Marco Island Wet Paint, Empty Easel

I chose this view for my Marco Island Wet Paint site yesterday. The Marco Island Yacht Club Chickee Hut was a perfect location, with shade and nearby facilities, and the cast shadows on the small beach were intriguing. There was a gentle breeze, no one around, and the sun slowly warmed the scene. More of the beautiful palms that grace the bridge entrance demanded attention, too. Many people stopped by to chat, showing that this event is growing in interest. Many of them were artists, but just as many were unaffiliated residents or visitors.

Early in the morning a manatee swam by, and when there was no one around a flock of sandpipers flew in to sit in the sunshine for a few minutes. The light changed throughout the day, and I'll do another painting or two from photos taken. It was a delightful day painting out.

The Viewing and Auction Event, held at sunset at the Hideaway Beach Club was lovely. The "masterpiece" hors d'oerves were delicious, there were more people than last year, and the lighting on the paintings was much better. There were 27 paintings in addition to a silent auction, and every one of them got a bid or two. Since the committee shares half the profits with the artist, most did OK for a single day's work, some did terrific, and others were disappointed.

To the Committee: You have presented a credible, successful event, but you must get more, many more people to attend in the future to make this a true community event. The price of $50 covers your cost, but also eliminates many residents who would love to attend at a lower price. 120 people is not enough to auction 27 paintings. Do the math. There are other issues that may best be discussed in an after-action debriefing. Will there be one?

To the Artists: Great body of work for a one day event! Face it, our very best paintings are rarely done in one day. We spend much of the day talking with the people who come by, and this is time well spent for both our own art and the event. The light changes quickly and sometime unpredictably, and some of you are not used to painting outside. Some of you started ahead, didn't do the painting in one day, and probably got a higher price for your work. Is that fair? What is fair? What will people on Marco pay for? Why did some work go for such a high price, while some other works with better color or composition go for so little? Did you get your collectors to come out and bid? All questions we'll hash over at art events in the next month. If you didn't do well, think of this. The Marco Community is getting to know you and your work. That's good.

Many thanks to the wonderful young couple who bought my painting. I loved painting it and hope it will bring you joy.

Today is a really big day for me. I'm excited because Empty Easel is publishing an article I submitted. If you're not familiar with Empty Easel, take a look. The site is filled with information for and about artists. I read this site daily, thoroughly enjoy, and am still investigating the archives. My article today is about critique, based on a handout I've developed over the years from a variety of sources to help in my workshops. There's always more we can do to make our art better, and looking at it with a critical eye can help!