This morning we met in town and drove out to a private ranch, Stone Castle Ranch on Willow Creek Loop. I wish I could tell you which direction from town (I want to say North). It was a beautiful spread with a majestic view for miles, with only two homes dotted in this vast panorama. I do not remember the names of the owners, but they opened their "castle" home to us, to use as needed, left coffee out for us and gave us the run of the property, all 250 acres or so. There were llamas (or alpacas?) and the cutest little burros. I saw scats from deer, cattle and want I think is wild pigs, if my memory serves me well. I did two wipe offs in the morning, as I was just not getting to where I wanted to go; I broke my cardinal rule: to keep it simple. It was windy and bitter cold with a steel gray sky until mid-morning when the sun started to play peek-a-boo. Most everyone struggled to some degree, although everyone was game.
After lunch in the car, we drove back up to the house and barn area; I set up in the shelter of the outbuildings and Cynthia went to paint another vista through trees in the foreground. I did not wipe this one off. I was starting to warm up.
This evening we had a lasagna dinner at Barbara and Chuck Mauldin's home. They are the couple behind the Plein Air Event here in Fredericksburg and they have done an amazing job. Turns out they were heavily involved with BSA for 17 years, so they know how to keep all of us wayward artists herded, fed and happy. We are probably very easy compared to adolescent boys. Leslie Allen showed us all up by going out on the deck after dinner and doing a quick sunset painting.