Sunday, August 29, 2010


The Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach is one of the most spectacular things I've ever seen!  We attended the special Gala tonight and thoroughly enjoyed it.  The Pageant is part of the Festival of the Arts.  Live people in costume are placed in scenes within illusionally engineered backdrops from master paintings.  Then, the lighting is altered and, before your eyes, the people look "flattened" and part of a gigantic painting.

To quote the pageant website, "What is it? Ninety minutes of "living pictures" - incredibly faithful art re-creations of classical and contemporary works with real people posing to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces. An outdoor amphitheater, professional orchestra, original score, live narration, intricate sets, sophisticated lighting, expert staff, and hundreds of dedicated volunteers have won recognition for the Pageant as the best presentation of its kind."

Cameras were not allowed in the pageant, but we were allowed to take photos of the gala in the festival area. The Festival of the Arts exhibitors were truly a cut above. Their work was displayed in beautiful indoor/outdoor galleries that encircled the festival grounds. Included in this select group was Geri Medway, the watercolor artist that I watched demo last week in San Clemente.  Her pieces were even more remarkable in person.  I'm excited to begin a five-week series of lessons with her in September.

A note to the wise who may attend this in the future...take a coat.  This is an OUTDOOR amphitheather.  That would have been good to know.  I had to stop and buy a fah-bu-luz hoodie to wear over my dress so I could survive the chilly ocean-side Laguna evening!! It kind of spoiled my attempts to play dress-up!
Bring a coat, but DO plan to attend this sometime in the future.  It's unique and amazing!

EDIT:  I just found another blogger who posted professional photos of  behind the scenes and pageant.  Check it out to see more fully what the pageant looks like.  INCREDIBLE!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Nancy Goldman and Geri Medway

I had the pleasure today of meeting two fine California artists. One is a fellow blogger, Nancy Goldman.  She was volunteering at the Guggenheim Galley for the Orange Art Association's 14th Orange Open Juried Exhibition.  The show is great - including three of Nancy's excellent watercolors! Check out her blog

Nancy told me about a demo in San Clemente which I attended this evening featuring NWS signature artist, Geri Medway.  I was so impressed with her work and her ambitious paintings of such varied subjects.

Meeting new artists around the country - and world - is part of the fun of being an artist!

Geri Medway's demo at San Clemente Art Supply was GREAT! She showed a slide show of fifty or more paintings. She was super generous with information about techniques she used to accomplish each scene. It was like a quick-fire class of painting after painting. It was a wealth of information for anyone with even minimal painting experience. She’d answer endless questions about each painting and tell the brush, the colors, etc. She had several unique combinations of colors that result in different qualities for each application. On each painting, she would point to a particularly challenging or unique area and say, “I did this and this by doing…” I took notes until my fingers cramped, so I’ll have to go sort it all out. What I particularly loved were her candid comments about mistakes. On two different slides she said something along the lines of, “Now this is, unfortunately, not what this painting looks like now. I 'ruined' it later by glazing this or that over it…” How refreshing and encouraging for an expert painter to be so transparent (pardon the w/c pun)! The biggest “take-away” I got from her demo is that she is willing to tackle anything. Her subject matters were extremely varied (eucalyptus trees, koi, creek beds, desert rock formations, geese, comic strips, marbles, Christmas ornaments, complicated palm fronds, sunlit barns, rusty gas pumps). Each were ambitiously difficult and excellently rendered with the attitude, “Can I do it?!” I loved her tenacity.