Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Had a great time plein air painting in Downtown Wilmington!

Bernie on the docks of the
Wilmington waterfront.
A few weekends ago I participated in the International Plein Air Painters (IPAP) 9th annual Worldwide Paint Out. Simply put... plein air artists from all over the world agree to paint on the same weekend to promote the tradition of plein air painting all over the globe. Most of the Eastern North Carolina artists decided to converge on historical Wilmington as our source of inspiration. I painted with several of my pards from the Onslow Outdoor Painters Society (OOPS) plus had the privilege of painting with dear friend, Brenda Behr. Check out Brenda's ponderings and paintings from the weekend HERE.

It was my first real plein air adventure this summer... my brand new French half easel was screaming for attention... I have been spending most of my time with T.S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, John Cheever, radicals, radicands, polynomials, Mendel, Eukaryotes, Genotypes, and Darwin this summer. Full time college and work leaves little time for painting... however, in the absence of painting... Eliot, Hughes, and Cheever have kept me sane... can't say to much for the others... back to the plein air weekend...

I worked on three paintings Saturday (which still need finishing touches) and had a great time sharing time with artist friends, talking to the public, and enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery of Wilmington. I spent the evening pub hopping with my son-in-law and friends which can all attest to the fact that I  paint better than I play pool!

Sunday morning I got up bright and early and decided to set up along the downtown waterfront. It was the 10th anniversary of 911 and I wanted to paint something patriotic so I zeroed in on the USS North Carolina Battleship just across the Cape Fear River. 2011 marks the 50th Anniversary of the ship's arrival in Wilmington. I turned 50 this summer and have included a photo of me. mom, and dad on the Battleship when I was just a baby.

Mom, baby-Bernie, and Dad at the
USS North Carolina Battleship in 1962.
My painting of the battleship seemed to click from the beginning and I was in a pretty good grove when I met the coolest man from Sweden... Anders Persson. We talked and he explained how he and his wife, Marie, had just visited the battleship yesterday and were interested in American history.
My plein air painting of the battleship.

Marie and Anders Persson from Sweden.
Anders bought the painting on the spot saying he wished to take a piece of American history back to Sweden with them. I agreed to the sale under a couple conditions... he let me (#1) add the finishing touches and (#2) he and his wife visit with me awhile. I explained that I wanted them to spend a half hour talking to a regular Joe American so they wouldn't think Lindsay Lohan was the American norm! We had a great visit and I learned some interesting things about Sweden. This was very cool since my wife's great-grandfather was from Sweden. The patronage and visit from Anders and Marie were a double blessing for me and I count this among one of my favorite plein air stories!
Marie and Bernie.

Anders and Bernie.