Tuesday, July 30, 2013
retro fave: Richard McKinley -part four
One last plein air story from Richard:
Richard, "You have to know a little back history about me to understand this story. My Mom was always seeking. When I was about 7 years old she joined the Jehova Witnesses. Of course, she took me with her, to all the meetings. Until one day when I was about 13, I refused to go. I had my own ideas. Albert Handell knew this.
Now to the story, I was painting in Carmel, California with 4 other painters. Albert Handell and his ex-wife Anita West were two of them. California is a busy place. People everywhere. Albert wanted to paint at the mouth of the Carmel River. Huge beach, busy, drop dead beautiful. I had my full french easel with me. (Everyone knows those are heavy.) Still, you know me, I like it quiet. I decided I would go way down, far away, to the sand bar in the distance. I walk down, set up my easel. I have my back to the ocean and I was looking up at a body of water. Alone. Quiet. In the distance I could see Albert and Anita. I think to myself, "This is great...I'm out here all by myself." Relief.
So I begin painting. Things are going well. Two teenagers, a boy and a girl, who seem sweet, come with their blanket. They set it down right next to me. I think, "I can do this, I will just ignore them."
They are down on the ground sitting on their blanket. The boy looks up and says, "Excuse me. I just wanted to let you know that we are going to be doing a baptism -right here- 200 people. I can see that you are really into your painting. It's OK if you want to stay and keep working on your painting."
hmmmmmmm. I keep working.
People start showing up. First 10, then 20 and the number keeps growing. 100 plus and it keep growing. Now it's about 200 and a man starts to play a guitar. A minister comes. The minister walks right in front of me and into the water. He proceeds to baptize the 200 followers at the baptist-right there.
I continue to be tenacious...refusing to give up. The painting is absolutely awful. I try to ignore it. I refuse to give up. Finally the music ends. People stop eating and celebrating. Everyone is saved. One and a half hours went by. Finally I stand there before my horrible painting and I shift my gaze. I look over and there stands Albert and Anita roaring with laughter.
Albert says,"Don't tell Richard he can't do it."
And anyone who knows Richard knows he can do anything he sets his mind to, with care and thoughtfulness. Rare, rare, rare. On September 26 Richard will be inducted into the Hall of Fame for the Pastel Society of America The ceremony will be held at the Salmagundi Club in NYC. What an honor! And he deserves it !
More Richard goodness see:
Pastel Pointers Blog
You can also see the other parts of the interview:
A giant thank you to Richard for granting me this interview. It is always a pleasure to speak with him.
If you have a chance take his workshop. You will never regret it. If you can't or if you just want more , go to Amazon and pre-order his book. I did!