Friday, July 3, 2009

Marin County Fair - Plein Air Event

Marin County Fair - Plein Air Painting Event
by Christin Coy on 7/3/2009 12:23:21 AM
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The Marin County Fair opened yesterday with beautiful weather and a big crowd. It was my first time participating in the Marin Arts Council's Annual Plein Air Event held at the fair grounds. We had an orientation meeting and the official stamping of the canvases at 10 A.M. followed by a group photo of all the participating artists, 35 strong.

Next we all scattered to find our inspiring painting locations. Wow, what an overwhelming place the Fair
was. There were bright colors bursting out everywhere, a real feast for the eyes! I went hunting for the perfect spot in the shade where I could paint some of the brightly striped tents with all the venders selling their wares. It took some walking around until I found the spot that met all my criteria. It was under a tree in the amusement park area with lots of kids everywhere. The first day of the fair kids under 12 got in free. Several of the young kids came over to see what I was doing and many of them said that they also loved to make art. I was having a great time in the midst of all the excited crowds, it really felt like summer!

I finished my first painting, then took a break for lunch. It was 2 P.M. and I had time for another attempt before we had to turn in the paintings to be judged at 5 P.M. I decided to stay put since I was all set up and still had shade from the little tree I huddled under. This time I painted a long horizontal with yellow, red and blue striped tents. When I was done, I really needed a break and to sit down and put my sunglasses back on. My eyes were pretty tired after hours of painting.

All the artists lined up their paintings inside the exhibition hall and left the judges to their business of selecting their favorites. After an hour they announced the winners, starting with merit awards and so on. To my unexpected surprise the last painting I completed, "Red, Yellow and Blue", won 2nd place!
The evening was topped off with some of the most spectacular fire works display that we had ever seen.

If you go to the Marin County Fair this 4th of July week-end make sure you stop in at the Exhibition Hall that has all the flower and plant displays. In amongst the plants you'll see lots of newly completed plein air paintings on display. Have fun!