Day 4 – Mackie House. Visitors

Well I am glad I prepared the night before for my morning painting on the lawn and demo set up on the porch. I was painting at 8 am and they started arriving right at 9:00. Thankfully Christine (house manager) was here and welcoming in her gracious manner (she is also an artist and knows most of them) made us a huge pot of coffee – the fuel of all creative function.

Not quite like a typical “paint-out”  this felt a lot more like a demo – but I feel it is my place as resident artist here to educate and inform – and spread the gospel of plein air ;-) so I don’t mind being observed and answering questions. I have been teaching so long – that’s just what I do.

for NEWBIES:  Normally a “paint out” is a meet up and opportunity for like minded artists to hang out together. A set time & location – and then everyone spreads out and works. Some folks sit near, some far. And there is some protocol. It is not a free teaching session, or question period.

If they meet regularly, usually there is some format to stop for lunch at a certain time. Some groups show & display their results at the break, some do not. The break is a good time for questions, to investigate other equipment, materials and painting practice

If you are new to a group or join a new gang on your travels – just ask one of the regulars what the routine is.

  • If someone is already set up – ask if they mind you setting up nearby, especially in front or within their view.
  • While they are working – a couple of walk-by’s with comments on the aspect or progress would be reasonable. A running dialogue of commentary is a bit much.
  • If you find yourself standing watching another artist paint – ask if they are comfortable with that. Some are teachers like myself and may not mind – but keep in mind that is their paid job and they are choosing to have a break from it and just relax & enjoy a day out painting.
  • Keep the questions few & relevant. I myself don’t come all the way to a paint-out to hear about someone else’s health or family issues.
  • Don’t consistently borrow stuff. Experienced artists make an effort to plan for their paint-out.


Now these ladies for instance – are having WAY too much fun ;-)
Ann Willsie (Lake Country) and Linda Wadley (Vernon) Both working in oils on large canvas enjoyed the garden views around the side of Mackie House. There were about 8 artists altogether, sketching and painting on the grounds. I continued with a demo at 11:30 (inside the porch)  to demonstrate how I start on location, we sat outside in the sun eating our very informal lunch and Christine gave a quick house tour before more visitors arrived for the artist reception.
I gave an impromptu spiel about myself, the intention of the residency and my work experience. And then we had lovely tea & scones & treats. Little dainty china cups and plates…pinky’s UP everyone!

day4_jan-site day4_lilacsBhousebhouse 2 lores

“Birdhouse Lilacs #2”   9×12 Acrylic on panel



Ann Willsie – working in Oils on location


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