Friday, March 21, 2014

Mission Bluffs

"Bluffs at Mission Santa Inez"
16x20 Oil on Canvas covered panel

Paintings that are inspired by our local mission, Santa Inez, are always fun to do. This painting was inspired once again by the bluffs next to the mission that overlook the entire eastern part of out valley. I've hiked many times up and down the bluffs. Below the bluffs is a large filed used for planting. Right now they have olive trees growing in that field and once they are established it is going to look great. This view looks southwest towards the santa ynez mountain range that borders to southern end of the valley...on the otherside is the Pacific Ocean about 600 feet lower than here.
This view is looking the other way, to the north. I was standing on the trail you see in the painting. I've painted from this same spot too overlooking the valley. It's nice and quiet here.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Coast Guard Painting for 2014

"AMLEP Boarding Mission"
18" x 24" Oil on Canvas

A couple of weeks ago I was notified that my painting "AMLEP Boarding Mission" had been juried into the 2014 Coast Guard Art Collection. This painting makes for my 8th painting into the Coast Guard art collection and I'm pretty proud of that. Long after I am gone I'm hoping these paintings will still be in the collection and shuffled about the country being seen in various shows or maybe even hanging in some government office. Leaving something behind that my two daughters would be proud of and remind them of me was my original point in becoming a painter in the first place. I'm on my way to doing just that. I'm hoping for even better paintings to be left behind to really show them what their Dad was capable of doing.
Being a member of COGAP, Coast Guard Art Program, has been a lot of fun so far. It has also been my way of helping to support the troops that serve our country. These paintings in the collection are sent all over the country to be displayed in shows that show the mission of the Coast Guard and maybe will inspire some to one day volunteer to serve. I'm happy to be a part of that.      

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Morro Rock Surf

I remembered to take some work in progress shots with this painting. This is titled Morro Rock Surf but shows nothing of Morro Rock which majestically juts out of the waters edge in Morro Bay. The title just sounds better than Morro Rock Jetty Surf...and I wasn't that far out on the jetty. Morro Bay gets some huge surf so no messing around out there for me.
Here's the start. Not much of a sketch but that's not needed much in's all done on the fly and with color.
Painting in the base colors of the rocks and water. I try to do 2 things here...get it as close to what I'm looking for and to fill up the canvas fast so it seems like you are making progress, haha. You are painting over these base colors so the sooner they are in the sooner I can begin the "real" painting.  
Adding detail to the rocks while the water sets up a bit. I don't like working wet on wet so I will move around to let areas get as tacky as they can.
 Adding the water detail and shaded foam of the wave. This is the beginning of dialing it all in which really is more of the work. As this stage progresses things get altered and changed around quite a bit to get the finish I want. In looking at the final image you can see how many changes were made from this stage. 
The final painting. In the upper stage you can see how the rocks vary in color. In my final version I went back over some of them to tie them in more with a tan/reddish tint leaving only foreground rocks grey. The last two marine paintings were primarily blue colors so for this one I wanted something different...reddish grey water, tan rocks with a reddish tint and an overall lighter value to the painting. 
"Morro Bay Surf"
12" X 16" Oil on Panel

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Work Work Work..on the website

            Late last night I went to check something on my website and realised I was way behind in keeping it updated. So I started updating the pages of the website....what a chore that has become. I built it and maintain it but it is way larger than when I first built it 18 or so years ago. It's a beast!
           My website is divided into two galleries, pen & ink and painting galleries. The painting gallery is keeping me plenty busy when it comes to updating pages, adding new paintings etc. I spent most of today fixing glitches on pages and adding 8 more pages for new paintings. I still have other work that needs to get posted there but that's going to have to wait.

The ftp program I use to load pages online sometimes works slow. I was having a boatload of problems with my computer too the last few months. A slow computer and an iffy internet connection is no fun. I got a cool Christmas present from Linda that I was begging for, a Toshiba 3 terrabyte desktop harddrive ($80-90). I moved almost all of my images and all of my music files onto that which made my computer speed back up and work better...gigabytes and gigabytes of photos/music were moved over to that puppy but because it holds so much it hardly put a dent on it's storage capacity. I also made a complete backup of my computer on it too. I think I've used about 1/10th of it's disk space. I love that little black box on my desk. For the bad internet connection I bought a Netgear WiFi Range Extender ($60.). Plugs into any wall outlet halfway between my computer and our router and bam...a way better signal here. I went from a connection of around 20-30 on a good day to 80-90 now....much faster connection. Life is good. If you store a lot of image files, like most artists, having more storage helps a lot.


Thursday, January 02, 2014

We Move On.....

Welcome To 2014 My Friends
Today is Jan 2, 2014. I'm glad you are here and wish you and your family the best the New Year that truly deserve. I hopefully will continue down the twisty road of art and if things go right I should be a better artist by the end of the year, if you are a painter the same should apply to you if you work at it...nothing is free except doing nothing, that doesn't cost anything but you get what you pay for. We continue to pursue being better painters in 2014.

