Hello, Love! I'm back in Sacramento after attending the Mendocino Open Paint Out (MOPO) plein air event. What a fun time! This is when the art center hosts over 50 plein air artists to paint in the open air on the rugged Northern California coast.
I'd seen the event in the past, but this was the first time I was able to join. It was fantastic to talk to so many talented artists who are all working together, supporting one another, and sharing their process. The creative energy was buzzing in the group.
They asked us to bring one piece to go up on the wall to kick off the show while we were out painting on the first day. So I created an acrylic painting on canvas called Breathe. It's a Northern California coastal scene where I wanted to bring in lots of color.
Breathe, Acrylic on Canvas, 18 x 18", Unframed but painted in detail on the sides.
They selected this piece to stay at the gallery for the month-long show, so it is available through the Mendocino Art Center. If you're interested in this one, you can call them at 1(800) 653-3328 and they will help you with it over the phone. They have a very friendly, small staff who was incredibly personable and helpful throughout the event and they will treat you well. Shipping is available or you can plan a trip to pick the piece up.
The event schedule was quite busy, and I wanted to spend as much time painting as possible. Next time I'll have to adjust my strategy for more networking and spend more time at the demos, meeting people, and take more pictures.
The first day I went to the eastern side of the headlands overlooking the main cove. I had a beautiful leaning tree as a focal point in my piece. My goal was to go for bright colors while the sun was still out. The fog was looming and threatening to blanket the whole scene, so I called this painting "Rolling In".
Rolling In, Acrylic on Birch Panel, 16 x 16". If you're interested in owning this piece, it was accepted into the month-long exhibition at the Mendocino Art Center. Give them a call at 1(800) 653-3328 and tell them I sent you.
On the second day, I went out with my new painting buddy, Jessica Willis, to the Big River Estuary where we painted alongside a popular hiking and biking trail overlooking the beautiful islands in the river. The shapes were a lot of fun and we saw a sea lion and lots of kayaks going by. Many of the folks walking by stopped to chat with us and it was exciting getting some feedback from the public.
When I returned to the art center at the end of the day to hang the piece I was surprised by a woman who I spoke with while painting who came in to purchase the piece. She loved that view and had been walking her dog there for years. So if you're reading this, Hi Christy! I hope I'm spelling your name right and thank you!
Day three was the Quick Draw event and we were given two hours to paint the grounds at the Mendocino Art Center. I chose a view of Pember Garden which was planted by one of the long time supporters of the art center who recently passed. I chose to paint loosely abstracted pieces of this view and chose a happy, colorful palette.
These I have in my possession and they are in my online shop. They're available and you can have a closer look at them here.
Pember Garden 1 & 2, Acrylic on Canvas, 12x12" each, Available in my online shop.
After the Quick Draw, we attended the award show. Low and behold I received an honorable mention in acrylics award for my piece, Big River Estuary. Wow! It really put a big cherry on top of the wonderful weekend. I'm so happy this event exists and I'll definitely be doing it again. If you want to be informed about next year's dates make sure to follow the Mendocino Art Center on social media and maybe we can paint together on the coast next September!
If you're inspired like I am and want to learn more about Plein Air, I have a Skillshare class called Plein Air Like a Pro: How to Paint On-Site in Acrylics. It's a great way to build your confidence before you head out so that you can be prepared and have a satisfying and successful day out painting. I'm pretty proud of this class and I think you'll like it.
So that's all for now! I wish you a wonderful day. Happy painting and much love!