Monday, October 11, 2010

2nd Annual California Art Club Painting Retreat at Limantour Beach

Once again, our annual artists outing was a big success. This year's 2nd Annual CAC Northern California Chapter Painting Retreat at Limantour Beach was held Oct. 8-10 on the Point Reyes National Seashore. Thirty Six artists gathered at the Limantour Hostel for two nights and three days of painting, eating and conversation. At check-in, Laife (hostel staff member) handed out sets of Sennelier Artist Oils to each participant. They were generously donated with our gratitude by Savior Faire... the U.S. importer of the French artist materials manufacturer. After four months of preparation, some people drove in from L.A., Monterrey and Lake Tahoe, but most people were from around the Bay Area.

We had spectacular fall weather all weekend with totally sunny skies during the days and a small amount of shore fog in the mornings. Absolutely glorious! After a day of painting at Limantour on Friday with many of the participants, Christin and I checked in and gathered for a pot-luck dinner with the others. Everyone provided an enormous amount of food. We drank (moderately) and engaged in group conversations with stories, laughter and warm smiles all around. It was great to meet some new people and learn more about the lives of other artists. This year there were many more women attending, so we had two dorms dedicated for the women, one for the men and one co-ed dorm. Naturally, everyone wanted a lower bunk, but it all seemed to work out. In the morning we didn't hear any horror stories of loud snoring like the previous year.

Saturday morning began with a Bagel, Salmon and cream cheese breakfast. We added a new twist to the Saturday of painting this year by holding a group paint-out at the Historic Pierce Ranch on Tomales Point which dates back to around 1850. It was a large dairy ranch that produced prized butter, milk and cheese products due to the near ideal cool climate which was perfect for grazing cows. Although the ranch is not a working ranch any longer, the cluster of old whitewashed buildings with surrounding cypress tree windbreaks are now preserved by the Pt. Reyes National Seashore and allowed us to all spread out and paint a similar theme. At 3pm we gathered at the main barn for a viewing of one painting from each artist. Christin Coy's painting was selected as the winner of the Artist's Choice award and received a nice gift from the CAC. Returning home later, we shared a Barbeque dinner and left-overs with more socializing. Another beautiful day in paradise.

Sunday morning we ate breakfast and then we all set out our paintings on the outdoor picnic tables so we could experience the various styles and techniques. It brought us closer once again to see each others work. Michele de Braganca won a random drawing from the hat prize from the CAC. We cleaned up a bit and checked out at 10am and said our goodbyes. Local artists scattered about and painted in the region on Sunday too. I don’t know how everyone felt about the paintings they produced over the weekend, but I do know that such events hold a special place in each of our heats and will be a memory that lasts in our history as artists. We're already planning our 3rd annual retreat for next year.

Note: This event came about as a result of the combined efforts to bring more CAC events to the Northern part of our state. Our local chapter, co-chaired by Kay Young and myself, has been working closely with the CAC Executive Director Elain Adams, Managing Director Lisa Cavelier, CAC administrator Barbara Chung along with our chapter volunteer steering committee. I was very happy to have administered this event on their behalf. If you're not already a CAC member, you too can join...CAC MEMBERSHIP INFO

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