Saturday, December 16, 2006

Plein Air 2

I'm always dreaming of painting outdoors. I can't think of anything more fun than to simply choose to go somewhere and sit down and do a complete painting in one sitting. I love the looks of Contemporary California Impressionists paintings and eventually my goal is to learn to do similar work.

Today was a pretty slow day so I decided to go outside and try painting my neighbors hillside. Again, I used an underpainting to get me started. I went a little dark with it but it worked out ok. Before I try something like this I pick a scene, stop and think how I will paint it and then begin painting. This is a study so I'm not looking for a masterpiece, I'm learning to paint outdoors, which with oil, is very different from painting indoors for me. This piece took about an hour to do including my setting things up outside. After doing this piece I thought about things I'd do differently in the next attempt and I think my results will be better in the next one purely from the experience gained here.

The pochade box I'm using was built from scratch by my Dad. I told him what I was looking for and sketched it out one night on scratch paper over coffee. I let him have the final say in building it since he is a hobby wood worker and has probably forgot more than I know in life. I took 4 years of woods class in High School but he has been building things in his spare time most of my that's 49 years to my measly 4 in HS. The box works great...a little heavy but most of that weight is from the old tripod he had laying around he gave me. This box can handle anything up to a 12"x16"...not sure if I'll ever be able to paint PA at that size but you never know.

Here are some pics of my little experience at my drive-ways end.....
The view I choose and my box....

Seen here is my too red underpainting. I could go totally blue in the sky but wanted to let some of the red show through.

Now laying in my foreground grasses. In my finished version I need to do detail to that area but what was finished today in less than an hour is a good starting point for this little attempt.

And here is the finished version. There is some of the red underpainting showing through the foreground grasses....I'm not crazy about the lack of detail there and might do more once the paint sets up. The tree skyholes were added but looked too out of place with the more whiter sky I had so I added blue to the sky to match it all up. All in all, looks pretty cool to me for just a second attempt. I've thought of a different way to speed up painting in highlights and will try that in the next one....we'll see what happens.

And yet another pic...this one of me posing with the pochade box. We live on a hill so we get winds and it was cold to begin with. Still painting in the snow would be totally no fun. I have to say that the people who do this in really adverse weather are more dedicated than I am....I did my survival training back in 76-79 so I'm good to go there and not looking to adding to it with a painting box in tow.


Trying Underpainting

"Hilltop Sunset"
5"x7" Oil on Canvas

This image was my attempt using an underpainting, or tinted ground, under your brush work. This is a popular technique used by painters such as Emille Gruppe. I came to learn it by seeing it used by various painters online such as Bill Wray and Larry Seiler, both painters whose work I keep an eye on simply for the enjoyment and to let influence my work to some degree. That's always a great way to learn if you cannot afford taking a workshop.

I've been wanting to try this method because the way I paint in the studio in my opinion isn't going to work for me outdoors doing plein air pieces. It takes me at least 2-3 days to do a work indoors simply because of the drying times of oil paint. Working outside has to be done much quicker.

This particular piece was done using the underpainting method and I'm still learning it but it did speed things up. This took about 45 mintues in the studio. It is 5"x7" which accounts for the speed too but still faster than my typical studio method. The only thing I did later in the studio was add just a bit of highlights to the tree and highlights to the foreground grasses. This took maybe 10 minutes more. I love that glow that is seen in this sunset piece. This is a view off of the street I live on looking across the valley.

Hope you like it....

A Beach Scene

"Jalama Bluffs"
8"x10" Oil on Canvas

If you are an artist you have to sooner or later learn to paint the things near where you live...unless you want to paint Europe which I think has already been covered by many an artist. I don't see the point of painting landscape paintings of far off places since I live in a great area to paint....the California coast. The key word here being "coast". I haven't painted but one other coastal scene so figured it was time to try another one.

This scene is of the bluffs, or cliffs, that dominate Jalama beach. This was painted from a reference photo I took during a break in a storm we were having. As you can see there is not much breaking surf here...the bluffs were my challenge in this one.

