Friday, July 18, 2014
We watched a summer storm break up after drops the size of nickels brought all the colors of the stone cliffs to a brilliance, unknown in the usual dry desert air. The play of the sunlight sneaking under and over the clouds created it's own drama that demanded reverence.
Oil on Canvas, 20" X 24"
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
Painting for fall shows, while the temperature gauge is inching into the mid-90's is twisting my paint brush into a knot. Not really, but it is very strange to be channeling the crisp mountain air and the crunching sound your boots make stepping onto the night hardened snow, while the ravens sit on the outside wall panting in the summer heat. This painting is another piece for my exhibit at The Lake House in Arrowhead, CA.
16" X 20", Oil
Thursday, July 03, 2014
At the end of August I will be exhibiting new works at The Lake House in Lake Arrowhead, California. Over the next several weeks I will be happily chained to my studio easel painting scenes for this high altitude loving crowd. Aspens seemed like a good subject to start off painting for the exhibit.
Oil on Canvas, 24" X 20"
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Last week I was one of 34 painters from all of the U.S. to gather near San Francisco, California, painting in the Los Gatos Plein Air 2014 event. Our mission was to paint the town and surrounding areas starting on Tuesday morning until Friday evening, when we turned in our favorite painting for the VIP Artists Choice Reception and Silent Auction. The event was put on by the tireless volunteers of the Morning Rotary Club and the proceeds will go to support art and science education to the youth of the Santa Clara County.
The painting above was painted in Vasona Park, on the first day. (12" X 16" oil on linen)
I found this view on an on/off ramp to the freeway. Early in the morning the sunlight was drifting over the hillside with such drama I knew I wanted to paint the scene. Of course by the time I finished the painting the light and view were entirely different, with the passing of the sun overhead.
On Saturday morning each artist checked in their paintings and hung their 2 walls with all of their work. I painted 9 pieces during the week and chose to hang the 6 best, in the photo above.
John Guernsey is a one of the terrific artists painting in the event and you can see him here hanging his walls.
We sold many paintings, while folks enjoyed live music, sipping wine all day Saturday. I drove home Sunday tired and happy.
Saturday, June 14, 2014
Oil on Canvas, 24" X 30"
After teaching a workshop full of fun artists in Lake Arrowhead a couple of weeks ago I started this painting for an exhibit next fall. I am still sneaking up on the light this painting slowly, too much too quickly and the painting will be ruined.
Next week I will be competing in the Los Gatos Plein Air 2014. If you want to read more about the event click here. It's an area unfamiliar to me and I am looking forward to painting the land south of San Francisco. If possible I will try to blog from the event.
A bit of good news, I was juried into the California Art Clubs exhibit, "Quintessential California". The show will be exhibited at the Santa Paula Art Museum until November 2nd, with an artists' reception on Saturday June 28, 4pm - 6pm. There is a slight admission fee, just so you know. To learn more about the museum visit Santa Paula Art Museum
Thursday, May 29, 2014
I am all packed for the workshop trip tomorrow morning, so this evening I painted this little sketch as a possible demo painting that I can paint Saturday morning on a larger canvas. The scene has several elements that I can discuss to help the students see issues that might crop up in their work. Next stop, Lake Arrowhead, California.
Oil on canvas, 9" X 12"
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
I had the opportunity to paint a demonstration painting of Tuolumne Meadows at sunset recently and enjoyed the memories of painting in the meadows a few years ago. Just as the sun is setting the whole mountain glows for a brief moment and then the show is over. I'll keep working on this concept, until I have a successful painting.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Last week I was in the area of Carmel-By-The-Sea painting in the annual plein air event. About 60 artists participate from all over the country. Our canvases are stamped on Wednesday night and we have until 8pm on Friday night to paint, paint, paint. The painting on my easel is almost done. It's a 16" X 12" canvas, that sold during the silent auction Saturday. I thought since the weather was so nice not too many artists would venture into the Carmel Valley to paint. Garland Park is the go to spot when fog has blown into town or when you want to paint the unusual view on a sunny day. Other the a few hikers I was all alone, thinking how lucky I was to be painting such a beautiful spot.
