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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. 
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Plein Air & Custom Sketchbooks

I cut a bunch of 100% cotton paper and divided it up into 1 inch thick stacks, took it to Fedex/Kinkos and had it bound into sketchbooks.  I got the idea from a discussion on Plein Air Artists .
They have coil binding and simple black covers.  The paper is Rives BFK 140 lb, Somerset 140 lb,
and Fabriano Aquarelle 90 lb. 
The sizes range from 6×12 to 9 x12 depending on the paper I had around.  I had 7 of these bound for about 5-6 dollars each not including the cost of the paper. 
Here’s a sample of what I did on one of the pages. Its a 6×12 sketch on the Rives.
 
Here’s what the sketch would look like if I decided to cut it out of the book and frame it. These books make it so easy for me to just pick up and go paint something.  It keeps it casual and immediate and I might just end up with a sketch I like.
And as for what is happening in plein air …these blooms are right outside my studio, this is what has happened these last few days after warm weather came to Maine !