Thursday afternoon, before the festival began, we decided to drive around the area to see what might be paintable--it seems none of us knew anything about College Park. Even Kippy's son said, "Why College Park?" Our sentiments exactly. I grew up in north Atlanta and knew about the existence of College Park in the south metro area near the airport, but had never been there. Actually, I always smugly dismissed it as being an undesirable area, not really Atlanta.
Again, in my increasing age, I am put to shame for my ignorance. Woodward Academy, an exclusive private school, is in College Park. I got to see its campus. I got to see the adjacent charming neighborhoods with pristine Craftsmen bungalows, manicured lawns, shady wide streets, trendy eateries. I got to meet some of the very content locals. College Park is every bit as desirable a neighborhood as Virginia-Highlands (for those of you who know Atlanta); it's a hidden gem.
And then there were the vibrant artists we met, from Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina and even College Park. Millie Gosch (www.milliegosch.com), a plein air painter with beautiful sophisticated gallery on Main Street, organized the event (I intend to paint with her and get to know her better). The day and a half paint-out culminated in a wet-painting exhibition at the Women's Club just down the road from Millie's gallery. The show was judged by Jim Richards (www.jrichardsstudio.com), who lives in Tucker, Georgia. I'm beginning to think Georgia is a terrific place to be an artist.
I'm slightly embarrassed to say that I won Best of Show. Not deservedly in my eyes, but who's going to argue with the judge? And nobody's taking that blue ribbon out of my hand.
Have I said it enough? I have landed in paradise.
oooh! I forgot to mention...my neighbors George and Mike (the guys that 'planted' vegetables in my garden) and Kathy showed up at the reception, to my delight. Kathy won a 5x5 painting by David Boyd (www.davidboydjr.com) in the raffle, something I would have loved to win myself, since I honestly thought his work deserved the blue ribbon. But he aint gittin' it from me.