While I was painting on the deck for viewing the Pebble Beach Lone Cypress every 20 min. or so a tour bus would arrive, unloading people from around the world to view the tree. My photo with my painting will be all over China, Japan and India. Some people even took my paint brush and pretended to paint on my canvas for photographs. It was wild. I didn't paint the actual Lone Cypress because it is copyrighted by the Pebble Beach Corporation, so I painted looking north along the coast from the deck.
On Friday night all of the artists hung their 2 favorite paintings under the white tents on the panel with their names. If your paintings sold on Saturday you were allowed to hang 2 more on Sunday. I was a lucky lady and was able to hang 2 new paintings on Sunday.
Here is the finished painting of "Carmel Valley Afternoon", hanging on my wall. You can see that all of the artists must bring frames for their work, frame up the wet painting and hang the paintings on their walls quickly.
Pretty typical view at Point Lobos. We were encouraged to paint up and down the coast but Point Lobos offered such great views there really was no need to hunt around for another painting spot.
Here is my whole wall on Saturday. The bottom painting was painted at Cypress Cove, Point Lobos. Both paintings sold, so Sunday I hung new work and sold more.
After the quick draw all of the artists set up their easels in the park and offered the painting for sale by silent bid. Any artist that was awarded a ribbon was expected to participate in the quick draw. Unfortunately I didn't get one, so I was sidelined for the quick draw. My goal next year is to break the ribbon barrier and earn one because I love painting in quick draws.
Heading home down Highway One, the coastal views were stunning. I arrived home, happy, tired and ready for the next event. I'll be teaching a workshop in Lake Arrowhead the weekend of May 31, so now I am preparing and so excited to meet all the artists and teach them everything I know. Well, maybe not everything but all I can in 2 days.
Saturday, May 10, 2014
Last weekend I was showing paintings at the Sierra Madre Annual Art Festival and had a great show. While unpacking the truck, writing thank you notes and all the stuff we do to wrap up a big show I slipped in another painting of Canyon de Chelly. Next week I am off to Carmel California to paint in the annual plein air event. It's going to be a huge shift from painting the Southwest Desert to the Northern California coast. I am looking forward to wearing a jacket and painting cypress trees.
Oil on Linen 20" X 24"
Monday, April 28, 2014
The first time our Navajo guide drove up the shallow wash water we were surprised that the water was used as the road. We traveled across the shallow water as much as on sand. The reflections of the canyon walls and the lit trees against the backdrop of the shaded cliff was just stunning. I thought I would give it a go at painting the scene.
Oil on Linen, 18" x 24"
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Canyon de Chelly is often called the "sacred canyon." After painting on the edge of the canyon for a week I agree with this name. Hawks soar, small squirrels scurry and in general life moves on without considering all that people at home seem to be distracted with. Cell phones do not work, the television news seems distant and home feels like a globe away, not just a days drive. Truly, I can't wait to return to this sacred canyon.
Oil on linen, 18" X 24"
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Oil on Linen
Last week I had the luck to go to Canyon de Chelly to paint with 5 other Southern California painters, Marian Fortunati, Debra Holladay, Sharon Weaver, Linda Brown and Nita Harper. Canyon de Chelly is a National Monument located in the north east corner of Arizona and part of a Navajo reservation. We experienced wild weather from a desert dust storm, to 33 degree mornings to perfect sunny days on the reservation.
Here is a photograph of Nita and Linda painting along the South Rim of the canyon. The views were endless and painting the canyon is easy. You can find spots to paint out of your trunk or you can hike a bit, depending on your comfort level.
Nita Harper, Marian Fortunati and Sharon Weaver in the 3rd seat.
To explore the canyon floor hiring a Navajo guide is necessary. We used Canyon de Chelly Tours, Leon Thomas Skyhorse is the owner and Irene was our guide. She couldn't have done a better job, making sure we made it to all the best spots for painting. We were riding in a Suburban with the 3rd seat and rotated seats clockwise with each stop so everyone had an opportunity to see well. Irene told us that clockwise is the Navajo way and she was surprised we came up with the system as none of the other groups had ever suggested it. Although we spent the night outside the canyon in the Best Western and Holiday Inn, we felt like Irene was able to give us the canyon experience that people talk about after camping overnight in the canyon.
