After dinner, I unpack all artwork from the car and begin to organize in anticipation of the paint out and exhibit this weekend. Our dear family friend, Janii, comes over and gives me bunches of ammunition as where to paint at Lake Wawasee, as she grew up there and it was old stomping grounds for her.
On Friday, I spend a couple of hours exploring the lake; I find the unique and matchless iconic bar and restaurant, The Frog, as well as The Sleepy Owl, and the Pointe Brooke Inn, where I happen on Mary Ann Davis from Indianapolis checking in. Quick hugs and inquiries as to where she plans to paint; she is thinking lagoons and lily pads. Continuing around the lake I find some cool old barns, snap some photos for reference, but then stumble unto the shuttered and derelict Crow’s Nest Yacht Club. This is for me.
Without hesitation, I pull my car up and begin unloading gear. Despite the oppressive heat - over 100 degrees - I am having a great time the next two or so hours knocking out a cool little painting, 11x14” of the backside of the yacht club – the door is entirely off its hinges and leaning against the jamb, large hand spray-painted letters warning “No Trespassing,” and “Keep Out.” So, of course, I venture in for a look-about where I find old discarded boats and canoes, even a bathroom sink or two and old toilet basin. The old Yacht Club has seen better times.
Pleased with the painting but ready for a beer and some a/c, I head to The Frog. Beer in hand but still wired, I want to paint; I ask the manager if I can set up and paint in the bar. Answer is affirmative and out comes the gear.
I am near a ceiling fan and a/c and a beer comes to me like magic almost every half hour. I decide to commit myself to staying here in this spot for three days, drinking Newcastles, in my mind I tell the manager that I am happy to close up the place at night, will sleep on the pool tables. Don’t need to really be back in Chicago till we start rehearsals again for “SS! Taming of the Shrew” at Chicago Shakespeare in two weeks, I start to do the math: how many Newcastles is that every half hour for the next two and a half weeks?
Two hours later (that is four beers) I have a fun little painting and have had a lot of conversations, people continually coming up to me. Time to get back to Ft Wayne and some dinner.
On Saturday, another brutally hot day, couple of hours of painting, this time on the south side of the lake, and a cocktail and pizza mixer for all of the attending Indiana Plein Air Painters (IPAPA) at Brooke Pointe. Our gracious hosts, George and Peggy Rapp, have invited the artists to their lovely home on Waco Drive for more drinks and viewing of fireworks from their lakefront and pier. A tour of their home includes viewing an incredible art collection. All the usual suspects there, my new buddies, Mary Ann Davis, Jeff Klinker, Donna Shortt, and Andrea Bojrab and her husband, Fred.
Andrea and I had painted together during her workshop in Leo/Cedarville, IN, last fall. She did a great painting of me at the Chicken Coop which I then bought from her so as to include in the solo exhibition in Ft Wayne this past January; the project was whimsically titled “The Prodigal Son Returns” and included a five-week solo exhibit of over fifty works, which kicked off with a presentation of the one-man theater piece, “Barrymore’s Ghost” in which I appeared as the inimitable and legendary actor, John Barrymore.
At Pointe Brooke, I was pleased to meet in the parking lot as I approached the entrance the astronomically talented painter, John Michael Carter, and his wife, Barbara. There are a tremendous number of his paintings on display at the Rapp home in their stunning collection. Wow and wow, is all I can say.
Sunday is an exhibition of works from each artist at the South Shore Golf Club. I have approximately a dozen pieces and am very pleased when the 11 x 14” “Old Barn, New Harmony, IN” sells. Good. I can fill my gas tank to return to Chicago after all. I will have to forego the two weeks’ worth of Newcastles, but I think that’s okay.
As my mom and sister, Tina, have come up to see the exhibit, we head to The Frog for lunch. It is nice to relax and visit. Back to Ft Wayne, pack up the car and head for Chicago. A good weekend. Yep.