Review of #PACE17

Review of #PACE17

San Diego #Pace17 Review

San Diego #Pace17

#PACE17 Review

In April very special artist friends Pam Wedemeyer and Joan Brittain and I traveled to San Diego for the annual Plein Air Convention sponsored by Eric Rhodes. Rhodes is the publisher of Plein Air Magazine and Fine Art Magazine, he also teaches art marketing boot camps and has developed a product called Art Marketing in a box, a yearly system with concise instructions for artists to follow to successfully sell their art.

The convention brings together around 1000 artists for one week of painting outdoors, seminars, workshops, and demos by some of the industries most sought after artists. It is a total immersion experience into the world of plein air painting. Some use their plein air paintings as the finished product, while others view it as a way of taking notes and studies for composing larger studio pieces. Either way, painting outside is a completely different experience, especially when shared with hundreds of other artists painting as a group on location.

The Women Rocked

I have to say this was the year of the women! If I were giving out grades on presentation and inspiration the women on stage would by and far receive all A’s. That’s not to say the male presenters didn’t inspire or share wonderful knowledge, the women just did an outstanding job of presenting their unique processes and heartfelt desire to create, living me itching to go out and paint!
I’ll like to share with you just a glimpse into my notes from #PACE17 and how the women really inspired me.
Women #Pace17 San Diego

the Women Rock San Diego #Pace17

Jill Carver- Visual Acuity

acuity |əˈkyo͞oədē| noun: sharpness or keenness of thought, vision, or hearing: intellectual acuity | visual acuity.
Jill Carver was a delight, with her English accent and great quotes from poets and musicians.  Visual acuity was the focus of her demo subdivided into four main points.
  1. Motif
  2. Notan
  3. Separation of Light and Shadow
  4. Freedom in Limitation
Sharing incredibly detailed explanations for improving compositions alongside photo references of her own work. She gave us a list of points to consider before even starting a painting. She believes in the importance of good palette housekeeping in order to simplify the process.  Jill motivated us to try exercises in limitation.
For instance: use only three values, giving so many more choices within hue, chroma, and temperature.

I left her demo wanting more, I will have to look up her workshop schedule!

Roos Shuring #Pace17

Roos Shuring making the most of her time painting on the steps outside the hotel

Roos Shuring- The Holy Grail of Landscape Painting

Roos pronounced “Rose” believes Color and Light are the “Holy Grail” of landscape paintings. She is a dynamic speaker and brilliant palette knife painter. I found her to be very genuine and approachable.
Three takeaways that spoke the loudest to me:
  1. The effect of light is more important than the object.
  2. Use of a small hand mirror held close to one eye, with the other closed look horizontally at your painting with comparative analysis.
  3. Experiment with Notans, see how little information is needed to convey your story.
I met Roos along the marina the first evening paint-out, I was blown away at the effectiveness of simplicity and the golden light in her painting. I I wished I had set up nearer her. After just that brief encounter I knew she’d be someone I really liked and her presentation the next day proved it.
Mary Pettis #Pace17 Painting from the inside out.

Mary Pettis #Pace17 Painting from the inside out.

Mary Pettis – Painting from the inside out.

Painting from the inside out.
I was most inspired by Mary’s declaration that she had designed herself a curriculum in order to be a proficient artist. Not only is she, she followed the lesson plan she set out for herself and has now published it into a book. Her presentation and book were guided by the lessons she learned seeking the knowledge and discipline needed to be an accomplished artist.
“If you don’t love it in the first 13 minutes – WIPE IT OUT” Mary Pettis
Mary laid out a step by step plan to paint a scene that could be completed within an hour. Beginning with an armature.  She had a timer and all!
I have to admit to you all that I didn’t sit through her entire demo. Reason being, I found it so informative and inspiring I had to buy the book and I knew it would sell out as soon as the session ended! I did, however, come straight back, and her painting was really near completion and quite beautiful. Much more beautiful than the photo reference. I’m sure because she was painting a subject she knew well and loved deeply.
One last gem:
“ think with the brush down, paint with passion, then put the brush down again and think”

Dena Peterson

Dena had a fascinating presentation about her experience painting scenes for “Loving Vincent” the first full-length hand painted animated film about the death of Vincent Van Gogh. Peterson a painter and animator from Colorado Springs in the USA, relayed her experience from hearing about the artist call on Facebook, to being chosen one of the 125 artist to work on the project out of 5000 submissions, then to her trips to Poland to work in her cubicle depicting scenes in the style of Van Gogh that had to coordinate with various other artists work and be wiped out once they were recorded.
Talk about daily painting!
Quang Ho #Pace17

Quang Ho pre-convention workshop

To be Fair

The obvious exception to the women ruling the show, Quang Ho. This pre-convention workshop deserves its own post. To be fair, there were men who left an impact on my spirit that week, to name a few Charlie Hunter, Karl Dempwolf, and Tony Pro. These men complimented my work, encouraged me and generously shared their knowledge with me. It goes without saying, Eric Rhodes is THE rock star of these conventions, without his efforts, I wouldn’t have seen or experienced any of this greatness.

Karl Dempwolf #Pace17

Karl Dempwolf and Joan discussing plein air by the sea at #Pace17

My Final Thoughts
I would highly encourage any artist with a desire to connect, improve, expand, learn, grow, be inspired and succeed to attend #PACE18. The Plein Air Convention will be held in the magical high desert city of Santa Fe, New Mexico!!!!!

 If you attended #PACE17 in San Diego, tell me some of your favorite takeaways from the convention. If you curious about attending throw your questions my way in the comments.

#Pace17 #Risingtide

#pace17 is a rising tide.