If you ever have the opportunity to see or paint Canyon de Chelly, go for it!
Sunday, April 13, 2014
For a brief time each morning the mountain in the west that hovers over Borrego Springs turns every color of orange and pink. It is a free light show the sun offers the desert residents, until the evening show at sunset.
I have been on the road painting Canyon de Chelly, Arizona and will start posting that adventure when I get all the paintings and cameras unpacked and unloaded. It's funny when I am out painting far from home it's easy to forget what I have painted until I start opening the wet panel boxes. I enjoy the surprises and reliving the painting experience.
Oil on panel, 8" X 10"
Monday, March 31, 2014
I must have painted this spot 10 times, at least. Sometimes you will hear collectors comment on artists painting the same locations over and over again. It's been done for centuries. And really, how can anyone blame us? The place is easy to get to, lovely to paint no matter the season and as we grow as painters the paintings evolve, always ending up quite different.
It has been a long time since I posted any process photos so I took a couple on this one. When I started the painting I was sick with a sinus infection and I had a very difficult time making decisions. After fighting the little cooties for a week I was able to finish the painting to some degree, which you see in the image above.
Here is the "start". I painted a rough line drawing of where all the elements would be placed and started just throwing in big colored areas to find the rhythm of the painting. I am painting the main areas in their local color and value.
At this point the painting is all there. Now is the really fun part of pushing the paint around and defining the scene for the viewer. I used some quick dry medium, so that I could paint layers, leaving enough of the initial layers that they peek though in broken color.
This is the final painting. I took the photo, just now, on the floor of my bedroom, trying to find a spot in the house that wouldn't create a glare. The actually painting isn't quite this "hot", especially the mountains but it's pretty close.
Oil on canvas, 24" X 36"
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
On Church Street, where you can find a variety of church services I painted this view one afternoon, while the bells rang out every half hour or so. The singing bells kept me in line from staying too long in one spot by reminding me that time was marching on.
This little painting of a Palo Verde tree was done at the Anza Borrego visitors center. Usually I don't post paintings in frames but I had not photographed the painting before it was hung in the Borrego Art Institute. Below is the Institute with the sunrise reflecting in the glass windows. I a few minutes later the whole mountain lit up in shades of pink.
This is very typical of the terrain in Borrego Springs, surrounded by the Anza Borrego State Park. It really is quite beautiful in it's understated hues and ever changing skies.
Saturday, March 15, 2014
The desert is complimented in the morning by birds, roosters and coyotes serenading the rising sun. I believe it's the nosiest time of the day. All the other creatures that venture out as the sand heats up are very quiet. A ranger told me that when the little lizards do push up's, it helps them to determine how far away something is. It is as though their bodies are just too low to the ground for them to judge distance. The things you learn out painting are endless.
Oil on Canvas, 20" X 24"
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Outside the Anza Borrego visitor center gates, these palms seem to spring up out of the desert floor soaking up the sun and loving it. I painted this early one morning before the crowd arrived to visit the park. This painting is one of the 10 I painted during the Borrego Springs Invitational last week.
Oil on Linen, 11" X 14"
This is the gallery walls before the final hanging. As the artists finished the paintings we brought them into the gallery framed, ready to hang. The artwork was hung so that visitors could see the work accomplished each day and decide which paintings they would like to purchase. There were 15 artists and we produced 158 paintings, in 5 days. It was worth stopping into the Borrego Springs Art Institute to see the wet paintings and different views of the desert. The paintings will hang and sell through the end of the month.
Monday, March 10, 2014
Last week I had the opportunity to paint in Borrego Springs California, during the annual plein air event hosted by the Borrego Springs Art Institute. This image is my favorite painting, out of the 10 that I painted, shown as it hangs on the gallery wall. Painting in the desert it was so quiet you could almost hear the silence. I was smitten with the subtle colors and constantly changing light. The main mountain that Borrego Springs is nestled up against, Indian Head, starts out a brilliant pink with each sunrise and ends the day in shades of blue.
