Sunday, August 31, 2008

"Pico Canyon Trail" ©

This is another view within the new Pico Canyon Park near Stevenson Ranch. It's very early in the morning. The homeless person was still asleep in the crook of a tree. I was very quiet. The trail offers dappled sunlight, a brook, groves of Oak trees and as you progress the trail changes to the width of a game trail wandering into scrub brush. I saw 20 scenes that would offer the possibility of beautiful paintings while wandering the "Pico Canyon Trail".

Oil on canvas, 8" X 10"

Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Pacific Dreams" ©

Possibly being a California native caused the magnetic pull the ocean has always had on my heart. Whenever the big blue expanse comes into view I breath deeply, contentment flows, my mind slows to absorb every bit of input of smell, sight and sound. Today, in my dry rust colored canyon I was full of blue "Pacific Dreams".

Oil on panel, 5" X 7"

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Coastal Haze" ©

Before painting this view I wondered how and if I could capture the lovely violets that the "Coastal Haze" created. Sometimes the brush seems to move itself, I just sit back and watch, this is one of those times. Now I understand those elusive grays.

Oil on Panel, 5" X 7"

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Farming Road" ©

Once another artist asked me, "What makes you happy?. Odd but that question has surfaced in my mind many times, not really having a clear answer. I know for sure collecting rocks or sea shells would top the list. This would seem to be a complete waste of time, but during the process I am completely happy. Gardening and reading, well not just reading but holding a book in my hands is comforting, would be near the top. But today painting this huge scene on a tiny panel made me truly happy.

Oil on panel, 5" X 7"

Monday, August 25, 2008

"Walker Trail" ©

Our brush is brilliant orange, looking so soft from a distance but if you hit bare skin to the dry twisted weeds you will bleed. This tiny painting has value changes in the large Oak Tree on the right that won't show, photographing late at night. But they are there. I need about 8 new tiny paintings for the Riverside Museum show and this may be the first or a warm up. The view is a few miles from my home and 2 miles from the original "Walker Cabin". A one room log cabin where the Walkers raised 12 children. Can you imagine?
Oil on panel, 5" X 7"

Friday, August 22, 2008

"Sunday Swim" ©

I have painted this little lady before and people keep adopting her. This painting was done on request. I picked this title because I discovered a very small pond within the Venice Beach Canals, early on a Sunday morning and this duck asleep on the bank, awoke, fluffed up her feathers and slipped into the water for a "Sunday Swim".
Oil on Panel, 8" X 10"

Thursday, August 21, 2008

"Vineyard Hills" ©

In a couple of weeks I'll be painting in the Falkner Winery Invitational near Temecula, California. Segil Gallery in Monrovia is hosting the event and it just has to be a success with the combination of wine, beautiful surroundings and art. So today while getting ready for a show at Descanso Gardens tomorrow I painted some "Vineyard Hills", just for fun.
Oil on Linen, 9" X 12"

Monday, August 18, 2008

"Pico Canyon Cliffs" ©

This morning a small band of Santa Clarita Valley Artist Association painters met in Pico Canyon Park to paint together. The cliffs in their coats of dry brush lit up in the morning light caught my attention and that is the subject of "Pico Canyon Cliffs".

Oil on Linen panel, 8" X 10"

Sunday, August 17, 2008

"Late Afternoon, Mt. Gibbs" ©

The last day of painting in Yosemite I painted this quiet pond, leading your eye to the rosy Mt. Gibbs in the distance. While painting several of the words of wisdom that Charles Waldman gave to the group were dancing in my head. I was trying very hard to implement as much as I could. Here are a few of his recurring comments that would be of value to any artist:

1. Before painting a scene, quiet yourself and tune out the chatter. Decide what the concept is before lifting the brush.

2. Value is more important then Color. Value (light and dark) rules, color happens. Keep the darks quiet!

3. Trust what you put down on the canvas and leave it alone.

Charles suggested many of the books that artists typically read, Hawthorne, Schmid, Payne, Goeschner, Macpherson and Henri. After the workshop I pulled some of these off the shelf and realized it's really great to be able to continue reading about the concepts we learned in the workshop. I would suggest if you would like a boost, dust these off and read them again.

