Sunday, December 27, 2015

"First Snow" ©

Christmas day I started this painting and shot the process for an upcoming January workshop.  It seems to help people if they can see how you painted the piece from the start and they realize how truly simple the process is.  Which is encouraging for everyone, including me, when the the look of realization gleams in their eyes.   I enjoyed every moment painting the cliffs, picking my way though the warm and cool colors, watching the rocks take on form.  I will probably keep tweaking this one for a long time because there are so many opportunities to fine tune the details.  

Oil on Canvas, 20" X 24"

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

"Canyon Morning" and "Canyon Evening", © #placeritacanyon #laurawambsgans

 "Canyon Evening", 11X14, Oil

"Canyon Morning", 11X14, Oil

Already painting for next years shows, these two paintings are headed to the Hillside Gallery in Claremont, California in February.  The show will be called Double Take, two different lighting situations at the same location.  I took to the idea instantly, because it allows me to observe and paint the difference between two times of day or seasons and get work done for an upcoming show.  Double delight!    

Monday, October 26, 2015

"The Soloist" ©

"The Soloist", was painted on a whim for a student wondering about how to paint the confusion of leaves and branches in a tree.  Trees are one  of my most favorite subjects because the possibilities are endless.  To help my student I told her to think of simple big shapes, in three values to get the basic tree established.  After that it's pure fun,  pushing and pulling the light though the tree, softening edges here and there and playing with all the shapes.  After I finished the demonstration, she smiled and said, "it's so simple!"

Oil 16" X 12"

Monday, September 21, 2015

"High Sierra Trail", ©

A few weeks ago a small group, known as PAC6 Painters, packed into Lake Ediza to paint for a week.  All of the words that John Muir wrote came to life visually on that trip.  We saw scenes that took your breath away, stunned you to silence and made you want to sing and cry at the same time.  This painting is the trail to Iceberg Lake and we actually did sing, hiking down the trail.  

Oil on Canvas, 20" X 24"

This painting is available for sale at the Traveling The West Art Show & Sale, Southwest Gallery & Featherstone Arts, 4500 Sigma Road, Dallas, Texas or online

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

"Pacific Morning Glow" © #seascape

24" X 30, Oil on Canvas

Today I am framing up paintings for the Thousand Oak Art Festival this weekend.  This painting, "Pacific Morning Glow", was an experiment in layering paint, allowing the rosy glow behind the yet to be sunlit clouds show just a bit.  If you are in the area please stop by the festival and say "hi".  
Here are the details:
12th Annual Thousand Oaks Arts Festival
September 19 - 20
10am - 5pm
Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza
2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., T.O.

Monday, September 07, 2015

"Approaching Winter Storm", © #SantaClarita #laurawambsgans

For the next couple of months this painting, along with 4 others are hanging in the College of the Canyons Art Gallery.  The exhibit is called Plein Air, California Landscape painting and has some very good pieces.  Mike Hernandez, Alan Garber and Karl Dempwolf have paintings that are worth studying for a long time.  Karl loaned two original William Wendt paintings and there is a nice collection from Steve and Doris Marie Zimmer.  A good painting buddy and friend Lorelle Miller has several paintings in the show too and it's always a bonus to hang with a friend.  

Oil on canvas, 24X30

Saturday, August 08, 2015

"Classic Sierra Hwy View" ©

As you drive from Santa Clarita to Agua Dulce the road winds though this landscape.  The terrain is dry and roughed with a sprinkling of ranches, a famous cafe and a very nice French Restaurant, named Le Chene.  No matter the season, you can always find a beautiful painting location along the road.  

Oil on canvas, 24" X 36"

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Ventura Plein Air Competition 2015

Ventura View, 12X16, oil

The city of Ventura has held an Artwalk for decades and this year added a plein air competition to the event.  Artists were invited to paint for a week and then display their paintings, along with some studio paintings for sale during the Artwalk at the Bell Arts Factory.  I was one of 17 lucky artists to be invited to paint and enjoyed exploring Ventura.  

The painting above was my first effort.  I set up on the side of the CVS building on Olive Street looking up the off ramp of the road to Ojai.  I left the off ramp out of the painting and just focused on all the elements that felt like Ventura to me.  

