During Saturday's lunch someone said: "If the roof falls down over our heads right now, the miniature painting world as we know it is over". Wise words those were...
Monte San Savino (MSS) is currently the annual event that no famous Fantasy painter misses. Why? Let's see.
The town (Monte San Savino), in which the event takes place, is absolutely beautiful, everything is right at hand and it's very easy and comfortable to go everywhere by just walking a few metres. Is this why makes it so especial? I don't think so. Right here, in Spain, we have many other contests (Soldat de Plom to put just an example) that gather up all these location characteristics. But even so, they don't have the capability to summon so many world class painters as MSS.
Will the reason be then that the awards are insane mountains of money that are waiting for the best of the moment to claim them as his/her own? No, of course not. As far as I'm concerned, the highest money prize went to someone named John (Johnny lucky boy!) who was awarded 50€ to buy meat in the local butcher. Well, ok, I am not being fair (XD), there were many painters who got special prizes like miniatures or material (however I would still have preferred those 50€ in "porchetta" and I thought I had to mention it). But the important thing is that no, this, again, wasn't the reason.
Will the reason be that this is the only contest that has understood that a miniature expo has to be done with the adequate lighting, with enough space for all the pieces, with a delicate system for entering into the contest, checking out, and security? Well, again, no. Because this one, as it seems to happen with nearly all contests, fails in these aspects too. So no, this is not the reason.
Will the reason be the magnificent and legendary hospitality, the friendly personality and festive character of the italians? This could be, yes... but, don't we find this in other places, such as Spain (just as an example)? Come on, the spanish and the italians are like cousins!
Personally, and after finally having the chance to attend this event which has escaped from my grasp these past few years, I have to say, without a doubt, that I think I know the reason for its success. The secret is a careful effort of organization, constant, year after year. It has been built inviting the best painters and modellers of the world every edition, and little by little adding up fans, visitors who leave in love with the comradery and party ambience that surrounds it (and I think nobody will be able to say that I have not experienced this aspect myself this year... haha) and also the enchanting area in which it is located. People who decide to repeat every year because they see that the best modellers of the world have decided to mark it in their calendar as a must. Indeed, having all the best in the same place (and when I say the best, let me insist, THE BEST) is the ideal way of diving into the miniature art and not missing anything. You go to this contest knowing that you are going to see everything new that has been done this year and that it will be absolutely worth being in the town that weekend.
So finally, after being able to attend this weekend, I can say that Monte is the best summary possible of the year 2013. It's like a Masters Tournament where you can see all the best that everyone has done lately, with pieces that have won absolutely everything in other contests and that here struggle to get a bronze because the competition is absolutely insane.
With this post I want to start a series of articles around the contest of Monte San Savino 2013. Something which I also owe my good friend Francesco Farabi to whom I send lots of kisses (some more haha). I will tell you all about my experience, the miniatures and the people. Especially about the people. Because Monte San Savino is all about the people, a lot of people, and very good people. The best.