Superb painter and plein air ambassador Don Cornelius organized a paintout at the Blind Slough Recreation and Picnic site on Saturday specifically to accommodate my scheduled ferry departure to Sitka later that night. He even invited spouses and our traveling companions, Terry & Sue, and everyone brought a potluck dish to make a picnic of it. How could a traveling painter ever feel more welcome!?!?
What the heck is a blind slough (pronounced slew) you ask? Because tides change the water level so drastically here, what appears as a relatively long, narrow lake when the water is high can, in fact, be exposed at low tide as a creek or river. Today we painted at this particular slough at high tide.
Despite the rain, we counted five active easels, an equal number of friends and spouses, and one dog at this fun gathering. Twenty dollars for a rain suit has been one of my most crucial investments for the Inside Passage, and it paid off handsomely in Petersburg, where I’ve also found that a large garbage bag to protect my paint bag, camera and canvas carriers is an essential part of the kit.
Thank goodness there was little wind, because it felt like painting in a shower stall. Unfortunately, Alice’s french easel collapsed, breaking a strut and her umbrella, and bringing out the universal fix-er-up-er that she always carries—duct tape. As you can see, she was still smiling even after her mishap!
Joe Viechnicki, a reporter for the local radio station, brought along his 14-year-old dog, Leia is a gentle soul who decided to hop in the water near Alice and my painting spot. Fortunately, Joe called her away before she did her after-swimming-shake underneath our umbrellas.
John McCabe, an abstract painter and our fire-master, brought plenty of wood, and by noon we were warming ourselves and roasting the hotdogs that Don and Karen contributed. Although it had been a while since Sally Riemer has done any plein air painting, we are glad she ventured out for this event. it was a real pleasure to meet her and her husband, Dave.
My hubby, Dave, even cycled 15 miles in the rain to meet everyone and enjoy lunch. Today has been a wonderful ending to our stay in Petersburg. As I said my goodbyes, Alice exclaimed, “I’m going to keep painting en plein air even when you are gone! This has been so much fun!” I’d like to hold you to that vow, Alice—and, just to let you know you know—it was every bit as much fun for me, too!
Kudos to all of you Petersburg painters! Your dedication to the outdoors and your wonderful hospitality are very much appreciated. Thank you!