Monday, May 13, 2013
Tomorrow I hit the road for Carmel to paint in the 20th Annual Art Festival. I have a car full of frames, two easels (one for back up), a case of water, tons of paint, panels and brushes. The event is one, where your canvases are stamped at the start, you paint for a period of time and hang your two best paintings for bidding and sales. We are allowed to paint the surrounding area from Big Sur to Monterey and more. Calvin Liang will be the juror of awards and the paintings will be available for sale online and live Saturday and Sunday. The artists are allowed to replace the sold paintings with new pieces that were painted during the week. It's pretty exciting and they give you a cool hat.
This painting was painted last year after the event. The scene is looking across Highway 1 from Monastery Beach very early in the morning. On Monday I will post new paintings from the week.
Friday, May 10, 2013
Next week is the 20th Annual Art Festival and I was lucky to be included in the roster of artists. I have been thinking about painting in the Carmel - Monterey Bay- Big Sur area, the different views depending on the weather and adapting to the light that is unique to the area, while painting this little scene that is near Cambria, CA. For artists I would love to share a book I have been reading, "Traditional Oil Painting", by Virgil Elliott. If you can only find time to read the introduction, it's worth it. Elliot writes about all of the truths I have come to learn about the process of painting in such an inspirational way I wish I could copy the pages and send them to every artists I know. This is a reference book for the bookcase that I will pick up many, many times.
Oil on Canvas, 14" X 18"
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
This was suppose to be my demo piece during the Sierra Madre Art Fair. All the artists were so busy chatting up people and sharing their art that demonstrations were tough to get done. Most of the time my gear was under a palm tree waiting for me. It was a very good show, as usual with the rain waiting until we were all packed up.
Oil on Linen, 11" X 14"
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
Arlington Gardens in South Pasadena is a tiny plot of patchwork gardens of great variety. I painted along the sunny path lined with a few lupin, red poppies and young sycamore trees. Many garden vistors stopped by my easel to tell me their story and how they came to visit the garden. Some were first time visitors but most glowed as they talked about their personal love affair with this special spot. A couple of days ago I went back to deliver a painting that had sold during the weekend art show and in just that short time the garden looked very different. New splashes of color had popped and other plants hanging their heads were turning gray.
Oil on Panel, 11" X 14:
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Spring has had a tough time this year due to the lack of rain. Arlington Garden in South Pasadena has just a few signs of spring a few lupin, poppies and flowering trees. Saturday and Sunday I will be at the Garden painting and showing a few pieces as part of the foundation annual fund raiser. By then all the trees and plants should be covered in tiny new green leaves.
Oil on Canvas, 14" X 11"
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Next weekend I will be exhibiting and painting in the Arlington Gardens of South Pasadena. The artists were asked to paint a few pieces of the gardens for collectors that love walking the garden paths. This spot is near where gentlemen and boys play bocce ball on Sunday afternoons. The soft bantering of the men and light click of the balls hitting each other under the olive trees transported me back to Italy. Segil Fine Art Source in Monrovia is my gallery and one of the Pasadena Art Gallery Association members that is providing the artists for this event.
Oil on Linen, 10" X 8"
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Just before jumping on the plane to San Antonio last week I received a phone call from Senator Steve Knight's office congratulating me on being selected for the 2013-2014 "California Contemporary Art Collection" exhibit at the capitol building. I could hardly pay attention at the Salon International reception at the Green House Gallery, thinking about the canvas waiting for me at home, knowing I need to ship this piece to the capitol by Friday. The painting is very close to being done, now is when I need someone to take the brush away from me. It's so hard to back away from the easel......
Oil on Canvas, 30" X 40"
Monday, April 08, 2013
Last minute I jumped into this painting hoping to get it done by midnight to enter in the CAC Waterscapes exhibit. Once a painting buddy, Rod Edwards, told me that "green" paintings were the hardest of all. The difficulty was pulling off the different values and temperatures with only the greens. Years later, Scott Christensen explained to me that you can't have a green tree without "reds" within the greens. Boy, did he nail that one. So to begin this piece I started out with a Rembrandt Transparent Red Oxide wash, leaving bits here and there within the distant trees. It's a great tool to give the viewer the illusion that they are seeing into the forest and provided that "red" bounce for the greens.
Oil on Canvas, 16" X 20"
Thursday, April 04, 2013
In a few weeks the Arlington Gardens is hosting a paint out and art sale to raise funds for the foundation that supports the garden. I'll be one of the many artists painting in the garden. Last weekend I went exploring so I would know what to expect on the paint out. These lovely Irises were raising their heads above the spring grasses growing along a path. Nearby couples were picnicking under striped umbrellas on a flowered table cloth reminding me of Italy. A gem of a spot that I am looking forward to painting after I get home from Texas.
