Friday, December 5, 2008

Looking Back at the Laguna Invitational...

'Hatch's Market'......oil on panel......14x19 inches (SOLD)
This painting was on exhibit at the Laguna Museum throughout the 10th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational.

Greetings everyone and Happy December! Here is a brief recap of the event.....

We kicked off the weekend with a jovial 'artists only' get together Friday night. Aaaaaah...the warm summer air, fragrant with flowers and salty ocean mist while eating enchiladas at the Strotkamps' yearly barbecue. Jay and Mary Strotkamp, delightful people with a fantastic collection of paintings by luminary painters such as Richard Schmid, Mian Situ, and Scott Burdick to name a few. Afterward, I sat by the pool at our hotel as Ben built an enormous fire in the outdoor fireplace. We lured the curious guests out of their rooms like moths to a...well to an enormous fire.

But it wasn't all just enchiladas and poolside fires. There was serious work to do, paintings to paint, people to meet. Early Saturday morning the participating painters met for breakfast at the Laguna Museum before staking out our 'quick draw' spots. I chose to perch precariously upon a cliff side surrounded by cacti, the colorfully dangerous painting spectators confined to stand upon stairs behind a sturdy metal rail. I felt very safe, like Briar Rabbit in the Briar Patch. No fooling with me. The air horn was sounded by a friendly Australian man in a wide brim hat and we were off and painting! We had a two hour time limit to complete our 'quick draw' paintings. OY! Time has always been my nemesis, and I felt its presence stronger and greater than ever before! I wrestled with it, pulling it's ears and poking it in the eyes with my thin "rigger" brush, used most often for fine details like telephone lines and thin branches but this time mostly for poking ‘Time’ in the eyes. It was fierce. Sweat was upon my brow. The cacti my only friends. I blacked out the last half hour, have no memory at all about it. Think it has something to do with a tangential universe which collapsed upon itself due to the paradox of ‘Time’ being momentarily blind. Not sure. Regardless, I came away with a satisfactory piece of art and it was back to the hotel to clean up and get dressed for the opening night gala, filled with fine art, fine wine and fine food!

And the people! The people I met! So many wonderful people, collectors and painters and fans who made two-hour drives just to meet and support me. Painters I have idolized for years I met and lunched with. All in all, it was an enriching, awesome and exhilarating event and look forward to participating again next year!

Here are a few pics of the fun-filled festivities. Enjoy!

Participating artists Kathryn Stats, Calvin Liang and moi at the yearly Strotkamp b.b.q party on Friday night

Ben working on his fifth enchilada...

Shhhhhhh... I'm concentrating......

Ma'am, please do not throw peanuts at me!!

....delicately perched on the 'cactus bed' ridge....

Okay, I've got 20 minutes left!Yikes!!!

Adding the final touches to my 'quick draw' painting

Mingling folk at the Saturday evening gala

Pictured here with artists Debra Huse and Larry Moore

Jennifer and fellow painter Jason Situ

Striking a pose with artist Clayton J. Beck III

This is where Ben and I hung out most of the evening. The food was exquisite!!!

Hanging out at the museum Sunday afternoon with Matt Smith...

...and award winner Michael Situ

Lookie loos admiring my paintings

Here are some of my favorites. There's more but too many too list!

Award winning painting by Randall Sexton

A very stunning piece by Ray Roberts

A gem of a painting by Kathryn Stats

And lastly, a beauty by Mark Kerckhoff

Signing off with a group shot of the participating artists.
Hope you enjoyed your visit!