Wow, I've been to a LOT of demos (aprox 1 hour long).
One of my favourite so far was an artist (originally from Venezuela), but now living in Texas called Mariela Villasmil-Kaminska.
Oh my goodness, even if you have zero interest in art... check out her site. It's amazing, the work she does. She's truly an oil-painter, works on canvas, porcelain, etc. So cool, she photographs her own models and then paints them.
It was just slightly mind-boggling how fast and accurately she could whip out a near photo-realistic face. Seriously, in under an hour.
I think the most valuable part of this trip is just seeing the scope of what people can do on this medium.
Some stuff didn't interest me at all, like they looked like something you'd buy at IKEA, or strange jewelry and free-form poured knickknacks (dust collectors, I call them), but other things were... they truly were art.
I'm thankful I have such a diverse (and extensive) background in art, and I'm even more thankful that my grandmother started me off in that world.
I've met many painters who knew/loved her well and have had the wonderful experience of hearing some quite hilarious stories about her.
...and I know she'd be happy I'm here.
Okay, that be all. I'm going to sleep now 'cause I've got another full day of demos tomorrow, then the final banquet... and no, I'm not wearing a fascinator.
EDIT: This morning I had the pleasure of sitting in on a demo by Yumiko Kanazawa, a Japanese painter who flew over from Japan for this convention, who paints in the traditional Japanese styles, like Imari & Nabeshima. VERY cool. We exchanged email addresses 'cause I absolutely love the paint she uses! When it fires onto the surface of the glaze, it's transparent, but coloured. It looks like liquid glass. Here's a link to an example of it, click on the pictures to see at full scale... you can't get the full effect in a photo though, just believe me, it's SO beautiful... and my brain just got going 'cause I want to experiment with it and other products and see what I can end up with.
The other great thing about her paints is it's all mixed with water (so it's not toxic) and you use the traditional Japanese brushes (which I already have a bunch of, semi-good quality, not the cheapies, and I already know how to use them).