Oil on Panel, 12" X 9"
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
A year and a half ago I painted this spot and found myself drawn back to the subject of the desert dusk. I find comfort in painting the same locations. It is as if the spot becomes an old friend due to the intimacy developed while standing and painting for hours.
Oil on Canvas, 14" X 18"
Saturday, March 30, 2013
A nice way to end the day, sipping wine, watching the sun sink and the light closing over the vineyard. The show last weekend in Newport Beach went well and I met a gentleman that read my name tag and told me that he has one of my paintings hanging in his entry way. We figured out that he acquired the painting from Gales Restaurant in Pasadena where I have exhibited art occasionally for the last several years. What a small world. I do have good news, this spring I will be one of 3 artists showing long term at Gales. The food is delicious and the art is always a nice addition to the walls, so if you are in the area stop by for lunch or dinner.
Oil on Canvas, 12" X 16"
Monday, March 25, 2013
It's been a while since I have written about the process of painting, this little study allows a bit of discussion. If you look back to January 31, "Last Bit of Light", you will see the studio piece of this little plein air painting. By comparing the two, you can see where I pushed the drama of the scene and added detail to emphasis the theme. This painting is just a quick capture of the place and colors, very loose, very fast. I am anxious to get back in the canyon with spring just about to pop!
Oil, 6" X 8"
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Today I exhibited paintings with several artists including friends Rich Gallego and Lorelle Miller at the lovely Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina in Newport Beach as an addition to a vintage car show, wine tasting and fashion show. This little painting was my "demo" piece that I painted while talking to the car collectors.
Oil on panel, 11" X 14"
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
The snow was a "no show" this week, after several days of warm weather. Yet, the merry band of plein air painters went on our planned trip to paint the white stuff. The shore of Jackson Lake was colored in the muted grays of winter. One fellow that pulled over to see what I was painting said this little lake is the most beautiful spot in the area, no matter what time of year. I agree....
Oil on panel, 12" X 12"
Thursday, March 14, 2013
I learned something the last couple of weeks, never paint when you are sick. Talk about frustration. Finally I am almost "me" again, winning over the cold that has been hanging on and painted this scene that has been in the back of my mind for a long time. The Art for Animal show that started last Sunday was a huge success. Watching red dots and paintings flying off the walls was exactly what all of us had hoped for. The representative from the Humane Society explained to me how much the funds would help out with their new building. Next week I am off to paint in the snow.....
Oil on Canvas, 20" X 24"
Saturday, March 09, 2013
Malibu Creek State Park is always full of good spots to paint. For this view I am standing on the main trail headed to the bridge. It's my understanding that Ronald Reagan owned the land years ago and rode his horse all over the hills and canyons and MASH was filmed just over the hill. It's fun to day dream and imagine those days.
8" X 10", Oil on panel
Thursday, March 07, 2013
One of the many advantages of making paintings is that you can paint a picture of where you would like to be. Even though it's cold and raining outside, I could emerse myself in a sunny day at the beach, creating this little painting. I popped a couple of children in the scene and may take them out in the morning when looking with fresh eyes, again one of the advantages of painting in oil.
Oil on canvas, 14" X 18"
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
Last week our family grew by one, Eva, a greatly anticipated grand daughter. In between all the excitement I painted on this piece, a few minutes here and there. I almost gave up, usually I paint a painting from beginning to end without much interruption, as you would write a story, keeping the original idea in mind. This painting with it's starts and stops, seemed to get lost. I'll keep after it a bit.
Oil, 18" X 24"
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
At dinner the other evening, my artist friend Marty was showing me photos of her cats and cats at a rescue where she volunteers. She scrolled past this image and I asked her if I could paint these two cats, quietly sharing a tender moment.
Oil on Canvas, 14" X 18"
Posted by Laura Wambsgans at 9:25 PM
Friday, February 15, 2013
Some of you might remember my duck paintings from a few years ago. I thought a duck painting would be a nice addition to the animal show next month and tried my hand at a fluffy duck once again. I compared this painting to a few of the old paintings of ducks and am pleased to report I have learned a bit over the years. If you are a landscape lover, hang in with me, I promise to get back to the mountains and trees soon. I only need a couple more animal paintings to have a nice group for the show. (The show is at Gales in Pasadena, everyone is welcome to the reception, live animals, great food and tons of animal paintings.)
