Plein Air Convention Recap: Santa Fe

It was a whirlwind of a week! The PleinAir Convention and Expo (PACE) was held in Santa Fe, NM this year. I had an early teaching schedule--the good folks at Streamline Publishing had me do the first Expo Hall demo on Monday afternoon and the first time slot on the Demo Stage on Tuesday morning.

 Painting onstage at PACE

Painting onstage at PACE

For those who attended* PACE and signed up to receive the digital versions of the handout and presentation, here's the link (it's under the password provided at PACE and in your email): http://www.kathleenbhudson.com/demo-handouts

It was a joy to do my demonstrations early in the week. Not only did that mean I wasn't tempted to spend too much time later in the week editing my Powerpoint file, but I also got to field follow-up questions in person from the artists who'd attended the demo as I met them throughout the week. On Tuesday after my demo, I set up my easel right next to Michael Harding's table in the bustling Expo Hall so that I could finish my painting. (I wanted to make sure it was finished and framed since an artist had already bought it!) The setup worked so well that I returned Wednesday and Thursday morning--it was a perfect way to meet attending artists and talk with them a little more about their work than a short demo Q&A allowed.

It also led to one of the more memorable moments of PACE for me. As I was wrapping up my initial demo painting from the Expo Hall, art legend (and PACE's Lifetime Achievement Award winner) David Leffel approached to take a closer look at the piece. We chatted for a while and then I asked him if he had any input on the painting. He made some helpful pointers on the composition and then treated me and a small group of fellow artists to an enthusiastic riff on brushwork, painting from the shoulder (rather than painting with a still arm and wrist movements), and bringing your life experience to bear in painting. It was a remarkable exchange!

 David Leffel discussing the finer points of brushwork.

David Leffel discussing the finer points of brushwork.

The whole group (around 1,200 strong!) ventured out to Ghost Ranch on the last day to paint. It was stunning--views like this in all directions:

(Also pictured above: the Taos Pueblo.)


*If you attended PACE and/or Plein Air South and would like to get access to the demo handout, you can contact me and I'll send you the password!