Monday, October 19, 2009

Painting Weekend in Calvert

It was a "picture perfect" weekend in Calvert, just as Bob French, the weatherman on KBTX tv, predicted. An Art Fest was scheduled along Main Street on Saturday. V....Vaughan, Round Rock artist, planned to do a half day plein aire painting workshop in the morning. In the afternoon, she would be painting the Victorian Tea on the grounds of the Gibson-Hensarling home. During the Victorian Gala that evening, in The Foundry building on Main street, Austin artist, Robin Cheers, would paint that event. Both paintings were to be auctioned off during the Gala, to benefit the Historical Society.
The artists , plus another artist, Nancy Holder, arrived to stay with us at Thelma's house in Calvert. Barbara planned to be "the innkeeper", and had a meal of soup and baked bread rolls
ready for our supper. V.... brought a homemade cherry pie to share with us, complete with a flag design in the top crust.
My daughter and grandson arrived while we were eating. Ashton showed them the thing we had seen on tv about brooms balancing because of the alignment of the planets. Sure enough, it worked and they were all fascinated. We left that broom standing all weekend, and it was still balanced when we left on Sunday. My photo was blurry, as were many of my pictures. But, you can see Robin and the broom, above. Nancy was sure we had attached strings or some other trick. But, it really worked! We tried it with an egg and that stood on end, too.
On her way back home, Barbara said she stopped to eat at Franks in Schulenburg. She told them about the phenomena, and they tried it. She said they had brooms standing all over the restaurant!
After supper Friday evening, we were treated to hot chocolate at the Cocoamodo. (Thanks Virginia and Robin!) The owner turned out to be a lively, entertaining man, with a great accent, who joined us for a cup of hot chocolate. He told us a lot about chocolate and his adventures. And we got to sample some of the delicious chocolates that he sells in his shop, each lovingly made in the chocolate factory on Main Street. I picked "milk and honey" and it was really good!
I was intrigued by some old Calvert photos on the wall of the restaurant. I was amazed to learn that those photos had belonged to Miriam Oscar, who died a few years ago. She left photos to the city and these were some of those pictures. I didn't recognize anyone, though.
We planned to be out watching V.... paint the sunrise on Sunnyside Road, very early Saturday morning. Barbara had a variety of kolaches for us, from Zamykal Gourmet Kolaches on Main Street to enjoy in the early morning.
It turned out to be a really crisp, clear morning on Sunnyside Road. V.... painted a small painting of the scene that was part of my great-grandfather's land, years ago. We delighted in the sounds and feel of the countryside, punctuated with sounds and antics of some birds and cattle.
By 8 a.m., we went back to town and settled in to Mud Creek Pottery where potter, Sonny Moss, had doughnuts and coffee waiting.
We set up equipment and Robin agreed to pose for us. I elected to use my little travel set of watercolors, since we were going to work small. Less to have to get out and put away, I thought.
Others used oils and Robin did some sketching.
One of the resident cats, Sherbet, had a good time, chasing the reflections of Robin's ring and a laser light.
In our painting, we looked for darks, first, rather than line and details. I got in my lights and darks, which led to some form. And, later that night, I added ink lines to more define my figure.
We enjoyed huge baked potatoes for lunch at the sandwich shop on Main Street. They also have an ice cream shop, which looked really good.
Before our food arrived, we sketched and had some lively discussion about art. It turned out that V....was painting me! She said she was studying light and shadow and skin tones, a warm up for the painting she was going to do in the afternoon.
While V.... painted at the Tea, Barbara, Nancy, and I set up our equipment on Main street, on the sidewalk in front of where the drugstore used to be, and painted. Nancy chose to paint the little garden area behind us, while Barbara painted the street and what used to be Ford's Grocery. I decided to use my watercolors again in a small sketchbook, to paint the corner of Cocoamodo and an old movie theatre. (Not the Eloia, but the one where there used to be only a box office and a lot of gingerbread trim. Only the front was left of the building, as far back as I can remember.) My picture became very colorful, and I finished it with ink that night.
Supper was at the Wooden Spoon where I thought I must be going off my diet. I pampered my self with some chicken fried steak, but, I guess my diet is working and I just ate a little.
Barbara and I watched tv and sketched at home while we waited on V.... and Robin.
I would have liked to have seen both the artists paint, but Barbara didn't want to dress up, and I couldn't find decent shoes that fit me and would go with a dress. Later, we felt that we should have gone!
But, thankfully, both V.... and Robin have posted pictures of their paintings on their blogs.
Sunday was another beautiful day. We had kolaches at Zamykal Gourmet Kolaches, then went for a ride west of town, looking for possible painting locations. I took some photos and Barbara would ask why I was taking certain photos. I told her that something used to be there. I thought that, I could do one of my memory works, and use the photo for inspiration or to show me what the land and trees were like, although buildings might be changed now.
That wound up our painting weekend, as everyone went on their separate ways home.
Both V... and Robin did some spectacular paintings for the auction. You can see their work on their blogs. Just google V....Vaughan and Robin Cheers.
I hope that they enjoyed the weekend as much as we enjoyed having them in Calvert. They are very nice, fun, and talented ladies.
For those who missed the workshop, I don't know when they might come back, for sure. But we are thinking about doing this again. Hopefully, more people will be able to come next time. So, if you are interested, be sure and let the artists know, and let me know, too. Leave a spot on your calendar! I'll let everyone know as soon as something is set.
Thanks for coming, Robin and V...., and Nancy too! And thanks for being "the innkeeper", Barbara! And thanks to Robin and V.... for that great, sweet treat!
Friday was also homecoming at CHS. (Calvert High School). We drove by the football game and saw that the Trojans were beating West Columbia Charter school by over 50 points. Barbara said that she got to see the Homecoming Parade in downtown Calvert, early in the afternoon, before she picked me up.
Congratulations to the Trojans for their homecoming victory!
Get well wishes go out to Barbara, as she has surgery and recovers. Hope you get over this quickly, with no pain!