Monday, May 03, 2010

Catalina Trip

I spent this last weekend over at Catalina Island painting wildflowers. I went over with painting buddy Rich Gallego. We left early saturday morning and came back sunday night. Fast trip but lots of fun. The first painting was done near the airport on the island. On the way up there we saw two heards of buffalo and as we were setting up to paint another one was checking us out from a nearby hillside. Here is my first attempt....
After completing his first painting Rich came by to do a study of a cactus plant nearby. He did this pretty fast and I got some reference photos for future work. There is a lot of cactus on the island and finding a good clump of it to make a good painting would be a breeze any time of year.

The meadow we painted at was about a half mile from the airport and yes you can still order a buffalo burger there.

Rich and his cactus study.....

There were some small golden flowers that were scattered throughout the meadow and they really stood out. I'm not sure what they are called but we have them up here in Solvang too so I'm sure they are fairly common wildflowers. We did see some lupine flowers on the way up to the airport but not enough to write home about.

After painting a good time in the sun I opted to paint in the shade. I have an umbrella that clamps on to my rig but you have to carry that thing, hahaha. Besides, the winds came up in the afternoon so that makes an umbrella into a really good sail...a tree works better if you can find one with a view. I ended up painting two from this location while Rich was down by the harbor painting the pier with it's famous green buildings.

Here's Rich and the pier. He came away with a really good one here but my favorite of his was the cactus study he did on Saturday. I've been wanting to do a cactus painting lately and planned on doing one right after my first one but he beat me to it. Besides....I didn't have to put up with 9000 questions and the ever popular "are you an artist?" like Rich did on the beach.

Overall we had a great time. Rich has a funny sense of humor so we did a lot of laughing. We both did lots of painting and lots of hiking feet and his knees can attest to that. The wildflowers were a little slim but there if you look. I think March or April would have been the primo time for them and that's good too because it's the off-season over there...less tourists and cheaper hotel rates (actually, the room we were at was only $80 for the weekend so we got a good deal there.) Funny, Rich talked to a watercolorist shortly before we left and he told him of a great spot just west of Avalon harbor but you have to crawl on the rocks by the water to get there....had we only known we would have hiked over there but we had a boat to catch....and a nice cushy seat on a boat was all too welcome by Sunday night.

Don't ever ask a guy in an airport tower where you can find wildflowers. You might as well be asking him where is the best place to paint on Mars. The guy knew planes and how to remind us to be on time for the bus to get back to town....or it's a long walk. It didn't take us long to find some to paint though....but there is nothing like the feeling of asking a stupid question even when it's justified, hahahaha. Another fun adventure excellent tacos at Petes on Sumner St.


Mick Carney said...

Sounds like a real fun trip. I'd love to find a painting buddy who shared some of my interests, there's a shortage of plein air painters where I live. In fact the majority of painters are watercolourists and whilst I enjoy that as well it would be a good source of stimulus to be able to meet up with like minded souls other than through blogs and WC.

Ron Guthrie said...

I met Rich when my gallery wanted me to paint in a plein air event down in Temecula, CA. We kept contact through email and phone. Rich is represented by another gallery that had their artists in the event too.

Going to paint in Catalina was another event sponsored by both of our galleries to do paintings for a show in September...artists going over there on their own to paint so we hooked up to go together sharing he costs of a hotel room and having someone to hang out with.

I don't think the medium would be a problem when looking for someone to go paint with but more just finding someone to meet up with. Maybe try an art organization would be the way of doing that...or maybe just putting thr word out with other artits that you are looking for someone even somewhat local to get together with to's a lot of fun painting with another artist or two since you do have painting in common. It'a a lot easier to talk with an artist over lunch since they do have the same goals and interest. Talking shop is a great way to learn stuff too.

Mick Carney said...

Thanks Ron.

Marian Fortunati said...

Wow.. Ron... What a GREAT adventure...

Good for you... Lots of great paintings as well, I'm sure!!

Ron Guthrie said...

You're welcome Mick!

Hi Marian,
It was a fun weekend, something you wish you could do a lot more often but man the price to get over there is like 3 times what it used to be and the garage fee for 2 days is plain insane! They'll pay for that building in 2 years, hahaha. I've meant to mess with some of the paintings done over there since being back but have had show stuff to mess with...all of that will be over this weekend. Whew!