The Tribe is Gathering
Today I completed my reservations for the last hotel I should need on my way to and from the Plein Air Convention in Monterrey CA. I leave for CA from New Mexico in three days.
Last year’s event was the singularly best thing I had done for many years. It was totally mind blowing - with so many outstanding presentations that winnowing them out would be impossible. But I have to say that the address given by Clyde Aspevig was worth the price of the whole convention. (Now don’t anybody tell Eric Rhoads!! He’ll raise the price next year!) And watching Ken Auster paint was a glimpse of divine intervention. Ned Meuller and Camille Prezwodek together, were like a finely tuned vaudeville act, but their art was sublime. It was like being a kid in a candy store with too many things to excite your appetite!
I have to say that the lack of inflated egos, the willingness and wanting to share by the faculty of this event is the key to what made this such a success. Some of these people I have known by their DVDs, some by having taken their workshops and some simply by articles and books that provide a glimpse into their creative genius. Never did I think I might be able to ask them the questions that still plague my creative mind. Matt Smith’s jitters before his presentation was really a totally human reaction of a quiet person, to having to present in front of hundreds of fellow painters and some of his heroes. And he did such a magnificent job.
My past experience with this convention tells me that Eric has got some surprises waiting for us. But the meat of the thing, the true core of it all will be the sharing of our passion, the new connections, the flash of insight and the memories we will keep and bring back to enrich our own world in paint.
I am taking my paints and intend to paint along the way, should time permit. The Paso Robles area is one that has always elicited visceral reactions for me. I find the land totally female in its composition and lovely rolling qualities. It truly is a land kissed by the mists of the Pacific. Maybe I can fulfill a fantasy and paint there for a bit of one day.
As I made the reservations for my return road trip, it occurred to me that by the time I would stay at these hotels on my way back to New Mexico, this year’s rendezvous would be over with. What will I have learned? You really need to be two people at a thing like this, one to watch and take notes, and one to paint along with your heroes.
I am packing my car, restocking my vitamins and checking to see that I don’t forget something essential. As long as it is not a painting thing, I am OK. I am looking forward to sharing a room with my Denver friend Lucy. We plan to have to open the windows to let the words out.
Watch for updates later next week. The ‘Tribe’, by Richard Robinson’s definition, is gathering.