The watercolor workshop at Maryhill Museum would have done the Queen of Romania proud. I’m sure even Queen Marie would have loved to have been there. We had lots of energy and creativity in the air and the two days were perfect for painting outside…en plein aire. The weather was warm and beautiful. Oh, just a passing word about painting outside. It’s very different from painting inside. The hotter temperatures really change the drying time of the paints. The wind can be a bit of a problem until you get used to it and know what to expect. Dragging all the painting supplies around, especially for the first time (before you learn to streamline what you bring) can be a real pain. Finding the right place to paint, in the sun, out of the sun, in a chair, at a picnic table or our on the ground atop a blanket are all decisions that have to be made before you even think about painting. In addition, Maryhill has one thing other places don’t…that is lots and lots of peacocks. At first they’re cute and brightly colored and beautiful, then as the time passes and they see you will pay attention to them or make eye contact with them or that you have anything resembling food they will pester you, steal your erasers and make the loud crazy sounds they are so fond of. I found out a lot about peacocks this weekend. They can sound like a baby crying loud, a cat caught in a tree, someone calling for help or just a creepy loud sound that just makes the most fearless of us jump. They don’t like silver cars…who knew? The sound of car alarms or honking drives them crazy and little children (or adults for that matter) shouldn’t feed them. They can be very aggressive when they encounter food especially at their level. One poor little toddler was bitten while we were there. Her parents packed up their lunch fast and headed toward the doctor. We figured at least five stitches. The peacocks have been around since the seventies I think. No, I don’t think Queen Marie had to deal with them. They are a source of controversy but I have to say their colors are beautiful. They are beautiful aggressive creatures. Their legs have sharp talons on the back of them sort of like emus. (Those people that read my posts know how I feel about emus.) But let me tell you when the males are illuminated with direct sunlight the colors are indescribable and unforgettable.
On Sunday everyone worked hard and then about 1:00pm Valerie’s boyfriend surprised all of us with a Champagne brunch for her birthday. It was delicious. We shared all sorts of gourmet foods, had Champagne Cocktails and enjoyed each other’s company. Some of us went back to work but Valerie, Sonja and Nancy continued to party until the end of the day. It was so much fun. Some good work came out of the workshop too. I have a few photographs but didn’t get all of the shots I wanted.
So that’s the workshop. Check out some photos and the good work. Thanks to all of my students who made it such a great weekend.
My next workshop will be at The Dalles Art Center July 25th and 26th from 11:00am until 4:00pm. Contact Carmen at the center to sign up. I’ll write more about this workshop later.
Oh, one last scary and weird thing. There was a murder here in Timber Valley last week. I don’t know all of the details yet but I’ll be checking out facts and rumors as I find them out. The murder took place about a mile from where I live. Lots of woods to hide in if you don’t want to get caught. It’s usually very peaceful up here so it was unexpected to see all of the Klickitat County Sheriff cars coming and going. I guess we can call it Law and Order Timber Valley!