Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"Hansen Dam, Winter II" ©

If you can imagine standing at the waters edge and being totally enveloped by gold. The leaves, the light and the reflections in the water, all golden. What a glorious world, and right off the 210 Freeway!

Oil on panel, 5" X 7"

Monday, December 29, 2008

"Hansen Dam, Winter" ©

Yesterday, driving home from the Descanso Garden Gallery I spotted this brilliant show of gold. Instantly pulling off the freeway, finding a place to park I was off and running, in search of a way to get closer to the "gold". Everywhere I turned the view took the breath out of me. I was even talking to myself about the amazing light and color. There will be several paintings out of the material gathered. Here is the first little study of Hansen Dam in the winter.

Oil on panel, 5" X 7"

Sunday, December 28, 2008

"Midday Chill II" ©

The original "Midday Chill" was posted a few postings ago. The view appealed to me and I felt it warranted a larger canvas.

Oil on canvas, 11" X 14"

Saturday, December 27, 2008

"Danielle and Joey" ©

"Danielle and Joey" were painted on request by her family. They supplied a super photograph and just asked me to do my best. Danielle is lovely girl I wouldn't mind adopting and I care for her a great deal. Joey is one of those amazing dogs, that come along once in a lifetime. Spending time with these two, even if it's just on canvas, was like going on vacation during the holiday scramble.
Oil on Canvas, 16" X 20"

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"In Between Storms" ©

Another storm is pounding Southern California today. White dusted mountains were visable until the afternoon when the valley became veiled completely in white gauze clouds. This little painting is the view near the 14 freeway and San Fernando Road, "In Between The Storms".

Oil on Panel, 5" X 7"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Winter Day" ©

Yesterday we had real rain, the creek is flowing and you can almost hear the trees sing with joy. The clouds passed overhead, sometimes letting the blue beyond peek through, at other times solid dark fluff blanketed the valley.

Oil on panel, 5" X 7"

Friday, December 12, 2008

"Midday Chill" ©

You could hear the conversations of ducks coming from the small island of brush and reeds. The cold air stiffened my oil paint to the point of solid masses on the palette. The location is another gem on the California crown.

Oil on panel, 5" x 7"

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"Breaking Clouds" ©

Caught up in the holiday chores, I went outside for break and a quick walk wondering what I would paint today. The sky was inspiring, to the west I could see the "Breaking Clouds".

Oil on panel, 5" X 7"


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Cottonwoods Below" ©

In a cold wind blowing I was lucky to get any paint onto the panel today. I met up with a few wonderful lady painters in Towsley Canyon and we painted together. This is my effort, standing on the edge of a cliff looking at the tops of the "Cottonwoods Below".
Oil on panel, 8" X 10"

Monday, December 08, 2008

"Whispering Pines" ©

On the way up to the Sierra's we noticed the names of small motels and Inn's, deciding that they would make wonderful titles for paintings of local scenes. While standing mesmerized by the shade on this granite outcrop I heard the "Whispering Pines", which was also the name of a tiny motel a few miles away.

Oil on Linen, 16" X 20"

Sunday, December 07, 2008

"Malibu Ranch" ©

The California Art Club quarterly paint out was held at the King Gillette Ranch in Malibu on Saturday. Sharon Burkett Kaiser arranged everything beautifully and I am grateful for all of her efforts to make sure everyone was comfortable. The ranch was a terrific painting location. You could have blindfolded me, spun me around, whipped off the blindfold and said "paint that", and "that" whatever it was would have been inspiring. A long stand of Eucalyptus trees line the entry drive, the distant famous Malibu mountains were beckoning, flocks of ducks paddled around in a pond that reflected golden Sycamore trees, the paintable views were endless. I finally settled on this little group of buildings off in the distance with the huge Sycamore trees towering over. What a day we all had, absolutely perfect.
Oil on panel, 9" x 12"

Friday, December 05, 2008

"Fine Feathered Family" ©

I promised to post the commissioned duck painting that I have been working on for weeks. It's so large I can't get a decent photo but hopefully you can get the idea. Delivery was today and I was still painting on it yesterday. Are we ever done? Thank goodness for deadlines. My easel looks empty and I'll miss my fluffy feathered buddies. Now they hang over a carved marble fireplace, in a soft mint green sun room, floating peacefully forever.