I like how this one came out and think the attempt to capture the scene worked. I am very happy with how well the bluffs came out. Surprised myself there. Hope you like it.

Here is a detail of the bluffs in the painting.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

And the award goes to......

You know, I've been entering shows in my local artist guild gallery every month for over a year and never won an award...for anything. I would kid others that even if no one else entered but me I'd somehow lose. Well, my streak is over. I finally won an award...First Place, for "Red Sky Over Field".

This came as a big surprise because this painting was really to try out doing some impasto work in the sky area....not that I thought it wise to do but just wanted to try impasto painting with a knife out. I thought the results were pretty cool and a lot of other artists seemed to like it too.

Last month I entered a small 8"x10" into the show which didn't win an award but I got a call telling me it had sold at the gallery. I was hoping the call about winning the award was to tell me this one had sold...hahaha. Surprise, surprise.

This is good news of course....the last 2 months have been full of good news. Sales are up, I got picked up by a gallery north of here, Gallery In The Vines, so I now have gallery respresentation. Also, the first week there I sold 2 paintings. So, things are getting better!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Vineyard House Commission

Vineyard House Portrait
12" x 24"
Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas

Remember I have been going to art shows??? Well, this is a painting done on commission from a lady I met at one of the shows. In the last 5 miutes of the show she walked into my booth and asked if I would do a painting of her house which sits on top of a vineyard near Santa Maria, California. If you ever drive north up Hwy 101 you'll see this house to the right just off the freeway.

I went to her home in the evening trying to catch something with dramtic lighting and the setting sun provided just that. I enjoyed the challenge of catching the drama filtering through the trees to enhance the painting and give the owner something special about where she lives.

You might see just a house but the owner sees their house. Their house was built in the 1920's and sits on a hill in a vineyard. I've tried to show their house as it sits including the vineyards and wonderful view they have. This is what makes their house special to them so I take that into consideration when doing a commission and try and work that into the painting. My next commission just came in today and beleive it or not, it's a drawing in ink of Chickens! Hey, I'm not kidding! It's a Christmas gift from a woman to her husband....did I mention I live out in the country?

California High Desert

"The Ditch, Hesperia"
This is an image near Hesperia, California in the high desert. The scene is nothing more than a ditch caused by erosion. I was out hiking around snapping reference photos and found the ditch, which was about 2-3 feet deep, as I walked about. I found it neat that if you changed the scale or background this could be large canyon walls like you'd see in Canyon De Chelly.
the mountain range in the distance is the back of the San Gabriels close to Cajon Pass.

The desert is too cool and awesome in winter. I'd like to go up there and spend a week just tooling around taking pics of it. If you keep heading north of here you'd end up in Death Valley, the lowest piece of ground, below sea level, in the US.

This painting was started around 9 AM and finished later that day in the evening. I'm proud of this one because I just love the way the ditch colors came out and I like the highlighted ground level on top. that really pushes the shadowed ditch walls and wall shadows. I am slowly getting the hang of shadows. To another artist I would say "don't think shadows, think color" If you think shadows you can get very goofed up trying to paint them. The learning curve to painting is hugh compared to pen & ink.

The San Gabriels

Storm Clearing the San Gabriels
A painting I did after learning clouds on smaller 5"x7" 's. I wanted to incorporate those lessons with painting the San Gabriel mountains. These mountains are right next to where I grew up in Pasadena and I've seen them almost everyday of my life minus the 3 years I spent in Germany shivering. I love these mountains. They have been painted since the California Impressionsts arrived here at the turn of the century so I wanted to submit my version alongside of theirs. I'll do another version where they are more prominent...this was a warm-up to that one.

12" x 16" Oil on Masonite Panel
Hope you like it!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Santa Ynez Sunrise

Here is a painting done froma photo taken while driving early one morning after a storm had passed close to where I live. Those are the Santa Ynez Mountains as the cloud cover begins to break letting in the morning sun and blue skies.
This is 12"x16" Oil on Canvas. I have it propped in this floater frame while drying. Looks pretty cool there.

