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By Shawn Escott posted May 3, 2017

I was thrilled to be attending #PACE17, as it has widely become know, and my excitement to meet my painting heroes was mounting. #PACE17 Stands for Plein Air Convention and Expo, the largest painting convention in the world. Somewhere around 900-1000 painters joined together for this one week of painting bliss. I mean, what could be better than surrounding yourself with like minded and passionate people in your field. There’s nothing quite like it.

The event started off with a bang as we all headed into the convention room to witness the official Plein Air Wars! It was a battle between painters to see who could create the best painting with limited colors and time while being heckled by each other. The subject matter ranged from giant chickens to ferris wheels with volcanos. It was so fun and the crowd loved it.

Each day was packed full of demos, meeting famous artists, and of course, painting! Some notable names I was lucky enough to meet were Camille Przewodek, Bryan Mark Taylor, Carl Bretzke, Bill Davidson, Michael Godfrey, James Gurney, Joe Gyurcsak, Brenda Boylan, Susan Nicholas Gephart, Velco Geurgevich, Quang Ho, Shelby Keefe, Jeremy Lipking, Chuck Marshall, Mary Pettis, Scott Prior, Lori Putnam, Roos Schuring and Jean Stern. 

Everyday, all of the artists headed out to paint various locations like La Jolla, San Diego Marina, Old Town, Point Loma, and Balboa Park. Many thanks to those who gave Ralph Papa and myself rides! If I were to paint in San Diego for a lifetime it still wouldn't be enough time to capture all of the beauty on canvas.

Eric Rhoads, the publisher of Plein Air Magazine, gave fantastic presentations and made us all feel welcome. Karl Dempwolf was honored with a lifetime achievement award and shared his painting process. Many of the painting demos were enlightening and I learned a lot. The convention store had any and every product you would need to paint outdoors and all of the vendors were kind and generous. 

The convention ended with a party, which unfortunately I missed because I was too busy painting! I heard it was a great time. As we all said our farewells, I couldn’t help but feeling like time flew by too quickly and that I might just want to stay there forever. #PACE17


Meeting my heroes. Painting in some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Meeting new friends. Selling a painting before it even got put on the easel! Spending time with my painting buddy, Ralph Papa. Having dinner with Joe Gyurcsak, Dan Mondloch and Ralph Papa. Getting critiques by Jeremy Lipking, Quang Ho, Camille Przewodek, Susan Nicholas Gephart, Velko Geurgevich, Brenda Boylan and Bill Davidson. Meeting Jean Stern. Seeing the beautiful work produced by the faculty. 

View a slideshow of my journey on facebook! View Slideshow

Until next year!