Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Monterey Plein Air Convention 2013

The Monterey Plein Air Convention did not disappoint. And I spent far too much money and would have spent more had I had it. But who could resist paints in colors I had never seen before, or DVDs by some of my long time heroes? Not to mention Rosemary brushes. I blew my money faster than a speeding bullet. And still wish I had picked up that magic brush conditioner. Boy could that save money in the long run.

The trip out to California was predictably long, but I had not counted on a wind storm unlike any I had ever been in before. Tucson area is always an adventure. I had hoped to paint along one particular stretch of I8, but you couldn’t even see across the highway. Painting was not prudent, so I slowly crept on by, saving my panels and paints for Monterey and the return trip.

Blowy day at Asilomar State Park
The convention was wonderful. The speakers were great. And Joe Pacquet was spot on with his admonishment to find your own voice and not be derivative; to put in the time and work the work in order to come into your own. My own heroes were up there painting and making it look so easy. Ken Auster paints like he has a comet attached to him. Don Demers is absolutely wonderful to watch, a real personal favorite for many years, and wonderfully eloquent. Ned Mueller, and Camille Prezwodek made a big hit,  Ned’s painting glowed from the beginning.  It blew me away.

On my first day out I had painted alongside Ned at Point Lobos on the cliffs, setting up not realizing that he was the painter that was already there, until I really looked over and recognized him. What fun! And it was blowy that day too.

Painters Along Asilomar's Cliffs
 The day we painted at Asilomar my Open M box took a gust and blew over. No damage to a mundane painting, but I damaged my painting box. I was hesitant to send it back to Open M, but Thomas Kitts said to contact them, that they would send out the parts and I could swap them out myself. I emailed them and the parts were on their way before I was headed home. What a class act those guys are!
Don Demers Doing His Demonstration
I have no paintings to show you as they are in transit back to me from California, and I want to do a few things to them before I show them. But I did do six pieces on that trip, one at a Paso Robles winery, and one four days later at Big Bend National Park in Texas. That last one is a story all its own.

The tribe assembled, we laughed and talked till we had to open windows to let words out. Everyone shared knowledge and passion for art with open hearts. Alexi Steele’s laugh was pure joy and it was felt by everyone there, pure contagion. Thank you Eric Rhoads and company!

See you next year???


  1. Louis:

    Glad to know Doug (of Open Box M) came through for you. There were a lot of easels that went down that day at Asilomar due to those 50 mph gusts. But what a hoot! Everyone painting on the same beach at the same time...

    BTW, I don't know if you noticed, but I lashed my easel to one of the iron rods sunk into the ground holding the cable along the path. So my pochade box wasn't blown about. I was. But not my easel. (grin)

    Good to meet you. See you next year.


  2. It's so odd to see you painting in the places where I was sketching after I left you in 2006 to fly up to Northern California so I could do the road trip back from San francisco to San Diego.

    Am I surprised you spent too much? Definitely not!

    Am I surprised you had had a good time time? Definitely not!

    Now let's see those paintings!

  3. Ditto here, Louise! Looking forward to seeing your work from your trip. :-)