The Elverhoj Show

Well, just finished up with the Artist Reception at the Elverhoj Museum in Solvang. It went really well despite a low number of people showing up. I was happy that of the 30 or so I invited we had at least 13 or so show up.

I am learning that where I live a lot of the artists seem to not really go out of their way to support each other. That's a shame. I'm surprised at how few invitations we receive to go to other artists shows. In this last show it became very apparent how many artists submit work for a show, get juried in but then fail to do anything to promote the show at all. Despite being asked to be at the show between 4-7pm many of the artists left by 6pm. They don't really seem to be that interested in promoting their art or the particular show at all. I don't really understand that mentality. Seems a shame to work so hard creating art and get it into shows but when it comes time to show and promote it they really have no interest.

We invited people who all live within an hours drive. I had a friend I've known since 2nd grade show up who drove 2 1/2 hours to get here....and then drove home! I had a neighbor who was busy with her friends and family out of town hurry all the way back to show up only to get here as the show closed and we were walking out.....but we went back in to show her the work. Very cool people made the attempt and showed up. Of my fellow artists, only 1 showed up from Lompoc. Even my framers showed up!! It's nice when people show up and I'm grateful.

I guess I should understand. Art isn't everyones bag. I suppose it would be easier to sell tickets to a Little League pancake breakfast. Still, we had a great time and lots of laughs at the show. The Museum curator, Esther, did an all out job preparing the show including installing new lights to light each piece individually.....and providing the wine!. Kudos for Esther. Here are some pics........

Monday, October 16, 2006

Another Art Fair

Art Show or Art Fair...they are about the same. I've now done 3 shows with another larger show coming up. So far, I'd describe shows in this order....anticipation, excitement, wondering, reflecting, depressed, tired...and debating.
Anticipation of what will happen.
Excitement as you setup and see all the others.
Wondering where the crowd is and where the heck the buyers are hiding.
Reflecting on why I do this.
Depressed on the low or no sales.
Tired on the way home regretting unloading the van
and Debating on should I try it again.
That's been my shows so far. I know, it is only 3 so give it a chance Ron.

Good things sometimes have a way of sneaking up on you. In the show frenzy I've had the most awesome compliments given to me about the art. That makes doing 1 or 2 shows worth it alone. I'd say I've spent about 98 percent of my life drawing and painting alone in some room or garage and 2 percent showing it to people. In a way the compliments at shows are sort of being applauded for all that time and effort. That's nice for an artist to hear.

I've also met some people who have given me leads and said some pretty important things but I have to look into those before writing about them. I've also been asked to do other shows so the contacts you make are worth the effort so far.

Would I recommend doing shows to other bet. The reaffirmation of ones talent, the camaraderie with other showing artists, the leads and contacts as well as getting your name out there.....and lastly, the internal character it builds in you to being resilient and forging ahead. Like my fellow artist Margaret says "it's paying your dues".

Here are some shots from the Santa Maria "Autumn Arts, Grapes and Grains" show.

Arriving at 6:30 AM to the vendors who had arrived at 6AM already setting up

My girlfriend Linda helping to set up installing the racks to hang the art and keep the tent on the ground...that girl is a trooper to the max!

All set up and the first lookie-loo in place. Notice the hands not anywhere near the wallet parts of the body on the lookie-loo....that's how you spot them.

Here are some local chalk artists doing their things at the show. I've seen some of these people in Pasadena at the big chalk show there sponsered by Stolichnaya Vodka...some great artists at these shows. They submit a drawing of their idea to a committee and if approved will show up to do it in chalk in front of city hall.

Our Friend and photographer, Pat and a friend she shared her booth with. Doing this at shows that allow it save you half the cost of booth space....and allow you to go to the bathroom or get something to eat while leaving your booth still manned.

Anyways....I have nothing against lookie-loos, I'm one of them too. When you are on the other end of the counter though a lookie-loo takes on a whole other dimension.

