Carmel Art Festival kicks off today. I drive into Carmel to have a look-see, walk abit downtown, run in to a gallery, and then find the festival headquarters, pick up a schedule of events. Then I make inquiry to the Carmel Mission and off I go. San Carlos Borromeo Carmelo Mission. Dating to 1771, it is stunning, and the object of many painters’ inspiration. I pay the admission and begin setting up – after receiving permission – in the courtyard facing the Basilica. I use the umbrella as the sun is directly on top of me.
I work fast, relying too much on the palette knife and I scrape and re-apply often in an effort to evoke some texture and ‘weathering’ to the church structure. It’s nice, too, as there is a lot of color around, in foliage and flowers. I am told the early morning light is wonderful as the church glows. I may come back this week as now the coloration is fairly muted, but this will help me keep my values close and tight. I am sure to work right up to closing time. Nice to have so many people march up to me and comment how fast it is coming together.
One of the goals of this painting adventure is to learn to problem-solve as quickly and efficiently as possible. Get out of my head, don’t think so hard about it, but know that the homework is there and done and now try to use instinct. Much as an actor might approach, I suppose.
I am flying. Someone comes up, says, “Will you come back tomorrow to finish?” “Heck no, wanna get it done now. What time is it?” Answer: you have half an hour. An eternity, I laugh in reply.
Indeed, my friend at the admission’s gate comes up, see how I’m doing. I suggest that I will be packed up and out on time, fifteen minutes early (they begin closing at 4:45pm). And done, sign the darn thing already.
As I am packing up, I was going to walk around and say hello to an artist that I saw painting from outside the wall. I load into the car and look back, there is no less than half dozen, I assume festival, artists ringing the outside wall. I walk around and see their work, terrific, and feel my $6.50 admission was a good investment.
Head back and decide to check out the recommended restaurant, Baja Cantina. Excellent. A band is doing sound-check but they don’t start until I am well into my enchiladas. I get to hear “Hotel California” and a Santana song, but a couple of beers and shot of tequila and I am thinking about tomorrow. Grab a six-pack of Heineken and I retire for the evening.
As I get back to campsite, I hear the faint guitar of the band, so I did not miss them after all.