Oil on canvas, 30" X 40"


Thursday, December 04, 2008

"Sierra Duck" ©

Prior to visiting the Sierra's I had no idea that ducks would happily swim in ice water. As their creek froze over they would all migrate to the large lake, then later in the day when the sun had performed it's magic defrost the ducks would return to the creek. A winters day routine. Preening took up a major amount of time for this high "Sierra Duck".

Oil on canvas, 6" X 8"

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

"Winter Brush" ©

On painter John Cosby's bookshelf I found "Impressionists In Winter, Effets de Neige". Ever curious I requested the book from my library and it finally arrived. I was inspired by the works of Monet, Renoir, Sisley and Caillebotte, and their handling of frost, snow, storms in the winter French landscape. Today, inspired I painted another Sierra piece of "Winter Brush".
Oil on panel, 5" X 7"

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"Sierra Morning" ©

While hunting for the last painting of the Sierra trip, this tiny creek came into view. We had found it the night before, exploring for a morning location, now the sunlight danced in the dry brush and just a hint of the sky reflected in the water. Happy Thanksgiving.

Oil on panel, 6" X 8"

I am hanging my "gone painting" shingle once again. We are headed to Wilits with our speeder to ride the Skunk Railroad to Fort Bragg. (If you are curious about speeders, check out http://www.narcoa.org/)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Silent Forest" ©

It was absolutely silent. How could that be? Not a human making sound, nor a bird, not even the wind in the pines. We found a spot to paint off of a small two lane road, everyone fanned out and spent the afternoon silently painting. Occasionally I would hear the sound of a brush Ferrel hitting the side of someones turp can, but that was it. I wanted to sing, or just yell to break out and make noise but the spiritual side of standing amongst the ancient trees kept me in line, in the "Silent Forest".
Oil on linen panel, 9" X 12"

Monday, November 24, 2008

"Fall's Gold" ©

4700 ft. elevation, just before a major storm, the last of fall's gold is dangling in the sunlight. Nature naturally combines complimentary colors, in this case the yellow trees and egg blue sky. "Fall's Gold" was the first painting I painted while on an art trip last weekend to the Sierra's. We had an amazingly productive time, 14 paintings between four artists. Personally I was very lucky to have this opportunity following the John Cosby workshop, as I was able to practice his "pile" method and start tweaking it to work for me. Also Cosby's tip about keeping the paint warm, and white in your pocket paid off, as the creek froze during the night, proving that it was indeed chilly. Standing next to a small lake, painting this piece all I could hear was the faint quacking of ducks in the distance. There were painting possibilities everywhere you looked. I loved it, the air, the colors, the chilly air and warm sun.

Oil on linen panel, 9" X 12"

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Winter Rose" ©

Walking past the row of roses that lines the dirt driveway, this beauty caught my eye. I was packing for a run up to the Sierra's to paint before the holidays consume me. Throwing caution to the wind, I played in the paint and had fun painting all of the shades of this lovely winter rose.

Oil on panel, 5" X 7"

I'll be off line until Monday, there are no phones or Internet access in the woods, thank goodness.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"Storm Clouds" ©

Wetcanvas.com offers a reference library for artists. An image from that library was the inspiration for this little warm up (before painting on the ducks) today. It's my "rain dance", maybe my focused exercise painting storm clouds will bring rain to our burning lands.

Oil on panel, 5" X 7"


Monday, November 17, 2008

"Placerita Canyon Fire" ©

When plein air painting you arrive at a location and look for something that attracts your interest. You want a little story, a concept to develop upon your canvas. Today my painting buddy Lorelle and I went to a location at the top of Saugus, on a cliff overlooking the backside of the San Gabriel mountain range. I debated with myself over what to paint, the fires have been so devastating, yet they are hypnotic in their beauty. Do you paint the "elephant" in the living room or ignore it as if it doesn't exist. I went ahead painting the fire, my elephant. (Then I came home to work on the "Ducks".)

