Monday, May 18, 2015

Shell Beach Bluffs

 "Shell Beach Bluffs"
16"x20" Oil on Canvas

North of where I live is the tiny spot along the coast called Shell Beach. It is located just north of the beach city of Pismo which is famous for it's sand dunes. Shell Beach has wonderful bluffs jutting out from the ocean and great sea caves. This painting is of the bluffs there. Actually in this image, I left it out, are some fence posts and a gazebo. I would have painted it in but I really liked that sunlight hitting the bluffs and wanted to concentrate on that in this painting. The bluffs here are just wonderful looking, maybe I'll do another with the gazebo added in. Below is a cropped section of the painting showing the mustard plant. I liked how that came out so this is a larger version of that. The best part of this painting is what it looks like when you have lights on looks so cool when it's lit up...the light hitting the rocks really makes it come alive.   

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Sunset Painting

"Umpqua Sunset"
18" X 24"
Oil on Canvas
While travelling through Oregon back in September I was fortunate to enjoy a great sunset near the Umpqua National Forest. I was on the outskirts of the town of Green. After a quick dinner at the local Arby's I grabbed my camera and found a spot to get what I wanted on film. I created this painting working from 2 reference photos taken that evening. I only took two photos because I felt I had waited too long and the sun had set lower than I'd planned. Looking over my photo the day before yesterday I felt maybe it would work anyway since the sun was just below the mountains. Off to the easel I went. I was able to block in the sky that first night....worked off and on most of the next day and finished today....good thing since it's getting hot in the studio and it's time for dinner. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Firestone Vineyard

"Firestone Vineyard"
18"x24" Oil on Canvas
It was time to do another vineyard scene so I searched through my reference photos and found some vineyard shots taken at the Firestone vineyard in Foxen canyon. The main house on the vineyard is just off to the left of this scene. I didn't include it because it is a wonderful older house that I feel needs it's own painting using it as the main point of interest. I was told the house came from Santa Maria and was brought down to the Firestone location years ago. The colors are a bit off, I think, from my actual painting and this photo. The difference is due to my lack of being a better could write volumes on taking good photos of paintings. This photo is close though. This painting would look good in a gold frame or even a nice dark wood frame.

I'm actually not a big fan of vineyard painting. I'm not crazy about the bright greens and yellows of the vineyard against the muted colors of the hillsides around here....I know, I'm crazy. Just a personal feeling about it and I'm allowed that. I'd rather catch the sublime colors of the landscape in the evenings or mornings on the central coast or try to get better painting the ocean. Still, I'd like to paint better vineyard scenes so more of these will happen. I think I'm in search of a way to paint them and marry them to my sublime look of the hillsides and oaks. Painting has so many challenges to it. The vineyards are now in their full bore growing time with lots of new green leaves so I will hunt down some new scenes to paint.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Eucalyptus and Grass

"Misty Morning Eucs"
12"x16" Oil on Canvas Covered Panel

This painting started out as just messing around cropping pictures taken of eucalytpus trees up in Nipomo, CA. One crop was just as you see, lots of grasses with the trees set high up on the picture plane. This would give me more prasctice at painting the trunks of trees and grasses. I liked the look of the scene and so I painting it. The painting is very different from my normal work but lined up along my other paintings will look pretty neat.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Painting From A Past Painting

"A Spring View"
12"x16" Oil on Canvas Covered Panel 

While I was having fun trying out paintings in the new frames we had company show up and I still had some household projects that needed to be done. So, not the time to get involved in a new painting from the ground up but I still wanted to paint. I decided to paint another version of one of my previous paintings again since they go pretty quick and should company get in the way I'd practically be done with it.
I like the painting below on my blog, "Valley Evening", so I reversed the scene and did changes to the background on it. At first I was going to put in a trail but then opted for just some stray paths intersecting but none of them being overly dominate in the foreground. I feel both paintings have lots of parts in them that I really like but areas I'd change again. That's ok, I'm used to not being satisfied with any of my paintings at this point....and besides, the point was to paint something so it worked.  

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Frames Arrived

The Fun, and Worry, Of New Frames
Finally, my new frames arrived. I needed these for submitting work to a new gallery in South Carolina. I'm hoping that the new gallery works out well and I'm still connected to it this time next year. I'm very interested to see how working with a gallery over such a long distance will work out. I'm not crazy about shipping artwork back east but that's where the gallery is so no getting around that. Once all is up and running back there I'll post the info on the gallery.
    Anyway, I was glad my frames arrived and that there was no damage from having them shipped here from San Diego. It's not a great distance from San Diego to here. I have had frames arrive from the same supplier before and there was plenty of damage. I know first hand what people who load and unload trucks can do to boxes they could care less about. Its a pity some people have absolutely no pride in their work or enough integrity to do a good job no matter what job that it. I've driven trucks and I've worked on docks so I have seen plenty of these guys...and gals. Each time I order frames I'm always on edge until they are here...undamaged. If they are I will take them to my garage and fix them. I've so far always been able to do this.
    The cool thing when all is fine is to swap paintings in the new frames to see how paintings look framed up. I paint way more than I have frames for. Frames are expensive so I tend to only order what I need for a show or gallery. I live for the day when I can just call up and order a few different sizes and colors just to see what certain paintings would look like. When is that Lotto going to hit.

"Morning At The Wilcox Property"
18"x24", Oil,
This painting above looked great...even when it was drying. After varnish and putting it into this frame it looks absolutely gorgeous. This size always looks great on any wall because it's .
"Valley Evening"
12"x16", Oil
The upper painting is on stretched canvas and the lower is on canvas covered panel. I like the panels because they are a nice size to work with and don't flex like stretched canvas. Some stretching is good at times and a pain in the butt at other times. I also like the panels eas of being framed...just shoot brads into the frame behind the panel and your drilling pilot holes or screwing in brackets to lock to stretched canvas in. Mega fast framing!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Nocturne....Night Trail

"Night Trail"
 Oil on canvas covered panel

I painted this scene about 5 or 6 years ago on a smaller canvas and decided to do a larger version. I didn't want to do a copy of my other painting becasue there were things I wanted to try out differently on this one. The nice thing about painting is over the years you get better at it so there were changes I made the included these. I really liked the original but when you look back at paintings you see things you wish you could why not do another painting huh !? I'm glad I did this one. I like the larger size and I like my changes. One of these days when I get much better at nocturnes I'll do a really large one. Years ago I saw a nocturne show up in Los Olivos, CA and they had some very large pieces that were just awesome. Many, many years ago, Charles Rollo Peters painted a nocturne of our local mission here in Santa Ynez....maybe I'll give it a try on large scale....we'll see.