We spent the day buying lemonade for the ladie in the booth next to us. She was really nice and alone so we did all the drink and hot dog runs for her. We would have done the bathroom thing for her too. This way she could remain on her constant booth vigil supplying Santa Maria residents with their supply of 2006 Christmas ornaments but that was physically impossible so I apologised to her and made her go herself. The oriental necklace vendor dropped a bunch of beads from a broken necklace on the other side of us so I quickly helped him pick them up...other than that he rarely said a word except into his cell phone. On many occasions the afternoon winds sent many Christmas ornaments flying and hanging necklaces going airborne with the tent. Why people setup like they are in some department store oblivious to the wind is beyond me. We live along the coast of the Pacific Ocean and winds in the afternoon are an everyday thing here....I'm just adding this up to why people in other states think Californians are idiots....we often act like it. If it snowed here I have no doubt some vendors would be setting up wearing their shorts and flip-flops and others setting up to sell snow cones or Hawaiin Shave Ice.

Sorry to rant and rave but I'm really not. I'm in no way an expert in showing at fairs with only 3 shows under my belt. There are ways to anchor your tent...cinder blocks, weights, cans filled with cement and tent stakes as well as a lot of other ways. So how do I know?...I go to art shows and look.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Rogue River

This painting is from a recent trip to Grants Pass in Oregon. While there we stopped along the Rogue River at various parts since it runs right through town. This scene was located a few miles East of town at a rest stop. On the far bank was steep cliffs about 15-20 feet high covered in lush vegatation and kept in the shadows most of the morning. The sun had popped through in this one part illuminating a few bushes and I recorded it on film to use later as reference material for the painting you see here. This would have been a great area to do a plein air painting but sadly I'm still not geared up for that.....but I'm working on that.
I love Oregon and could find stuff to paint up there all day long. The road down through Cave Junction heading to California through the Redwoods would keep you painting for a lifetime I imagine. I'm dying to do a painting of the redwoods but I have yet to figure out a good composition that would not look so much like the many I have seen painted already. I'm in the same boat with Morro Rock in Morro Bay, do you paint something that will not look like the millions of other paintings of the same subject.
anyway, here is my painting titled "Rogue River Sunlight"....9"x12", Oil on Gallery Wrap canvas.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Best of the Best

" Cachuma Morning"
12"x16" Oil on Canvas

I say Best of the Best not because I am describing one of my pieces but naming a show I recently entered a piece to be juried into. It is the Best of the Best show in Lompoc, Ca. at the Grossman Gallery. This is a show open to all art guilds in Santa Barbara County. Each Guild is allowed 5 pieces from their members to be juried into the show which then judges the entries during the show.

My piece entered "Cachuma Morning", did not get juried into the show. Which brings me to why I am writing this. Showing your art can be done for various reasons that are all valid. Some want the recognition, some use showing as a way to be a part of being an artist, some show as a way of being actively involved in their immediate artist guild. There are others who show to win awards and some who even show to show up their peers...the "dreggs" of art I call them.

I show to be an active part in the local art scene and to open my art to the people who live around let other artists know I'm here plugging away and yes, for the pat on the back. These are valid reasons for an artist to show.

Although my painting didn't make it into the show it's ok. I've been juried into shows before and won awards with my art so I know I'm doing ok. It is in my opinion, the Judge. Each and every one is different and selects accepted pieces based on their own criteria. I see judges as a "crap shoot". One judge says the piece is too low in value, the next judge says it is too high in value....a crap shoot.

The bottom line is this...if you get into doing the juried shows don't let one judge's decision drive you insane to the point of cutting off your ear. You could very well take that same piece you entered into another show and get juried all depends on the judge. Do good work, do your best in each piece you create and go for it! The camaraderie you find with other showing artists is worth it alone.

Today after picking up my piece three other artists and myself went to eat Mexican food...2 of us didn't make it in but 1 did and we all had a great time! We all know that it could have easily been the other way around., go for it!

Monday, October 02, 2006

3 Pieces juried in at Elverhoj Museum Show....

Me again....I entered 1 pen & ink drawing and 2 oil paintings this morning at the Elverhoj Museum of History and Art, (pronounced Elver-hoy) in Solvang, California. All 3 pieces were juried into the show! Yahoo!!.....the Gods are smiling down upon me!

