Today is the last day for convention scheduled events…I know, sad. As has been the routine, Bootcamp started off the morning with Eric Rhoads presented a great marketing system to help artist who are not the most marketing savvy (wait…that would be most of us) generate more sales quickly and help propel their careers forward using materials that are tailored specifically for artists that help make connections to new collectors.
My next session was on the smaller Demo Stage where Dario Falzon was showing how he quickly moves from Block In to finished painting – and I’ll add effortlessly. Wonderful stuff.
Next up was Curt Walters. A master impressionist landscape artist who has spent a great deal of his professional career painting The Grand Canyon. He has been heralded as “The Greatest Living Grand Canyon Artist” by Art of the West Magazine in 1997. His work was nothing short of astonishing.
As if that weren’t enough, Bill Anton was on The Main Stage and Qiang Huang was on the demo stage. Not to mention, the Closing Ceremony’s was right after that and the Expo was shutting down. I was torn and flipped between all three. After Bill Anton was done his painting of a horse on the prairie he turned to the audience and said “this is the most important thing I need to do” at which point, he took out a cloth and wiped it all off saying “it’s just an exercise”. He got a standing ovation.
The closing ceremonies were what was expected. A public thank you to everyone who made the convention happen. They also announced that next years convention will be held in San Diego!
The Paint Out was supposed to be held in Old Tucson but I decided to back to Catalina State Park. It was close and very inspiring. I was joined again by Pamm and her husband Paul. As we were painting, Paul could hear a deep thrumming base noise coming from somewhere in the woods next to him. It turned out to be a huge bees nest in the broken limb of a Mesquite tree. Cool. As it turned out I was painting a Mesquite tree about 50 ft from where they were standing. This one turned out pretty good.
So today started out with a VERY early start. Up as close a we could to 3am… get dressed load the car making sure we hadn’t forgotten anything (passport) and headed for the airport. Got dropped off-kiss kiss hug hug – and into the United Airlines line which had about 100 people in it. Wait for it – I’m supposed to be on a Delta flight! Out of line and down to the Delta check in where I’m told I have to fill in the Customs Declaration which I dutifully do at the little desk. Then run over to the kiosk checkin and start padding away at the screen until it asks me to scan my passport… um, where is my passport? Not this pocket, nope, not this one, and (nervous tick) not… this one either…hmmmm. Panic engulfs my whole head. I can hear the blood pounding in my ears. I look over to the little desk and see someone picking up said passport and I duck under the cattle herding straps and smile awkwardly and take it from her ignoring her puzzled expression. Back to the kiosk, get everything typed in and viola! Boarding passes are spit out. Then through the customs and onto the gate which turned out to be in a small war zone. It’s totally under construction with white plywood walls, plastics sheets draped everywhere and complete with banging pipes. To top it off a new mother with a slightly glazed expression sits beside me going on the virtues of Tylenol in keeping her baby quite – quickly adding that she (the baby) has recently had her shots…. Onto the plane which is a very tiny jet and old to boot. We sit on the tarmac for about 15 minutes for no apparent reason then lurch into action taxing to the other end of the airport which, for those of you who know about YYC, that can taker awhile. Delta seemed to have to wait for every West Jet flight that crossed its path and we must have stopped a dozen times.
Then my favourite part – Takeoff which has always meant the adventure has begun. Nothing to report here but the view was spectacular coming out of Calgary and the flight to Salt Lake was pretty uneventful. I have to say – Salt Lake City is pretty interesting. Flat with mountains rising up out of nowhere – no foothills or anything. Tucson is beautiful. A modern city nestled in a very harsh environment. Lots of crazy looking greenery that looks very angry up close. The drive into the Oro Valley which is where the convention is being held is stunning. Can’t wait to paint here! Even in the inner city – it’s very rich!
Cactuses are blooming
Some Crazy Tree