Laundry Day at the Rotary Art Auction

On Saturday April 29th, I again participated in the local Art Auction and Wine Tasting event, targeted at raising funds for the Rotary's good works.  This is the second year I've been asked to be the 'live artist demo' and I had a lot of fun.

The venue this year was the brand new Gibsons Public Market building (they had their grand opening that same afternoon!)  It's a beautiful building, created through a great deal of community support in terms of both funds and sweat equity, and it was great to see it hosting such a gala event.

I decided to challenge myself to do a large acrylic painting (2' x 4') in the 90 minutes I had available--quite a stretch!  Instead of trying to work 'cold' from a photo, I chose a motif that I had previously done a small pastel of: a whimsical scene of blowing laundry.  The photo was taken at the Hobbiton film set in Matamata New Zealand during our recent trip.  I was utterly charmed by the attention to detail--little hobbit-sized clothes were arranged on rustic laundry lines outside many of the hobbit hole homes tucked into the hilly landscape. (Don't know what a hobbit is?  Look up Tolkien's Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit!).  Here's the original photo:

And here's the small pastel (it's 10" x 28.5"). 

  A Hill to Dry On  pastel on sanded paper,  collection V. Nufer

A Hill to Dry On pastel on sanded paper,  collection V. Nufer

I pre-gessoed the canvas in black, and sketched out the basic shapes with a yellow pencil crayon. After that, I simply dove in and went for it! The room became crowded, noisy and very warm!  It became almost impossible to step back and view my progress from any distance, so I positioned my devoted husband halfway across the room and had him send me signals if I was going badly astray.  As I painted, I chatted to the onlookers and handed out business cards by the handful. Time ticked on and then came the word--"Your painting is the next item to be auctioned!" 

A few last minute flourishes, and I signed the piece, titling it "A Good Day to Dry".  The winning bid came from Melanie Gibb, who expressed great satisfaction in obtaining the piece for her home.

Here we are with the finished painting:

It was again a fun and stimulating challenge, and I was glad to support the Rotary. See you at next year's event!