Is there such thing as TOO MUCH inspiration?!!
Today the kids decided to spend the rainy day at the train museum with Dad, so I took a solo trip to an art exhibit called "Art in the Barn". It is a juried exhibition put on by the local land conservation group Essex County Greenbelt. There was lots of wonderful local art hung in two barns on the property of the beautiful Cox Reservation. I enjoyed the exhibit - especially some beautiful pastel landscape work and some stunning bronze sculptures. One thing I realized while looking around was the importance of good framing - some of the paintings were really elevated by their framing, other times beautiful work was somewhat brought down by a poorly made or mismatched frame. I know framing is an area where I could use a lot of work!
The reservation itself was gorgeous, even in the rain. They have trails leading out to the Parker River and all kinds of views through fields and salt marshes. I didn't walk out very far beacause of the weather, but I kept thinking at every turn "oh, I have to paint that", "oh, I have to paint THAT". I think I will be re-visiting the place in more agreeable weather!
After I got my car unstuck from the muddy field that was being used for parking, I headed for one of my favorite shops....kind of a junk shop I guess you would call it. Not really an antique store, though Essex is full of those, this has some antiques, some treasures, and a lot of STUFF crammed into an old building. It is fun just to pick through...you never know what you will find! They really know their stuff there, so it is not like you will find some great bargain, but I enjoy just looking and occasionally finding a great still life prop. Today nothing in my (very meager) budget jumped out at me saying "paint me!", but the true treasure trove was the time I spent outside taking pictures. I spent the longest time taking pictures of the architectural salvage and other junk they had outside the building. I kept expecting someone to run out and yell at me, but I guess they decided the crazy lady taking pictures of their junk in the pouring rain must be pretty harmless.
Even the drive home was full of great scenery, interesting buildings, lovely fields. It was all I could do to keep from pulling over every few hundred yards to take more pictures. Even the houses were fascinating. It was like being in a heightened state of awareness...everything looked so interesting, and so paint-worthy. Maybe it was the rain, making the colors a little more vivid, or maybe I just need to get out more......