I couldn't paint yesterday because of the holiday. I even went to bed at 11:30 but because of that I was up at a dark 4:45. I made coffee and headed for the studio. I had planned on starting work on a new painting I have in mind as a good way to start out the year but instead I decided to go back at one I had painter in early 2013 but over the year had grown less and less happy with the mountain colors. In the original painting the mountains were painted a more violet color. I've done that before but for some reason in this painting the violet was just too intense. To me the painting looked like 3 horizontal stripes moving across the painting. I know the compositional move to fix that and in future paintings will do just that. For this painting, adjusting that color of the mountains will do for now.

"Valley Evening"
12" x 16" Oil on panel
Now it feels better to me. I like the atmosphere in this painting. A few birds in there too which is the easiest way I can think to add some life to the scene. I'm still no big fan of including people in landscapes....they just draw too much attention. I know a lot of painters would disagree but that's ok. They can paint their own paintings.
My trees are always slowly evolving as I learn to paint them more and more. Each painting is another race, another lesson, another test of how much better you can paint compared to the last painting. Of course, how you see your progress and how fast they happen are variables all of us painters have to deal with as we learn.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year...and Good Riddance 2013

This will be my last blog post for the year 2013. I've decided without a doubt 2013 has been yet another sucky year to add to the last few years. Lets see....rock & roll had some great years, the 50's, 60's, 70's even the 80's were all good for music. The 90's were the declining years of rock & roll and 2000-2010, well, there just was no rock & roll. Rap, white kids trying to rap, female singers spewing out vocal gymmnastics or using the voice of a 12 year old....all of that since 2000 continuing up to date. I try and keep myself in check and not let myself become "an old person who doesn't understand the music of our youth today" but honestly, turn your radio on and decide for yourself. Classic Rock has become the last bastion of rock & roll as we knew it but how many times can you listen to the Eagles singing Hotel California or Walk This Way by Aerosmith. The only saving grace to music is that a computer allows you to hunt down all of the B-sides you like...thank you "for not getting it" Xerox.  
In the last installment of Indiana Jones there is a line that goes something like this "Indy, it appears that we have reached a time where Life stops giving and starts taking". I've lost my Dad and youngest sister. Friends I know have lost people too. An old school friend of mine since the 7th grade is now going through treatments for cancer...that used to be something old people got. The worst part of growing older has nothing to do with yourself, it has everything to do with those around you that you love. A good goal for 2014 would be to learn to keep my head up in spite of the things to come. 

Art....I am painting better than I ever have. Better than I can imagine I have the ability to. Go figure. Art is such a bumpy ride. There are times where you make definate progress and other times you seem to be going sideways instead of up. To those of you who paint just hang in there....the "up" will happen. As for sales....did I mention 2013 totally sucked! I'm right there with a lot of you who this economy has effected. Remember...VOTE! The People of this country still call the shots, not the Government....nor the Media. VOTE! 
 Hopes for 2014....I hope all of you, including myself, improve in our art. My goal has always been to one day paint something spectacular...something a Master would have painted. You should have this goal too if you paint. Never be satisfied with your work or you'll never even get close to painting something spectacular. I hope our country finds it's way and that's up to you and me. It's important. I know this is an art blog but America, and the state of it, should be in everyones mind. I hope our kids stop killing each other in our schools, I hope the people running around knocking people out for no reason other than to see themselves on video doing it enjoy a long, slow and painful death, I hope every single terrorist does the same.
Lastly, I will try more to do good in 2014. Doing something good for anyone is what life is about. It makes you a better person and makes life a little easier for the other why not. To start the year off on the right foot I will do something To the first of my Subscribers or Followers who emails me with the promise that they will do something good for someone else I will send you the painting below titled "Above Santa Ynez"...for free. The painting is an oil painting that measures 8"x10" on stretched canvas. All you need to do is buy an 8"x10" frame, put a nail in your wall and you're good to go. You have to be a subscriber or follower of my blog and the first to email thanks for your interest in my art and for you promising to do something nice for someone in 2014.
****To email me go to "About Me", click on Ron Guthrie then click on Email****
Now I've strarted my new year off on the right foot.
UPDATE....The painting has already been snagged up by Monica, the first to email me. So the painting will be on it's way to Atlanta soon...Congratulations Monica!
! Happy New Year !

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Foxen Canyon Moonrise

"Moonrise Near Foxen Canyon"
16" X 20" Oil on Canvas
This painting is one of maybe 3 or 4 that I really feel are the best I've done of capturing what the Santa Ynez valley really looks like. I have it hanging near my computer here and get to see it daily...yep, I like it that much. The painting was one of those milestone paintings you do, a painting that you feel shows some significant growth as an artist. I like this painting so much I used it as the cover of my art book. I'm getting ready to start another painting and have been looking at my work here getting ideas.
I love the sky colors here, not mine, they belong to the valley. I had a period of painting a lot of large sky/low horizon paintings. I can see the draw to artists who paint skies...they are so much fun to paint. Skies can be painted so many ways and direct the rest of the painting. I'm looking back and forth at the actual painting and telling myself I need a better frame on that painting! I think if you kept a painting around long enough you'd reframe at least it 10 times.My advice is sell them quick so you don't go broke buying frames!