Sometimes it’s just fun to play with paint and salt. There are several little tricks you can use with watercolors and salt is one of them. Like everything else, you don’t want to use it too much because then your paintings begin to look gimmicky. But for things like frost and other things with a sparkly quality, you just can’t get a better effect than to use salt.
But why Christmas at the end of July? It’s already on my mind as Lower Town has started to plan for the December holidays. I got the idea of lights shining through a frosty window pane, and that’s what I’m going for here. I made two others, kind of an assembly line process which you’ll get to see in the coming days. All similarly done — just fast and fun without too much preconceived notion of what the finished product would look like. After several days of tighter compositions, this was a welcome exercise.
We had an exciting Memorial Day weekend here in Paducah with the LowerTown Arts & Music Festival. I even made the front page (below the fold) of the Paducah Sun with a picture of me painting and some quotes regarding my festival experience. A very nice article that you can read here. This year was orchestrated in a new format than previous years, showcasing local artists instead of bringing in artists from around the country, as is the norm for such events. We faced some challenges in pulling it off so that people werenâ€™t put off by the small number of tents and getting them to circulate through the various galleries in a 9-block area. But the crowds came out in force on Saturday, the weather cooperated with sun and a breeze, and it turned out to be the festival weâ€™d hoped for and then some.
Dave and I had two tents for the first time ever. We borrowed one from one of our LowerTown neighbors along with a set of really nice Propanels from another generous neighbor. And yet another neighbor helped me set up the tents and panels on Friday. Thatâ€™s what is so great about this place. We all help each other out in big and little ways. People are generous with their time and resources so that you feel supported both philosophically and physically.
Another big change this year was having artists demonstrate their work. I set up a small table in the front of my tent and started a painting, sketching out the image and then beginning the color washes. It was a wonderful way to show the process that goes into creating my watercolors and my technique. Iâ€™ve learned from my experience during the Quilt Show that I enjoy painting outside with people wandering by. Itâ€™s a bit more challenging to also try to greet people as they come into my tent and make sales. So the painting wasnâ€™t continuous but it still went well and served a purpose.
Not too many sales during the festival, just some small things like sets of note cards and batik star ornaments that Dave has been making. Sunday was literally a washout with torrential rain from morning onward. We struck our tents at 2 oâ€™clock after it was clear that there wasnâ€™t going to be any let up and everyone else along the street was packing up as well. Hereâ€™s hoping for better weather throughout the festival next year.
This is just the beginning of what should be a busy summer and fall season in LowerTown. Second Saturdays are in the process of revision, with new and exciting activities in the works throughout LowerTown. We still love it here, in answer to the repeated question about our relocation to Paducah, and are looking forward to a great summer! All the fantastic comments about our work have us jazzed and up-lifted, ready to create new paintings to add to our body of current work. Thatâ€™s another great contribution from our Paducah community.