Comedy of Errors

“Chelllis Farm – Sunflowers” — plein air field study on board in oil – 8 x 16′ – by Margie Guyot
  1. I’d forgotten my turpentine
  2. I’d forgotten papertowels
  3. I’d forgotten to bring my most favorite, essential colors
  4. I’d forgotten to bring a trash bag

Ever have a day like this? And I’d been so smug this morning. Last night I’d packed gear into the truck. Alas — a double-check this morning would have been wise.

My friend Agnes joined me today to paint at the Chellis Farm, just west of Ellsworth. Every time I drive past that place, I oooh and ahhh at their gorgeous flowers. So today Agnes and I had permission to come and paint. Which almost didn’t happen. Agnes let me share her tiny can (about 4 measly ounces, I swear!) of turpentine. She gave me some paper towels. We’d both planned on painting, but she realized she’d left her paint palette at home! Nevertheless, she seemed to have a good time, walking around, enjoying the flowers, taking reference photos and talking to one of the farmer’s daughters.

I was about halfway into painting when I realized I was in extremely short supply of some of my “most essential” colors for summer. Could I squeak it out by some miracle? I felt guilty about using her turpentine. I was super-fastidious about wiping my brush clean before befouling her turpentine. And the sun — a scorcher! I’d parked my easel next to a grove of tall sunflowers for shade, but it didn’t help much. A Sahara Desert experience. But I was determined to do this painting. Lesson learned: double-check everything! Always.

What else could have gone wrong? Well, Agnes lost her phone….

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