I am one of eight artists selected to participate in The Fields Project in Oregon, Illinois, a nine-day program that brings artists from all over the U.S. to paint the countryside, fostering connections between art and agriculture.
It took me two very long, very hot days to drive here, arriving on Saturday just in time for the welcoming party hosted by the Fields Project committee.I headed out Sunday morning under a slow, cool drizzle, so my painting start was tentative.....a quick study of morning glories followed by a dash back to the car.
The sky stayed overcast, but that just made the greens more intense. Lots of rain in recent weeks has turned all the crops -- mostly corn and soybeans -- shades of emerald and lime. And in the midst of all this: quiet, blessed quiet. The trilling of birds and frogs is the only sound around.
By afternoon the sun came out and sent me seeking shade. Outdoor -- "plein aire" -- painting in the hot and muggy summers they get here in the Midwest can get you stewing in your own juices. Lowden Park, catching the cooling breeze off the Rock River and full of shade and water fountains, was a life-saver.