The North Bennington Plein Air Competition began with a motif tour for the artists. We rode around town on a wagon pulled by draft horses.
The horses were a rare breed called American Cream, with amber eyes and pink skin.
About two dozen invited artists fanned out through the small town of North Bennington, Vermont. They set up on grassy hillsides, beside ponds, and in back streets.
Jeanette and I looked across to Powers Market, a Greek Revival building that served coffee and sandwiches, and conveniently had wi-fi and a bathroom.
My foot is on the C-stand to keep the white umbrella from blowing over (because I forgot the weight bags to hold it down). I'm using the umbrella not for rain but to cut glare and to diffuse light into the work surface.
I laid in the painting with a bristle filbert using burnt sienna oil paint. It was forecast to be cloudy, and I expected to be working with a lot of gray tonalities, so I wanted those warm colors to peek through in a few places in the finished painting. After stage 2, I drove into Bennington to buy the tube of white, which was missing from my kit yesterday.
That building in the back is a lawn mower repair shop, and the wood structure is leaning wildly, a fun contrast with the straight regularity of the market.
The owner of the lawn mower shop, Ron Nadeau, came over to tell us the history of his building, which used to be a blacksmith shop. He described what the town was like in his father's day, when there were working factories here that made hand mirrors, shoes, and rocking chairs.
Come today (Saturday) to the Park McCullough House in North Bennington, Vermont, for the Quick-Draw event between 1:30 and 3:30. Anyone can join, and there are over $500 in prizes. Also, there will be an exhibition of works tonight and tomorrow at the Taraden Guest House.
North Bennington Plein Air Competition
Wikipedia on American Cream Draft
Taraden Guest House
C-Stand on Wikipedia
Previously: White Umbrella, Traffic Cones