Saturday, October 10, 2009

Palletteers at Nature Conservancy

I hadn't been to the Nature Conservancy since July 3, the last time we'd painted there, when the flamboyants were in bloom and we all ooh'ed and ah'ed at their beauty. Yesterday, it was the history of the site that struck me: the main house, the mill, the factory, and the overseer's cottage. I stood on the porch of the main house and took in the fantastic view of Christiansted harbor and the Caribbean and loved being where I was. It was a stifling hot day, the second in a row this week, and while I breathed in the sense of history and beauty I wondered at how the women in olden times could have endured such heat, wearing long gowns, with their arms covered and wearing corsets underneath. Yes, we are so lucky to be living in the times we do and still have such a monument to the endurance of mankind left for us to enjoy.
Because I am not allowed to "carry anything heavy" (due to my recovering from Monday's cataract surgery) I painted at home. I arrived in time for show and tell and thoroughly enjoyed the efforts of my comrades.
They really caught the essence of the site didn't they?
I'd just seen the movie The Impressionists. Did you know that Monet was the first painter to actually go out and paint nature? He and his buddies Bazille and Renoir were considered crazies for wanting to leave the comfort of their studios to paint "the light" and for many years they struggled and were shunned and laughed at for their efforts. Seeing the results of the mornings plein air made me once again appreciate what they'd worked so hard to achieve, capturing the truth of what they saw... seeing that shadows have color... noticing that light changes.
More minis, these from Jan, to inspire us...We are so fortunate to have had such pioneers pave the way for us and such a gorgeous island, full of so much history to accompany that beauty, to paint...and the excitement of our upcoming Palletteers @ Polly's show, which will open November 7, plus a new show, Artists for Animals, which will take place in early December, for us to use as venues in which we can exhibit our artwork. We paint St. Croix and we love it!

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