Saturday, March 31, 2012

Palletteers painting plein air

Painting at Everyn Morrisette's

In addition to the early arrival of haze attributed to a combination of eruptions the volcano in Montserrat and dust from the Saharra, this week brought us intermittent sudden heavy rains. So we weren't surprised when our plein air session was rudely interrupted by a 45 minute downpour around 10AM! Those of us who'd been painting on the lawn quickly sought shelter and some even continued to paint!

After the rains, true to our plein air artist nature, those of us who'd had to move, quickly re-set-up and resumed painting. Our show and tell session definitely showed the diversity of our group's choices.

Our hostess, Everyn, was a gem! She even surprised us with lunch after our show and tell!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Origami fun

The seed of the idea of our adventure with origami began 2 Fridays ago at lunch. Elizabeth, who volunteers at the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts, said that she'd been cleaning out closets full of old calendars. These calendars feature artwork of our local artists and are of superior quality. We hated the thought of these fine calendars being hidden in a closet, so we began to brainstorm what we could do with them. I suggested origami but since none of us were skilled in the craft, we knew we needed a teacher. The group seemed enthusiastic about the idea, so I sent out an email asking if any of our members knew of a teacher on island. I got a few names recommended to me but before I had a chance to contact anyone, Melinda wrote and said she'd taught herself how to do a box and a crane and would be glad to teach our group. This past Friday she brought some samples of her efforts and we were impressed.
We decided to meet this morning at Elizabeth's home and I sent out another email inviting any of our members who were interested to join us. We had a blast! Melinda patiently taught our group how to make boxes complete with lids and we LOVED how they turned out! After spending several hours (the time really just flew!) we decided that we were ready to make cranes, except we'd call ours egrets since we don't have cranes on St. Croix. Unfortunately, we only had time to make one each before it was time to clean up.

While we were doing this, Laura suggested the Palletteers put together a collection of our members art into a book. It could be a yearly fund-raising effort that would cover our costs and enable us to also donate some of our profits to one of the island's charities. We liked that idea... a lot!

Elizabeth also showed us how she'd glued strips from the calendars to plain gift bags: How neat they looked!
We helped Elizabeth bring the boxes to the museum for them to sell. While there, some cruise ship tourists were admiring our boxes and told us they'd pay $4 for the larger one and $2 for the small one (perfect for a ring)! Great!

We were all pretty pleased with our box-making efforts but we realized that some of us, me among them, need much more practice making our egrets. I'm sure you'll agree: My egret is the white one.. poor little thing!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sidewalk chalk art

Jan Giles was the designated sidewalk chalk artist and she'd already finished the outline of a lovely floral design on one of the sidewalk chalk art panels by the time I arrived at the Botanical Garden at 10AM on Saturday morning. She told me how to fill in the correct colors to finish that panel while she, Carolyn Robyler, and David Hamada began drawing designs on three more panels. I'd barely finished the flower of one corner of the design when the sky became overcast and the drizzling began. Jan sprayed my flower with a fixative and then we all grabbed plastic tarps to cover the 4 sidewalk panels we'd begun work on. It rained and we sat and waited for it to stop, fingers crossed that our work wasn't being washed away. Emy joined us and unfortunately the sunshine didn't accompany her. After 1 1/2 hours of rain we checked the weather report and found that another 2 hours worth was on its way. It did clear for a few minutes so we uncovered what we'd done. Alas! Everything but what had been sprayed had washed away! Elizabeth joined us and while we were cleaning up we all decided that next time the sidewalks should be painted so the designs would last. If that can't happen, the chalk art area should be covered overhead to prevent rain damage.

The Isherwoods

On Friday morning we painted at the home of Jay and Brenda Isherwood. They have a nice rambling house and a spectacular view of Salt River Bay from the “other” side, which includes a couple of coves you can’t see from the western side. The weather was chaallenging: we'd had thunderstorms the day before and already had had a few showers. But we really are plein air artists to the core, so the weather didn't interfere with each of us being inspired and enjoying our painting morning to the max.