Haven't gotten a whole lot of painting done in the last few days, but hope to remedy that this weekend in Annapolis. I'm going up to participate in the Mid Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association paint-out that is running concurrently with the Paint Annapolis competition. Paint Annapolis is an annual juried competition, also spearheaded by the MAPAPA. 30 artists who have been selected by a jurying process compete for prizes by painting en plein air over a long weekend around the historic section of town near the harbor. I have not been one to apply for many competitions and I missed the deadline to apply for this one. Up to now, I guess competitions haven't really been on my radar. I don't really consider myself to be competitive in nature and the thought of "performance painting" just seemed like more stress than fun. On the other hand, aside from the opportunities they offer, there is a lot to be said for immersing yourself in a community that is welcoming to artists, where the focus is just painting, painting, painting.
There is certain energy you get from working with other artists in a group setting that encourages and inspires, and makes you want to do more and do better. That is the experience I have had with workshops, whether I've been leading them or taking them. And while accolades and prizes are nice, I suspect this is the real appeal to the paint outs and competitions for many plein air painters too.
This is what I had in mind when I registered for the paint out. Since up to now I've been a pretty inactive member of the MAPAPA, I figured this would give me a chance to do something with the group, as well as to see what the Paint Annapolis event is like from the inside, without the added pressure of competing. I also love Annapolis and have always wanted to go and paint there. I am supposed to have free high speed Internet access at my hotel, so if all goes well, I will blog about my experience while I'm there.
The weather is looking promising, and I'm excited about the trip. Still, the event probably couldn't come at a worse time for me personally. Moving time is fast approaching, and next week we start breaking ground for the new studio! I told my husband that I couldn't believe I was going to Annapolis with all that we have going on. "I really think I am going insane," I said. He had one word in reply, "...Going?"