Little Star goes Plein Air
17 April 2016 | New River, Jacksonville, NC
Sunny but bitter cold wind
As we gear up for the 2016 season, my attentions turned to Sparrow's dink that was passed down from my parent's S/V ARIES.
I have decided to repurpose her to be a petite bateau atelier....a mini painting boat. Last year when we entered our first Plein Air Painting competition I ended up using my kayak, "Magic", a Native Watercraft vessel. But the kayak proved to have space limitations, and I could not set up an easel. Hence the move back to the Little Star. She had been stored beside the cottage for a while waiting for restoration energy to come her way. Seeing how I needed a break from the cockpit project going on Sparrow, and the plein air competitions always give me motivation, I pulled out Little Star and began the sanding and scraping and painting process...and viola....she has such beautiful lines for a sweet little dink.
I tested her out locally to see how she would fair with the extra painting gear aboard. She worked out fantastic! I have room to set up a complete French Easel and Pochade Box and alternate between them. It was so nice to have space to set the water, brushes and paints right there on the wooden thwart seat. I do plan to put down some type of rubber mat for stability. I do know that my pup had a hard time without slipping on the fiberglass.
So on the first day of the plein air competition, after a good many hours of painting, my hands and feet were getting a bit cold. The wind was picking up and I had turned to reach for my pochade box in the bow. As I leaned forward, the Little Star lurched to starboard and SPLASH, overboard went my French Easel, the Pochade Box and my paintings!! I am a firm believer in WOOD...as if I wasn't before. In my state of panic, bringing up the anchor and pulling out the oars as fast as I could, I had forgotten that because they are made of wood and the paintings stretched in wood, they were all floating down river waiting for me to come along side and pick them up. You can never forget your man-over-board maneuvers...they may turn into Art-Over-Board or Easel-Over-Board! Who knows what will happen next onboard the studio boat fleet~