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Antique Cars in Plein Air at Par Sem

I was invited to be the artist-in-residence at an antique car show for a museum in Maine. What a delight!  The Parsonsfield Seminary Museum is a treasure.   The place is sublime.
The museum grounds were packed.  It was a perfect summer day. 
Antique cars arrived from everywhere.

The lawns filled with all kinds of cars…

And trucks!

The deep cool shade of the old maples was fully appreciated by the visitors.
The cars of the sixties are very popular among collectors now. 
Hot rods were fancy and in wild colors.
There were over 150 cars all parked in groups of ten year spans. 
This was a new plein air experience for me.  Wow! I’d never see so many antique cars in one place before.  Which ones to sketch?  It was overwhelming.  How to choose? So many great models . So little time! 

This convertible sparkled in the sunshine.  Did I forget to mention these cars are so clean and shiny they look like mirrors?
Here was the first sketch of the day .  I did it in ink and watercolor.  Fast.  Good lesson, I  knew I needed to the do the next ones in pencil so I could correct lines if needed as I was having to move fast and wasn’t familiar with the different lines and shapes.  Plus onlookers gathered fast, even before I could get started. They were interested and excited.  
Next, I decided to just stop, “park” myself in the shade and get going.  Here’s the setup.  The antique cars had complex shapes and curves. 
Here’s the little 1930’s car I sketched. 
I was sketching just across from  the gazebo where a great band was playing. Live music all day!  Imagine an artist in plein air serenaded all day- it was delightful. 
I sketched this car after the owner came and visited with me while I was painting the sleek convertible on the other side of the campus.  What a sweet car! Such personality. 
I stayed in one spot, just kept turning my chair and sketched next car.

Everyone began to gather for the awards ceremony.  
This car won a blue ribbon! The husband of Wendy Newcomb  is the owner, what a blast!  He knew what I was dealing with painting en plein air.
This was the oldest car at the show.  A 1917 Model T.

In late afternoon the museum campus sits with a few cars left after everyone else has headed home.  The only hint of the big event were a few tire tracks left on the grass. 

9 thoughts on “Antique Cars in Plein Air at Par Sem

  1. Wow, that is awesome Mary!!! What a great idea to have an artist there to paint. I’m sure the car owners would want sketches of their cars. Sounds like you had a blast.

  2. Thanks Mary – it was pretty intense. Like, when will I ever see so many unusual cars all in one gorgeous place again?

  3. Great photos and wonderful sketches of the cars… sounds like a fun day.

  4. Thanks Capt Elaine, I really want to try some in oil now!

  5. Mary,

    Thanx for adding to our wonderful day. You were a great asset and appreciated by all.


  6. Mary, Those sketches are just great. I hope people snapped them up. They are all really handsome car portraits.

  7. Thanks Jan- I had a wonderful time.

  8. Marian- thank you! Now I need more time to do car portraits…

  9. Wow! There are lots of vintage cars in your town! I thought I was viewing some 1940’s blog but I was wrong.

    Truly, vintage cars are very elegant and I know most of us want to own one of those cars. In my hometown of Orange County, used car dealers there has a variety of used and vintage cars and maybe I can go there next time for some car shopping.

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