|At the Swap Meet|
by Jane McElvany Coonce
I want to thank all of you that came to the Northern Virginia Art Center to see the paint-in. I started a city scene in oil, and I'll put it up as soon as it is done. I got a good block in, but it's hard to work fast when you are also talking to all the visitors. It was fun, and I hope we do it again. It brought in a lot of lunch-time visitors.
The painting "At the Swap Meet" was done from a photo I took in Missouri. My friend, Dianna, took me outside of St. Louis to a swap meet. If you've never been to a swap meet, it's a really interesting experience. It's like a gigantic yard sale in the middle of nowhere with not only people's junk, but also their chickens, peacocks, doves, turkeys and other assorted animals. This little Amish boy was kneeling down and looking at the birds. I loved how the light hit his hat and he stood out so clearly against the red trailer.
I started this as a demo in my Adult Ed class, and I didn't think it was going to turn out. But I took it home and worked on it some more, and I think it's captured the essence of that swap meet scene.
The most interesting thing about a swap meet is the people who attend. I felt like I was a person examining all the "interesting animals"at the zoo. The people that attended could have given me the idea for 100 more paintings. The hardest part was taking their pictures without them noticing. I got caught a couple of times and received some rather dirty looks. It was still great fun, and I even got a few bargains along the way.