Hot! Hot! Hot!

AKA Painting the Los Gatos Plein Air Festival

My panel at the show
My panel at the show

I was honored to once again participate in the Los Gatos Plein Air Art Festival which is sponsored by the Los Gatos Morning Rotary. It’s a plein air event where we have about 4 days to produce paintings which are then sold off Friday night and Saturday. It is also a charitable event as proceeds help local schools and art programs. This show is a little easier as it is local, and I don’t have to travel, plus have the advantage of my home studio for touch-up and framing, etc.

 


Tuesday

Cowell, 16x8, oil on panel, plein air
Cowell, 16×8, oil on panel, plein air

After getting my canvases stamped, I headed to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I had done a redwood scene for the recent Carmel Show, and it turned out well, so I thought I would do one for this show. I love the backlit giant redwoods with light filtering and spotlighting the colorful trunks. I ended up painting in the exact same spot I had many years ago, however did an entirely different scene and canvas orientation. (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—

After finishing up, I still had time to make Hakone Gardens in Saratoga before it closes at 5. I had been doing a Japan studio series, so wanted to put in a Japanese like painting in the show. I also wanted to make it a continuation of my recent vertical water series. Another painter buddy in the show, Mark Monsarrat was there. (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—

Hakone Pals, 24x12,oil on canvas
Hakone Pals, 24×12,oil on canvas

 


Wednesday

The Old Swing, 8x10, oil on panel
The Old Swing, 8×10, oil on panel

Wednesday morning I touched up the prior days paintings, then headed out to Penitencia Creek to a spot I had painted for The Creeks and Rivers of Silicon Valley year long quest a few years ago. The place had totally changed in the last three years! Besides felling some trees, the creek was different, probably because of the record wet winter we just had. The scene I had painted was no longer there! The creek was still there, of course, and flowing well after our wet winter. I did find another spot just up the creek which satisfied my tastes. There was also an old swing, somewhat of a trapeze, which made for a good story. (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—

 


Silicon Valley View, 12x16, oil on panel
Silicon Valley View, 12×16, oil on panel

That evening I went up the hill behind the house and did a nocturne of downtown San Jose and Silicon Valley. I had painted a sunset at this location not too long ago, and it is just high enough to see all the way across the Santa Clara Valley. (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—

 


Thursday

Vasona, 11x14, oil on panel
Vasona, 11×14, oil on panel

Thursday morning I touched up the prior days paintings and then headed back to Los Gatos for a luncheon the Rotary was putting on for the artists. The Rotary always treats us artists well, with receptions, lunches, and plenty of wine! Later in the afternoon, I went to Vasona Park to do the final painting for the show. (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—

 


Friday

Friday morning was touchup and framing time. The empty spot in the lower left of the Hakone painting bugged me a bit, and there were a lot of turtles in the pond, and I wanted more koi…then the thought struck to combine them and re-title the painting. I put the turtle and koi eyeing each other as pals in the pond. Their shadow on the bottom of the pond also gave the water a look of more depth.

My wife also suggested I add some ducks to the Vasona painting, so I put in a Canada Goose, and some goslings, which were all over the place while I was painting.

Ready to hang!
Ready to hang!

Friday evening was a VIP Gala in Los Gatos, so I headed over about mid afternoon to try to beat the Friday rush hour(s). We had to put up our one ‘best’ painting for the event, so I chose the Hakone piece. The gala was at the Los Gatos Hotel. It was outside, and hot, but still had a great time relaxing and chatting with the other artists and collectors. They had a delicious buffet and Hors d’oeuvre, plus plenty of wine! (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—

 


Saturday

Today was the main event where all paintings are put up for sale to the public in downtown Los Gatos at the Town Plaza Park. Crowds seemed a little lighter than past years, probably due to the heat wave. Besides discouraging people to come outside to the park, many in our valley head to the coast clogging up traffic going through Los Gatos. I did sell two paintings, however, so I was pleased about that! (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—

 


All-in-all, the Rotary once again put on a wonderful show, and a great big thanks to them for their work!

