I’m not in Rochester to paint but to sell a house. Still, when the opportunity presents itself, I can’t resist.
Patricia McDermond is the current chair of New York Plein Air Painters (NYPAP). She got a message from a Rochester-based painter asking if there was a chapter in Rochester. That’s embarrassing, because it’s where I lived for twenty years, but there is none. I’m a member of the Lower Hudson Valley chapter.
However, some of my former students have been meeting weekly to paint. “Why don’t we introduce Nicole to them, and maybe they can form a chapter,” I suggested to Patricia. Which we did, and they did, and we all got together last Friday to paint at Genesee Valley Park.
This group doesn’t have a name yet, and they’re still trying to figure out how to organize, but since they’re working to enlarge an already-existing painting group, I don’t see them having much trouble.
And they already have a group show penciled in, over the holidays at the VB Brewery in Webster.
The goal of NYPAP has never been to be a formal, dues-paying, structured organization, but rather a way to channel people into groups that they can paint with. I’m no kind of social organizer, but I’m mighty chuffed to play a very tiny part in the organization of this group.
I shipped my paints and easel to Rochester before I left Maine for Alaska. They sat in a carton for weeks before I got the paints out and into a cooler place. I hadn’t actually gone through them to see what I’d remembered or forgotten.
I need to know this because I’m flying to NYC in less than two weeks to participate in Rye’s Painters on Location. While I know my pals will loan me anything I forgot, it’s best to not tax their generosity too much.
Turns out, I had more or less everything I needed—except a canvas and viable paint. Nina Koski gave me a painting board, already toned.
Everything on my palette was rock-hard; the pillbox was only slightly less horrible. I tell students not to try to reconstitute hardened paint, but since I had nothing else with me I tried it anyway.
So I sat on a park bench on a lovely late-summer day, chatting with my pals and scraping out my palette. Then I poked at the paints in the plastic box with a scraper until I came up with a “rather limited palette” that worked. The result wasn’t even half bad.
I’m back to scraping woodwork, but so refreshed by my day off.