Monday, May 2, 2016

"Working" for the Weekend

"Good Morning, Church Road" (oil on panel, 14"x18")
by Patrick Saunders. Photography by Saunders Fine Arts.
At 4am, the alarm started screaming. I lay in bed considering 5 more minutes of sleep, but knew if I did, I would never make it off the mattress. Kimberly and I both rolled out of bed and quickly gathered our gear. It was day 4 of the Augusta Plein Air Festival, and we had decided the night before where we wanted to be for the sunrise.

It was dark out, but warm for late April in St. Louis. As we drove out to Augusta, the sky began to lighten. It's a beautiful drive through rolling hills on a curvy Highway 94. The morning fog lingers in the wine country valleys revealing only the tips of the trees like rocks in a foamy sea.

We turned onto Church Road and entered Augusta proper, pulling onto a gravel drive next to a rustic barn I'm told has been up for sale for the past 12 years. The sun had yet to break the horizon, and in the dim light we walked around the back, admiring the silhouette of the barn in the soft glow of the sky just before the sunrise. Kimberly helped me get setup and then headed around the barn with her camera to explore and shoot.

Photo by Saunders Fine Arts

I fell in love with the scene. The asymmetrical shape of the building, the offset windows, the hay bales rising out of the tall weeds - even the way the gravel road wrapped itself around the side of the barn created a perfect composition. As I blocked in the dark shapes, the sun rose just beyond, blasting out the tree limbs in the sky. I was lost in the act of painting, and when I noticed Kimberly moving around the property, I could tell that she was wrapped up in her work as well.

Photo by Saunders Fine Arts
It was such a peaceful, warm morning, and a reminder of why we do what we do - finding the moments where we both connect with a scene and make memories that last. Being there at the right time when the light is so perfect is like magic. We both felt it.

Photo by Saunders Fine Arts

Photo by Saunders Fine Arts

The light changes so quickly at this time of day, and in an hour and a half, it was all over. We packed up the gear, and drove back home. It suddenly hit both of us how exhausted we were. That was an intense couple hours of work, and yet we both felt like we had won the lottery.

Find what you love and do it.

- Patrick


video

6 comments:

  1. What an inspiring post and the painting is stunning! It was so nice meeting you on Sunday. (I'm the one from South County) I will keep following you on your blog to see what wonderful adventures you find in your travels.

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    1. Thank you Judy. It was a pleasure meeting you as well. I'm sure our paths will cross again.

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  2. Wow, you nailed it, not only with the painting, but with the photography and your words. Great job.

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  3. Great post, Patrick. You and Kimberly are very talented and both of you produced wonderful work that morning in Augusta.

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    1. Thank you John. We very much appreciate the compliment!

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