This show is very cool because it is one I've wanted to get into since hearing about it last year but missing the deadline for it....not this year, I made it! The show is called the "Central Coast Collection" and is composed of artist from The Artist Guild of the Santa Ynez Valley. The juror was Brenda French from the Grossman Gallery in Lompoc, California.

This show to me is one of those local milestones you want to make in your art career because it is in my hometown and in the Elvehoj Museum....a very classy place. The Elverhoy Museum is actually a house donated by the owner that was built in true Danish farmhouse style. It has been converted over to house the museum inside the original home with an added wing for various shows they have throughout the year. This addition makes for a great art show venue with it's high beamed ceiling and gorgeous interior.

Here are the details in case you'd like to go to the Artist Reception or visit the show.....
Location - The Elverhoj Museum of History and Art
1624 Elverhoj Way, Solvang, CA.
Show Starts - Friday November 17, 2006
Artist Reception - Saturday Nov. 18, 2006 4-7 PM
Show Ends - January 21, 2007
Museum Hours are Wed-Thu 1 - 4 PM and Fri-Sat 12 - 4 PM

"Red Roof" 10"x20" Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas

One of the images at the Elverhoj show in November

Sunday, October 01, 2006


I'm going to post this recent painting as a quick work-in-progress, or WIP. This will show anyone a little on how I paint some of my works. I usually start with the sky as it is almost always the furthest back part of the painting. From there I work my way forward. When working forward I tend to lay in my darkest darks first and then work in the mid-values and then the lightest values and highlights last. I call the very last part the "tweaking" part. That's where I adjust colors to pull it all together.

This scene is one of the Santa Maria, California fields. A good part of the produce out of California comes from this region. Seeing workers out in the fields is something I've seen many times and was dying to paint. So here goes......

First, I block in my sky colors...Titanium White with just a slight bit of blue to tone it down for the clouds....some Alizarin Crimson added to other parts of the clouds to tie the sky into the land which will have crimson dirt...and then some white with more Ultramarine Blue to give me some blue skies. This is painted in and slightly blurred together with my brush.

Once this is in place I tehn take my fan brush and blend the entire sky using a cross hatching pattern. This softens the edges of the clouds to blur into the blue of the sky. It also softly blends the pinkish reds into the whites of the clouds to give some soft glow to the clouds. If you lose too much of whatever color in the blending process then just take your initial brush and add some of whatever color you want back to the part of sky you need it in and softly blend again till you get what you want.

You can blend your colors to whatever degree you if you go crazy doing this and do too much blending just scrape off your paint, wipe the canvas down with a little thinner and do it all over again remembering not to get hypnotized by the blending process! haha. The first time you ever do this blending process you'll think you've created the best sky you've ever done.

Here is a detail shot of some of the sky showing the blending result.....

Next we add the background distant trees and the midground trees and house. Notice that I paint around the trees and house when doing the sky. I also didn't paint the area of my distant background. This allows me to paint these in right after finishing the sky instead of waiting a day to do it while the sky dries. I then will add the ridge and will begin laying in the field in the next part......

Here you can see the field pretty much painted in. This was all done with just the 3 primary colors and white...oddly enough, the same colors used in the sky minus the yellow. By doing this mix of just these colors I force myself to learn to mix instead of just adding some other color I have bought and it keeps my painting in uniform in color. I'm at this point in my painting career to stay away from using every color in the rainbow. Just a personal thing. One good thing about this is that I've learned to make many shades of keep my costs down on buying paints.

As you can see I've left the area of parked cars and trucks alone, painting around them, so I can paint them in right after doing the field. This is very important. It is very hard to paint over wet oil paint so do yourself a favor and paint around them.

