer Cheering Section because they often send an email to support or comment on our endeavors even if they can't be here to participate in them with us. It'd be interesting to get some input from more of you, so if you have any opinions on "What is a Palletteer, " email us at to share them.
In another vein, it's been suggested that since some of our paintings are still not finished by the time we have our show and tell, the finished versions should be brought back for us to see at a later session. So expect to see those artworks featured once in a while on the blog.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Palletteers paint at Northside Valley

Northside Valley is a St. Croix eco-resort situated a few miles north of Frederiksted. It encompasses 9 self-contained cabins, some for two people and others for 6 or 8. As our group gathered, we were greeted by our host, resort manager Tom Cash, and we eagerly took him up on his offer to take us on a tour of the site. As we wended our way up the trail to the various cabins, we walked through a lush forest of trees of every kind. Each cabin had it's distinct signature, all reflecting a one-ness with nature and tree-house effect. Following our tour, we settled down to paint, enjoying the peaceful setting. Our numbers have really dwindled, so show and tell was brief. Lunch afterwards at Polly's on the waterfront was a delight!