After doing a little laundry I jumped into another plane and flew down to the 14th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational to paint like a crazy man. Which apparently I am. Wow. Now I am home again in Portland resting up.
What a world. What a world.
This was the third time I’ve participated in the Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational and because of that I felt more at home there than anywhere else I’d been during the past six weeks. But before landing at John Wayne Airport I was still working at divesting myself of a few protozoic hitch hikers I picked up in Morocco the week before. (Okay, let’s not blame the goats I saw grazing on the hillside above the town’s water source, or the two ladies I came across who were preoccupied with refilling the mineral water bottles I’d been ordering in the local restaurants, okay?) But no big deal. I was still up for burning the candle at both ends in Laguna regardless because that’s what I do. I mean, no worries, right? I was armed with antibiotics…
Unfortunately fate had other plans because I got slammed again with a new bug on my flight down. I must have added a flu to the Moroccan miasma because after I deplaned and drove up to Pasadena to see the Edgar Payne show it became obvious I was going to go down big time.
You haven’t lived until you’ve signed on for one of these events and get taken down by a bunch of microbes. Paul Kratter and Randal Sexton can speak to this as well since they got slammed by a flu too.
(Pictured left: me, during Thursday’s Crystal Cove Paintout, standing on a picnic table to gain a view over Larry Moore and Jason Situ. We were all clumped together, painting the Beachcomber, waiting for the sun to break. My height worked so well I did a 180 degree turn and knocked out another painting looking down the beach.)
But hey, if you go pro you get out there and do the job anyway. You clock in and push some paint round. And that’s just what Randall, Paul and I did. But for me, no after-hours partying, no midday socializing, no group dinners. Just get up to paint and then off to bed. Not my usual approach. (grin)
(Pictured left: My host’s ‘third child’ sneaking a lick of Greg’s coconut birthday cake. Rosemary, it was delicious. I agree with the dog and want the recipe…)
And speaking of size, I was hoping to shock and awe my collectors this year by knocking out three grand beautiful paintings for Saturday’s Soirée. Apparently a few other artists had the same idea because my 20 x 24s were not the largest pictures in the galleries. John Burton walked in and nailed a 30 x 30 and 40 x 30 on the wall. (Geeez, John, maybe you could let me know the next time you plan on doing that? Ha!) And congrats to John on being honored with three — yes, three — major ribbons. Well done and well deserved. I should also mention Billyo walked in and hung a big painting himself, a painting that had so much paint on it I wasn’t sure the wall would hold. (kidding…) Billyo’s won Best of Show with that painting. It was thick and juicy.
(Pictured left: Me doing a little clean up in my host’s driveway because I felt too icky to play outside.)
So clearly, now in Laguna you go big or you go home. Next year I’ll bring the ‘manEasel’ down. (Just talkin’ a little trash, trying to get into Ken Dewaard’s head a bit.) What’s next? We gonna invite Tim Bell to the party in 2013? If we do we better be ready for something monumental.
(Pictured right: me, Morgan Samuel Price, and Ken Dewaard during the gala Soirée, contemplating whether or not to join the Mormon Church because they have so many gosh darn good plein air painters. While drinking martinis. So we probably wouldn’t qualify…)
Here is a clip from the Sunday QuickDraw Silent Auction, when every painting sold inside the hour. It was a Collector’s Flashmob. Just like old times…
(The painting can be found below)
Well, in spite of becoming an international petri dish during the week I had a fantastic time painting in the Californian sun. The Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational is always fun and this year everything felt like an awesome uptick. Plus, I had the terrific sales this go-round. I had been prepared to ship a lot of (big) work home last Monday but hey, it turned out I didn’t have to. Nice. A huge thank you to all my collectors who came by this year. Thank you for your support!
And also, another big shout out to all the LPAPA and Laguna Art Museum staff, and all the volunteers who made LBPAI happen. None of us painters could have done our jobs without you! You never receive enough recognition.
All in all it was a fantastic event. Despite going down sick I had a wonderful time and sold a lot of work. I hope to be back next year!
For a list of the award winners and an extended slide show from the Laguna Art Museum, click here.