Surfers Point Wave, 8X10, oil

This little painting was a quick sketch, watching wave after wave roll in.  I think it was successful to some extent because of a comment by a surfer.  He told me, hey you got our "concrete" water perfectly.  I would like to spend more time painting these little waves, soon.  

Maricopa Hwy to Ojai ~ PINK! 16X12, oil

Pure luck, catching this view.  I was going to head home after painting all day and looking at the clouds I thought something good might happen soon.  I headed up to Grant Park, hoping I would have the best view of the sunset and pow! This huge cloud, turned cotton candy pink and it lasted a long time for a sunset.  The little valley below, looking towards Ojai, started to twinkle as lights came on.  Of course I was unable to get all the little buildings and lights, but put in enough to get the idea across to the viewer.  

Monday, July 27, 2015

"Vasquez Rocks" © #vasquezrocks #laurawambsgans

The last 10 days I have been painting pieces for an upcoming show of historic and contemporary landscape paintings of the Santa Clarita Valley and nearby areas.  Vasquez Rocks is a location that many people recognize and respond too with fondness.  With this in mind I added the park to my group of paintings.  

Oil, 24"X 30"

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

"Julia Pfeiffer Falls" © #Bigsurart

The Julia Pfeiffer Falls has been an iconic location for photographers and painters for decades.  Usually the scene is captured in the late afternoon, with the falls and cliff face warmly lit.  I happened upon the scene early in the morning and was struck how the opposite lighting created a whole new view and thought I would give it a try.  

20X16, oil    

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Painting in the Adirondacks

 Lower Saint Regis Lake, 18X24, Oil

Last week I traveled with Marian Fortunati to upper state New York, deep in the Adirondack's to paint in the 2015 Publishers Invitational.   The variety of the color green, from the trees to the fields was endless.  Around every bend in the road you didn't know if you would find a pond, waterfall or stream.  Eric Rhoads put the event together and I can't think of a thing that could have been done better.  We were very well taken care of from check in to the final goodbye party.

 At the same time there is a very serious man hunt for the 2 escaped convicts and it's still going on.  Most of the painters stuck together for safety and only a few saw wanted posters tacked up in the forest.  

It was a great week full of painting everyday, singing songs at night to Rick Wilson's guitar and making new friends.  The world of plein air painting is small enough that I am sure my path will cross with some of the wonderful people I met.    The photo below is the whole tribe of painters, about 120 in all.  

If you would like to see more photos from the week, I have an album on my Facebook page you are welcome to view.  

Thursday, June 11, 2015

"Summertime" and traveling with oils....

For this painting I experimented with Gamblin's Fastmatte oil paints.  I wanted to see how the paint would work, because I was considering taking Fast Matte paint on my trip to the Adrirondacks, since they dry fast.  Bringing wet paintings home on a plane is always a bit of a concern.   To get wet paintings home safely, I have figured out how to use little beads as spacers, placing the panels face to face and then taping the "bundle" together to prevent any movement.  Finally, taking the bundle and placing it in a plastic trash bag and taping the bag tightly around the bundle, works well.  

Here is a picture of how I pack my paint.  If you are flying with oil paint, NEVER call it paint when speaking with the TSA.  Use the words, "artist pigments", which is what they are.  I print out the MSDS's from each manufacture and place that with a letter to TSA explaining that I am an artist and place these clearly visible on top of my packed suit case.  So far the TSA agents have never removed any of my pigments or gear.  

Each tube is wrapped in plastic kitchen wrap and then wrapped in bubble pack.  This way the sharp tube corners won't bite into any of the other tubes.  Finally, I place all of the tubes in a zip lock bag for extra protection.  There is nothing more frustrating then squeezing a tube of paint in the field and having paint sneak out of a hole in the tube, into your hand.  If a tube or cap does happen to leak, at least the paint will be contained by the plastic wrap. 

Friday, May 29, 2015

"Lingering Warmth" © #HansenDam #wambsgans

In a couple of weeks I am flying to Vermont and driving up to the Adriondacks with my gear to paint the classic scenes of the Hudson River group, from long ago.   In this painting I was thinking about those tonal paintings of water and hardwood trees but truly I don't know what to expect as I have never been to the Adriondack National Park.  Along with painting everyday,  I made more linen covered gator board panels, ordered bug repellant clothing and have started making little piles to be packed.  I really can't wait to jump on the plane!

