Monday, June 10, 2013

Canandaigua, 700 miles, 5 days, 9 paintings, little sleep. WOW!!!!!!

This post is of my trip to the Canandaigua Plein air painting contest and festival. It was an amazing experience, I painted like a maniac, and made a lot on new painter friends.  We were treated like visiting royalty and I want to thank all those that made this possible, a huge THANK YOU !!!

Day 1 Thursday June 6, we had lots of rain!

This is my first start, 7:30 a.m.  before the rain started.

I found this tree next to a cemetery, on the corner of St. Rt. 21 and Bopple Hill Rd.

I knew I was going to have trouble with the far mountain and the middle distance trees, but I wanted to get started and the spot was nice.

I was just a bit soggy when I found this spot at the State Park boat launch so I found a willow tree to paint under.

It started to rain heavily and came through the tree, so the umbrella.

My plan from the start was to return to the same locations to continue to work, getting cold and wet helped me move along.

I found this spot on the Muer lakes, a city park, I had bought a rain suit, it helped but I got wet anyway.

As beautiful a place as any, the sky was just so full of wet stuff!

This is where the painting ended up, I didn't get back to this spot, because of all my first day paintings it needed the least.

My final location for the day, Woolhouse Rd. I had gone back to my room to change again into dry clothes, and drove around the farmland to the west of town, I liked this because I reminded me a bit of home.  It was 6:30 p.m. and the rain had let up when I started, I got it to here then the rain came back and I packed it up.

This is where it ended up on Thursday evening.

Friday June 7. not as much rain.

I went strait to my first location @ 7:30 a.m. but my fundamental design problem was still there, though the atmosphere was more co-operative. Am I learning anything?

It had seemingly stopped raining, so I wandered around near the last location and found this on Coye Rd. and I found "IT".  not much traffic, wide pull-off, no rain (for the time) yeah!

This turned out to be my best painting of the trip, and I sold it to a lovely lady who recognized it as her field! the photo is a bit washed out.

What's not to love?

I went back to the State Park, and the rain came back too!  Michelle, came by to take pictures, so she took this with my camera, she was great smiling and happy bit of sunshine, like so many that made this all possible!

I didn't like the green I put down, so I re-mixed it right on the canvas, I don't know it that's legal, but... I also worked on the hanging willow and the pond, I actually think it came out ok.

My last start of the day,  I HAD to go to Sonnenberg Gardens (also a State Park).  I found this out of the way place in the plant conservatory. It was sort of dry. and the people there let us paint anywhere we wanted!

Not my usual painting but I liked the inside/outside aspect, and of course I really had to simplify!

I returned to Woolhouse Rd. by 6:00 p.m. there was just a mist coming down, but the fog was thick, so I worked on it but couldn't chase this fox, the wet, cold and sheer exhaustion were beginning to set in.  In my two days painting for the main event, I had "done" six paintings, I really liked one, and sorta liked a few others, so maybe quantity doesn't beat quality, but I learned a lot in the process.

Saturday, June 8  Our three best paintings were due in at the carriage barn of Sonnenberg Gardens for the show and the judging, they took two alternates as well, I had stayed up late to put them together, TIRED!

The "Quick Draw"  competition started promptly @ 9:30, I had just enough time to drop off the work and find this spot.  The map defined the area to the small urban center of Canandaigua, and as you probably guessed I'm not interested in painting buildings, so I found a spot without them. Here is my start.

Here is where I ended @ 11:30

Sunday June 9 sunny and warm!

We all had to hang around until the public reception was over @ 4:00,  So I went back to Coye Rd. maybe 1/4 mile from yesterday's spot and found this beautiful place!

Here is where I ended up @ noon.

I went back to Sonnenberg Gardens, a bunch of the other painters were there too, and they had the public reception, so I could eat. I found this spot in back of the rose garden, it was a beautiful day!

2/3rds of the way.

There it is Painting # 9 for the trip!

Need sleep.


  1. I think these are some of your best work - sometimes being forced to paint faster really works out for the best.

    1. Thank you Marsha, It's certainly thrilling to paint like that, and I probably learned something by pushing my limits, time will tell about the quality, Thanks again, Matt

  2. Hi Matt,
    It was nice meeting you in Canandaigua!
    I like your greenhouse painting. I considered painting from that same spot but with so much rain my pastels would have turned into mush.

  3. Hi Adriana, It was nice meeting you too! The green house was a surprise location for me, (parts were actually dry) I just passed through and liked it, especially the differences between the open door and the glass. What a great time we had! Matt

  4. Matt you are very talented...I love your work...nicely composed and well painted!