More photos from #Pace17

Artist Crush-Qiang Huang

Artist Crush-Qiang Huang

Qiang Huang demo at #PACE16

Qiang Huang demo at #PACE16

I have an artist’s crush his name is  Qiang Huang.

Of the twelve demonstrations I attended at#PACE16, my favorite wasQiang Huang- Capturing the Texture of Old Architecture. An inspired artist and exceptional teacher, Huang managed to explain his process so clearly I felt as if I could accomplish a passable representation of an architectural piece, a genre that,so far, has eluded me.
I first noticed Qiang Huang‘s (pronounced Chong Wong) artwork on Pinterest
Then in March I listened to his incredible interview on AHA . I knew from that point on he was someone I could connect with, learn from, and have an affinity with his vision. Serendipitously he was on the teaching staff at #PACE16, held in all places, Tucson! Just about 40 miles from my home. #PACE16 hosted by Plein Air magazine and Eric Rhodes know how to pick’em!

His demo, much like a mini workshop, at #PACE16 was a breakdown of his painting process. He shared the reasons for his color palette choices,such as using Naples Yellow Pale for warmth in the lighter values.He also gave us tips for drawing with the proper perspective and shared some great nuggets of wisdom.

If you see a happy accident,try and keep it.

Signature Style

Huang uses various painting methods to create contrast and variety in the same color notes. Some of his most used tools include the palette knife, bristle brushes,paper towels,calligraphic strokes, and even a credit card.

way better than a photograph

Qiang Huang’s philosophy on painting.

Qiang Huang-inspiration tip

I think I’ll use this reference for a painting and consciously recall Huang’s mini workshop

I have signed up to take his workshop in February, at Scottsdale Artist’s School in Pheonix, and can hardly wait! Last I checked spots were still available. If you have never been to the Scottsdale Artist’s School, I highly recommend it. You can read about my experience in the post-Workshop Review-Michelle Dunaway.

Qiang Huang demo at #PACE16

Qiang Huang demo at #PACE16

I hope you have enjoyed this latest “Artist Crush”, please feel free to share on social media, it really helps me out 🙂


Review of Paint the Peninsula

Review of Paint the Peninsula

This post takes place over a full week…and as the judge Jim Lamb said, “Art is a very subjective subject”.

The “Paint the Peninsula” plein aire competition  is in full swing on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington

By invitation 30 artists are juried and chosen. Artists are required to paint en plein aire at various locations throughout the Olympic Peninsula throughout the week. Each artist summits six paintings and participate in the quick draw competition. The winners of the competition will be announced at a reception at Port Angles Fine Arts Center with the artists, Saturday evening.

Sandy Newman

Sandy Newman

On Tuesday we met Sandy Newman at the John Wayne Marina painting a beautiful sea and landscape. She graciously told me about her painting and some of the event details.
I was intrigued by her brushstrokes and the. Nuances of color she achieved through well place color and direction of the strokes. The painting of the coastline was in my top three of the entire event. Somehow I failed to get a photo.

sculpture gardens @ Peninsula fine arts Center

sculpture gardens @ Port Angeles Fine Arts Center

Friday went by the Port Angles Fine Arts Center to view the artwork that had been submitted so far. I was blown away, inspired to paint and incredibly impressed by the eyes of others.

Farmers market demo with Emiliya Lane

Farmers market demo with Emiliya Lane

Saturday morning at Port Angeles farmers market two artist were demonstrating their plein aire skills. Emiliya Lane was very approachable and clearly at ease showing how it’s done. Depicting a scene in a few short hours, usually paired within a 2-3 hour period, before the lighting changes dramatically.

I also met Jeanne Edwards there a very talented local artist, with a warm smile and encouraging spirit. Later at the reception while admiring her paintings she had some very encouraging words for this budding artist.

Saturday evening we attended the reception at the art center.

Jane Wallis, Third prize.

Jane Wallis, Third prize.

Third place was awarded to Jane Wallace. The judges comments, Structure of design, movement of brushwork, loose quality, how it reads. Dynamic

Ned Mueller

Ned Mueller

  • Ned Mueller recieved 2nd place the judges insights, Percpective takes the viewer back into distance, grays warm and cool juxtaposed to bright colors…

    Bruce Gomez

    Bruce Gomez

  • Bruce Gomez is the first prize winner. Jim’s  pronouncement,Bruce is an expert pastel colorist, Great composition -large simplified masses with the finesse of strong light and detail.
  • Best in Show
  • Best in show went to Eric Jacobson the judge based his choice on, the most impressive body of work.Exemplifies confidence with brushstrokes, a decisive stroke laid down with confidence in the right color temperature and value. Simple statement,  strong in technique, color and statement.

Our dear friends purchased two paintings that evening,

and John and I were torn trying to choose a favorite we could both agree on. I have a couple still in the back of my mind I will seek out when I sell a couple more myself 🙂 Some of my favorites were by,

Jeanne Edwards

Ken Faulks

Maria Josenhans

Emiliya Lane 

Susan Ogilive 

Gretha Linwood

Sandy Newman

visit their sites you’ll be rewarded by beautiful images.

The festivities continued on Sunday with a family day, face painting, young artists painting a mural various set ups for demos and a food cart. The demos were fun to watch different artists approaches, perspectives and techniques while painting the same subject. There was nice still life set up with sunflowers  pumpkins and gourds on blue plaid. Two models were hired to pose in the meadow under the shade trees.

I was once again inspired by the event and impressed by the caliber of artists present. I took my sketchbook and felt welcomed by the other artists, though I am a beginner and, I even received some praise for my drawing! Though these were accomplished artist they most seemed to welcome my curiosity and questions. They seemed to have developed a strong camaraderie throughout the week, making the overall event a plesant one.