After three glorious days painting in the magnificent flower gardens of the United Kingdom pavilion at Epcot, I’ve had great practice for the Winter Park Invitational Paint Out which begins this coming Sunday. Each year the team of volunteer gardeners at the Albin Polasek Museum, where the paint out is held, do everything they can to prepare visual delights for us to paint. I’m normally one of the first painters to arrive at the crack of dawn because I so enjoy the early morning light. My feature painting from last year is shown here on the top left with my feature painting for this year on the bottom right (you can see it enlarged on my current home page).
The organizers of this Paint Out are incredibly thoughtful and considerate of the artists. Ahead of the event, they send each of us a poster with our own painting as a feature. We can post these online and send them to our patrons via email. On our arrival they have a welcome kit which includes, among other things, maps of interesting places to paint and cards with one of our paintings featured on them. We can give these to people who come by and are interested in our paintings. The cards have a printed schedule of events and help people remember each of us. Each day the organizers prepare breakfast for us and put out snacks and cold water which are available throughout the long days of painting. We are free to paint all around Winter Park, but I tend to spend quite a bit of time in the gardens themselves. I am looking forward to seeing all my old friends and to making new ones!
On my return I will head to the John Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, N. Carolina, where I will be co-teaching an acrylic plein air painting class with Kathie Wobie. Spring is lovely up there and the air is so fresh in the mountains! We enjoy working with fellow painters and learn so much ourselves in the process. One of the perks of teaching at the school is being able to take one class for each class we teach, provided there is space, of course. This time I’m going to take a metal working class. The subject is flowers! The school has a new forge which is state of the art. Having never worked in metal, this should prove interesting… Wish me luck.
I had hoped to post more photos of my paintings before leaving, but my camera is rebelling. It simply doesn’t want to cooperate! When I have more time, I’ll try and figure that out…
Wishing you a happy spring!
Mary Jane Volkmann