The day dawned overcast, cool, with a bit of a breeze. By 8 am, I was at the Art Center, having my canvases stamped with another group of early rising anxious painters. I had two stamped, one extra in case of disaster.
We drew names for our placement at the evening auction. I was quite happy with my number 4. Early enough to not let people get tired, but not first. Number one and Number 20 could both be more challenging.
We received a sign with our name and our sponsors. Thank you David Caruso, Morgan Stanley, and Gem Remotes. Both have several of my paintings, and they tell me they bring them joy. I love them dearly as they are very good people.
We also received a Publix bag with a couple bottles of water and a granola bar to get us going. Lunch would be delivered later. The Publix on Marco has a wonderful history of community service. Thank you, Kevin
On to the Esplanade to set up. Since it was my studio day anyway, it seemed to make sense to choose right in front of the studio and have the studios opened for the day. My work, and that of my studio mates would be browsable during the event. A good choice since hordes of visitors stopped in.
At set up, the wind died down. It was still overcast, so it didn't get too hot. We've had an exceptionally warm winter, and I was prepared with a hat if needed. I quickly blocked in the scene, using a lovely clump of greenery near me, and a couple of more distant palms, and compressed everything in between, leaving only a hint of the tall buildings and the arches. I had used them in my painting near this spot last year, and wanted today's painting to be different.
As the day progressed so did the painting. For me at least, there is so much pressure at an event like this. If I badly while painting "en plein air" on a normal day I can take it back to the studio, to study it, refine it, and change it again and again over the next weeks or whiles until I'm ready to call it "done." It can even go into the trash. But today, everything was public and I wanted to look good!
In a one day event--ours was six hours--there becomes a commitment time, when if you are going to finish you have to keep moving ahead. It becomes too late to start over, and you must push ahead to the finish.
It was fun to talk with the people who stopped by. Some were students, some were collectors, and a good many were just people who wanted to see people painting. There were many more participants than previous years. The sun came out! I think the community has caught on to the fact that Wet Paint Live is a really fun event. Here's the painting about 2 o'clock
By three I had to frame it, and after that deliver it to the Art Center for display until the Auction. Sorry it's a little crooked!
By auction time I was showered and dressed, and back at the Art Center. The paintings, many of them still wet, were displayed around the room along with a silent auction painting and information about each artists. The day's paintings from our diverse group of local artists was fabulous and there was a building excitement in the air!
A delicious buffet was provided by our local Kretches Restaurant, and the volunteer bartenders did a great job of keeping up with the local thirst. After some food and a calming glass of wine, the auction began.
Every artist lives in horror that their painting may not get a bid, but bidding started strong, and my number four painting brought a very respectable amount from a delightful new collector. I think everyone was pleased--artists, collectors, and event organizers, Marco Island Chamber of Commerce, the Marco Island Center for the Arts, and the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts.
And thank you to all the participants who made this year's Wet Paint Live a wonderful event! The money raised at this event provides scholarships for Marco Island students.