And with this painting, as the light faded against Mt. Gibbs I was sorry to see everyone head home. The time together seemed so short. I am already looking forward to returning next year and maybe I'll be able to paint Mt. Gibbs in the late afternoon once again.

Friday, August 15, 2008

"Dana Fork Rocks" ©

Brushing off the tiny winged bugs and bits of leaves from this painting I was reminded of the lesson that it burned into my brain. Again this is Charles Waldman's teaching in action. Charles stressed using the brush to it's potential. Pushing hard to scrub in the beginning wash of oil, keeping the paint very thin. Then when placing your sunlight into the painting, load the brush with lots of juicy paint and with passion make the stoke of sunlight, never to to touched again. Usually it's temping to go over a brush stroke here and there, softening edges, even noodling. This act weakens the painting. Squinting down at my subject, the rocks, I was able to "see" the brilliant sunlight shape on the granite rock and with one stroke place the light into the painting. I would have never been so bold before watching and listening to Charles during his demo. This painting will remain in my studio to remind me to paint bold, strong and confident.

Oil on Linen panel, 8" X 10"

Thursday, August 14, 2008

"Tuolumne River" ©

I traveled up to Tuolumne Meadows early so that my sea level body could acclimate to the high altitude and my artistic eye could adjust to the light and palette of the landscape. Hunkered down in a grove of pine trees across the meadow from Lembert Dome I was in the "zone" painting away happily. When a gentleman walked up, I don't know how he found me in the trees, and said "nice painting". I asked him if he painted and he said "a little" with a shrug. I explained that I had come up for a workshop and smiling he said "well that might be with me". My head swung around and with disbelief I asked if he was Charles Waldman? With that we laughed and introduced ourselves to each other. He left me to paint but returned shortly and painted too. How lucky was I to have the chance to watch a real master paint right in front of me and this was before the workshop! And what a humble fellow to say he painted a little. This painting was my first piece finished along the "Tuolumne River".
Oil on Linen/panel, 8" X 10"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"Dana Fork Creek" ©

The high sierra region of Yosemite has an edge of danger and mystery woven into it. The weather can flip in minutes, hikers are subject to high altitude sickness, bears are too familiar with people food and hunt for unattended coolers and yet the beauty that beckons from around the next bend is seductive enough to outweigh any of these dangers. This little painting was done at the end of the day, in a closed composition (no sky), to capture the feeling of the granite rocks warming in the sun against the ice cold creek water. The rivers and creeks almost always had a lovely rust color glowing in the sunlight seemingly due to the algae growth on the granite stone underwater. This element of color sets off the stone and trees surrounding the water and provides the complimentary color to the sky that reflects in the dancing light. I would like to take this study and paint a nice large piece of the "Dana Fork Creek".
8" X 10", oil on linen panel

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"Dana Fork" ©

Charles (Chuck) Waldman could not have done a better job. He gave of himself 1,000 percent to the 12 parcipants of his workshop. The next few paintings I'll share with you may not seem like "Laura's", but that is the point of attending a workshop, you paint quite differently then usual, if you are learning and boy was I learning.
Oil on Canvas, 9" X 12"

Sunday, August 03, 2008

"Taunting The Sea" ©

It's time to hang my "Gone Painting" shingle once again. I am headed to the north east area of Yosemite National Park. California Art Club Gold Medal/Signature artist Charles Waldman will be leading a workshop that I will join while there. A workshop event saves you time scouting locations, provides a "tribe" that looks out for one another, promotes safety in numbers and gives an artist an opportunity to learn from all the other artists participating. I always make new friendships that last long after the workshop is over. I will return on August 11th with a box full of wet canvases to share with you. Meanwhile, here is another view of the "Sand Dancer" as she was "Taunting The Sea".

Oil on Panel, 5" X 7"


Friday, August 01, 2008

"Creeks Edge" ©

In a couple of days I am heading to the high country of Yosemite to paint. It's on my mind, packing paint, collecting the gear and buying bug spray with lots of deet. Painting today a tiny creeks edge in between all of the packing gave me a moment to reflect on the upcoming trip.

Oil on canvas, 8" X 10"
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