Cropsey Community Farm served as the host and inspiration on Saturday for a painting workshop.
It was the first “En Plein Air,” or in the open air, workshop hosted at the farm. The workshop was run by Cropsey Farms Community Supported Agriculture member Sandy Levine, who is also a local artist. Levine said she paints a lot of images throughout Rockland and works with water colors, so she thought it would make for an interesting workshop.
“It seemed like a fun idea and something different to do at the farm,” Levine said. “Hopefully it’s something we can do again in the future.”
Orginally, the day was split into two sessions: a morning session for children and families and an afternoon session for teens and adults. Only a family of four signed up for the morning session, so the two were merged into one afternoon session. Eight people gathered at Cropsey Farm, and Levine led them through a brief lesson on water colors.
She said that since it’s difficult to paint over water colors, pre-planning is very important. She gave everyone scrap paper to pencil in their image before painting it, and said if they plan on having something in the foreground to do that first.
The workshop was centered around the old barn at the farm.
“The barn is such an iconic subject, and this particular barn has been the subject of many paintings over the years,” Levine said. “So it seemed like a good place to start.”
Half of the group painted the barn while others painted a variety of other images from the farm, including flowers and a water bottle standing on a table.
Levine said she might want those from the workshop to bring their paintings back to the farm at some point to hang during events. She added that there were a few reasons she decided to have the workshop “en plein air.”
“It’s great to paint from real life,” she said. “You just see thing differently when you’re looking at them with real light. The objects really are more alive. The farm is just beautiful, and it’s great to document it this way.”