Oil on canvas, 16" X 20"

Thursday, May 21, 2015

"Along the Pacific Coast" ©

Over the last few weeks I painted twice in the area of Carmel, California.  Part of that time was during the Carmel Art Festival, which hosts a plein air competition for four days.  60 artists have two days to paint and two days for the judging, auction and final show.  It's not an event for sissy's.  While painting, I plowed though rain, fog, wind and a dog using my back pack for a fire hydrant.  One time while painting my water bottle started whistling in the wind and I knew it was more then just a little windy.  It's such a beautiful area, the light shifting, clouds drifting that you really don't care about the adverse conditions.  Every moment is a surprise, as the ocean changes from dull gray to brilliant turquoise.  

Oil on Canvas, 18" X 24"

Friday, May 01, 2015

"Desert Beauty" ©

At the recent Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival I had the opportunity to demonstrate oil painting during the art show.  This little painting was the result and easy to paint while talking to all the people.  

This weekend I will be showing 30 paintings at the  53rd Annual Sierra Madre Art Fair.  It is a fun weekend full of good art, music and food trucks.  If you are in the area come on by and say HI!

Sierra Madre Art Fair
Memorial Park
222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.
Sierra Madre, CA 91024

*my booth is #31 near the Cannon

Friday, April 10, 2015

"A New Day" © #WhidbeyIsland #oilpainting #Wambsgans

This studio painting was created using the plein air painting as the reference.  This weekend Saga Gallery in Monrovia is opening an exhibit of the gallery artists work, plein air to studio paintings.  I will have 6 paintings in the show and look forward to seeing how everyone else approached the project.  The reception is this Saturday evening from 5pm - 7pm and all are welcome.  

Oil on Canvas, 20" X 24"

Saturday, March 21, 2015

"Placerita Canyon Evening" © #santaclarita #landscape #laurawambsgans

With a little rain, spring greens are popping up in the canyon.  After so many months of muted gray brush the bright green is almost shocking and clearly a delight for all living things.  

Oil, 16" X 20"

Monday, March 09, 2015

"High Country Gold" © #landscapeoilpainting #pinetrees #wambsgans

This spot is one of those hidden gems you find hiking along the trail.  Not a soul around,  just a few birds bidding the day goodbye, tiny flying wings skimming the surface of the creek and an occasional ripple from the trout cruising for dinner.  

16" X 20", oil on linen

Thursday, March 05, 2015

"Teton Morning" © #Tetons #landscapeoilpainting #wambsgans

Grand Tetons early in the morning, what could be more grand?  A FB friend Gary Keimig, another painter, generously allowed me to paint this from his photograph.  I saw the image and knew what the painting would look like before I started.  Fortunately I have painted on location many times all around the Tetons, from both sides of the range and know the landscape very well, which always helps when working from a digital image.  

Oil on Linen,  20" X 24"

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

"Dry Creek" © #placeritacanyon #landscapepainting #wambsgans

Placerita Creek had a dribble of water for about 10 minutes with the brief rains that fell.  California needs more rain, yet with this bit the trees are greening up and the hills are emerald.  I am happy to report my right hand is working well enough after surgery to paint outside again. Standing at the easel in the wilderness without any sounds but nature is pure joy.  

Oil on Canvas, 16" X 20"

Thursday, January 22, 2015

"Sycamore" © #landscapeoilpainting #trees #laurawambsgans

Sycamore trees always seem to have a unique and interesting branch structure.  You can get to know one and no matter how long in between visits, you will know your old friend the minute it comes into view.  It may have lost a limb, yet like a friend that is aging you don't really notice, it's the same tree.  I painted this one, simply because I wanted to explore those branches once again.  

Oil on Canvas.  24X20 

Monday, January 05, 2015

"Elsmere Canyon" #santaclarita #oilpainting #laurawambsgans

Elsmere Canyon is just down the road from my home and offers nature at her best for small hikes.  You see prints in the dusty trail of animals, large and small and the trees vary from coastal oaks to pine trees at the top of the canyon.  This scene is painted at the beginning of the lower trail with creek bed bushes and sycamores hanging on to some winter leaves.  It's hard to fathom that this canyon was destine to be a dump before a furious fight.  

oil on canvas, 20" X 24"
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