Saturday, May 2, 2015

Van Wilgen's Garden Center -- May 2014

Greetings to All,

We had seven painters and one supporter/cheerleader for a beautiful morning of painting at this splendid garden center on a day that was supposed to be mostly cloudy but which turned out to be mostly sunny. After a long photo session for me and then some extended chatting with Jay and Betsey, Jay, Silvia, Betsey, and I set up near the front entry, among the colorful annual offerings. Judy headed for the koi pond, and I'm guessing from her beautiful painting that she has been channeling, studying and practicing koi. Hans and Dorothea arrived a bit later, and Hans set up for a distant perspective on the barn, while Dorothea cheered all of us on. Julia arrived very late and joined the cluster near the front.

But this place has so much more than what we painted, as you will see from the photos. I hope we will have the privilege of going back to paint again later this year.

After our wrap-up, most of us headed to G-Cafe Bakery in Branford Center for lunch. That set up thoughts about next week. The cherries and some apple trees are in full bloom on the green. Remembering what fun that was last year, I have to schedule us to paint in Branford again next week. So far, the forecast looks good. Expect the post on Monday or Tuesday, when we can have better assurance. It looks like there might be some rain in mid-week.

Meanwhile, good luck to all who are entering work in the Madison Art Society Exhibit today! I'm helping to hang the show tomorrow, and I'll hope your artwork will be in the mix.

Also, if you get a chance, you might enjoy the very eclectic first juried show of the year at Essex Art Association, which opened last night. CTSA's own Anne Coffee had three beautiful paintings in the show, one of which - Ribboned Irises - won a prize.  Congratulations, Anne. Six other CTSA members have work in the EAA show - Pam Morgan, Bev Schirmeier, Lois Kenkare, Betsey Evarts, Tom Mayer, and I.


Van Wilgen's Garden Center

Monday, April 27, 2015

Call to Paint -- Thursday, 30 April 2015 - 9 AM

Greetings to All,

We have a new venue this week -- one that will evoke a sense of springtime, in spite of the mostly cloudy forecast. We have permission to paint at Van Wilgen's Garden Center, just about a mile beyond the truck stop at Exit 56 on I-95. The Center has a lot to offer -- a nice barn, plants in bloom and merchandise outside, maybe some tractors, a stone wall and apple orchard across Valley Road, a brook and bridge on the east side of the yard...  You might want to arrive early to leave time to look around and scout out your painting site. This site might even get all you flower painters to come out.

We do need to be sensitive to the fact that this is a commercial operation. We need to stay out of the way and be sure that customers and yard workers are able to move freely through the lanes. Think economy of space as you plan your gear and set up to paint. And please leave the most convenient parking spaces for customers.

Directions below.

I hope to see you there.


VAN WILGEN'S GARDEN CENTER, 51 Valley Road, North Branford, CT 

Northbound on I-95, take Exit 56, and turn left (north) on Leete’s Island Road.

Southbound on I-95, take Exit 56, and turn left (west) on East Industrial Road. The truck stop will be on your left after you make this turn. After 0.3 mi., turn right (north on Leete’s Island Road (Stop & Shop is on your right).

On Leete’s Island Road, stay in the middle lane for about 0.2 miles to the intersection at Rte. 1. Go straight through this intersection to School Ground Road (Chowder Pot Restaurant on your right), and proceed down the hill for 0.5 mi.  At the end of the road, turn right (north) on Rte 139, and then take your next right (east) on Valley Road. After 0.3 mi., Van Wilgen’s will be on your right.

Since this is a business establishment, please be mindful to leave the closer parking spaces for customers. Also, please plan to occupy a minimal footprint when you set up to paint, and stay clear of lanes where the garden center might need to move equipment or customers might need to have access to plants. We are welcome to browse but not paint inside the greenhouse.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Brewer - Bruce & Johnson Marina

Mid-forties is a bit nippy, especially with a 15 mph wind blowing. So I guess I understand where most everyone was this morning. But Sally was out there with me for the first hour -- albeit in a different area. Both of us tail-gated, using our cars to block the wind. But Sally set up in the shade, and I think she may have been getting wind from multiple directions. I found a sunny spot (mindful but not caring that my painting was in full sun) and got pretty good protection. I was able to paint bare-handed, which was fortunate, as I forgot to throw in gloves.

But it was a day for color. I wish we had had more painters to see whether everyone would have gone saturated.

Jay came by -- found me in my obscure corner of the yard -- but he had to work, so he stayed just for a little chat.

Still working on a place for next week. I have one in mind but can't say yet, as it requires permission.


