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Weekly Paintings By National Award Winning Artist Terry d. Chacon

Friday, August 15, 2008

Catalina Island Summer 2008

Last year 2 artists from my painting group and I went over to Catalina Island for an overnight stay to paint. This year we decided to go again but make it 2 nights as we thought we were way to exhausted from the one night stay. We like to make it a summer trip to get away from the heat of the Inland Empire. Joan Coffey who also came last year & Judy Schroeder a new artist in the group and I left on Tuesday from Long Beach on the Cat Express to Catalina Island. Missing was Louise Smith who had knee replacement surgery and was unable to go and we really missed her company, although Judy was great fun and a good sport.
We arrived on the island around 1:30 p.m., went to our motel to check in and knew that lunch and margaritas were in order to get the trip going. Of course after Margaritas, it was siesta time back at the motel. Around 4:30 p.m. we decided to go to Descanso Beach, we had painted the beach the year before, but thought it might be fun to actually go to the beach itself and paint the casino from another view. Judy thought the trip might be too much for her as she was just getting over gout in her foot so she stayed downtown to paint. Joan and I made the trip, me pulling my art gear in my Artcomber and Joan carrying hers in a back pack. After arriving we were in luck, the bar/cafe was still open and Margaritas were again in order. We started painting, looking back at the world famous casino, the shadows and the sun lit places were really beautiful as the sun was going down. Unfortunately we took too much time and darkness came around way too fast. I got the casino in quickly on my paintings and realized that when I got to the foreground that it was all in shadow, so I decided to come back the next day and finish the painting so I could make sure and get the shadows on the trees correctly from the same time of day as when I started the painting.
We then packed it up and met Judy downtown and went out for a very late dinner. At dinner we noticed how beautiful the reflections from the lights were on the pier and decided to give a night time painting try. The town was alive with music coming from the bars (some people trying to sing karoke), lots of people out for night strolls along the beach, it was full of action. We set up our paints and realized, we could not see them on the palate and the lighting was very dim. I always set up my paints in a certain order and so does Joan so we were able to try painting. We laughed at how we wondered what the paintings would look like once we got them under light. This was the end result for me!
We loved our paintings and decided this would be something we would need to do again the second night. What a full day of excitement and we were exhausted and decided it was time to turn in.
The next morning we got up and asked how to get out to the Botanical Gardens. We had a couple friends (Mike and Michael) who came to my reception the previous Thursday at the Visitors Center and they told me they were going to Catalina on Sat. I told them it would be fun for them to leave us something there and see if we could find it on our trip. Mike painted a rock with his 2 dogs on it and a note to me and Joan, (it was very cute, as soon as I get the photos from Joan and Judy I will share that adventure with you) and sent us some clues via email. Early Wed. morning we were off to Botanical Gardens to find our prize. It was great fun, thanks Mike and Michael for being such good friends and playing along.
After the Botanical Gardens we went for lunch at one of the outdoor cafes. Artichoke melt and artichoke quesadillas were on the menu and boy was that tasty. We then headed over to the beach for some afternoon paintings.
We needed to be finished by 4 p.m. so we could make it back to Descanso Beach as we didn't want to miss out on finishing our paintings from the day before and of course have Margaritas. After finishing up at Descanso Beach we had a bite to eat and painted another night painting. I think I was getting very tired by this time and my painting showed that (not very good). After a long day we decided we would not rush to get up the next morning.
Unfortunately my time clock woke me up early so I took my shower and went down for coffee in the lobby. Later on Joan and Judy joined me and we went out for a nice leisurely breakfast, did a little shopping and packed up and checked out of the motel. They are such nice people at the motel, they held onto our luggage until 4:30 and Judy brought our luggage to the boat terminal so Joan and I could paint out on the other side of the beach and not have to walk back. This painting turned out very busy and I am not sure that I like it. I will wait for it to dry and see if I can do some studio work on it and make it better, if not it will go into the bad painting bin! I wanted to try and get all the houses on the mountain behind the town and the peir, with the boats in the water. (Now that is a lot to write, and I should have known way too much for a small 9 x 12 painting).
All in all, I got 3 really nice paintings so I am very happy with the outing. It was a really nice time and I am looking forward to my next painting experience on Catalina Island. Until next time, ENJOY THE ART! Terry

PS: On another note, I have been commissioned to do 5 ceramic murals for a new hotel that is being built in Redlands. More on this as the details unfold. Very exciting news.