Memories of California

I am somewhat jet lagged after just returning home from almost three weeks in magical California.  Seriously with all the flight delays my head hit the pillow at 4:30am! Other than trying to get home, it was truly an amazing experience.  Although it was seriously chillier than I expected it would be.  But the sun was shining almost every day and the sky was so blue.

Never had the chance to share the experience while I was travelling.  Happiness is being that kind of busy.

PACE 2017 San DIego

PACE 2017 - This is a lot of what it was about

The opportunity to paint along side of plein air artists, watch what other are doing and learn from almost everyone.  And one of my personal favourite sports - checking out everyone's gear!  I was on the hunt for lighter gear to take when I am flying.  I had a chance to talk with lots of people to see if and why they love their stuff.  And to see what they would recommend.  Wonderful opportunity. 

The presentations were informative. I took many notes and also sketched some of the people sitting in front of me.  I have a travel sketchbook that I have taken away with me the past four years.  It reads like a journal with good detailed information from the sessions. I get to relive the the experience each time I open it up.  Really happy I have been doing this.

PACE 2017


This year I met up with Jane Freeman and Marilyn Wear once again.  We have managed to meet up once a year for the past four years - and plan to do it again in Santa Fe in 2018.  

We have so much fun attending the sessions, painting at new locations,  offering advice and opinions on art products and of course the conversations at meal time.  And checking out what each of us may have purchased at the Expo

We met up with so many people and had the opportunity to bond in art.  I would not even know where to start.  Just really grateful for the experience.

Spin to win and nervousness

Part of the excitement was the opportunity to spin to win. Every morning the 1000 attendees sat with anticipation to see if their name would be drawn.  On the last day, anticipation turned to nervousness as I heard my name being called out. I think I may have said crap!  We had to go up on the stage and do a happy dance. I hid behind the wheel but got caught and had to go out on the stage.  I was quite surprised at my reaction - I was trembling inside.  I really do not like attention.  

Wheel spin

New tricks

After PACE wrapped up, Gary came down to San Diego and we toured around, did the tourist thing and travelled up the coast to San Francisco. Coronado Island. Carmel-by-the-Sea. Monterey. Santa Monica. Santa Barbara. Napa. San Francisco. Alcatraz.  Names of places that conjure up so many romantic images in my mind. Fabulous trip.  Wonderful company.  Sigh!

And Gary managed to convince me that selfies are a good thing.  Ha Ha. I really do not like to be photographed.  Have to admit that selfies make fun memories.  Actually it was Marilyn that started the selfie thing.

Plannin' My Packin'

So I am excited beyond belief!

In less than two weeks I will be in Dubois, WY - painting to my heart's content in cowboy country at the Susan Kathleen Black Foundation workshop.  Real cowboy country with real ranches!  Oh and Yellow Stone National Park. This workshop is a big deal... forget that Robert Bateman and John and Suzy Seerey Lester will be there.  Ok, I tried - I simply cannot forget!  I am excited, remember!

DSC01065I bought a new easel - a travel easel far more lightweight than my um.... other easels (I shall not confess).  I did the research.  I searched the internet high and low.  I Facebooked artists who posted photos of themselves painting en plein air asking them about their equipment and what they would recommend!  And I am now the happy owner of the Sun Eden lightweight travel watercolor easel!  Love it.  Well, except for the backpack I ordered - does not hold all the equipment like they said it would!  The easels shelf is simply too big to fit.  The amount of searching I did to find a suitable backpack may be a blog post on its own at a later date!

Forget all that! Now I have to pack.  Have to make a list of what to bring and things I must not forget - suggestions and recommendations highly appreciated from those of you with this type of travel experience!

I will be meeting a number of my friends from ArtColony Blogspot.  Probably the real reason I am so excited... more to follow on this soon!