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