Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Plein Air Convention: Part 8 - The Irish Connection

Which two look Irish?
Okay folks, back to the Plein Air Convention.

As you know, I won a competition to stay in a luxury resort hotel, plus my heafty entry fee paid, to go to Ireland and take part in the Art in the Open Competition, taking place later this summer in County Wexford.

Well, on my first day in Vegas, after seeing the Monet exhibition at the Bellagio, I headed for the Red Rock Resort and Casino to register for the convention. I navigated my way through a labyrinth of slots, restaurants and shops, and followed the signs to "convention center". Who was behind the check in desk, but my friend Cinnamon Rossman, the woman that started the Door County Plein Air Festival. She is now working for Plein Air Magazine.

We had a hug and a very short chat, and I checked in. I got the name tag, a raffle form, and a Plein Air Magazine bag filled with the program, marketing literature (which included a card for the September Ohio Plein Air Competition), and some free art goodies like acrylic, oil and water soluable oil paint, view finders, and linen painting panels from suppliers.

Steve Doherty opening the Plein Air Convention.
Then, I stood talking to early birds at the T-shirt/hat stall, and as I looked around, I spotted Steve Doherty, renowned editor, first of American Aritst, and now with Plein Air Magazine.
We spoke briefly, and then across the crowded room,
I spied two tee shirts sporting the
Art in the Open logo
I said to myself, "These women have been to this competition!" So, I headed straight for them, only to find that they were actually the gals that had started the plein air group in the Southeast of Ireland. And they started the competition, now in its 5th year, and drawing artists from the US and several European countries. I gathered a lot of info from Louise, including the fact that commeraderie and partying in Ireland was going to be just as important as painting!!!
Here he is the King of Frames, shaking hands with Michael Godfrey.
I spent the next 2-1/2 hours chatting and laughing with Jayne and Louise (who are flanking Becky Joy in the first photo), and meeting and greeting artist friends like Ulrich Gleiter, Shelby Keeff, Debra Grosser, Marc Hanson, and feeling the excitement as some of the big name presentors came in:  Clyde Aspevig, Ken Auster, Matt Smith.
Then' low and behold, I saw my friend and past student, Susie King, crossing the room. "I yelled out her name, and we had a unexpected but joyful reunion. Susie checked in and joined the party.
New friend, Peggy Turk from California, and of course, Scott Christensen.
I'd had a long day of travel the previous day, and not enough sleep, and well, after about 2-1/2 hours of talking and laughing, I was starting to fade. Susie, went to her room to freshen up, but we decided to meet for dinner. She called me, and I couldn't hear above the din, so I walked myself and my phone out into the landing area, as I was walking in one direction, Scott Christensen was coming in the other. With cell phone to my ear, I yelled out, "Scott Christensen!" as I reached out to shake his hand. He actually stopped in his tracks as I'm sure my tone of voice sounded like he was supposed to know me and that we hadn't seen each other in such a long time." Crazy, I shook his hand and kept on walking. Hey, I was talking to my people!

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