Oil on linen panel, 8" X 10"

Sunday, November 16, 2008

"Laguna Canyon" ©

John Cosby Workshop Day 5 - This morning Cosby quickly demonstrated painting a tree, using large interesting shapes, capturing the personality of the tree. Then all 15 of us fanned out to locations within the Laguna Canyon park that sits a 1/4 mile from Cosby's studio. After the morning of painting we all went back to his studio for a critique. Not the typical critique, Cosby explained how to critique your own work and with each painting explained how the painting could possibly be improved. Everyone left feeling positive about their week long efforts. In fact there was a tearful group hug at the end, a tribe had been formed. Here are a few of the reoccurring themes of the critique: Watch for predictability, vary the shapes and create randomness. Make sure your trees are grounded with some dark. Avoid sharp contrasts near the edges of the canvas, Interrupt repetition. Small jumps in value creates the feeling of air. Subdue one area of the painting to streighten another areal. Provide an area of rest. Make sure the sky matches the light in the painting. Does the painting convince you of a story? Finally Cosby must have said 20 times, you have to give a little to get a little. I would highly reccommend John Cosby to any painter that is looking to improve. He is one of those instructors that can identifiy your level and weaknesses quickly and offer a path to improving your work, all in postive notes. He has so much to offer, I look forward to the next workshop that I am able to attend.

Oil on Linen panel, 11" X 14"

Friday, November 14, 2008

"Laguna Coast" ©

Day 4 John Cosby Workshop - Listening to Cosby speak, sparks pop off in my mind of an idea surfacing and becoming fully illuminated. As an example today the discussion was on creating distance in your painting. Here is the gem: When a structure (tree, pole etc.) that is close to the viewer passes over the distant mountain, soften the edge of the mountain on either side of the structure. Almost to the point of obliterating the edge. Cosby demonstrated this on his painting and the increased feeling of depth was ten fold. Gems are flowing constantly from Cosby, here is one more, simple but amazing true. If you are seeing a problem in your painting, solving the problem area directly isn't always the best solution, sometimes it's better to change something else that relates to the problem. The demonstration for this was Cosby felt his clouds were too green. Instead of changing the cloud color, Cosby put some additional green in the palm tree up in the clouds and that solved the green cloud problem. A real TA-DAA moment.

Oil on Linen panel, 8" X 10"

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Montage Ocean View" ©

Day 3 John Cosby Workshop - Today Cosby discussed aireal perspective and using color rather then value to describe a form. To give us the visual tool Cosby demonstrated a "glare" painting. He painted looking right into the sun, standing to the side of his easel, so that we could see each step. Because of the glare the distant bluffs stepped back in the distance clearly allowing Cosby to really play up on the aireal perspective. John Cosby is constantly talking, allowing us to hear his thought process in making each decision. Watching his brush work today was thrilling. Cosby would lay the filbert down, then roll the brush, pulling gently creating the most beautiful strokes of lemon white, that told the story of the glare. One of the most interesting lessons was Cosby's discussion on artists using camera images to paint from vs. painting from life. He explained that the camera has one lense, humans have two. People don't really see what is in our peripheral vision, unlike the camera. If we paint as people see, the painting will be stronger. After Cosby finished his morning demonstration we all set up and painted from the cliff in front of the Montage Hotel, until the sun set in the Pacific Ocean, another day in paradise.
Oil on Linen panel, 11" X 14"

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"Hiesler Park, South" ©

Day 2 John Cosby Workshop -

Today Cosby started with a demo on composition. What was most interesting was his discussion on leading the eye of the viewer without being obvious. To punctuation his point he lead us through the William Wendt exhibit at the Laguna Museum, picking examples that clearly demonstrated lovely S compositions that actually worked as a circle too, so that the viewers attention never left the canvas. Cosby suggested that all of us read "Composition To Outdoor Painting", by Edgar Payne at least once a year. He explained that each reading you will discover new information that will help us all on the journey to understanding of how to paint. Cosby demonstrated a painting from on the path overlooking the ocean, and spent time reinforcing the concepts from Monday, along with a "palm tree" lesson. The one line about trees that was most enlightening was, to paint the growth pattern. Simple as it sounds, if you move your brush as any plant life grows your painting will already be headed in the right direction. We saw great examples of this in the Wendt exhibit. One last comment, the William Wendt exhibit is breathtaking, if you have the opportunity GO.

