Thursday, August 29, 2013

"Janet's Boat" ©

What could be better then a day of art making at a friends house?  My buddy Janet make a Greek dessert platter, fashioned from a description in a book she is reading about the building of the ancient aqueducts of Europe, for all of us to dip into now and again.  Having just returned from a trip Janet shared a photo she had taken of a little boat listing on the beach in Scotland and allowed me to paint a little painting of the scene.  I'll fiddle with it a bit then she can have it for her collection.  A nice way to end a perfect day.  

Oil on linen, 8" X 10"

Monday, August 26, 2013

"Estuary of Carmel" ©

Twice I have stood on the sandy beach beside the spot where the Carmel River greets the ocean painting as the sun sank behind me into the Pacific Ocean capturing this view.  It's a tough scene with all the rocks and shifts and yet so very inviting I can't help but try to get it down on canvas.  I used the little plein air pieces to work out this larger canvas.  Those little babies are worth their weight in gold.  One time I was told to never sell the plein air pieces because of all the information they contain and I understand the thinking better now then ever.  Meanwhile I am preparing for a trip to Lake Arrowhead to paint in the event "Paint the Lakes" starting Thursday morning.  I can't wait to meet the other artists and explore the 3 lakes we are allowed to paint.  

Oil on Linen,  18" X 24"

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"Art Alfresco and El Matador Beach" ©

Today was the monthly California Art Club paint out, hosted by George Malone.  George picked El Matador beach for our gathering spot and the day couldn't have been more perfect.  With most children back in school the parking lot and beach had plenty of room.  So you don't think I paint with sun on my palette and shade on the painting you should know I turned my easel for the photograph, since I had my back to the sandstone cliff as I couldn't get back far enough for you to see the whole spot from where I was actually painting.  One thing I learned today is not to set up so close to the cliff as the wind blew sand off the cliff onto my painting.  It's covered in sand and the paint as some chunks floating on the surface.  The other thing I learned today is Gamblin's new warm white is a luscious and good replacement for Titanium white when painting outside.  I can't wait to try their other newly introduced colors.

What grabbed my attention was the lone big rock lit from above with the shadowed bigger rock behind it adding to the drama of the scene.  

Oil on panel, 9" X 12"

Last weekend I showed paintings at the Ventura Museum for their event "Art Alfresco".  Below you can see my booth set up, before they opened the doors to the public.  I was able to meet several new art lovers and collectors and the weekend was a success for everyone.  I'll be back in two years for the next event.  If you are ever in Ventura looking for a dinner spot, try out Sushi Marina.  The service and food couldn't have been better.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

"Elsmere Sentry" ©

There is a moment at sunset, when everything turns brilliant orange and lavender above the park and ride at the Elsmere Canyon entrance.  I have wanted to try to catch that moment in time and finally took a break today from framing and packing for a show tomorrow in Ventura to give it a go.  If you are in the area of Ventura on Saturday I am showing 25 paintings at the Ventura Museums event, "Art Alfresco" from 12noon to 5pm.  Anyone is welcome to come from 12 noon - 2pm there are tickets available that include lunch and museum admission.  From 2pm - 5pm there are $5.00 tickets for admission.  If you come please say HI!

Oil on Canvas, 12" X 12"

Monday, August 12, 2013

"Summer Evening" ©

Hard to believe this spot is behind the Jack In The Box restaurant in Lebec but you can see it while you munch on a burger, right off the 5 freeway.  

Oil on Canvas,  24" X 30"

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

"Point Dume" ©

Point Dume is one of the many beautiful beaches in the Malibu area with long stretches of white sand  rimmed by majestic cliffs welcoming long walks alone or a day at the beach with friends and family. 

Oil on linen, 11" X 14" 

Thursday, August 01, 2013

"Rocky Mountain Retreat" ©

Last month driving to Leadville Colorado in the Rocky Mountains we came across this view.  The spot seemed so perfectly peaceful, accented by a few squirrels and birds I knew I wanted to paint it.  It has been a while since I posted my process and so with this painting I took a few shots as I went along.  You can enjoy my struggle, along with me.  

The canvas size is 18" x 24".  At this point I am just locating the various elements and deciding on value patterns and placement.  I prefer to work on a white canvas so that any of the lighter values are as clean and bright as possible, allowing the canvas to contribute to the success of the piece in the end.  The paint is very thin and I am using mostly transparent paint.  Rembrandt and Gamblin manufacture my favorite transparent oil colors.

At this point I have paint all over the canvas.  I have located my darks and lights and decided that the main focal area will be the sandy beach and the secondary focal area will be the distant mountain, bouncing the viewer between the two with little side trips into the trees.  

Now that the canvas is covered and I have all the different elements figured out I need to start really finessing the paint quality and placement.  What I am going after is a variety of brushwork, edges and areas of the painting making sure that every move supports the main idea and that particular element that I am painting.  I had difficulty painting under studio lights so I painted the rest of the painting outside in natural light.  That is something that might be helpful to artists, take your painting outside and look at it, up close and from 20 feet away.  Critiquing is much easier and you will spot issues that had eluded you inside.  Another reason plein air painting is so wonderful.  

Here is the finished painting.  After the paint sets up a bit I'll go in and tighten some edges and make changes in anything that calls out to me.  Another advantage of oil paint is the ease in which you can alter the painting whenever you chose.  

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