Monday, October 29, 2012

4th Annual CAC Retreat at Marconi Conference Center

This past weekend Oct. 26-28, 2012, eighty-five CAC artists from around California experienced painting in spectacular Tomales Bay, West Marin with 70 degree coastal days and no fog. Historic Marconi Conference Center provided us with great food (in fact too much of it), fantastic vistas from the hills above, a spacious meeting hall and easy access to Highway 1 and all that the area provides... oysters, old boatyards, cottages on stilts in the bay, colorful fishing boats and kyacks, views of Point Reyes across the bay and ranchland with the iconic rolling Marin hills dotted by cattle and sheep. Does that about sum up a perfect weekend?

Friday was arrival day. As Christin and I drove up the highway in the morning, we saw painters scattered all over the area in small groups or as individuals diligently working.  Check-in wasn't until 3pm, but since I was the facilitator of the group, I had a brief meeting with the director and they gave us our room a bit early so we could go out and paint for the remainder of the day.  We chose to stay right on the grounds and paint from the hills above the bay.  I kept saying to Christin how gorgeous it was.  Soon we were joined by others checking out the grounds.  

At 6pm we all converged on the charming little restaurant they provided on the grounds and were delighted to find large round tables with tablecloths and candles.  The chef came out and introduced himself to us all and we proceeded to chow-down on a delicious multi-course meal.  After dinner we decended on Buck Hall, a large conference room with comfy rolling chairs dispersed around the room. We chatted for a while before I took to the podium with some announcements and on to raffle-time.  Savoir Faire, the U.S. importers of Sennelier, Fabriano, Isabey, Cretacolor and Raphael artist materials graciously provided us with an abundance of paint, brushes and drawing supplies for our give-a-way.  Since I was a previous product manager for them, I talked a bit about the history and properties of their wonderful products.  We were also provided with multiple sets of Raymar Art painting panels and a wet-panel carrier so that the painters who won them could go out the next day and experience painting with their prizes.  


On Saturday... we had a great catered breakfast with box lunches provided for the days outing.  Once again temperatures reached a perfect 70 degrees with almost no wind until late in the afternoon.  Everyone went their seperate ways but we requested that they come paint on the hilltop at 3pm so I could take some photos.  


After a relaxed dinner, we headed down to Buck Hall again for an evening of painting.  Two different model stations and one still life tabletop were set up. More than half of the attendees painted.  I was the dj for the evening and played an eclectic mix of music for the crowd.  So much fun.


Sunday morning... more food... then down to Buck Hall again where we set-out most of the paintings that people worked on over the weekend.  Some people even sold and/or traded their paintings with other attendees.  Reluctantly, we checked out and people went out to paint again or take the drive home early.  We all liked the facility and area so much that we have already booked the site once again for October 2013 at the same time. Since many asked us to make the weekend longer, we will extend it to three nights/4 days next year.

Kay Young and I are so proud to represent the California Art Club here in Northern California as Co-Chairs. We think the vision of Elaine and Peter Adams and support of the CAC organization staff headed by managing director Lisa Cavalier, do such a great job of helping make our chapter become a thriving artist community in the north.  Without the Pasadena headquarters contributions and chapter member attendance at our planned activities, none of these events would be possible.  Thank you to everyone!  

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