Oil on panel, 9" X 12"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"Hiesler Park, Laguna Beach" ©

Day One, John Cosby Workshop-

Cosby teaches a limited palette, 3 pile of paint method. The result is a very fast way to identify, shift and control the temperature quickly. For plein air painting it's magic. He has spent years finding just the right primary colors, Cadmium Lemon Yellow, Chinese Vermilion and Ultra Maine Blue. The only addition to these is a Titanium/Zinc White. Starting out we mixed 3 piles of the main mass area in the general value, without putting a brush to the panel. I liked this time of mixing to glance at my subject and get familiar slowly, rather then diving in as usual. Next we massed in thinly the main areas, in my case the sand, water and cliff. Finding the focal point and completely working it out was the next step. Then within the large masses we were looking for connections, areas to create interest and always a way to lead the eye to the focal point. And finally a few finishing details of light and dark. The best lesson I gained from the first day was to hold back my darkest dark and lightest light until the very end of the painting, keeping the values toward the middle range. The gift of this waiting, allows the painter to add tiny highlights that really sing and nice deep darks that give a big punch.

Oil on panel, 8" X 10"

Thursday, November 06, 2008

"Canyon Rocks" ©

This weekend I am headed to Laguna Beach to attend a week long painting workshop with John Cosby (http://www.johncosby.com/). 2 years ago, unsure and with trepidation I took the same workshop. John was one of those instructors that manages to put concepts clearly and simply, answering every question patiently. I learned and grew from the experience and now I feel ready to hear it all again, adding to what I have been able to practice the last couple of years, I hope to be able to absorb even more. I don't know about blogging from Laguna, hotels connections are improving but you never know. My hope is to blog the workshop. Leaving the ducks on the easel, so close to finishing is difficult but I know coming back to them fresh will allow me to continue painting better then ever. AND yes Marian my friend, I will post the ducks, when they are totally gorgeous.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

"Calm Waters" ©

Missing the process of blogging, habits are tough to break, I decided to take a quick break from the duck family painting and painted "calm waters". The ducks are really coming along, and I am thoroughly enjoying the large canvas, 30" X 40". I have been painting 10 hours a day and the time flies by at warp speed.

Oil on linen, 12" X 16"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"Distant Oaks" ©

It's been said that if an artist likes one inch of their painting they are lucky. Today I am lucky with the tiny area where the smaller Oak tree meets the distant hill on the left. That little bit (1/2"), in person, is lovely.

Oil on Panel, 5" X 7"


Personal note, on my easel is a 30" X 40" commissioned canvas, I really need to keep my head in this important painting. I'll post now and then but until this piece is done, no promises.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"Barn At Sea Ranch" ©

This barn is barely standing, above the Pacific Ocean near Mendocino. "Sea Ranch" could be described as a hide away. It's a very quite inn, offering exquisite food and miles of paths that cross the bluffs above the sea. A dream would be to have a week to paint the ranch day and night, soaking up the quiet.
Oil on canvas, 6" X 8"

Monday, October 27, 2008

"Backlit Brush" ©

During my early morning walk down the canyon I saw these dry bushes glowing. All the brush is so dry now, at the end of 6 long hot months, you can almost hear the plants calling to the clouds.

Oil on panel, 5" X 7"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

"Frazier Park Sunset" ©

It's cold, windy, dry and desolate feeling, yet gorgeous dressed in fall colors. I met up with friends in Frazier Park and found this view hard to resist.

