Monday, September 1, 2014

Plein Air Paradise: Spring City, Utah!

Where can a plein air painter experience a 4-day thrill of stiff painting competition, surround themselves with beautiful scenery and share the camaraderie of other artists?

You guessed it...Spring City, Utah!

Here are some pictures of the town, the people and this year's plein air event. To get a feel for the action, scroll down and watch the video clips too.

Nestled in the rolling farm hills of Central Utah, Spring City is alive with the gentle sounds of lowing cattle, baaing sheep and crowing roosters (although at 6:00 am it's surprising how loud those animals can be). Spring City is one of the two cities recognized nationally as "historic cities" (Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia is the other city).

I stayed in the historically renovated home/art studio of Susan Gallacher. Susan has thoughtfully furnished her home with authentic antiques that reflect the style of the early Utah settlers.

Here's the bedroom, the living room and the dining room.

Thursday evening, we met at the home of Chris and Allison Anderson for a 
"welcome artists" bar-be-cue. Their home, barn and grounds were spectacular! 

Friday morning, I began a painting of the "Senker House" along Main Street.

While I was painting, the owner of the house came out and 
brought me an ice-cold glass of lemon tea (his own 
special recipe)...a friendliness typical of the townsfolk here!

When I finished my painting, Mr. Senker came out to look at my work 
and accidentally left the gate open. His mare "Freckles" bolted out and 
kicked up her heels through the streets of Spring City until a kind 
neighbor brought her back home.

Friday morning brought another round of outdoor painting.  A cowboy 
and his horse modeled for some of the artists.

I decided to paint a portrait of Susan Gallacher while she painted the horse and 
cowboy.  I observed her for a few minutes and then determined that the only 
consistent pose she maintained was when she leaned back to study her canvas.

Friday evening, all the plein air work was turned in at the Main Street Gallery.

  Bryan Mark Taylor was the judge for the competition. After an award ceremony and a scrumptious buffet, Bryan gave a painting demonstration with tips and pointers 
for plein air painting.

This is Bryan's block-in from the demo.

Later that night, several artists gathered on Susan Gallacher's front porch to relax.  
Steve and Greg played the guitar and there was plenty of laughter and singing.

"Das Cafe" is an awesome place to eat breakfast and lunch in Spring City! If you want 
good German cooking, you'll find it there! The walls are painted a sunny color,  
the food is terrific and the owner/operator couldn't be more gracious.

The kitchen is right in plain sight and you can watch the ladies do their magic as they cook!

Here's Tom Howard putting the finishing touches on his painting.

At the end of a fabulous week of painting, the locals and the remaining artists 
gathered together for another bar-be-cue and a barn dance. Holy cow!
These people can throw a party!!!

There was even a homemade zip-line!

After dinner, most folks went into the barn to dance.  

 A huge thank you to Chris Anderson and many others from Spring City who contributed 
to the success of this annual celebration. It was extraordinary and inspiring to see 
the tremendous support that this community has for the visual arts!

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