Some photos courtesy Ron Lykins.

Cleaned Out!

(AKA 2017 Carmel Art Festival)

Perkins Park, 12x16, oil on panel
Perkins Park, 12×16, oil on panel

 


I have been participating in the Carmel Art Festival annually since 2006. There have been great years where I won awards, had paintings bid up twice my normal prices, and sold everything. I have also had bad years where nothing or very few sold. This year was one of the good years! The weather was great…sunny, however very cool. Enjoy this brief day by day post painting and showing at the festival…

 


Wednesday

I headed to Monterey/Carmel around noon for about the 90 minute drive. After checking into my motel, I stopped by the festival around 6pm to have my canvases stamped. In plein air competitions such as this, you have several days to paint at least two paintings, which are then auctioned off. The festival coordinators stamp the back of the canvas to ensure all work is done in the two days allotted.

After having my canvases stamped, I headed to Perkins Park in Pacific Grove. My plan was this: Since I was having relatives from the Philippines coming tomorrow afternoon to visit, I figured I would start a painting here late in the day, and then finish it tomorrow afternoon where they could easily find me.

I have painted here a number of times in various times of day and vantage points. Its a great spot as the iceplants are in bloom this time of year with their bright pink flowers. The common denominator is all those paintings sold, so why not stick with a good thing! I worked a little over an hour before the sun was too low to continue. (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—

After heading back to the motel to get cleaned up, I finished the day with a dinner at my go-to Indain Restaurant, Ambrosia.

 


Thursday

Vertigo!, 24x12, oil on canvas
Vertigo!, 24×12, oil on canvas

The next morning at the crack of dawn, I headed down the coast. The forecast was to be completely clear.

My morning plan was this: There is a specific cove I wanted to paint in the style of my recent “Vertical Water” series. The cove is on the trail out to Soberanes Point in Garrapata State Park. When I got there, the entire area was closed and a number of crews were working on rebuilding the trails. I asked if I could go out to paint for a few hours and they said no.

Time for Plan B. I went around another trail and found a spot on a bluff overlooking an inlet. You can see Soberanes Point in the background. I worked on the painting for a couple hours, fighting the blustering wind, hoping nothing would blow over the cliff! When I was trying to put in some details, the canvas was buffetting so much, I decided the piece needed to be finished in a more sheltered area. (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—

 


Palo Colorado, 14x11, oil on panel
Palo Colorado, 14×11, oil on panel

Driving a little further south, I took a turn up Palo Colorado Road to get out of the wind. I have been on this road before, but hadn’t contemplated painting there this trip. The little creek was really flowing, and all of a sudden a redwood scene popped up which I just had to paint! It only took a little less than two hours to get most of the piece done, as I have done a number of redwood trees in this style. (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—

I headed back north to Monterey, and after a bit of rest and lunch, on to Perkins Park to finish last evenings painting. Late afternoon, my wife Josie and my relatives arrived. After cleaning up, we all went to Fisherman’s Wharf for dinner. (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—

 


Friday

Prior to starting any other paintings, I wanted to touch up and frame the three ‘keepers’ I had, so hung around my motel in the morning doing just that.

After lunch, I headed down the coast again to possibly do another painting. The pressure was off, however, as I had ‘three in the can’, so I just soaked up the atmosphere, scouted out places for possible future paintings, etc.

I turned in two paintings around 6:30 for the show, and hung around for a VIP reception. Part way through the reception, I turned around, and there was my brother in-law and his wife. I didn’t know they were in town, and neither did they know I was until they saw ads for the festival. We ended up going to dinner. (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—

 


Saturday

After sleeping in Saturday and having a leisurely brunch with my in-laws, headed over to the festival. I was honored with the “Plein Air Magazine Award of Excellence” for the Vertigo! painting.

An award!
An award!

The Palo Colorado redwood tree painting sold at auction.

