Thursday, May 29, 2008

"Deep Within The Trees" ©

Along the Pacific coast in the Big Sur area it doesn't take many steps to be "Deep Within The Trees". This small study is the seed for a 20" X 24" studio piece that hopefully will mature into a beautiful painting.

Oil on Raymar Panel, 8" X 6"

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"Dawn" ©

5AM, cold, quiet, completely empty the sun just barely grazed the distant off shore cloud bank. Observing the sea I noticed that the wave was almost black due to the lack of back light that you normally see once that large orange globe rises. Sea birds pierced the sand in search of their morning meal. Sea shells that would find their way into plastic pink buckets by small chubby fingers delighted with each find, dotted the wet sand. Even I couldn't resist the most unusual shaped shells. As the light increased and the clouds rallied in pink, a few walkers appeared. And slowly over the next couple of hours the sleepy seaside community arrived, fishing poles in hand, dogs running with abandon, coffee cups and bicycle handle bars being maneuvered expertly. Another day in paradise at "Dawn".Oil on Linen, 11" X 14"

Saturday, May 24, 2008

"A Patch Of Sun" ©

This morning rain pattered on the roof as I lay under the covers hiding from the morning chill. My first thought was of the scheduled paint out and that the rain was sure to detour artists from coming. Three of us were strong willed and didn't let the weather keep us home. As we painted the sun played peek a boo all morning long. We were able to chose between painting the cloud dimmed landscape or "A Patch Of Sun".
Oil on Canvas, 8" X 10"

Friday, May 23, 2008

"Passing Storm" ©

Southern California has been hit by a myriad of weather patterns over the last couple of days. From hail to tornadoes, mud slides to snow we seem to be experiencing a potpourri of Mother Natures best. This little painting is of the storm clouds passing near where the 126 Highway and 5 freeway meet. My valley has really been spared from too much damage, for which we are all thankful. Tomorrow morning I am playing ring leader of a small band of plein air painters, everyone of us hoping for dry skies.

Oil on canvas, 8" X 10"

Thursday, May 22, 2008

"Riverbed Trail" ©

After climbing through fallen tree trunks and over rocks I came to this view. Looking out from within all the wild brush, rocks and sticks, out across the small field to the distant trees that boarder a valley out of view and I thought "aah haa", here is the painting. Viewing the painting in person you see all of the wild brush that has piled up against the group of trees on the left. The debate of whether to blog these photos that are so lacking in telling the truth about the paintings or to pass and just exhibit them to live viewers continues in my mind. For now I continue and share with you my view from the "Riverbed Trail".

Oil on Linen, 16" X 12"

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Along The Snake River" ©

We floated down the Snake River in Yellowstone two summers ago. Last summer I stayed at the Blue Heron Bed and Breakfast in Rigby Idaho, which is placed on the bank of the Snake River. It seems fitting that with summer temperatures heating up the land my mind would drift back into dreams of the lovely cool Snake River.

Oil on panel, 5" X 7"

Monday, May 19, 2008

46th Annual Sierra Madre Art Fair

Last weekend is a blur of meeting old friends and discovering new ones, surrounded by a hundred booths of fine art. I shared a booth with my Mom, Carolyn Gravatte. She really is the "Sierra Madre" painter, as she paints local scenes capturing the personality of the village. This show is a pleasure to participate in because it's so well organized and everyone is there to enjoy the art, food and music. The boy scouts guard the art Friday and Saturday night so the artists can leave their set up and sleep well knowing that all will be well in the morning. Each day I set up my easel to paint but never had the time to paint. We had a terrific show and I would like to thank each and every visitor for coming by despite the 100 plus temps. See you all next year....

Saturday, May 17, 2008

"In Morning Light" ©

"In Morning Light" was just juried into the upcoming California Art Club exhibit "Natural Beauty". It's a long show, 6 months at the Women's City Club of Pasadena, within walking distance of the Pasadena Museum of California Art, nice duo to hit in a day. Meanwhile this weekend I am showing with my Mom at the Sierra Madre 46th Annual Art Show. Sierra Madre is my parents home town and it's a great weekend to meet her art buyers and very good friends. *This photo is a scan of the submitted slide to the jury, which is the reason for the black boarder.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

"Lone Home" ©

Once in a while the original concept for a painting fails to find it's way onto the canvas. This painting while seemingly finished missed the mark. I had the joy of taking my palette knife and scraping away the brush strokes down to the linen. Now the excitement of attacking once again will fill my dreams, until tomorrow.

Oil on Linen, 11" X 14" unavailable, never to be seen again......

