I had to drive across the Bay Bridge to Easton, Maryland. The bridge would normally make me very nervous, but today was such a beautiful sunny day, it really didn't matter that I wasn't even sure where I was going. All I could think of was the "Quick Draw Competition" I had never had the pleasure to experience any type of art competition and this really attracted my interest and excitement.
My friends Tommy and Matt were already there and set up in a nice place where the shadows cast very good scenes, when I arrived thirty minutes late. They were concerned and glad I arrived safely. I, on the other hand, had become nervous because now I had only ninety minutes to finish my painting from a blank canvas. At first, it seemed almost impossible that I would be able to compete with everyone else. But quickly, my excitement began to return with even more intensity and I really started enjoying the moments. As I was the last to begin, I also was the last to finish. Amazingly, as soon as I displayed my work, a very nice lady appeared and offered to buy my painting. I was so surprised. All I could think to say was "really, are you sure?" I sold my painting.
I'm almost embarrassed to admit this, but as I looked at the other painters' works on display, I felt that mine didn't measure up to the talent of these amazing artist's and their beautiful paintings. It was impressive to see what could be brought to life in just two short hours.
One of the five winners of the competition, Hiu Lai Chong, has her studio near my home in Rockville, Md. I plan to go and visit her soon.
I learned during my participation that there are art festivals and competitions for one whole week in Easton.
Artists from all over the country spend the week painting seascapes, landscapes and architecture from this historic city. Through the competition, awards are given for several categories and the winners are displayed at the Academic Museum in downtown Easton. During the display period, many more tourists, art collectors and buyers visit here.
After the "quick draw competition", Tommy, Matt and I went to the Museum to view the current works of fifty eight winners. Needless to say I was quite impressed with every single painting. I had a really enjoyable time in this lovely little town, and was very happy to be among a broad representation of America's Plein Air Artists.