Thursday, May 14, 2009

No Sleep til Brooklyn and Does a Deer Make You Poop in the Woods? Wha?

The paint out is ON baby! We got rolling last night! All the artists gather downtown to get their canvases stamped starting at 5 pm on Wednesday night. Once you are stamped you can run to your first painting spot and let her rip. I need you all to see what a bad ass Billy was in line for canvas stamping....

He was like The Paint Out Terminator in his shades with the set jaw and serious stance. Once he waded through the line we raced straight down to Big Sur so he could stand against a howling wind and glaring sun (coming off the ocean) to start his first piece. It was COLD out there! Big Sur at sundown is maybe not the most plein air friendly location.... but it sure was beautiful to be there again!

Billy worked for a few hours until the very last light of day was gone.

We got home around 9 and could not believe how tired we were. We ate the shittiest dinner ever of frozen pizza and Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream. Nothing like it to set you up for disaster the next day.

The sleepless saga continues. Last night we went to bed at 11:30 with the alarm set for 4:45 a.m. My insides churn just having to type that out.... 4:45 a.m. Anyway, Billy fell asleep pretty easily and I of course just laid there. Aaaaand laid there. No sleep. Finally after what felt like two hours or so I got up to pee and I decided to be really daring and take a peek at the clock to see what time it was. The clock read 4:26. Oh. My. God. So I had been laying there for 5 hours. Awake. And now I had to get dressed and head out on the big paint out of 2009 in twenty minutes! For Billy's sake I did it. I am a real puss about sleep... as you MAY have guessed by my whiny last few posts here. I got dressed and we peeled off into the dark of night on our way to his second painting locale. It was pretty darned rewarding when we got there.

The moon was just setting and the whole scene looked like it had been drenched in magic blue marshmallow fluff. By that I mean it was way foggy... and as you can see oh so very bluuuueeee! Gorgeous! We set up to paint and it was like heaven compared to the night before out on Big Sur. It was calm, quiet and pretty warm considering what time it was.

We literally had the whole scene to ourselves. There was no one else around for at least 40 minutes or so and then the morning walkers started to trickle in. But we did not see a single other painter! Since I had the tripod with I made Billy pose next to my puffy morning face for a portrait.

We packed up at 7 to head over to Point Lobos. They won't let you in the park until 8 a.m. so we had planned to go over there a few minutes early to make sure we were first in line to get in. We stopped off at Carmel Roasters to get a big coffee and a bear claw donut (mistake.) Upon arrival at Point Lobos there was a documentary film crew before us in line but no other painters. We beat 'em again! We headed in to the spot Billy had picked out and as he set up to start painting I wandered around and shot photos. Point Lobos is one of the best places for a photographer to shoot til they go blind on the face of this planet. There are twenty images waiting to be snapped every which way you look.

It was long about this time that the pizza, ice cream, coffee, donuts, no sleep and morning madness took a firm grip on me. I suddenly thought to myself... "Uh Oh." And I know you all know what I mean.. Yeah... where is the nearest bathroom? Listen up internet. I know this is a delicate subject and one that some of you would probably really rather not hear about... so stop reading now and click off the page if you can't hang with poop talk. I made my way back around to Billy and told him that I was off to find "the potty." It was only about a 4 minute walk down the trail to where we had parked the truck but I then realized I did not have four minutes to spare. I started to kind of run and panic. Then suddenly there were people coming down the trail and I remember saying out loud... "I am not gonna make it." I passed the people and at that moment I spotted a deer path through the woods. In my moment of knowing that I was not going to make it I ran crashing into the woods in the hopes of finding a suitable place to ummmm... yeah. Then with all the sudden grandiose glory of a true miracle I saw the roof of an outhouse through the trees down on the hill below me. I made for it... still pretty sure I was not gonna make it. I sprang from the bushes right into the face of a gigantic buck who immediately jumped about 12 feet straight up in to the air. I nearly puked, pooped and passed out from shock. It was absolutely surreal. He was gone in a flash and I God Bless America made it into the bathroom without disaster. Let me repeat that. I made it. I could go on in detail about how at that moment a tour bus full of Asian people arrived in the parking lot and I had to share the outhouse with them for the next half an hour which was also an experience worthy of being labeled surreal. But I think I will leave it at that. Let this be a lesson to you all... and the lesson is.... uhhh, don't do anything I do. Ever. There will be consequences and they could be really dirty.

In parting let me say a word about my new banner. That there is a California Red Garter Snake and I almost stepped on him this afternoon while walking Rudy here in the RV park. He would have made the second snake I stepped on this month. I can't remember if I mentioned the one at Russian Gulch a week or so ago...but I stepped right on a little dude on the road in the park. I am really starting to rack up some serious serpent squishing numbers. I am counting the near misses (because HEY.... straddling a 5 foot King Snake between your feet counts) so a rough tally is around 8 snakes in the past 5 years. Lifetime total is closer to a dozen. It's beyond bizarre. I have some kind of snake voodoo. I never see them until it is too late or until Billy yells "Look Out! SNAAAKKE!" I would like to issue a sincere apology to the snakes I have stomped. I did not mean it and I feel awful about it. I hope they can forgive me...

I will try to keep you updated on Billy's progress in the paint out. Saturday is the big day! We turn in the finished paintings tomorrow night and the judging takes place Saturday morning. Again.. if anyone wants to sign up to bid or see the paintings as the go on the auction block go to the Carmel Plein Air Festival website for details!


Rich Luhr said...

I'm dying here ... from laughter. Your last couple of posts have been a riot. It's true that the best humor comes from adversity. Try to keep off the snakes in the future, tho'.

Bethany said...

Thanks Rich. If I can do anything it is conjure up a funny from my own ridiculous mistakes and/or misery.

Now if we can get through the rest of the weekend here without any more run ins with donuts or deer things will be great!

Rocky said...

Interesting text. You have a nice blog. Keep it up!

Brad West said...

Now I'm not an art expert but Brian Blood's 1st place work is drab and lifeless.... I would vote for Mr. McLane's Big Sur!

sybil said...

you are a stitch and your photos are fab. i miss the crap outta ya. pun totally intended... xoxoxo

Bethany said...

Brad... thanks so much for saying so! We had a good day but it was tough to be the new guy on the scene and get no recognition for what was truly one of the better showings at the event (or so we think anyway.)We will accept your vote as further proof that Billy did a great job. Cheers!