Oil on Canvas, 12" X 16"
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
This little kitten was just too sweet to pass up, adding to my collection of animal paintings for the show at Gales in Pasadena next month. I did learn that painting the fur is easier on a smooth canvas rather then a rough cotton duck, while painting the kitten. It is surprising to me how different the painting process becomes depending on the surface.
Oil on canvas, 12" X 12"
Saturday, February 09, 2013
Monday, February 04, 2013
Next month Gale's in Pasadena is having an exhibit of animal paintings. The sale proceeds will benefit the local shelter and a bunch of artists are jumping in to help. This is my first painting of 10, that will go to the show. It's been a while since I had the opportunity to paint some fur and feathers and painting this sweet orange tabby pondering helped me to get oriented after months of landscapes.
Oil on panel, 16" X 12"
Thursday, January 31, 2013
At the end of the hike with my painting buddies we rounded the bend in Elsmere Canyon to see just the last bit of light before the landscape turned monochromatic for the night. I knew I had to paint that very moment.
Oil on Canvas, 20" X 24"
Monday, January 28, 2013
Early morning on a chilly winters day, Elsmere Canyon's inhabitants are waking up as the morning sun starts to warm things up. This spot is along the creekside trail heading into the interior of the canyon. The last of the golden leaves dangling on the brush was what intrigued me to paint the view. I just went back the other day and all the golden leaves are gone till next year.
Oil on Canvas 16" X 20"
This is how the painting was approached in the beginning. Rather then drawing out the composition I placed swatches of local color all over the canvas, finding the painting as I went along.
About 1/2 finished, I now know where all the elements of the composition are located and have the general palette nailed down. From this point on it's just a matter of painting the piece. One of the big color influences on this painting and the previous painting was the introduction of "Kings Blue" to my palette. Recently I went to Dick Blicks to purchase a tube of Holbeins Gray Blue, my standard go to tube when painting sunny day skies and just about the same value/color as Vasari's "Bice". The art store in Pasadena doesn't carry Holbein any longer and so I substituted the Gray Blue with a tube of Williamsburg "Kings Blue". It mixes beautifully with every color from Rose to Cadmium Orange to Quinacridone Violet, creating beautiful grays. In the photo the little pile of "Kings Blue" is next to the white pile on the right side of my palette.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
This painting is the scene you view hiking down into Elsmere Canyon from the ridge to the creek that snakes along the canyon floor. The more I paint and explore this canyon the more I appreciate the fight to keep the canyon pristine rather then a landfill.
Oil on Canvas, 20" X 24"
Friday, January 18, 2013
Rounding the bend of the trail, high above Elsmere Canyon this lone tree lives clinging to the rocks. It has such great character and seems to defy nature, buffering wild winds and tough weather conditions. I had to paint it.
Oil on canvas, 24" X 30"
Monday, January 07, 2013
We are going back tomorrow to paint Elsmere Canyon again. This canyon has views that are strikingly similar to Bryce Canyon, the high Sierras, central California and the woodlands of Descanso Gardens. It's a painters paradise whether you are painting from high upon the "Beast" trail or down on the "Creek" trail, even in the nakedness of winter.
Oil on canvas, 9" X 12" study
Posted by Laura Wambsgans at 10:34 PM
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
In March the City of Santa Clarita is planning on an exhibition of artwork depicting Elsmere Canyon, a newly designated open space. Any artist interested in participating would be welcome, just email Jeff Barber at the city and let him know. Meanwhile my little band of painting buddies are out painting the canyon. This is my first painting of the area and while out hiking I could see the winter remnants of beautiful wild flowers. The canyon is quite scenic in the winter and I can just imagine what it looks like full of spring blooms.
Oil on Canvas, 18" X 24"
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Hundreds of people whiz past this view on McBean Parkway everyday. While Christmas shopping I whizzed by, slammed on the brakes, found a nearby parking lot and walked back to the spot, stunned at the sunlight bouncing here and there in the riverbed. I knew I had to paint it and finally have had the time after the holiday commissions and celebrations. My wish for everyone is a wonderful holiday and the most important thing of all, good health next year and always.