Brewer - Bruce & Johnson Marina

Monday, April 20, 2015

Call to Paint -- Thursday, 23 April 2015 -- 9 AM

Greetings to All,

This is a great time of year to paint in a boat yard. There are lots of boats of all shapes and sizes still on the hard, some still under wraps like giant chrysalises, and others in various stages of readiness for launch. And for a nice range of options, Brewer - Bruce & Johnson's in Branford is a great choice. Then we'll still do Birbarie more than once during the season, also.

I've posted the time for 9 AM, since I expect I'll be there around that time.  If that's not for you, then come when you're ready.  The forecast calls for sun and clouds with temps reaching into the 50's, but with a brisk westerly wind.  The nice thing about this site is that there are plenty of objects to block the wind, and you can always place your car where you need it. On the other hand, with the breeze, it's probably not the best of conditions for having a byo lunch, so I'm listening for suggestions (?Jay?)  Maybe that little breakfast/lunch place in Branford Center? I'm going to need a name.

Check the Directions to Venues page if you have questions.

Also, if you don't have it there already, I suggest you enter my cell phone number in your phone contacts. That way we can spread out and still get in touch if needed.

I'll hope to see you there.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

BACA Paint-Out

Jay asked me to share the following note from him. For full details on the paint-out, follow this link              /j

Dear Artist Friends: I have been working on a plein air event with the newly organized Branford Arts Alliance and hopefully this will turn out to be an enjoyable and  rewarding event for plein air artists. - Jay Babina

Artist Paint Branford – Sat. June 13
(Plein Air painting event downtown Branford, Saturday June 13)
Rain date is the following day,  Sunday June 14. 

On Saturday, June 13, the Branford Arts and Cultural Alliance is sponsoring a plein air painting event in the mid-town area of Branford.  Artists will gather in the morning and paint scenes of the town green, buildings, stores, street scenes and any subjects that would interest you. You can paint any time you want but I know most artists want the morning light. A video crew will be coming around and filming the event and possibly interview artists for the Branford TV station.

Two interesting details to the event:
1. The following week artists can display their paintings in the store fronts along the green. Artist will pay $10 to BACA (Branford Arts arts & Cultural Alliance) and an assigned store will be sent to the artists.
   The artists will drop off their painting for display along with a small easel for the store to use. The painting will be for sale and the store will forward the artists contact information to any interested parties (no commission). Put the price on the back along with contact info or a business card(s).
   Some stores will display one painting and some agreed to support more according to their window space. The painting will be on display for one week which is the week of the Branford Festival which attracts thousands of visitors.

2. On the day of the paint out event, participating artist can display a finished work of their choice at the First Congregational Church on the Green for a one day show. Artists will supply their own stand up easel. (Details for this are being worked on). 

You can paint at the plein air event  for free if you want with no store display intention.
If you would like to participate and be included in the store front exhibition, please send a $10 check made to BACA (Branford Arts & Cultural Alliance) mailed to: 

Frank Carrano
37 Knollwood Drive
Branford, CT 06405

Store front space is limited so please respond ASAP. No refunds for cancellations. 

We’re hoping the success of this event will pave the way for a yearly follow-up event as well as others that bring the arts community into Branford. Its being highly advertised and publicized.

Madison Surf Club - 16 April 2015

Yesterday when I went by the Surf Club to check things out, all was as we have experienced it before, except that there was a chain across the boat launch area and signs saying something like: Access for Boat-Owners only. Well, not quite so friendly as before, but the same views as before, with all the boat racks against the back fence. This morning, I found all the boat racks moved in a circle around the launch area and heavy equipment moving things around. So much of what we had found attractive in that area before was not quite so scenic. The lyrical forms of the snow fence that I was thinking about painting were (are and will be) are blocked by boat racks.

On top of that, noisy workers were repairing the stone steps, and a group of dance-er-cisers were working out to loud music on the sea side of the clubhouse. I guess it can't all be just idyllic.

But eight of us found scenes that we liked, and the weather was about perfect.Judy and Hans found a way into the chained boat launch area, near where I was painting. Cheryl, and Silvia, who we had not seen for a while, painted on the waterfront. Betsey, Denise, and Jay found their muses right at the edge of the back parking lot before the grove. The morning flew by, even for those of us who arrived a little after 9 AM. Of course some of that is just all of us catching up after the relative isolation of the winter months.

Since some of us had not brought lunch, five of us decided to go back to Cilantro's on the Guilford Green, where we continued our chat.

Next week, I'm thinking about a boatyard. Maybe Brewer's Bruce & Johnson in Branford if they will have us.Let's hope for another sunny day.

Madison Surf Club