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.      

Friday, March 13, 2015

Photo of a barn in Wisconsin
Back Again....
Well, I had to take some time off from my life of art and go back to work for a while. I decided to do this at the start of last summer and it has lasted up until 2 weeks ago. There was a chance to go to work for a period of time that would take me all over the US and I could use the money so I took it. The job had nothing to do with art at all. In fact the whole deal would have been a culture shock had I not done this type of work before. So, I bit the bullet and proceeded.
There is one hook about it all though, I was able to use my time out there taking a gazillion reference photos which I did. Honestly, I think I took about 15,000 photos. I was able to photograph the desert, the plains, the rockys, the warmth and gloom of Washington State, stand and snap photos along a pier in Massachussets of the Atlantic ocean, snowstorms in MO, WI, KS, MN, IL, WY, NE, UT, NV, OH, PA, NY, NH, CT, SD and OK. There was a lot of weather out there and of course I have a new found appreciation for just how large our country is. 
I did one commission while I came home for a few days, a restored airplane for a woman and her husband who live in Los Olivos. I also sold two paintings and a print while I was gone too so a little bit of art snuck in during that time. I was also contacted by a gallery back East so I'm in the middle of dealing with them, I'm hoping that works out well....sort of a new fresh start again as I am sorting things out here and readying for paint to start flying.
The experience was just that...more experience. I'm happy that art was always on my mind and I've been able to add to my never ending supply of reference photos, yahoo! I'm more than glad to be back and soon will be painting away.     

Friday, June 06, 2014

Elverhoj Show

Art From The Groves
I have a couple of paintings that were juried into the Elverhoj Museum of History & Art here in Solvang, CA. I feel pretty good about that because getting into any show is good. I know many of the artists in the show so it will be nice to be together and talk shop. One of my paintings is a studio piece and the other is a plein air piece done last Winter along the olive groves below the mission.
Sales have been practically non existant for me in this economy, and yes, the economy still sucks, so the occasional show is something to look forward to. I like's fun to see your peers and meet new painters....see the talent out there. Shows are good for inspiration. As a person it is great to see really fantastic art but as an artist it really inspires you to do better work. I've always been honest about my work and when I see something else painted better it makes me want to paint better so shows are a good way to push your(my)self.

Teaching yourself to paint....I hate that term because nobody really teaches themselves to paint. Books, the internet, art teachers, seeing other painters all effects us even if some of us want people to think they were some naturally gifted miracle that discovered painting all alone. Baloney. If you want to learn to paint you turn into a sponge and soak everydrop of inspiration in no matter where it comes from. Thanks to nature what you take in will become your own vision and have your own look unless you're trying to go after some other artists style and you don't want to do that. Be who you are....even in art.

Anyway, if you are around Solvang on June 14 between 4-6 pm come by the show reception. The rest of the show runs June 14 - September 28, 2014. The Elverhoj is located at 1624 Elverhoy Way in beautiful down town Solvang, the land of Danish bakeries and wine tasting rooms !