Our city has a few gems in its special places to visit. The Haggin Museum in Victory Park is one of them. It is Stockton's record of local history, but equally emphasizes quintessential artwork. The currently featured exhibit is a large collection of National Park plein-air paintings, not a few crafted by locals like Gil Dellinger and Ray Roberts.
Over a dozen Plein-Air Painters of America were invited to paint and sell their work this last Saturday. They set up their tripods, tables and easels in and around the museum to capture their versions of the grounds and exhibits. Each participant seemed to enjoy talking to inquisitive purveyors while plying their trade. All the works would be sold around noon.
It was amazing to see real artists at work, transforming a blank canvas or piece of paper into a treasured art piece while you watched. Their years of practice made it look too easy, like anyone could do it. Yeah, right.
Doing something well means doing something often. After 40 years of running machines, I probably make it look pretty easy, too. All of us are artists in our own right when it comes to doing stuff. Do you do a great job mowing the lawn? You're an artist. Is your kitchen immaculate after you clean it up? You're an artist!
Unfortunately, we just don't get paid the per hour wages these oil and pastel people get. Some were asking over $2000 for a little 8x10 with a $2 frame that only took two hours to finish! Yes, that's $1000 per hour --- a little more than you're making cleaning that bathroom!
But money isn't everything. It's the knowledge that you're doing a job well that pays the most. If someone doesn't want to pay what you're worth, that's their problem!
Check out the morning's pictures here