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"One Wet Dog" ©

His best friend is a Lab named Tibbs. Hank was retrieving a tennis ball as many times as it was thrown on Limekiln Beach. Painting wet fur and a hint of wet sand as background was a new challenge for me.

Oil on Canvas, 8" X 10"

Monday, May 12, 2008

"Limekiln Creek" ©

A flock of small children stood all around my easel asking just what you would expect. "What are you doing?", "How do you mix paint", "What color is that?", and then adding to the conversation tales of their painting experience and trials, which I came to hear are very great for 5 year olds. I had set up on the outskirts of the campground just above the creek, deep in the redwoods to paint "Limekiln Creek". We all had a great time. The children came and went, patience drifting away, then finally when the painting was almost finished the oldest said "who are you going to give it to"? I knew her mind was pleading for it, but thought better of sending a wet oil painting to some unsuspecting parents tent.

Oil on Linen, 8" X 10"

Thursday, May 08, 2008

"Canyon Glow" ©

Finally a painting that has the "feel" that I have been searching for with every attempt painting Eaton Canyon lately. It was almost sunset, I had parked in the dirt lot next to the holding arena for horses. Hiking into the canyon from that point I was able to see views that I hadn't experienced before. A small rabbit froze on the trail, I wondered if he were desensitized to humans or wondering where my other two legs were. The last of the sunlight was picking it's way through the rocks as I strove to do the same. I felt alive with the visual delight enveloping my eyes no matter which way my head swiveled. If you look back though the blogs I have made several tries at putting the visual and sensory input of that hike onto canvas, without much success. "Canyon Glow" has issues, they all do, but this one is the closest at capturing that spring day. A good piece to hang my "Gone Painting" shingle on, as I am headed to Big Sur on the California coast till Monday. Of course the painting gear will be stuffed into the car first before the tent. My goal is for a decent Big Sur painting to post on Monday, along with family fun.

Oil on Linen, 16" X 20"

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

"Rancho Morning" ©

This painting is another view of the Rancho Camulos, in Piru. The large building, graced by the Bougainvillea was in it's day a place to grind corn and make wine. I have never had the chance to peek in, it's time long past.

Oil on Canvas, 8" X 10"

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

"Mount Wilson Trail" ©

A few weeks before the devastating Sierra Madre Fire I hiked the Mount Wilson Trail. Today it hit me that the trail was probably caught in the middle of the fire and now just a path through a charred mountainside. This lovely tree is one that anyone hiking the trail has to pass. While I painted her I was hoping that just maybe she was spared. I'll have to go back and see.

Oil on Linen, 12" X 16"

Monday, May 05, 2008

"Bookends" ©

Great success at the "Art Matters" exhibit was followed by disaster at the Rancho Camulos Spring Fiesta. I was painting on this small piece while visiting with folks when a sudden gust of wind picked up my pop top and sent it sailing up into the sky, one big white kite. Next all of my panels went crashing to the ground in a heap with paintings splashed about, some in the lawn, some still tethered to their panels. After what seemed like minutes I looked back at my plein air easel, lying face down in the grass along with my unfinished painting. It was as if a giant was playing pick up sticks with my whole set up. He took his trunk like fingers and swirled everything into a heap. The damage to my bars was so extensive, putting the show back up was impossible. And so I slowly picked through the rubble, finding pieces and organizing my work. Today I pulled out the painting I had started and just picked off the grass, filled in the scrap marks and painted fresh. These trees really do look like "bookends". As an artist I know I am suppose to avoid bookends, but with Saturday still reeling around in my mind I went with the true scene.

Oil on panel, 8" X 10"

Thursday, May 01, 2008

"San Gabriels In Spring III" ©

If you are in Southern California, this weekend is full of art shows. I am lucky to be included in two, plus my paintings hanging at Gales Restaurant in Pasadena have been held over for a while. The two shows are polar opposites, "Art Matters" at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in San Marino and the "Rancho Camulos Fiesta" at the Rancho on Highway 126 near Piru. The artwork I was able to see being delivered to "Art Matters" was stunning (really gorgeous) and the event promises to be very elegant kicking off with a cocktail reception and dinner tomorrow evening. On Saturday the "Rancho Camulos Fiesta" will be very relaxed, with an antique tractor show, all kinds of art and jewelry vender's and costumed docents giving tours of the Rancho. The artists that painted out at the Rancho last month were all invited to bring paintings for sale during the Fiesta. If that isn't enough art for you, Margot Lennartz is opening at the Descanso Garden Gallery on Sunday and Linda Brown is opening at Segil Fine Art Source in Monrovia on Saturday evening. Just thinking of the days to come is exciting!

Oil on Canvas, 16" X 20"
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