28 October 2013

Laguna Plein Air 2013

"Outcrop" 12"x16" SOLD

This is the first year I was  invited to this event and I hope it's not the last. It's also the first year the event didn't take Place at the Laguna Art Museum. The organizers decided to move the venue to Aliso Creek Resort with the burden of having to transform the place overnight for the occasion. But they did rise to the challenge with flying colors and it was ..well, spectacular.

Looking at the roster of artists is enough to make anyone nervous. This is the big leagues so to speak. Once I arrived and once I was (luxuriously)  accommodated I proceeded to the Orientation and  Quick Draw which takes place at the very beginning on Sunday Morning. ( Note to event organizers : The Parking Tag they gave us so we could park anywhere in Laguna without time limit was insanely helpful.) We were shuttled to Treasure Island/Montage Resort. I didn't walk far. My bit of experience tells me that too much searching can be counterproductive. So I settled for a beach scene very quickly.

"Crashing" 12"x9" SOLD
This decision proved to be a good one. Karen,  who bought this painting and upon the insistence of her friend Barbara,  invited me to visit the community where she lived: Three Arch Bay, and gave me access to its beach which is mostly closed to the general public. I am somewhat cautious when people invite me to paint something because what makes a good painting is not always a good view. But I couldn't have hoped for better scenery. The beach was absolutely beautiful with great rock formations and light.  I spent the next two days and a half in this secluded beach painting away with no incident beyond being trapped by the tide.

"Three Arch Bay" 12"x16" SOLD  Winner of the Sennelier Award
"Three Arch Morning" 11"x14" SOLD
 I also managed a few downtown scenes in between. Laguna's main subjects are the coast, the canyons and the human environment. Ok, everything. The weather was phenomenal. I soon noticed that all the painters were going for large formats. Sometimes VERY large formats so I decided to up the ante and stayed close to the higher formats I normally paint with which are 12x16's . I think I enjoyed it so much more I might reserve the smaller formats for really quick sketches from now on. Paintings that would become larger paintings but not necessarily be up for sale.

"School on a Day Like This" 10"x8"
"Greeter's Corner, Laguna" 9"x12" SOLD

As my "quota" was being filled I decided to take some risks and capture more unusual scenery. The paint out at the Aliso Creek resort  was great. It is a golf resort but it is nestled in a canyon with beautiful rocks, trees and a creek.  This was the birthplace of Laguna.  I had the good fortune of painting the piece bellow with Thomas Kitts who is always fun and instructive to have around. Thomas is an innate teacher and always had great advice. I also attended the Heisler Park paint out with students from the Laguna School of Art.

"Eucalyptus Drama"11"x14" SOLD.
"Heisler Mood" 12"x9"
The day of the Gala we were greeted by a giant tent erected to display the  artwork and provide a generous meal to collectors and patrons as well as the artists. I was awarded the Sennelier/Savoir Faire Award by the delightful Vanessa Rothe of Savoir Faire  and I sold seven paintings in total. Not bad.

Me and the award.

Me, Greg Vail and Vanessa Rothe.
After all the awards and selling, I  was pretty much done but I rarely visit this neck of the woods so two more paintings were in order. One for the owner of my (did I say luxurious) dwelling, Nancy, and one for kicks. I also visited the Irvine Museum with none other than Jean Stern ,the director, and Debra Huse. The Museum's show on California Impressionism is a must. Here are my last two paintings and a group photo of the massive talent gathered by this one-of-a-kind event. Big Thank you to Rosemary Swimm, Greg Vail and EVERYONE that contributed to this amazing moment in time and art.

"Capistrano Arches" 11"x14'

"Treasure Hunt" 12'x9" Nancy Patch collection.