They set us up for the event Monday morning with all the packets and maps and such then sent us on our merry way to go paint. I found an interesting blue house with white trim that turned out to be quite popular. I know at least one other person painted it.
(Most of my pictures are going to be on the grainy/blurry side unfortunately. I took these inside of a dim room...)
I then went over to the southeast coast of the island and painted this piece looking out towards Oakland from a small park.
The day wrapped up with an orientation dinner where all of the artists got together to connect, talk shop and drink plenty of alcohol... Fun times!
The US Navy graciously opened up the aircraft carrier USS Hornet to us painters to work our magic for free. It's normally a museum with an admission fee which is totally worth paying. There are a lot of neat things aboard the ship, including this Avenger WWII Torpedo Bomber.
A few cutters from the east coast had arrived and were docked next to the Hornet. It started getting pretty windy so I probably could have went further with it than I did.
The beginning of the day was spent at the Hearst Art Gallery in St. Mary's College in Moraga. (Superbly Independent: Early California Paintings by Annie Harmon, Mary DeNeale Morgan and Marion Kavanagh Wachtel) The show was extremely inspiring. As a bonus they had a few great pieces of their teacher William Keith. It was a good show, all 4 artists have a distinct style but had a common thread of Northern California Impressionism that is a nice legacy to enjoy up here.
Even though photography is *technically* not allowed at the show, once I saw someone taking flash photography (eesh) all bets were off, and I snuck a couple nice shots in there...
A Marion Wachtel Oil:
I got back to Alameda and sought out a more natural view that would suit the inspiration I got from the show. I went to Bay Farm Island and found this view:
I experimented with making the sky a lot darker than I usually do. It worked to make the ground look more sunlit. Afterwards I went to Lincoln and Willow and painted this piece of the liquor store on the corner.
There are some drawing mistakes on these that I wish I could correct right now, but hey that's the nature of plein air painting. I'll try to do better next time.
This was the day of the Quick Draw. We were told we could paint anywhere on Park Street from the bridge to the bay. While most people found a spot on the street they liked, I chose to paint a scene on the beach. I woke up in the mornin' feelin' like Charles Chapel Judson, so I painted this foggy windswept scene facing back into the city... I edited out the mundane buildings for a simple composition. This was definitely one of the most successful paintings of the week.
Once we were done sharing our pieces, I went over to the center of town and painted the First Congregational Church.
I thought this one was also pretty good, it's a fairly simple design once you look at it in terms of light and shadow. The ratio of the entire piece is about 2/3 shadow 1/3 light. I use a good recipe for sunlight where you make the light side lighter than you think you see it, and vice versa with the darks, then once you have that set up, paint the reflected light planes a bit lighter and colorful than you think you see them. What you'll hear is "Wow that looks so real" and the unintentionally-dreadful "It looks photographic." If its from a layperson, just take it as a compliment... I finished the day with a painting of the Posey Tube which I am still working on.
Friday had no painting. Instead it was the first day we showed off our best 3 paintings of the week. I put up the painting of the bomber, the tree with the dappled light, and the blue house. The results? I won the Frank Bette Award Honorable Mention (essentially 2nd place) for the bomber, and a sale of the tree painting.
The big day where we strut our stuff and show off all the paintings we can stick on the walls. Since I can't stand sitting around and shmoozing with the general public, I set up my painting gear and painted this scene of the wall next to my booth. I also wanted to try out my brand new batch of Rosemary &Co. Long Flat brushes that everyone is talking about these days, including Richard Schmid and Jeremy Lipking... I painted this with only 3 brushes, all being those mongoose flats. I love how you can get these extremely unpredictable strokes by twisting the brush around as you stroke, but will come back to its shape every time. I highly recommend them and am going to try out some of the other styles from that company. Great stuff.
Overall I had a great time. There were always a good amount of people making sure the artists were well-taken care of. Becca Payne, the organizer, genuinely cares about the art and artists participating in the event.