29 May 2011

Sonoma Plein Air 2011

Keith Wicks. Winner of the Artists Choice Award.

I just came back from Sonoma, Ca. The Plein Air event was absolutely wonderful.  I was very lucky to be juried in.  I admittedly haven't been to that many events but the thing that struck me most is  that Sonoma Plein Air has a charitable dimension besides the survival of the event  or art organization itself.Not that the survival of the art organization is not lofty enough in itself.  Most of the proceeds from auctions and sales go directly to support art programs in local schools. Talented artist  Keith Wicks is the founder of Plein Air Sonoma and he has summoned a great amount of support among the community members for  this cause that brings great artistic talent to the Sonoma public, exposes artists to the beauty of this enclave and provides much needed funds for the schools.

"Josephine Lake" 10"x8"

 I will be the first one to admit that I was a bit nervous, being so far from my turf and a first-timer but the volunteers that worked for the event were very welcoming and like Keith Wicks said: "if you don't know where to paint, well, then you are blind. What are you doing here?". Sonoma is spectacular in an understated but magnificent way so subject matter is certainly not problem. From barns to vineyards to wine cellars, sheep, cows, old trucks, buildings, creeks, oaks and eucalyptus groves, subject matter is not an issue.

A highlight of the event is the Gala Dinner where paintings are auctioned in silent bids. 

A personal highlight. I made the acquaintance of Mr. John Lasseter., quite a wonderful guy  who gave an impassioned speech with not a hint of boilerplate about arts funding and education and donated time and even two lunches at PIXAR. 

My booth at the Saturday show before the rain made us all close the shop.

Among the highlights of the event, the QuickDraw at Sonoma Plaza, the Artist reception,the Friday night Gala Dinner and the Saturday all day sale. All of the events went smoothly, including  the Saturday sale where we had to contend with a heavy downpour that sent us all scrambling. 
Other highlights of course included the acquaintance and re-acquaintance with some phenomenal artists, some of the lunches and get-togethers, the community members that opened their homes and properties for us to trample, the food itself and the excitement that kept me up at night.

"Vadasz Barn" 16"x12"

Some notes for myself. Yes, this is California but t-shirts won't cut it. I am going to get me some long sleeved shirts and some sturdier shoes. Protection against the elements is essential painting outdoors. 


1 comment:

laurie said...

Thanks for sharing your blog comments, Jose. It's a lot cooler in Northern California, weatherwise I mean, not on the "hipness" scale necessarily. Protective clothing is important for sure. Congratulations on being accepted to this prestigious event and for creating some exceptional new pieces.