Choosing Where to Set up for Painting on Location
Watercolour by Eileen Gidman
'Getting Married in a Month'
To give you an idea about how a painter chooses what to paint, the above painting was the last painting I did on an artist retreat that I, Eileen Gidman took to Quadra Island with a fellow artist, Karen Arrowsmith. That Friday morning, I hoofed my suitcase of painting supplies and my folding chair with side table about a 1/2 kilometer up the hill to the top of the road from us. I had been getting a view each time we drove back to our cabin that was above the bay looking through the houses to the marina. After looking for just the right place, for whatever reason, it just wasn't what was in my heart to paint that day, so I hoofed it a little farther up the road. I could see the store by that time so I hoofed it a little farther there to pick up some bread for lunch. I probably looked like a homeless person by that time as I carried my case, loaf of bread and chair with me.
In order to find that perfect stop, I decided to head down by the Herriot Bay Inn and look at the bay from there. At that time, I was still thinking of capturing a beachside cabin with the bay view. As I limped along the path above where the tide comes in, by that time using my chair like a cane, I paused at a bench and surveyed the scene below. There were these two small, new, and colourful watercraft amongst all the big sailboats and older dories.
The colours and water reflections grabbed me. The story I was trying to convey with this painting became even more special when a young man that had obviously been watching me paint, as he walked back and forth on the ramp beside me, stopped and said to me, "They are getting married in a month." At my puzzled expression, he said, "The owners' of those two boats are getting married in a month." I liked to think the specialness of that scene was what had me stop, after hoofing it around for so long, looking for the just the perfect last painting spot.