 


Sunday

Carmel Beach, 10x8, oil on panel
Carmel Beach, 10×8, oil on panel

 

All artists who win an award are requested to participate in the Sunday morning quickdraw. You have 2 hrs to produce a painting, framed and ready to sell. This means you have about 90 minutes to actually do the painting. After I got my canvas stamped, I drove to Carmel Scenic Drive, a mile or so away, found a good spot, and did a painting of Carmel Beach. (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—

The quickdraw auction was well attended. Here are a few pictures, including my painting–

By noon all my paintings had been sold. Normally we have to wait until the show is over at 3pm to pick up unsold paintings, but since all of mine were sold, a little after noon, I packed up and headed home. It was a great week with good weather, sold all my paintings, got an award, re-acquainted with fellow artists, and a little more tan!


Next up is the Los Gatos Plein Air Show June 16-17!


Fire, Water, and Ice

Merced Reflections, 16x8, oil on panel
Merced Reflections, 16×8, oil on panel

I was accepted into the Yosemite Renaissance show this year, so went to attend the opening reception with a short visit to Yosemite Valley. Of course, I’ll use any excuse to visit Yosemite, as if I need one!

The art reception went well. The show is very eclectic with everything from abstract to photography to textiles to sculpture. It was a strong show, and my painting was probably the most traditional, quiet painting there…which is fine with me!

If you plan on being in Yosemite Valley the next few months, be sure to stop by the Yosemite Museum to see the show!

The weather forecast kept changing, but as it turned out, it was clear sunny weather the entire time, but cold! Upon arrival to the valley, I started the above painting, but after recently recovering from a mild case of pneumonia, didn’t want to push it, so only got about half done and finished it when I got back to the studio. I wanted to do a plein air piece which would fit in my recent ‘vertical water’ series, so did a painting of Yosemite Falls reflecting in the Merced River. This is the ninth in the “vertical water” series, but so far the only plein air piece and a little smaller than the others which you can see here.

I recently wrote a weblog entry about the Firefall I saw while there, so won’t revisit that which you can read here.

The remainder of the visit I just walked and drove around soaking up the scenery.

Here is a short video of the trip. I had posted some pictures to Facebook, and got a lot of comments on how clear the water is, so much of the video is of the water in the valley.



Across the Rubicon

From the introduction to my book “Plein Tahoe“…

A masterpiece of nature and the crown jewel of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, Lake Tahoe is one of the most spectacular in the world. From the Native American word meaning “big water”, Tahoe is the second deepest lake in North America, known for the clarity of its water. The pristine deep blue water against the panorama of the surrounding mountains is unequaled in the world.

I have been showing at the James-Harold Galleries in Tahoe City for around 15 years, and make regular trips to the area to paint and drop off new paintings. I have even driven my Harley-Davidson Road King there, painted for a number of days, and dropped the newly created works off at the gallery.

Hal Slear, the gallery owner, and I have been talking about a little show of miniatures for a number of months, but schedules hadn’t worked out, but finally I just had to do a fall color trip in the area, so here we go!

Thursday
Took off in the morning to drive to the Lake and of course, the worst traffic was just getting out of Silicon Valley! After arriving at the Lake and driving around a bit to check out the fall color, I headed to DL Bliss State Park and one of my favorite places to paint on the lake, along the Rubicon Trail. My plan was to do a time-lapse video of the painting process. I have done these before, most notably “The Painting of TwentyFive: Where Redwoods Thrive” which you can see here. I used the same home made GoPro camera setup, so look for a video soon of the event.

Below are a few pictures of the afternoon. (Click on any thumbnail to see a larger picture.)

Much of painting plein air is deciding what to put in, but more importantly, what to leave out! At the time, I was undecided on including the larger tree on the right so didn’t put it in. Later on, I touched the painting up on Saturday while in the gallery, so put the tree in. Here is the final piece, which I finished a couple days later in the gallery —

Across the Rubicon, 8x10, oil on board, plein air
Across the Rubicon, 8×10, oil on board, plein air

Note this isn’t the greatest depiction of the painting as it was taken with my cellphone camera, but hopefully you get the impression.

