Friday, September 30, 2011

2011 CAC Limantour Retreat

This past September 23-25 the Bay Area Chapter of the California Art Club hosted the third annual Limantour Retreat… an event that is eagerly anticipated and unanimously appreciated.

Friday morning the earlybirds converged on Limantour Beach for the first day of painting. After a light morning fog burned off we were treated to one of those perfect fall days. Christin painted from the hillside overlooking the Estero and I painted from the edge of the parking lot looking south toward a distant tree line and the cliffs beyond. I then joined her above the estero for another. We both came away with a few gems. The tide moves quite quickly there so the meandering channels through the pickle weed marsh alter while you paint. I’ve learned over the years of painting there that you need to put down your water at the beginning so you don’t have to keep chasing the changing patterns. At 4pm we went back to the Hostel for check-in. Cars were lined up waiting to be admitted so that those who needed a lower bunk for various reasons could get first shot at them. I don’t think it has ever been a problem, but people seem to be quite determined to claim them since we don’t reserve spots in advance. Everyone brought an enormous amount of food for Friday’s pot-luck dinner and we all sat around the comfy living room getting to know each other better. Debbie Gualco brought a DVD of Morgan Weistling painting a portrait… and this kept a whole bunch of people enthralled.

Saturday morning was socked in with fog. We all shared a yummy Bagel and salmon breakfast and then trooped out to Drake’s Beach where we had a planned paint-out. Many stayed and some went to other areas of Point Reyes in search of some sun… but I’m not sure they found any. Those who stayed, spread out on the beach and hills to paint the surf and dramatic cliffs. At 4pm about 30 of us gathered and set out our paintings on the cafĂ© picnic tables. It was impressive… such good work. Kay Young was awarded the artist’s choice award and received a set of Sennelier oils for her little square painting of the surf painted on a silver-leaf panel. Will Maller captured second with another loosely interpreted surf painting. Back at the Hostel, after a dinner of leftovers and such, some of us took a walk in the dark down the trail toward the beach. Later some of us went up to the upper dorm and we held an impromptu portrait session. Christin sat with a guitar for the nine painters and we had lots of laughs.

Sunday morning we were greeted by unseasonable rain… so instead of laying out all of our weekends paints on the patio, we went to the upper dorm again and set everything there. Pretty amazing how many paintings were created and such good work.

It’s not often that painters can gather for fun. It’s usually for a high-pressure event or workshop educational gathering… but at the Limantour retreat, we simply paint and get to know other painters better. It sure is fun and I look forward to next year!

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