Oil on Canvas, 20" X 24"
Monday, December 17, 2012
Oil on linen, 11" X 14"
Source Tek panel, Oil Primed
King tides is not a scientific term, it describes an unusually high tide that only occurs a few times a year. Last Saturday painting at the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center we watched the King tides cover the bay in silver strips and bands during the morning and then give back the marshy brush completely by the late afternoon. Painting along side me was Rich Gallego, Lorelle Miller and Bruce (sorry Bruce I didn't get your last name). Rich is painting on the ridge and Lorelle is set up on the hill. All you heard while painting were sea birds, jets from John Wayne airport and the feet of the many walkers/runners on the sandy trail.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Every month George Malone, fellow member of the California Art Club arranges a paint out for one and all. Today when the sprinkles puddled up on my panel I packed up my gear and figured I had enough work on the panel to stop on this one. Corriganville Park was a gem that George had found for us. The area reminded me a bit of Vasquez Rocks with the addition of trees, paths and elevated spots. Even with the flat light of an incoming storm the park had views to paint in every direction.
Oil on panel, 12" X 12"
This is the best plein air location organizer and all around nice guy, George Malone, painting under sprinkling skies.
Saturday, December 08, 2012
In between the gentle rains I found this view of the Santa Clara Riverbed from the parking lot of the Midas auto repair shop. The leaves were freshly washed, adding to the sunlit glow of the trees. A couple of kids asked me what I was looking at for the painting and it took a minute for the idea to crystalize in their minds. I think they will see the riverbed in a new way from now on.
Oil on Canvas, 14" X 18"
Friday, November 30, 2012
In between the rain, the clouds broke enough to paint the riverbed. The storm has been so gentle that the last of the leaves are still dangling, leaving bits of gold in the riverbed.
Oil on panel, 6" X 8"
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
The cloud cover seemed to dampen the sounds of nature in Fox Field this morning. The rain coming in later today will fill the riverbeds and give this dry canyon a drink. A rider and horse galloped by and the deer I was hoping to see stayed bedded down in the cool morning air. If you are a painter or hiker the new Quigley Open Space in Placerita Canyon has several loops of beautiful trails in the wilderness to explore.
Oil on panel, 10" X 12", plein air
Saturday, November 24, 2012
For weeks I have been telling my painting buddies about the Rabbit Bush blooming at the end of my canyon. Today Lorelle Miller and I headed out with our gear to paint the golden bushes.
Just after setting up to start this painting I was reminded of painting on Catalina Island. I wonder if other plein air painters experience the recollection of other painting trips while painting out. I think it was the sound of a distant motorcycle on the 14 freeway that sounded like a dingy motor on the Avalon bay. Go figure. In this photo you can see the beginning step of the painting, blocked out in large shapes of light and dark.
In this shot the painting is half way completed. I took this photo and the lens on my digital camera decided not to retract. It still is hanging out. I can't be too hard on it, this Cannon has traveld the world with me taking thousands of photographs. Today I was thankful for the little camera on my cell phone and an old point and shoot I have stashed in my car.
Off in the distance Lorelle, was painting a lovely painting of the Rabbit Bush from another vantage point. I love the oak tree that dwarfs Lorelle.
This is a general photo of the area. We are at the corner of Placerita Canyon and Sierra Highway. If you paint and live nearby, it's a super spot.
Oil on panel, 10" X 12"
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Taking a quick break from cooking for tomorrow I painted this little sketch, to practice the beautiful colors that cover the land before the sun sets on Sedona.
Oil on panel, 8" X 10"
Monday, November 19, 2012
Lately I have been painting walls rather then canvas but I slipped off for an afternoon and found a spot down the road on the side of Sand Canyon that just glowed in the late November light. I would much rather wield an oil paint brush then a roller full of egg shell latex paint, that is for sure.
Oil on Panel, 12" X 16"
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Landing on the runway at LAX the city lights have always reminded me of jewels laid out on black velvet. Looking at the city lights from the Universal City Overlook on Mulhulland Drive was my best shot at a simular view. This piece taught me quite a bit about attempting to paint a city view at night. I have to admit I had a great time painting this one.
Oil on Canvas, 16" X 20"
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
After 6 years of blogging I have finally reached my goal of 1,000 paintings on this blog. In this posting I am showing the process working from the small original to a larger studio painting. Leave it to the family to spot an area that needs addressing. My daughter suggested that I change the width of the river as it recedes from the viewer and I agree with her. Fortunately working in oil I have the luxury of making changes as long as needed to create a decent painting. So I'll keep after this one.
This is the very beginning of the painting process. On the left you can see the little study that has all the information for a larger painting. Sometimes the larger paintings never measure up to the little guys but I am going to give it a go here.
At this point I have paint all over the canvas and each shape is addressed in large flat color.
Slowly I am fine tuning each area, checking values , color and design. If the painting is lacking in any of those areas I have the option of pushing or pulling until the piece works thanks to working in oil paint.
"Zion, Morning", 20" X 24" Oil on Canvas