Yesterday I went out to Knights Landing, (about 20 minutes Northwest of Sacramento Airport) to do a half-day plein air workshop. It was a free workshop organized by Yolo Arts, a non-profit organization promoting the arts in Yolo County.
The workshop was part of a program called Art & Ag Project which brings together artists, local farms, and the community at large. They put together events where artists can take workshops and paint on some of the beautiful farms in the area, of which there is no shortage in Yolo County.
My little workshop was at the River Garden Farms, one of the large scale farms in the area. I had gone out there last week to scope out the scene and picked out a great old tractor. Unfortunately it wasn't in an ideal setting for a workshop so I asked if it can be moved to somewhere else on the farm.
Luckily, they were able to accommodate us and place the tractor right in front of an old building, where it would be in full sun with a simple yet compelling background. And more importantly the students and I could be situated in an open shade during the demo.
The reason why that was so important wasn't so much that I'd have a harder time seeing my panel and palette in the sun, but the forecast said it may go up to 109F!! I wouldn't want anyone suffering from heat exhaustion on my watch!
It was a good thing that the workshop was only half a day and it never got that hot thanks in part to a nice constant river breeze.
One new experience for me was that my demo was filmed. Yes, this time we had a videographer, and I had to wear a microphone. Despite many requests for instructional videos in the past I'd never done it before because I don't particularly like my video presence, but I must have been baking in the heat yesterday and I consented. We'll see how it turns out. It isn't really a full-on instructional video, but it'll be used I think, to promote the program. I'll let you know when it shows up on the internet. Or not. If I look like an idiot, you won't be hearing about it from me.
Anyway, the demo was a fun one. I enjoyed painting the old tractor, and as the compositional set up was straightforward, it went very smoothly. I'm happy to say it was one of those no-struggle demos.
I would love to do an extended (3-day?) workshop at some point on these farms in Yolo County. Who knows, it may happen in the not-so-distant future. If you're interested, keep your eyes on this blog!