Next we add in the cars and trucks and the farm workers. The workers are really small dabs of paint so I didn't feel I needed to paint around these areas but if you want to do that go for it. After painting in the figures I went to bed and then checked it in the morning. I decided I wanted more detail there so I added some to the figures....basically, this painting was started and finished on 1 day. That's pretty fast for me at this point in the painting game...most of my work takes 2-3 days to complete. is the final piece all finished up. Hope you like it......

"Santa Maria Fields"

10"X14" Oil on Canvas

Friday, September 29, 2006

The New Show Booth

Speaking of do it you need a booth, tent, E-Zup or Canopy...depending on what you want to call it. We, Linda and I, just recently purchased ours from an online art supply company called Jerrys Art-A-Rama. It measures 10'X10" and is white which is the standard for showing. We wanted blue so it would be easier to keep clean but the shows all want white.....naturally, they don't have to wash it when it gets dirty. Ours is a pop up style which has the roof already attached saving time in setup. We also bought the four sidewalls for the additional $79.00, this way you can completely close it up at nights when doing 2 or 3 day shows.

IMPORTANT! These tents are super light and good winds will lift them off the ground in a heartbeat so they need to be anchored. You can use sandbags, weights, waterbottles, cans filled with cement, cinderblocks etc....I bought metal racks called Gridwall from an AcmeDisplay in downtown Los Angeles. These are just heavy enough to keep my tent anchored in place.
I took one of those dollies that convert to a cart and built a wood frame to carry everything from van to spot and so far it has worked pretty well....I will change the smaller tires on the top part of the dolly and install larger pneumatic tires to make the rolling easier when on bumpy ground....but it works great as is if you don't go offroading with it. crossing vacant lots or something in that nature.

I can do all of this by myself but it is a hassle so having a second person is a Godsend and makes it all a breeze. I can't imagine being an older artist and doing it alone. You'd kill yourself.
I'll be posting more pics of behind the scene action at shows as we do more soon.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

!!!! Upcoming Shows 9-28-2006

This year and last year I started showing my work in various galleries through the 3 Artist Guilds that I presently belong to. These are shows put on by the Guild and only select pieces of my work are at the galleries. I thought it would be cool to list them on the Blog if only to remind me that they are fast approaching!

Pay attention to the dates...
since these show do end and new ones begin with new artwork. I will post the dates in case you would like to stop by one of the shows to see a lot of great art by various artists along the Central Coast and myself!

The above works will be at.....

Morro Bay Art Association Gallery in the "Autumn Repose" show

through Oct 29, 2006 835 Main Street, Morro Bay, California (805) 772-2504


The above images are now at....

Town Center Gallery, in the Town Center Mall,

through Nov. 8, 2006 313 West Tunnell Street, Santa Maria, CA. (805) 349-7788


The above image is at the.....

Santa Maria Airport Art Showcase

through Nov. 8, 2006 Located at the Santa Maria Airport, Santa Maria, California


I will also be showing many pieces of my work at this festival up in San Luis Obispo next October 28, 2006. This is going to be really fun. If you can make it out please come by my booth and say "hi" can get details at

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Eucalyptus in Evening

Eucalyptus in Evening
9" X 12"
Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas
These majestic eucalyptus trees are everywhere in California it seems. Farmers use these as wind breaks for the fields....just like these were being used for that very purpose. Doing this one also allowed me to work more on skies which I love to paint. I actually learned to paint skies from an old Walter Foster book which really was a lesson on how to paint water....I just used it for the skies. far so good. I resorted to Walter Foster books for various lessons in painting to keep costs down on my budding painting hobby back in the early 80's and still buy them.
I have one WF book written by William Palluth and had it for years. About 6 months ago I was in a gallery in Los Olivos, CA and there on the wall was one of the paintings he had done in the book I was like seeing an old friend and put a big smile on my face.....which also reminds me of friends I made in various art classes over the years, they are all men and women in their 40's now!

