In the middle of October I spent a full week painting in and around the beautiful city of Ventura. It took me a little while to recover after seven days of non-stop plein air fun and work! I spent the lead up to the Invitational packing up frames and canvases and making sure everything I needed would be easily accessible in my car. Scott and the kids wished me well and sent me off with lots of encouragement–“You’ll do great, Mom!” I was pretty nervous myself, but excited to get the opportunity to devote a full week to painting on location.
The week began with record heat–temps over 100 degrees! The seventeen plein air painters schlepped our gear from the tops of the hills to the coast, back inland to farms and orchards, and around the beachy town of Ventura. It was great to share the camaraderie of painting with other enthusiastic plein air artists, and also wonderful for me to have many hours of uninterrupted focus all on my own.
The weather returned to more normal 70s and 80s by the end of the week as we worked on finishing up and framing our paintings. Juror David Gallup awarded honors for the work we submitted from our Ventura adventures. Big congratulations to Anette Powers for her grand prize winning piece, “Sneaky Pete”! She also received the third place award. Pam D’Ambrosi was given the first place award, and (whoa!) I was awarded second place!
On Saturday morning we participated in a “Quick Draw” event. We had two hours to complete a painting, frame it, and submit it for judging by the general public who streamed through Very Ventura’s Gallery V during Artwalk on Saturday and Sunday. Ray Harris’s quick draw painting was the winner!
The final award given at the Ventura Invitational was the “Artist’s Choice” in which all the painters vote for one painter’s entire body of work being shown at the gallery as most deserving of recognition. I was shocked and incredibly honored to receive this award from my peers!
Thank you to all the participants and supporters and collectors who made this week so amazing. And huge thanks to Kay Zetlmaier and Chris Beirne (and also Gereld Zwers) who planned and executed a wonderful plein air invitational!