My week of nervous apprehension about my subject for Quick Draw was realized when I did my practice
painting on Thursday. Despite my working as quickly as possible I was still about 5 minutes over the time on only one hour for the painting. It crossed my mind that I could still change my subject but that was highly impractical since so much effort had gone into my first choice. So I rehearsed the painting once more in my mind, streamlined the techniques,premixed the paints and hoped for the best.
Sat. came and I packed all my gear into the van: overhead mirror, lights, extension cord, one hour kitchen timer and all the familiar watercolor tools.
I set up my table and overhead mirror with everything ready and at hand. The starting whistle blew and I began to paint following the steps as I had planned them. My assistant, Teresa, handled the hair dryer, drying areas for me as I moved through the washes. I had planned to do the painting in three time periods so from time to time I would ask Teresa how much time I had left. I was so efficient that I found that I was ahead of schedule and allowed my self to relax slightly although I was so focused that I didn't hear or see the audience only moving from palette to paper with the brush. To my surprise I was finished several minutes ahead of time! It was exhilarating, nerve racking and fun.
Teresa prepared the painting for the auction as I packed up all the gear. I had drawn the 5th spot in the auction of the paintings. You don't want to be first and you don't want to be last. With a sell-out crowd of about 250 people spirits were high as the professional auctioneer took the mike. My painting was held up as the auctioneer began his pitch. Nine hundred...one thousand...eleven hundred..and finally two thousand dollars. It was the third highest bid for the night!
I'll be back next year!