Historic Christ Church and Pony Pasture

The weather yesterday was about as close to perfect as a plein air painter could want. As opening day of the Plein Air Unleashed hosted by the Allure Art Center, I don’t think we could have wanted better. It was sunny, the breeze was not overwhelming, and even in the shade I didn’t need more than a heavy sweatshirt to stay warm. My paintings both got a little coating of pollen and one has the remains of a moth stuck in it, but minor detail… maybe adds to the authenticity of the experience.

First I went to Historic Christ Church. Hard to believe I have lived in the Northern Neck since 1989 and have never visited before. This place is impressive! And interesting. And really tough to paint as it is massive and has some really wild curves in the roof line and windows. But I loved the challenge. My color is off, but I’m happy overall with how the building and the front wall came out. My poor tree disappeared into the trees behind it. Honestly, the background trees really were the same value and color as the main tree I was trying to paint. In any case, I was happy with what has turned out to be a large study.

In any case, the folks who staff Historic Christ Church were absolutely lovely. They came out several times  to check on me and several of them took photos of me working. They let me set up right outside their museum/gift shop and invited me back… even suggesting that I might be able to paint inside the church itself! Anyway, I arrived with another painter here about 10ish and we both wrapped things up just after 1p.m.

After eating my little half sandwich in the car and stopping for bathroom break, I headed over to “Pony Pasture” just down Beach Road in White Stone. The buttercups there are almost as eye grabbing as the canola oil fields up in Northumberland County. There was a great place to pull in and I set up in the shade of a large cedar tree.

Of course two of the ponies came over to see what I was doing and to find out if I had some snacks for them. One in particular really wanted to the focus of the painting and kept standing right in my original view but just couldn’t seem to stand still long enough and finally got bored and wandered off.


I did, in the end, add a tiny pony to the painting:


Going back to the Allure Art Center today and start out again for Day 2. It is supposed to rain this morning but I have a possible plan in mind. Just need to find the right location to paint in the rain.

There are a total of 12 artists from across the state participating. Our work goes on display starting on Sunday through the end of the May. Come out and watch us work and maybe fall in love with a painting for yourself.


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