Oil on canvas, 20" X 24"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"Tolley Workshop"

Elizabeth "Libby" Tolley taught a class today in Pasadena at the Learning and Product Expo, all the artists in attendance had the chance to paint this scene. After Libby's demo, we each went to a spot at a table that had, paint, a panel, brushes, Gamsol, Galkyd and a photo card with one of her paintings on it. Our job was to use her technique of laying in the painting in transparents and slowly building up to thicker opaque paint, painting from her card. Libby was delightful, full of energy and answered all the questions thrown her way. Her main points were to think value, temperature, interesting shapes and what are you the artist is trying to say with your painting. Recently Libby's first book on painting was published, encompassing her complete process, all the questions students have asked her and everything she has learned from her mentors. I would recommend it for every artists library, "Oil Painter's Solution Book, Landscapes", published by North Light Books. If you ever get the chance to paint with Libby, go for it! To see paintings by Libby, go to www.elizabethtolley.com

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"Laguna Palms" ©

Tonight is the California Art Club/South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce "Rialto Visions" exhibit, collectors circle preview. A bunch of bloggers are in the show, Sharon Weaver, Karen Winters and Marian Fortunati. There may be more, which is part of the fun at these events, figuring out who's who. I have seen the paintings, all featuring historic landmarks of South Pasadena and it's a room full of gems. I am so fortunate to be hanging with this group. Meanwhile today, in between framing, the insurance photographer and sanding an orange alabaster I painted "Laguna Palms".
Oil on Panel, 5" X 7"

Monday, October 20, 2008

"Pacific Sunset" ©

Recently I was asked what are the advantages of blogging small paintings? This painting is a perfect example of one of the benefits, allowing me to experiment with a Gamblin medium, Neo Megilpm without investing a ton of time or materials. Clouds seemed like a good subject to make use of the silky consistency that the Neo Megilp gives the paint. In a couple of weeks I'll be down in Laguna Beach painting in John Cosby's workshop, so today I practiced a "Pacific Sunset".
Oil on panel, 5" X 7"

Sunday, October 19, 2008

"Vasquez Rock View" ©

Nine artists met at Vasquez Rocks, site of Star Trek filming and early 1900's bank robbers hideout. It was the Santa Clarita Artists Plein Air event for the month, with yours truly as the ring leader. Actually I just arrange the date, upon arrival the artists drift out into the wilderness following their own mojo. I painting happily, till shivering I had 10 minutes till the ranger pad locked the gate for the night.

Oil on panel, 8" X 10"

Friday, October 17, 2008

"Little Trailer" ©

A couple of days ago Tammy Marashlian, a staff writer for The Signal newspaper emailed, interest in writing a story on "Chasing Open Spaces III", an exhibit that is hanging at the Canyon Theatre Guild Hallway Gallery. Today, we met with Lorelle Miller, another participating artist, telling Tammy all we could about the project. Then we walked down the road a bit to an open field and spent the next couple of hours painting while she watched and Francisca, the staff photographer took photos. Lorelle and I throughly enjoyed our time painting, just like kids playing their favorite game, I hope that Tammy and Francisca enjoyed their afternoon too. It's not very often that people watch us paint.

Oil on panel, 8" X 10"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Eaton Canyon Sycamore" ©

This morning I headed out to Eaton Canyon to meet up with the Thursday Morning Irregulars to paint. I have missed their friendship and good humor more then I realized, it's been a while since I have been able to participate. I am including two photographs, the photo on the bottom is inaccurate with light catching the paint and washed out darks, the photo on the top is what the painting looks like sitting on my studio easel and is more accurate. This is a very clear example of how the photography can kill a painting.

Oil on Linen, 8" X 10"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Meridian Iron Works" ©

In the heart of the South Pasadena Mission District the old Meridian Iron Works building faces the 1907 Watering Trough-Wayside Station. The little rock structure was built as a spot for travelers to rest and water their horses. The whole area is a gathering spot now for locals to sip coffee, shop and walk their dogs.
Oil on canvas, 9" X 12"

Monday, October 13, 2008

"Fraizer Park View" ©

For those of you who know the Frazier Park exit off the 5 freeway, this is the view at the little bridge behind the Jack In The Box, looking toward the Tejon Ranch. As far as painting it's cold and windy, the rewards are the hues of fall, full of gold.

