Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Unexpected Outcome on a Dark and Rainy Night

Woman with Pink Headbband
8 x 5" watercolor
Sometimes you don't know what the day will bring--or the night. Today is Wednesday. Each Wednesday night from 8 to 10, I join a dozen fellow artists at the Art Alliance Gallery in Red Bank to share the space, chatter, and a model and paint or draw for 2 hours. Except on the last Wed of each month when this coop gallery is receiving art for the next month's show. Then, if I have a submission, I arrive early to fill out the paperwork to submit my piece to the jury.

Tonight I got there in plenty of time--put out my little work table and chair to secure a spot where I would get a good reflection of the model in the large studio mirror (reflections make for deeper space and much more interesting compositions). Then I submitted my piece--two small watercolors done on prior Wednesday nights.

 Lo and behold, 8 o'clock rolled around and there was no model. We milled about. Hemmed and hawed. When it was established that there was a bona fide mix up and the model was just not late, I stepped up to the plate and sat for the group. As a young woman I had worked as a professional model and so knew how to strike a good pose. I'm just not as young as I once was so holding the pose was a bit tough. It was funny to be back up on the stand hearing the conversation around me. Attendance was light as it was raining buckets and everyone seemed to find a vantage point that pleased their sense of design.

As I sat there, frozen in place, I worked out the strategy for the new egg tempera piece I'm going to start on Friday. Will I sponge on colors? Which ones? Will I make a mask? Of the figures? How will I keep the green of the large expanse of lawn from overpowering the piece? All of this ran through my head against the backdrop of brushes scratching canvases, charcoal on paper.

This was not the way I had expected the night to play out. But it was good. Everyone quit by 9:30. By that time, the juror was done selecting the work for the show. One piece got in and one didn't. So if you are around Red Bank this Saturday night, stop by the gallery from 6 to 8 PM and check out my little watercolor, Woman with Pink Headband. There'll be lots of other interesting art, people, and snacks.

I wrapped up the rejected painting in bubble wrap and plastic to protect it from the downpour and plunged out into the rain.