Last week we had three artists, painters, who stayed at our desert retreat, competing in the Plein Air competition here in Escalante. Bruce was particularly excited, since he was a winner in last year's contest. The other two women recognized the painter of my framed artwork in their bedroom. Anticipation sparked the house as they scuttled about preparing for painting outside. Plein Air means painting out-of-doors.
The first two days were rainy in the mornings but the sun burst out in the afternoons. Our group chose a location off the Burr Trail in Boulder. Peggy, a watercolorist, painted her paint brushes stuck in a tree trunk. Oils were the medium of choice for Bruce and Lee to color their blank canvases. I loved how Lee captured the vastness, all the way to the Henry Mountains.
We had major rain storms the rest of the week. Our guests persevered and painted under the eaves of La Luz. Clouds became focal points as well as the view from La Luz. Peggy drew a detailed picture of our garden and watercolored over her detailed drawing. These are painters who create art in any circumstance.
The artists had to choose one of their new paintings to enter the competition by last Friday. Lee selected her cloudy Full Moon picture, Bruce his landscape of slickrock, and Peggy entered her paintbrushes. The Gala and silent auction was Saturday night. The artists voted for their favorite painting and the local choice was announced that night. The appetizers and drinks were devoured during the intense bidding on esteemed paintings. Peggy won a Honorable Mention award and sold her framed picture for a fist full of money. Lee and Bruce left with promises of returning next year, no matter the conditions.
I want to give special thanks to Peggy for giving me the "unfinished" painting of our garden. It's artwork to me.
Rocquette, my dog, wants the artists to come back too.