Quick Draw, February 4, 2010

Waxahachie, Texas--a Quick Draw event

The 2009 “Paint Historic Waxahachie” event (a plein air 8-day experience) kicked off on a Saturday morning at the courthouse square.  Over fifty painters had registered for the Quick Draw phenomenon–a 90-minute time limit to complete a painting on the courthouse lawn of any scene visible from that location.  I had arrived the afternoon before and spent 2-3 hours doing my first painting in plein air, choosing the opposite side of the courthouse from this scene posted.

The morning was beautiful, sunny and cool.  Throngs were all over the downtown area.  I arrived about an hour early so I could park, unload, and go look for a spot under the trees.  Every angle of vision was so attractive that I must have walked the perimeter of the square four or five times.  When my wife called on the cell phone, I laughingly told her I must look like a dog nosing around for a place to pee, I had poked around the place for so long.

Finally I chose this location.  When the contest began, I immediately wondered how I was going to get a wet watercolor composition to “behave” so that I could call it “finished” in 90 minutes.  But I stuck to it.  The funny thing was–onlookers kept coming around and engaging all of us in conversation, and it was great conversation.  But I probably worked less than an hour on it for all the talking I did.  But it was fun, and we all laughed over the time constraints and the “social networking.”

When the deadline arrived, I looked at this piece, concluded that it was crap, and submitted a starting bid of $20 (the rules to the contest stated that all Fast Draw entries would be auctioned at the courthouse steps).  What a crowd!  Photographers crowded around, taking photos of the scores of paintings lining the sidewalks and steps, drying in the sun.  I went ahead and photographed my own painting as it lay in the grass, before putting it out for bid.   Surprisingly, this watercolor fetched $75 in the bidding.

I’m looking forward to the event coming up again in June.  Hopefully I won’t be as nervous, having done it once already.  And maybe I’ll paint instead of talk!

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5 Responses to “Quick Draw, February 4, 2010”

  1. lindahalcombfineart Says:

    How big is the painting ? I think it is great for an hours work. Especially with all the distractions.

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  2. david tripp Says:

    Thank you. This is a 9 x 12″. I was using a D’Arches Watercolor block. The paper is probably 140 lb. I’m at school now and out of the studio, and I don’t recall if the surface was hot press or cold press. It was a funny experience, slapping water around on it, hoping it would dry in time, and all the while visiting with really nice, interested people. And I was delighted (and amused) that it sold.

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  3. asmalltowndad Says:

    Very nice. I have my first plein air in May and a little nervous about it. It’s just for a local event but still nervous about it. I like the way you fade to paper or white at the bottom of your paintings.

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  4. David Tripp Says:

    Thanks for the encouragement, Smalltowndad! Good luck, and have fun at your first plein air. My first was June of last year, and it changed my life. I’m sorry I didn’t do this years ago, but glad it finally happened to me. I’ve never enjoyed the back-and-forth between studio and the field like I do now, and have over this past year. My next plein air will be in June (same place).

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  5. Erin Hill Says:

    Hi David, Just found your blog under ‘related subjects’ – that thing that comes up at the base of ones own postings. I think that looks like a lovely painting, and it sounds like an excellent event to be part of. Isn’t it interesting how fascinated people are watching painters work. I find that happens anywhere I paint. It’s nice. keep it up. I will add you to my blogroll now.

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