Ault Park, 6"x6", oil on panel © 2014 Terri Schmitt
Last week, I went out with the South West Ohio Plein Air Painters who meet on Thursdays from April to October. We gather at a scheduled location every week. This week's spot was Ault Park, right up the street from my home.

I hauled my easel, palette and folding table to a location just overlooking the manicured lawns, beneath the pavilion. In a few hours I had this 6x6 oil painting of my view. It was great to be outdoors again. I enjoyed a nice lunch in the shade, joined by some new friends.

Being mid-April, you might have thought we would catch the cherry trees in full bloom! Oh no, not this time. A cold snap (followed by heavy rain) took most of the blooms down just days before we got there. There's always next year! The canna flowers in the urn are my addition. Currently, the urn is empty!
On Sunday, I spent a couple of hours with a good friend of mine who loves to do collage art. She brought her magic suitcase full of papers, stamps and paint. I provided more paper, glue and ribbon.

To begin, we did a "warm up" of several 1-minute collages. (You would be surprised how few pieces you can select, cut and glue down in one minute.) My first few attempts were pretty ugly and stressful. My friend had great success, but she's had some practice. It was funny because we both squealed at the sound of the timer counting down the seconds. After the warm-up, we each created several pieces.
The pieces shown above are three of mine that I found to be most successful. (They took more than 1 minute!) The first one with the apple incorporates painted doily and chinese origami paper, also scraps of metalic gold paper. The second mixes an old lithograph with a page from a Boden catalog, stamping and frayed ribbon. The third is my favorite for it's mix of red, gold and green. Lipstick pink is awesome. Happy spring!