Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Week End With the Masters Full Report and Then Some

All the stars were there, Schmid, Lipking, Gerhartz, Gusik, Burdick, Munday, Christensen, Pinkham, Weistling, Graves, Frantzen, Anderson and a bunch of others I can't recall.  It was spiritually, artistically, socially, and funkally wonderful.  I came away with one great impression that will satisfy me forever:  I AM REALLY GOOD!

I had no business being there.  I know all of that stuff already.  I attended a three day thing with Ray Roberts last week and came away with the same feeling.  It's just that I have been isolated for so long that I thought it was time to crawl out of my kennel and see what the other dogs are doing.  O yes, I did learn a few tid bits like: 1. Use mongoose brushes for my figure work. 2. Use big words like chroma and tertiary to sound smart. 3. Never attend art events staged at expensive resorts. 4. Painting from life is OK, but not necessary for the massively experienced.  One can paint with knowledge from past experience, but that knowledge may be enhansed through life studies--a little bit. 5. Great painters are not necessarily great teachers. 6. Most art students are 60 years of age and above. 7.  More women than men are painting. 8. Photoshop is God's gift to representational oil painters. 9. Everybody is a formula painter--some formulas are better than others, however--improve yours! 10. The representational painting world is tiny, ingrown, and linked to a dead past and will probably stay that way. 11. Publishers, agents, suppliers, and galleries now need artists more than artists need them--at least good artists. 12. My economic future is secure--I just learned that one!  O yes, one more thing.  CW Munday has not quit smoking cigars, but his wife does not know it!

I spent most of my time schmoozing  Jeremy Lipking, Carolyn Anderson, Tony Pro, Alexy Steele, Rose Frantzen and the portrait painter from Atlanta, Thomas Nash.  They are all angels--humble, focused on their work, ready to share, and they know their stuff pretty good.

The workshop was divided between two venues--Laguna Art Center and the Laguna Cliffs Resort in Dana Point.  The Art Center was a great venue--the Resort was crap.  Expensive resorts are no place to stage these things--parking was expensive, drinks were exorbitantly costly (sneak in your own bottle), the lights failed (Weistling finished a domo with a flashlight), a pool side lounge cost $50.00, the in-house music, while great, was too damn loud,  and other things I have blocked out in frustration.

These events are no place to chew tobacco.  I was poorly dressed and had to carry my own spitoon.  I refused to wear my name tag and some attendees thought I was a pan handler.  After a scuffel with a security guard,  I was arrested by local police, cuffed,  and stuffed into the back seat of a cop car and  booked at the police station until Richard Schmid paid my bail--I will always respect him for that.

I invented this last thing,  but I did get your attention.  Richard Schmid does not know me and could care less.  I did get to shake his hand when he came to pick up his beautiful daughter at the bar, but he was understandably preoccupied.

Anyway,  I drove back to Napa up Highway One through Big Sur (I'll never do that again) and chewed the fat on my cell with Dan McCaw who set me straight on a few things.  Namely that representational art is tied to the past and that one would do well to watch what the Abstract Movement is offering.  Wisdom indeed.  Let's all paint from a place that is uniquely our own, not Sargent's, Sorolla's, or Zorn's.  My problem is that in these times I have lost my interior mojo, and now that I don't need much money, I have to search for a new motive--do you follow me?  I am married and don't need pretty girls (I am getting fit because I am afraid to die),  I am completely unfit for any spiritual ministry,  I am aging fast, and I am addicted to nicotene, sugar, and golf--I am all f....ed up!  All that's left is to crawl away and die.

That's all for now--happy painting!

Yaaaw right!  The next person who says to me "happy painting" can go to you know where.  "Happy living" is a false exortation as well--so is "have a nice day"--I just heard that one from a forclosure officer.  He was just being "nice".

In conclusion:  All seems well,  and I am really motivated to paint lights out.  The first big change for me will be to paint all of those subjects that I have wanted to paint over the years but avoided because I was uncertain if they would sell.  But there is one abiding question that I must answer before I can move forward--a question that has haunted me like a demon since the Weekend With the Masters--the question?  Is the plural of mongoose--mongeese or mongooses?  I will be paralyzed until sombody give me the answer!

Who loves ya?  See ya down the road.  Always, Don


  1. Good post Don. Wish I could have been a fly on the wall. Sounds like you were in a parallel universe. I'll take your work about abstract stuff as a word from God. I was planning to go abstract on my next painting just to get in touch with my inner child...! Or something like that. I hope you'll post some photos of what you're painting soon. Blessings!

  2. Hey Don,
    I guess you had a great time! Seems we are in a similar place in time; hubby and I decided to do all the things we've been putting off because we were too afraid of getting hurt and not being able to work and losing everything we've worked so hard for. Not that material things matter much to us, we live rather sparcely and enjoy being able to go somewhere at a moment's notice. So, we are embarking on some new adventures this winter; learning to skeet shoot, cross country ski and snow shoe. I've always wanted to do a winter biathalon (cross country ski and shoot event). I'm not getting any younger or having any less arthritis pain so I might as well enjoy this life. I want to start exhibiting in art shows and fairs and don't care if I sell or not (of course I'd love to sell something once in a while) as I mostly paint for ME anyway and hope others like what they see. Always nice to read your blog, Don. Enjoy your evening... I plan to. Until later,

  3. Don, Don, Don.
    Hi, hi, hi!
    I'm back.
    Call me!!!!

  4. Don, lol, I truly enjoyed your post! Drove Big Sur after dark once (and don't do that either! Only one gas station in over 100 miles, etc.)

  5. Always great reading your posts, Don!

  6. Don ..... quit drinking before you post .....;v)

    All great Art movements looked back and then built on the past. Too few are willing to do something that does not remind us of the past.

  7. It sounds as if you're saying you think everything that can be accomplished by representational painting already has been. Maybe, but I'm not completely convinced.

    From top to bottom, beautiful Hwy 1 is barf-o-rama.