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Mar 24, 2011

2011 7th Annual "Best of Plein Air" Acceptance...

Laguna Gold
14 x 9  | oil on panel
(Available - contact the artist)

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!)

Checking the Lobster Traps
12th Annual Laguna Beach Invitational Quickdraw Competition, 60 minutes
10 x 8  |  oil on canvas
(Sold - Laguna Art Museum)

6 reader comments:

SC Shisler: said...

Lots of news here Thomas. Congrats on all fronts! I'm in complete agreement on the judges picks, but I'm certain they were heartbroken to feel the need to exclude the painting of the tree (can't remember the name of it now...). They are all fabulous, but what I loved about the tree was the unique view - how bold and courageous. I'm pleased to have been accepted too - too bad I can't attend and meet some of you!

Thomas Jefferson Kitts said...

Thanks SC. I liked the tree better than one of the others too, but you can't eer second-guess what a judge will pick. Not even when I'm the judge. (grin)

Congrats right back at you for getting work in yourself. Plein air painting is a small world, so I expect we will cross paths something.

Keep painting!


Anitra said...

I love how you paint ocean. Its perfect!

G. Lindwood said...

Congratulations! It's a beautiful piece.

Thomas Jefferson Kitts said...

Thanks, Greta. Will respond to your other question via PM.


Brenda Boylan said...

This piece is show-stopping Thomas, so glad for your successes on all levels! What a year it has been for you!