Sunday, August 31, 2008

Painting with Beth at the Ballard Farmers Market

On Sunday I met up with Beth, my oldest friend (we were locker partners in junior high school!). She is a wonderful artist who has just returned to painting after a hiatus of far too long.

It was raining, so we agreed to do recon in Ballard, where we grew up. We thought we might find a spot from which to paint the old library -- that is, the OLD old library, the Carnegie on Market Street (where I first learned to read: "See Jane run!"). The Ballard Sunday Farmers Market was a surprise to us, and then the sun came out!

We set up our easels and as we painted, we had lots of admiring attention from strollers, and people with strollers, and even people in strollers. During a break, we ate crepes for lunch as we sat on the curb. "Montana Slim," playing music up the street a bit, provided the soundtrack (and placed a CD in my paintbox as they were leaving! thanks, Slim!). Their rendition of Talking Heads' "Home" really lit the fuse on the afternoon for me. Bliss.

And then we went to Ray's Boathouse and sat on the deck in the sun with a refreshing drink, talking about the trials and joys of ... well, life.

In my picture, the part I like best is the row of farmers' tents; that's where I fussed the least. The brick bell tower at the north end of the market stands next to the old Ballard News Tribune building; my dad delivered that paper when he was in his early teens. I'm not used to painting with an audience: I stared at my painting more than at the scene, and that usually fails. Still, I got some colors I like. Oil paint is still very new for me; everything is experimental! Beth reminded me that we are just sketching!

Here is Beth's painting! She gets so much into a much smaller panel than mine. Colors and life and activity. People! the most vivid part of that day! Thank you Beth!

(Also thanks for the picture of me: I look happy!)

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