After checking into my motel in South Lake Tahoe, I was so exhausted, it was a very early bedtime for me!

Friday
Friday we were expecting rain almost all day, and it did, so outdoor painting was not in the plan. I drove around the lake, enjoying the stormy weather and stopped by the gallery to drop off the batch of new miniature paintings for the show. I took a few pictures, and here is a panorama from the Sand Harbor Boat Launch

Stormy Tahoe
Stormy Tahoe

Saturday
We advertised my presence from 12-5pm to paint in the gallery. There was a break in the storm on my hour drive there, so just had to stop and take pictures of the next storm front coming in—

Storms a comin'
Storms a comin’

I liked a little 5×7 nocturne I did of Lake Tahoe for the show, so decided to do another larger one for my demo in the gallery. I almost finished it between talking to customers and other passers by, and well, just taking my time!

Harvest Moon over Tahoe, 8x16, oil on board
Harvest Moon over Tahoe, 8×16, oil on board

Long time friends, Clark & Elaine Hockwald are full time RV-ers and they had been staying at Lake Tahoe for the last 6 months so we arranged to meet at the gallery, and then have an early dinner. I have known Clarke since I was about 11, and Elaine from college days. They have a wonderful weblog about their travels which you can find here.

It was their choice for the dinner location, so they picked an excellent nearby place, Christy Hill, which was right on the lake. It was a fabulous dinner and we sat for several hours just watching the stormy lake, dining, but mainly telling stories from old times, and a few recent happenings! The Moroccan Lamb I had was just delicious…and I will be looking for a similar recipe!

Dinner with Clarke and Elaine
Dinner with Clarke and Elaine

It was a long drive home at night through the pouring rain, but we all made it safely!

Sunday
I was scheduled to be in the gallery from 12-3pm, so drove back through the rain around the lake. I finished yesterdays nocturne painting and had enough time to do another small one, so started a 5×7. Another stormy Tahoe scene was in my mind, so I used a picture I had taken just the day before as a study. With a palette of already mixed colors, everything ‘clicked’, and I knocked it out in no-time.

Storms a comin!, 7x5, oil on board
Storms a comin!, 7×5, oil on board

Around 3:30, I headed home in pouring rain, taking over an hour longer than normal.

So, if you are in Tahoe the next month or two, stop by and see some new Donald Neff miniatures! All the paintings depicted in this weblog entry are now on sale in the James Harold Gallery. I have priced these to sell over the holiday season, and a number are already gone, so it might be time to add one or two to your collection!

Don Edwards SF Bay NWR Center Reception


Continuing the ”Creeks and Rivers of Silicon Valley” year long quest.

Subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the right sidebar>>>>>


 
Technically, it’s Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Education Center, which is quite a mouthful. There are selected paintings from “The Creeks and Rivers of Silicon Valley” currently on display at the center. Today, they sponsored a reception and ‘meet the artist’. It turned out to be quite fun! We had some nice refreshments, then I talked for awhile, visited, and answered a wide range of questions. Some took a guided nature hike through part of the Refuge. I talked about art, indian legends, magic, ghosts, history, flight, conservation, the environment, but mostly about the creeks and waterways in Silicon Valley. My goal was for everyone to look ‘under the surface’ of what is around them in Silicon Valley to appreciate what used to be called “The Valley of Heart’s Delight”. From what I could tell no one fell asleep, and everyone seemed to have a good time!

Just a few pictures of the afternoon courtesy of my friend, past work associate, and great photographer, Scott Loftesness. If you haven’t seen some of Scott’s photos, you should check them out here and here.

The exhibit will be up until the late fall and we don’t really have an end date yet. If you haven’t seen it, or been out to the center, it is certainly worth the trip!

Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge Exhibit

During my quest of painting the creeks of Silicon Valley, stuff I painted in many places, medicine but almost all the creeks end up in the marshes of the San Francisco Bay in what is now called the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge encompasses most of the southern portions of the bay, generic and is a wonderful reclamation of land once used for industrial purposes.

I wrote a number of times about the area in FortySix: Don’s Sunrise Pix, FortySeven: Hunter’s Heaven, and Fifty: Ghost City

We put up 18 paintings specifically from the Coyote Creek Watershed in their Education Center today. The paintings will be on display now until the fall. A special event is scheduled for September 5, which is free, but you must sign up here.

More info can be found here.

Los Gatos Plein Air 2015

I have been participating in the Los Gatos Plein Air almost every year since it’s inception. Since it is close to my house, I can stay home and paint the local area without worrying about all the travel expense and time.

During plein air competitions, artists have several days to paint and present for sale finished and framed paintings. The festival coordinators stamp the back of the canvas to ensure all work is done in the days allotted. We had our panels stamped on Tuesday morning, and had until Friday afternoon to produce the paintings.

I already posted some of these on Facebook, but for those who are not on social media, here are a few pictures from the show. Click on a thumbnail to view a larger picture Note: Email subscribers may not see all pictures. Just click on the title for a link to the online version.

Tuesday
After getting my canvas stamped, I headed out to Guadalupe Creek to paint a California Sycamore as I had been doing a series of these—

Wednesday
The next morning, it was out to Metcalf Road about 10 miles from my house. I drove around a bit and settled on this scene—

After lunch, I drove over to McKean road, south of San Jose, and after a little exploring decided to do a vista of Almaden Valley. I almost had to talk myself in tackling this painting as there is quite a bit to paint in a short time for a competition.

I only got about half way through the painting, so called it a day and would return tomorrow afternoon to finish it.

Thursday,
I was up early for the drive over to Almaden Reservoir. I had checked it on Tuesday, and even in this drought, it was close to full.

The Los Gatos Rotary Association was putting on a lunch for the artists, so I drove into Los Gatos, and had a pleasant meal with some of the other artists. I then headed to Los Gatos Creek. I knew in the hot midday it would be shady and cool…just right for a creek painting!

It was then back to McKean and Country View Dr to finish the Almaden Valley vista painting.

Friday,
I spent in touchup and framing. That evening was a ticketed reception, and I sold the California Sycamore painting.

Saturday
The next day was the main sale day to the public. I sold all but one of the five painted for the show.

My panel at the show.
My panel at the show.

Below are the five paintings I did for the show–

Los Gatos Art Festival 2013

Last week I participated in the Los Gatos Art Festival as an ‘invited artist’. I always enjoy this show as it is close, don’t have to travel, and familiar with the area. But mainly, the sponsors always treat us artists well!

I won’t go into many details of each day, but just a few notes and pictures on the activities…

Tuesday
We stamped our canvases in the morning, and I took off for Stevens Creek Park, and did a painting of the stream, mainly for a ‘warmup’. There was a mandatory artists reception/meeting that evening, so I didn’t want to stray far. I forgot to take a picture of the painting in progress, but a few scenes below for the day. (Click on any photo to see a larger version).

Wednesday
This was my big ‘travel day’. I literally painted from the mountains behind my house, to the ocean. In the morning I went up Quimby Road behind the house and did a morning view of the Santa Clara Valley and downtown San Jose. Early afternoon I was in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park painting the redwoods and late afternoon at Sharktooth Beach near Davenport painting the ocean.

Thursday
An artists luncheon was scheduled in Los Gatos, so I stayed around the San Jose area, McKean Road to be exact, and did a painting of a red barn right by the road. Little did I know, but the day before, a group of artists in the show painted the same red barn. I think there were about 8 paintings of that barn on exhibit!

The luncheon was at a Los Gatos residence, catered by Togo’s Sandwiches. After eating, I headed for the bathroom, and found a painting I sold last year at this event hanging on the living room wall!