Oil on panel, 5" X 7"

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

"May Lake Creek" ©

Driving up the narrow road to May Lake this little creek shadows you, meandering near and far. I knew at once that someday I wanted to paint the rocks and fallen logs, today was the day.

Oil on Linen, 12" X 16"

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

"It's All About The Ears" ©

What can I say? It's ALL about the ears....

Oil on Linen, 8" X 10"

Monday, October 06, 2008

"Aspens In Fall" ©

Today driving past the Cottonwood trees in the Santa Clara Riverbed, I remembered the Aspens of Colorado, standing tall along the trails. Here is my version of "Aspens In Fall".

Oil on panel, 5" X 7"

Sunday, October 05, 2008

"Lembert Dome" ©

Half Dome is probably the most famous dome within Yosemite National Park. Since sitting watching the sun bathing Lembert dome in sunset colors last summer this view of has been whirling it's way around my mind as a painting that I really wanted to attempt. I know that it isn't a common subject as domes are odd, but anyone that has visited the North East area of Yosemite would know this stunning stone formation.
Oil on Linen, 16" X 20"

Friday, October 03, 2008

"Cathedral Oak Monument" ©

The city of South Pasadena has embraced the artists of the California Art Club, encouraging paintings of city landmarks to be presented in an exhibit in a couple of weeks. I went on "the hunt" for a landmark to paint and came to this simple cross surrounded by Sycamores on the very edge of the Arroyo. Something about the cross and the stone, quietly standing amongst the trees just grabbed my heart and I painted the "Cathedral Oak Monument". Legend has it that this is the spot of the first Easter Service in California, preformed by Father Crespi in 1770.
Oil on Linen, 9" X 12"

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

"Duck Dining" ©

The dinner menu consisted of Cheetos and torn bits of bread, thrown into the water by squealing children. Lovely ending to a cool fall evening.

Oil on Panel, 5" X 7"


Monday, September 29, 2008

"Sunset Swim" ©

Last weekends show was a success in spite of triple digit temperatures. The best part for me was meeting a potpourri of people from art lovers to other artists wanting to figure out the process of painting. I want to just thank everyone that bared the heat and came out to visit and make purchases.
Meanwhile I met this little duck while he was floating in the Temecula Duck Pond right next to Pat & Oscars Restaurant at sunset.
Oil on panel, 5" X 7"

Friday, September 26, 2008

"Sunday Swim III" ©

Collector "Liz" emailed requesting a "Sunday Swim" to add to her personal gallery. And so Liz, this one is for you, my friend.

Oil on panel, 5" X 7"


Thursday, September 25, 2008

"Sand Canyon Trail" ©

The "Chasing Open Spaces III" exhibit has opened at the Canyon Theatre Guild in Old Town Newhall, on Main Street. Rod Edwards, Lorelle Miller and Ernie Dollman joined me in hanging 63 landscape paintings of the Santa Clarita Valley. We are having a reception on Saturday October 11, 5pm - 7pm and you are welcome to come by to visit, see the show and have light refreshments. Also this weekend I'll be displaying another 40 paintings at the Street Art Festival in Old Town Newhall. The Festival is billed as 5 blocks of music, art, a beer garden and street chalk paintings. In between getting ready for these two shows I painted another view of Sand Canyon. I have to apologize for the image posted today, this painting isn't half as dark as it appears on my monitor.

Oil on Linen, 11" X 14"

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Sand Canyon" ©

After framing 28 paintings (big show install tomorrow) I went out to run errands and the sun's lighting on the trees was extraordinary. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow, throw caution to the wind and follow the light as a moth to a flame. This little painting was my attempt to capture the light at 5:30pm in "Sand Canyon".

Oil on Linen, 9" X 12"

Have I mentioned how much I love linen? This is Old Holland, incrediable. It paints itself, pratically.
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