Wow! I am please and honored to announce that one of my paintings from last October’s 12th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational was accepted into the Laguna Plein Air Association’s “7th Annual, Best of Plein Air Show”. (Boy, that is a lot of ‘Lagunas’, ‘Plein Airs’, and ‘Annuals’ within a single sentence…)
I am happy about this. And even happier that the painting they selected is one of my favorites from the past year. Not just from Octobers LPAPA/Laguna Art Museum Invitational — a personal favorite from my entire year.
The orange cliff you see in this painting is actually known by Laguna locals as ‘the Keyhole’ and it is a seaside feature that has been painted hundreds, if not thousands of times over the past 100 years. So when I set up to paint it too I tried to do something a little different and not show the keyhole, which is a small arch that cuts through the cliff before it meets the water. The arch may not be huge, but it is large enough for people to walk through. So of course, they do. And usually painters will put the people in too.
Local artist told me the Keyhole has become a bit of a cliche. Or, to be more frank, that it is a cliche. Which means it means it’s like painting Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, Oregon — not far from where I live. I’ve painted Haystack a number of times over 27 years, certainly enough times to forget how many, or when the last time was. But cliche or not, I’d be happy to paint the rock again if I can figure out how to do it in a way that feels fresh and exciting. It is, after all, a big rock that looks like a haystack, on a beach, with lots of tiny people walking around. (Ha!)
Hmmm… To motivate myself to follow through, I think I’ll throw down a challenge to the Pacific Northwest Plein Air Crew this summer:
List up everyone, go paint “The Rock”. Not this Rock. This Rock. If you do I’ll throw a big end of the season backyard BBQ and we can vote for a ‘2011 Best Haystack Painting’. I’ll come up with some prize or award for it. Or several. Sound good? To get into this fab and social event all you have to do is bring an entree to grill and a painting of Haystack Rock you did this year. More details will follow…
Anyway, I digress . . .
So I’ve just sent ‘Laguna Gold’ down to the show in SoCal and I hope it is well received. But no worries if it isn’t. I love that painting regardless, no matter what happens, and if it comes back home instead of finding a new one, well, that’s cool. It’ll go right back up on the living room wall again in a place of pride.
Oh, and here is ‘The Keyhole’ after all, as viewed from above. In case you were wondering. So I guess that makes two for cliches . . . (Ha!)