My afternoon painting was a quiet spot on Coyote Creek right by Metcalf and Monterey Roads.

Friday
I went out early on San Felipe Road close to my house and did a painting of a Eucalyptus. The afternoon was spent in touch-up and framing.

That evening was a gala at a mansion in Los Gatos. It was a wonderful setting, and quite a crowd. The pictures below are before the crowds showed up.

Saturday
I delivered and hung all my paintings for the show…

Below are the paintings in the show (I didn’t show the first painting from Steven Creek, as I feel it still needs more work)…

It was a good show with many strong works, however sales were quite disappointing, at least for me. It’s always fun, though, to paint, meet old friends and other artists!

2013 Carmel Art Festival

I was honored for the eighth time to participate in the Carmel Art Festival. The show works like this: the artists have two days to paint at least two paintings to offer up for auction. You must have the back of your canvas (or whatever you are painting on) certified before the contest. They usually stamp it with a date, and put a little sticker on it. This is to ensure no one walks in with a painting they didn’t really paint on location during the time allotted.

Although Carmel is only about 90 minutes from my home, I always stay somewhere in the Carmel area to avoid spending 3 hours on the road each day, rather devoting all my focus to the work at hand. Early mornings and late afternoons are the best time to paint, which makes all the more reason to stay in town.

Wednesday
I drove down to Carmel around noon Wednesday, meandering a little bit in the area to look for new places to paint. After checking into my motel, I headed over to the reception area to get my canvases stamped, then out to a place on Scenic Drive overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Carmel River State Beach to start painting. A lot of the artists head to this area first as it is fairly close and there are only a few hours after the canvas stamping to paint until dark. For this reason, I had avoided it in past years, but decided to try it this year.

I spent several hours painting, waiting until almost sundown to finish the sky. In this instance, you can paint much of the scene in shadow as it will not change much. However, when the sunset lights up the sky, I quickly tried to catch the colors. I stayed until it was almost too dark to see. Below is the scene, and my painting on the easel. You can click on any picture to see a larger version.

The painting wasn’t quite finished, but some of the details could be done the next evening.

Thursday
In the morning, I drove up to Elkhorn Slough to do another painting. I had been painting this area the last couple shows, and enjoy the vistas. Parking along Elkhorn Road, with a great view of the slough, I opened the rear of SUV up and turned on the car radio to keep me company, as I frequently do. After painting several hours, the radio suddenly went off. Upon checking the ignition, the battery was almost dead and then I realized I had also left my headlights on! I raised the hood, as the universal sign of distress, but no one seemed to want to stop, so it was time to call AAA, the American Automobile Association. An AAA truck was not too far away, so he stopped by and gave me a jump start. It was time for a lunch break, so I drove into Moss Landing and had Sand Dabs at Phils Fish Market. (Actually half the reason I like to paint the slough is it is close to this great restaurant! The restaurant was just listed as the #1 world’s best beach restaurant by the BBC.)

I wanted to work on the painting another hour or two, so drove back to the spot and finished the painting.

About mid afternoon, it was time to head back to Scenic Drive and finish the prior evenings piece. By now I had two good pieces for the show, so the pressure was lessened from now on.

Friday
Point Lobos State Preserve was my destination Friday, which is a favorite of about everyone in the show. I first stopped and painted Whaler’s Cove.

Whalers Cove, Point Lobos
Whalers Cove, Point Lobos

The afternoon I painted a quiet little spot in the preserve called Hidden Beach.

After framing the two pieces for the auction, I drove back into Carmel and dropped them off. Below are the four pieces I did, the first two were entered in the auction. The second two, I want to touch up a little bit before they were displayed anywhere. Click on any picture to see the entire painting.

Saturday
After a leisurely morning, I headed over to the show. The show was quite strong. We had artists from all over the United States, plus Australia and the Netherlands. You can see all the paintings on their website here. Below are a few pictures of me and the show.

