The festival began on Wednesday night with check in and paper stamping at the Carmel Art Association. When they check you in the paper gets a Carmel Art Festival Stamp and date. I have to be careful not to get the fresh ink on the front of the paper.
This year a reception for the artists was added on Wednesday night. I was too anxious to get started, so I left the coast about 5:30 and drove out to Carmel Valley where it remained sunny until 7:15pm.
I painted "Carmel Valley Shadows" Wednesday night.
Thursday I started painting at 8:30 am on a ridge top in Carmel Valley. It takes until then for the wind and morning fog to die down. I painted " Valley Vertigo" in the morning, stopped for a quick lunch, then drove inland further and found some shade near a ranch in the Upper Valley. At about the 17 to 19 mile markers the Valley opens up into lovely rolling hills and Valley Oaks. You can tell I painted "Upper Valley View" in the midday light. It had that mid day effect of the sky value being darker than than the hills.
I then drove all the way into the junction of Carmel Valley Rd and Tassajara Rd. I took Tassajara Rd down to Jamesburg which was in a ravine and pretty creepy feeling, but was my adventure for the week.
There was a hill I have been searching for for three years that I finally saw on the right while driving back at about the 25 mile marker.( It was a painting by Arthur Hill Gilbert that I saw years ago at the Rieser Gallery that has stayed with me as a beautiful hill image). I need to get back to paint it .
I had had enough of the inland by then ,so I went to the Coast next. Just across from Garrapata State Park there were lovely hills covered with coastal chaparral. Since this is my preferred subject on Mt Diablo I thought it would be fun to try it in the cool coastal light."Coastal Hills " was my final painting for the event.
We had until 8 pm on Friday to enter two paintings in the competition. It is very hard to choose which ones .I probably should have entered "Valley Vertigo" and "Carmel Valley Shadows" but was worried they were too similar. No award this time but two sales (Valley Vertigo and Carmel Valley Shadows) were reward enough.
We got to replace sold paintings on Sunday and I hung all three remaining paintings, watched the quick draw auction and rewarded myself with 2 hours of driving and walking along the coast from Garrapata to almost Rocky Point.
While I was there, the volunteers sold the second painting for me. The weather cooperated, making this one of the most beautiful settings for a plein air event. The quality of the paintings was very high and I am always in awe of what the other artists paint. There were a lot of new faces this year and some artists from all across the country.
Next year will be the 20th year of the festival and I hope to participate.
The paintings mentioned in this post are in the next post down.
Here are the various configurations of my display at the festival: