Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Kingsley Plantation!

What:   Plein Air paint-out
When:  January 6. 2018, 9 AM to 1 PM
Where: Kingsley Plantation, 11676 Palmetto Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32226

Wow, Do we have a treat in store for us! I had never been to Kingsley Plantation before until today, and what a gorgeous place it is! It's located on Fort George River up near Little Talbot Island, among stunning low country salt marshes.

As you turn off the main road you go miles down a narrow paved road, which then turns into an even narrower dirt road. It's quite remote, but as the park ranger said, its very remoteness was probably what saved it when many other former plantations and older homes were razed to make way for modern development.

But all along the road there are glorious views of the marshes, any of which could probably make wonderful paintings. 

Alas for the most part there is nowhere to park and set up to paint. But as you can see, there is very little traffic so nothing to stop you from pausing to take some reference photos.

But after miles you come to the grounds of the plantation, where the first buildings you see are the remains of the old slave quarters. Kingsley Plantation was one of those old southern estates that relied heavily on slave labor, so much of the history, as now told, revolves around this sad trade.

The estate itself  faces out over the river where it picks up lovely cool breezes coming off the water, a great feature in the pre-AC days.

But if they are *too* cool there are places one can step to break the force of the wind.

And from the grounds there are almost uncounted wonderful spots to set up and paint.

 It appears there was some hurricane damage, but for the most part it all looks safe and restored for visiting public at this time. I think we will have a fabulous time.

A few notes to keep in mind:

1) There are restrooms at the Visitor's Center adjacent to the plantation house, but there are no picnic facilities. I spoke to the park ranger who said we are perfectly free to picnic on the grounds, as long as we don't block the view of the plantation house itself, as of course it's a photo op for many - so if we picnic we would need to bring blankets, folding chairs, etc. Alternately, she told me, we could drive 5 minutes down the road to the Ribault Club which has a public covered picnic pavilion by their boat ramp.

2) Remember, it will be **January**. It was 63 degrees when I was there today, but I quickly felt chilled to the bone from the stiff breezes coming in off the river. We know how trustworthy the long range forecasts are, but as of today the Kingsley forecast for January 6 shows a high of 59, so even chillier than today. So plan to dress warmly! I'm sure right now that I'll be wearing warm socks and my down vest, and maybe even gloves. Keep an eye on the forecast. And the ranger even said there is usually about a 4-5 degree difference just between the riverfront and the parking lot/slave quarters. I could feel it myself. So step away from the river to paint if you are too chilled. 

But I'm looking forward to the day. I can't believe I never was here before. I look forward to going back again in a couple weeks, and in seeing you all there.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Debora Stewart - the new year is here soon

Welcome to December fellow pastelists! Upcoming in January is our exciting workshop with Debora Stewart. Today is our deadline for member-only sign-ups and we still have a few openings available. We will be sending out notifications to non-FPCS art groups now.

Debora is a Signature Member and a Master Pastellist of the Pastel Society of America and a member of the Master's Circle of the International Association of Pastel Societies. She is also the author of a Northlight book titled Abstract Art Painting: Expressions in Mixed Media and a series of videos on abstract painting from Northlight TV.

"I teach workshops for artists in abstraction throughout the U.S.  My pastels and paintings are available through galleries in Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois." 
Take the mystery out of abstraction and add excitement to your work with a step by step approach to developing abstractions.  Begin by adding excitement to your work with energetic, expressive exercises designed to help you tap into your intuition.  
Then you will move into creating abstract compositions and color studies from a variety of source materials.  Expert techniques to help you develop underlying structure with underpainting and use of pastel ground.   
Next you will take abstract concepts and apply them to realistic subjects like figures, flowers and landscape.  
Become energized!  Discover a sense of adventure and freedom in your work!  The workshop structure includes warm up exercises, demonstrations, short lectures, individual guidance plus some fun group activities.  
Note that the member price is $250 but the non-member price is $285, yet for a mere $30 you can join the FCPS (a payment this month takes you through all of 2018) and get the membership price - a $5 savings.

For $30, you get so much!  First, you get to hang out on a monthly basis with some really great people!  You also have the opportunity to participate in shows sponsored by IAPS and other IAPS-related pastel societies, you get informative meetings with demos and discussions that cover all sorts of pastel/art related topics.  Your membership allows you to be first-in-line for the top notch workshops we offer and it also gives you a chance to participate in our annual Members' Show. 

We have a non-juried member show coming up in January, and our annual juried show later in the spring, and stay tuned for even more info!

Every other month, you'll get the opportunity to plein air paint at various locations around the Jacksonville/St. Augustine area. Wow! That's a LOT for $30!