Wednesday, June 12, 2013

First Place at the Carmel Art Festival!!

I got back a couple of weeks ago from the paint-out in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, and I am excited to share the paintings I did there and tell how things went. This was my second paint-out and I had to sit down when I saw the ribbons:  I won First Place, Honorable Mention, and then later when the votes had been tallied, I also won People's Choice.  The whole show was really strong and included so many paintings that were beautifully executed--it was an honor just to be a part of it.  And to think that none of these paintings existed 48 hours earlier! It's inspiring.
On the Festival's website you can see all the paintings entered this year.
Plein Air Magazine covered the event in their online edition.
 Last fall I painted in the Hood River paint-out and found that I liked the focused intensity that comes with being part of an event, as well as the association with other artists. So I applied to participate in the Carmel Art Festival. I grew up in Sunnyvale, not that far from Carmel, and knew it was a beautiful place, though I had never painted there.  I figured it would be a fun trip. When I was accepted and read the list of participating artists, I woke up to the fact that this was a bigger deal than I'd realized. I would be painting alongside the likes of Randall Sexton and Paul Kratter, whom I've admired for years!
Carmel was a complete surprise. Maybe I hadn't been there before, after all. I thought you had to go to the Caribbean to find beaches like that. And the trees were all perfectly pruned, no artistic editing necessary.
All the artists checked in and got canvases stamped on Wednesday evening, and then we had till Friday evening to paint. I went to Monterey both days.
Down to Cannery Row, 16x16. Sold. This painting won First Prize in the whole show,  and People's Choice, which means it will be on the posters promoting next year's event.
 Aimee Erickson Carmel Art Festival Paint-out plein air first place

Monterey Boat Launch, 16x16. sold. This painting was awarded an honorable mention.
Monterey Boat Launch in its early stage. I was painting down by the Coast Guard pier and the weather was pretty gray. I borrowed this easel setup from my friend Marty--it's an Open Box M and is a lot lighter than the French easel I've been using for the past decade. 
Here's one of the Monterey harbor (sold) that I did in the afternoon. I really wanted to include those distant hills--those are really a part of my California.

Having my picture taken...remembering to breathe...
aimee erickson carmel art festival paint-out plein air first place

 On Sunday morning they have a bonus round where you get two hours to make a painting. It's called the Quick Draw and it starts at nine--except what I didn't know is that you can check in as early as 8:30 and then go set up! So at 8:55 I was sitting there on a park bench with Anton Pavlenko, having a coffee, when Joaquin Turner passed by, saying he was late and had only just checked in. Oh well! I checked in, crossed the street and did my painting.

Here's my painting of the festival tents in downtown Carmel.  Carmel Art Festival, 8x10

Carmel Art Festival, 8x10. sold. (Quick Draw)
This is a little study I did prior to the event. It's a view from 17-mile Drive. I was getting my eyes used to the landscape.
This one was a warmup too, at Point Lobos


Tina Stafford said...

Aimee, your work brought actual tears to my eyes. Here! I'll wipe one right here!

Your talent is immense, and it is no wonder that you have won such accolades. I am so proud to know you!! I will be coming to Portland next year with the musical "Once", and so just you WAIT! I'll be stalking you!

All my best congratulations, and from Andy too,

LOVE!!! Tina and Andy

Quin Sweetman said...

That is awesome, Aimee! Congratulations! Beautiful work.

Susan said...


Why is this absolutely no surprise to me? Congrats! You deserve it.

Susan Nestor

Lor Chambers said...

Congratulations!! Love your work. So glad you won. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Jo said...

I get so excited for the day when a beautiful painting of Carmel is hanging in my living room painted by you, my favorite artist of all time. It will hang in prominent glory near my three other Aimee Erickson originals!

I'm so happy for your success! I knew it was coming all along.

Daisy Jopling said...

I am so thrilled for you Aimee - I adore you work!!!

much love,

Daisy xox

Milli said...


When I need inspiration I go to your website and just admire and admire and admire... Congratulations on your great Carmel experience. Such a beautiful talent!!

Milli Goesch

eMiLY said...

Aimee, I was just showing Olivia your work. She wants to meet you so badly. Our son is leaving in September, we were thinking about a trip to the Redwood forest and up through Oregon before he leaves. Liv will only go if I promise to take her to see you. Please tell me you will! Love you! You're amazing and beautiful.

Diane Bassett said...

Aimee I realize what a big deal it is to win the Carmel Plein Air festival-- wow. Congrats (and I can see why you won!). We moved up from CA last year and were regulars at the Carmel festival-- it draws only the best artists, that town's art standards are VERY high. Lovely work, thank you for sharing it and for sharing your process

Diane Bassett (now in Vancouver WA)