Yesterday, October 27th, was the quick draw in the morning and final turn in of paintings was last night. It is always a flurry of activity. Here is a typical quick draw morning: Get to the site early to scope out your painting spot all the while trying to predict what the sun and shadows will do as time passes, get all your gear set up, run to the car a few times to get the things you forgot, decide on the best composition for the subject you have chosen, at 10 am start painting, talk with all the passersby, bring it (bring all your years of experience to bear in 2 hours), start panicing at 11:30 that you won’t be able to pull it together to meet your inner vision, work through the panic, stop painting at 12 pm, clean up your gear, get to the car and frame your painting, take all your gear and get to the display site by 12:30, and, finally, set up your painting on your easel. Whew, no wonder I am beat.
My experience with the quick draw was even more hectic. I usually reserve my attention the whole morning and afternoon exclusively to the quick draw. But this year, my sister was having surgery and I needed to be checking in and calling my mom, etc. I was distracted by this before the quick draw and chose a spot to paint that, as I got into the painting process, I realized was a mistake. The sun kept inching towards and illuminating my canvas. Painting with that bleaching, glaring light on your canvas is a recipe for disaster. So about 10 or fifteen minutes into the process I decided I had better make a decision and do it quick. Searching around I found no alternative shady spots to paint my chosen scene. What was I to do? Sometimes you can face your canvas towards the light and this is what I did. I turned around, found a beautifully complex backlit scene that I would never have chosen for a quick draw, and proceeded to do just that- draw it and quick. This turned out to be a welcome challenge. It was dangerous. After all, no one wants their quick draw to suck. You only get those two hours. After two hours, brushes down. I like how the painting turned out. Would I have liked to have those fifteen minutes back? You bet! But, as a quick draw, I was satisfied.
Ironically, the winning painting this year was a beautiful Buddha scene by Bill Kuester who was late getting to the judging because he mistakenly thought he had until 12:30 to paint. But, it is a really nice painting and I am glad he won.
Tracey Frugoli’s work can be seen at traceyfrugoli.com.