Sunday
Sunday was somewhat of a repeat of Saturday. After a leisurely morning, I checked out of the motel, grabbed a deli sandwich and headed down the coast. I found a spot along Garrapata State Park for lunch and enjoyed the view…

Upon returning to the show, I met the lady who purchased my first painting, “The Last Five Minutes of Glory“. She was born and raised in Carmel (lucky lady!), had seen that scene countless times, and it reminded her of the Carmel of her youth. She purchased the piece as a wedding present for her daughter. It’s always nice to meet a collector who falls in love with your work! It’s a big moral booster!

Later that afternoon it was time to head home and start thinking about next month’s plein air festival in Los Gatos!

2nd Annual Plein Air Convention

The 2nd Annual Plein Air Convention was held in Monterey, CA this year. I missed the first convention last year in Las Vegas, but since Monterey is only 90 minutes from my home, certainly couldn’t miss this one!

I registered for the convention quite awhile ago, but then a month ago they added me to the ‘faculty’ to do an acrylic painting demonstration on the Expo Hall Demo Stage. Although I do most of my finished paintings in oil, I do take acrylics on travel trips, especially international excursions. Plein Air magazine had published an article about it last year, so I decided to just expand on the concept. At any rate, it was quite an honor to be in the same venue with some of the top plein air and traditional artists in the country.

Arriving Wednesday, the convention got off to a great start that afternoon, and didn’t slow down the entire time. It was non-stop lectures, demos, eating, meeting, vendors, and just fun. I won’t go into all the events and demos, as you can find them here, but every demo and lecture was top notch.

There seemed to be so many things going on, it was difficult to pick and choose which to attend. A few that stood out in my mind was James Gurney’s (Dinotopia author) totally entertaining lecture on opening night, where he gave about a semesters’s worth of art lessons in an hour. Also, demos by Gil Dellinger, CS Mundy, were a hoot. Brian Blood gave away his secrets on painting fog, and Ken Auster did a 52×52 inch painting in 90 minutes. The portraits painted by Michelle Dunaway and Jeremy Lipking were amazing.

My demo time slot on Saturday morning was only 45 minutes, but the prior special event went 15 minutes over, so I only had about 35 total minutes. I didn’t get far in the actual demo, but mainly answered lots of questions from the audience. I did finish the painting later in the Expo Hall, so those interested could watch and then see the finished product.

Here are a few pictures during the demo. You can click on any picture to see a larger version (Thanks, Sam for providing the photos!)–

Below is the finished painting–

Akaroa Lighthouse 12x16 Acrylic
Akaroa Lighthouse 12×16 Acrylic

That afternoon, the entire group went to Asilomar for lunch then painted in the area, mostly on Asilomar Beach. It was quite a ‘trippy’ experience to see hundreds of artists painting together on the same beach! If there were a Guiness World Record category for this, we certainly would hold the record!

A few shots of the crowd–

I was a little tired from standing, painting, and answering dozens of questions most of the morning, so took my chair, semi-relaxed, and did a small 8×10 oil of the beach. It was quite windy, which put a chill in the area, but everyone toughed it out like good plein air artists–

Asilomar Beach 8x10 Oil
Asilomar Beach 8×10 Oil

The next day, Sunday morning, many also met along the wharf in Monterey, where in places they stood shoulder to shoulder painting. Here are a few shots of the crowd. The first picture shows James Gurney, author of the Dinotopia books sitting and sketching–

I did another painting of the Monterey Wharf area. Here is me by the easel–

Yours truly out painting with the group
Yours truly out painting with the group

And the painting–

Monterey Wharf 12x24 Oil
Monterey Wharf 12×24 Oil

I soon had to head home. April 15 was the next day, and time to finish up the tax returns!

The producer of the show, Eric Rhoads (publisher, Plein Air Magazine) mentioned afterwards they are still looking for a venue next year. I’d recommend going for anyone interested in Plein Air painting. It was absolutely wonderful to meet and talk with some of my art ‘heros’, all of whom were very generous with their time and advice. Hope to see everyone there next year!