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May 18, 2011

Epilogue: The 2011 Carmel Art Festival...

Home from Carmel and what a festival it was for me...

Ghosts in the Morning    SOLD
12 x 16 | oil on linen

The locals know this place as the Ghost Trees and it can be found near the world-famous exclusive Pebble Beach Golf Course on 17 Mile Drive. After a long day of painting out at Point Lobos, and dinner and drinks at the Jack London Bar, Larry Moore and Don Sondag and I decided to try to bluff our way past the guard station on 17 Mile Drive and paint the ghosts at midnight. We succeeded at reaching the trees but unfortunately, while one of us was pulling out some gear (*cough! Don*), we set off a car alarm which provoked private security, and we got kicked out before we could get to work. I betting we looked like a bunch of plein air jihadist or something to the home-owner across the street. Which admittedly might be true for a gazzillion-dollar guy who loves his very exclusive quite privacy. After all, we were all dressed in black, wearing headlamps, and obviously doing something very strange and mysterious out there in the dark. So, like the proper artists we were, we packed up and drove back to Jack's again for a few more drinks and more conversation. The next morning, at dawn, I managed to roll out of bed and return to the ghosts and paint them anyway. With a mild hang-over. Ha!...

Well, "Ghosts in the Morning" hit big and garnered both the 2011 1st Place Award, and the Mayor's Choice Award, and after a full day of aggressive silent bidding it got kicked into live auction. Even better.

Me, accepting 1st Place from Mr. Jean Stern, Director of the Irvine Museum

A digression: The Irvine Museum is located in Irvine, California and it is the only museum I know of that is exclusively dedicated to exhibition and preservation of works from the early 19th Century California Impressionists. The Irvine has many signature paintings from this period -- beautiful Redmonds, Clarks, Bischoffs, Wendt, Paynes, and more -- and the museum itself is free to the public. Certainly worth a visit since one really can't appreciate the scale and grandeur such artists worked at by flipping through a book. Those guys liked to paint large. They really put their shoulders into it.

Me (again) accepting the Mayor's Choice Award from Tammy, the festival director.

And here are some of the other paintings I produced during the two days of the competition:

Garrapata in the Morning    SOLD
12 x 16 | oil on linen

Garrapata is of my favorite places to paint in northern California and it was introduced to me by John Burton, who is a fine Carmel plein air painter. Garrapata is almost aways a place of great wind, big blustery walls of air that push back at you and make you hold on to your easel with one hand. But surprisingly , when I first showed up it was quite still. Which was exceptional. But just as I was sliding my finished painting into the panel box, a gust of wind tore it out of my hands and dropped it into the bushes in front of me. (Poison oak perched on the edge of the cliff – perfect.) After running through all the cuss words I knew I carefully extracted it from the poison oak and and discovered the image had (mostly) survived, looking a bit like a C.S. Mundy. So I clamped it back on the easel and cleaned it up. When it came time to slide it into the box again I made sure I held on to it more tightly. A happy ending. I only wish I had gotten a better photo of the painting before it sold.

Holding Fast, the Cyprus Trail, Point Lobos    SOLD
12 x 12 | oil on linen

Point Lobos, once a mecca for the Northern California Impressionists, who painted quite differently from those in the Southlands, and the photographer Edward Weston. Every time I am in the area I swear I can still feel them working here.

Sunset Over Sugar Beach    SOLD
12 x 12 | oil on linen

Many thanks to Mark Farina for showing me this location the first night of the event. First night you get your canvases stamped and then rush out to find something to paint before the light completely fails, hoping to get your first 'solid' in the box so you can relax into the rest of the event. The official name of this beach is something else, but all the locals seem to call it 'Sugar Beach'. It can be found at the end of Ocean Drive right out of Carmel. Sugar Beach. If you saw the sand firsthand you'd understand why. Only in Carmel would you find an entire beach looking like it was made out of sugar. Likely taste like it too . . .

There is one more painting I produced during the 2011 Carmel Art Festival: a leisurely quickdraw of the Carmel Mission Sunday morning during one of their Masses. But I don't have a photo of it and must move on to other things now. I got a lot going on at the moment. I must get ready for aWillamette/Chehalam Valley Wine Charity Auction this Friday, and then I start packing for Los Gatos Plein Air. To do it all over again.

The fun never stops, eh? . . .


2 reader comments:

eric bowman said...

Congrats Thomas -- nice deserved piece!

Celeste Bergin said...

congratulations again, Thomas..I certainly see why it won!