Oil on Linen, 11" X 14"
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Saturday I am driving down to the Anza Borrego State Park area to participate in the "Borrego Springs Invitational". As a necessary treat (is there such a thing?) I bought a new plein air backpack to replace my little Ross Store backpack that only holds paint and paper towels and is ripping apart. The new one is a Kelty Redwing 44 . I wanted to take it out on it's maiden painting trip, so we headed out for a quickie at Towsley Canyon. The pack will hold an EasyL 11" X 14" easel and everything else needed to paint. I have graduated from carrying 3 items (backpack, easel and tri-pod) to just 1 item on my back, leaving me hands free. This is a great feature if you start to fall while hiking or just need to grasp rocks/trees for balance. So far I give the Kelty a 5 star rating....
Oil on panel, 8" X 10"
Friday, February 21, 2014
I painted this scene as a trial for a larger painting. The process helped me see how to create a better design and decide what to feature in the landscape. Now the real work comes, going big.
Oil on Canvas, 16" X 20"
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
For this little painting I zoomed in on this palm tree to really play up how the beard and fronds shifted color in the sunlight. Hard to believe but this particular palm tree stands right at the back entrance gate to the Phoenix Zoo.
Oil, 10" X 8"
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
One of the many things that Matt Smith taught me was to not work the whole painting to death, something I am very good at. On this one I tried so very hard to keep a lot of the painting rather loose and just have fun in the paint. If it flies with collectors, this is just a super fun way to paint and I'll do more.
14" X 11"
Monday, February 10, 2014
This is another painting that Matt Smith critiqued for me. His suggestion was to simplify the tree mass in the background and add some interesting color here and there in the foreground. He also commented that the sky I had painted was the right value and that many artists paint their skies too dark. Of course I took his advice and here is the finished painting.
Oil on panel, 11" X 14"
Friday, February 07, 2014
This week I had the opportunity to study with Matt Smith, a painter that I have admired for many years. A long time ago I was told by a top painter that it's a good idea to study with another artist once a year to kick up your artistic game. Matt has been on my wish list ever since I saw his original work in Scottsdale at Trailside Galleries. One of the many gems that Matt told the group was to spend a month painting in the field, 6" X 8" panels. I photographed the little painting with the easel so you can see how tiny the panel is, yet the scene is huge. Here are the main nuggets that Matt passed along:
- Use the best equipment and materials you can
- Always work large to small shapes, dark to light and thin paint to thick paint
- If there is a warm light source, the shadows will be cool
- Earth colors are only used as modifiers
- Save the painting of the sky for the end, otherwise it may be too rich/dark
- Value does all the work and color gets all the credit
- Rules can be broken / laws cannot
- Balance the painting front to back, not just left to right
- Always, always establish your horizon line, even if does not show in the painting
- Study the masters / look at and learn from great art
- It's easier to rich a gray color then gray a rich color
Here is a list of the artists that we showed take a look at on Google images he mentioned:
Frederick H. Waugh
Frank Tenney Johnson
Sir Alfred Munnings
William Herbert Dunton Frederick H. Waugh
Sunday, February 02, 2014
Yesterday I installed new paintings for sale at Gale's Restaurant in Pasadena. A new artist has been added to the mix, Jose de Juan. His brilliant street scenes got me all excited and I you know how it is, as an artist you can't wait to hit the easel and quench that desire. What could be brighter and more fun the a giant sunflower? Now looking at the painting on my easel, it really does bring a lot of sunshine into the room.
Oil on canvas, 18" X 14"
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
This little painting is in the same area as the last one, near Santa Barbara in the small town of Gaviota. The lake is just to the left, surrounded by paths meandering around the lake and across the golden fields. The houses that boarder the park are invisible once you start walking and it feels as though you are in the middle of no where, all alone with just bird songs breaking the silence.
Oil on canvas, 14" X 18"
Friday, January 24, 2014
Lake Los Carneros is located just above Santa Barbara in Goleta, California. The spot is a great painting location, safe, quite, lots of different views all day long. As I was just about ready to leave the little fellow on the other bank showed up to fish, so I popped him into the painting.
Oil, 16" X 20"
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Herd animals have a unique way to huddle, some facing out, others buried deep in the pile of hide. This little study explores the idea of a small group of cows huddled up in the warmth of the early morning light glazing the snow. Anyone that had ridden a horse can imagine the amount of heat generated by a large animal and appreciate the "huddle".
Oil on panel, 8" X 10"