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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Pastels in Ireland part 2: Let the Painting Begin

'Watch Out for Bees'             8x10          pastel        ©Karen Margulis
available $145
Imagine having the time and freedom to paint all day everyday for a week. Now imagine you are in a beautiful place surrounded by 200 + passionate artists. That's what Art in the Open is like. The first day of painting was on Sunday in Wexford Town. I managed to blog about this day while in Ireland. The second full day and my workshop day was Monday. We traveled by bus to the beautiful Woodville House and Gardens. It was a challenging day for pastels because the weather changed constantly. It went from sunshine to rain to sun and back to rain all day long. I am not exaggerating either!

Woodville House
Woodville House and Gardens is a Georgian Manor house from the 1800's. It is situated on a working farm and features wonderful gardens. I knew we were in for a treat when we got an email the week before the event. In the email 'the good people of Woodville House' wanted to know how many artists would like lunch. I'm glad I said yes because we were treated to wonderful homemade sandwiches and cakes and cookies and tea in real teacups. How civilized!

I love these out buildings!
 I had the morning free before my 2:00 workshop so I decided to paint. The gardens were lovely of course and I really did like the barns and out buildings but it was the field of wheat? in the back that caught my eye.  The field was bordered by weeds and wildflowers and there was a bit of shelter under a doorway. The weather was rapidly changing as the clouds moved in so I knew I had to work fast.

Painting the fields behind Woodville House

5x7 plein air pastel     available $75
I managed to paint three small studies before lunch. I ate my sandwich and drank my fancy tea in the sunshine but as soon as I finished the sky opened up and the rain began. That is when my umbrella got another workout.  It really was the best thing I bought for my trip to Ireland. I almost took a Dollar Tree umbrella but I am so glad I splurged on the fancy one. It opened and closed with the push of a button and the teflon coating repelled the raindrops allowing me to put away a dry umbrella.
I got the umbrella on Amazon here.

The best $21 I ever spent! My fancy umbrella.
 I was getting concerned about my PASTEL workshop in the rain. Where would we go? Luckily there was a small greenhouse/conservatory. I moved on to Plan B. I would just demo for my allotted 3 hours since we wouldn't be able to paint in the rain.  It was a great plan until the sun came out midway through the demo and we all began to roast!  Taking advantage of the sun we all went outside to paint.

Out in the gardens a live model in period costume set up for those wishing to paint the figure. I admire those artists who can paint the live model! There were some very talented artists at this festival. My group spread out to paint flowers....the Landscape in Bloom! Until the rain came back with a vengeance. This was it. I have no pictures because it was torrential rain and I was working at keeping dry!  We all made our way back to the bus for the ride back to Wexford Town. Despite the challenging weather it really was a fun day. It was such a pleasure to share the wonders of pastel with a group of enthusiastic artists!

Painting the live model in the courtyard

Relaxing in the sun.....while it was out!
You can see all of my Ireland paintings in my Etsy shop here: www.etsy.com/shop/karenmargulisfineart

Painting notes:  I was also drawn to the interesting green barns and outbuildings. I usually don't paint structures but I couldn't resist painting from some of the photos I took at Woodville House. There were bee hives in the area where I decided to paint and I didn't know until the gardener pointed them out.....hence the painting's title 'Watch Out for Bees'

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