Palms At Stow

"Palms At Stow"
11" X 14" Pen & Ink, Stippling
Doing landscapes in pen & ink is for only the dedicated....which of course could be easily confused with those without a life.....yeah, I've heard them all being a pen & ink artist working with the Stippling technique. This is an image that ranks up there with the hour meter running. The location is the Stow property in Goleta, California. I like this piece because it gave me the chance to draw various palm trees, sun bleached grasses and a very cool sky that doesn't quite show well on a computer but looks really sharp IRL.
I don't watch the clock when doing ink work so I really cannot give you an accurate time it took to complete this piece. I work in sessions of hours....2, 3 ,4 ,5 etc. depending on how well it is going, how much I'm charged up about a particular piece or if someone needs me to do something else besides draw all night.....(Shhhh, that's life getting in the way again.) .
When I was younger and had the eyes of an eagle I'd do marathon sessions and only stop because I got hungry. Too much fun!

Wulff Windmill

"Wulff Windmill"
11" X 14" Pen & Ink, Stippling
This is a windmill used to drive a polishing gizmo that a man named Wulff built here in Solvang, CA. back in 1927 for his lapidary hobby....polishing rocks. It still stands and is right up the street from where I live, a historical landmark sitting in a field along the road at what was once his property. I plan on donating a print of this to the Elverhoy Museum in town. The curator there gave me some background info on the windmills history and she thought it was neat I was interested in the history behind the windmill. I will do this after the show I am entered in there for next month. This being a wood structure made for a fun time drawing it as wood patterns are always random and allow you to get creative as you draw the image. Doing the foliage is challenging and fun to do too....a bit time consuming but worth the effort I think.

My Favorite Painting...(so far)

"First Poppies"
5" x 7" Oil on Canvas
You start each painting all charged up and thinking this will be your best because it is your latest work....not so with me. Each one has it's own challenges and mistakes are made too. Even on smaller canvases most paintings are an effort. First Poppies was the one that broke those rules. It started easy and finished easy in around 3 hours spaced over 2 sessions. Another artist mentioned this was a painting in the vein of Granville Redmond's work. Being the paint historian I am, I quickly looked the name up in Google and saw his work on various sites. Granville was best known for his California landscapes featuring California Poppies and Lupines. He was also one of the founding members of the California Art Club. Although I don't have the quality of a Redmond painting I was honored by the mere mention of his name in a post of my work....totally thrilled !

"CGC Blackfin"

"CGC Blackfin"
16"x20" Pen & Ink
This drawing would be an appropriate beginning. It is one of the latest pen & ink drawings I've done. I love boats and they always work out well with pen & ink. This Coast Guard Cutter, the Blackfin, is seen here tied to the docks at Morro Bay and behind her is the fog shrouded Morro Rock. This drawing was juried into the Central Coast National Juried Art Competition in Morro Bay. That was my first National show and Blackfin was the only pen & ink piece to get juried into the didn't win any awards but getting in was a big deal to me. This will be submitted for a local show here in town at the Elverhoy Museum this monday so I'm hoping it makes it into the show.
NOTE - This piece did get juried into the show at the Elverhoj Museum along with 2 paintings of mine also. Yahoo!

Day 1.....the Blog Days

Well, today marks the beginning of a new way to post my art....and possibly the beginning of the end for my Geeze....I even hate writing that out even though I've been thinking it over in my mind for the last 4 or 5 hours. I love my website and hate the thought of letting it go. Lots of things are changing again for me.....not all bad but none the less, Change! And, life is full of change.

I started my website years ago, the late 90's, to show my art and eventually sell it online. All of that happened for me and eventually my little website was ranked on the first page of Google and I think it still is. This came at the price of promoting the site for the first few years like a madman. Before I forgot to change the code for my hit-counter, per the vendor, I had about 80,000 hits. I let that go for almost 2 years and finally installed the new code last year. I started it out from scratch and since then am now back up to over 28,000 hits.......that is over 100,000 hits! Not bad for a puny little art site started by a guy who knew nothing of computers and was a shipping and receiving clerk in the 80's for Bell & Howell in Pasadena....which at the time made computers! hahaha. So, that is why I hate the thought of losing it. It has become my friend if that makes any sense.

Like I said, I did sell art but only a bit from the website. The majority of sales have come from other sources not located in a computer. Still, it is nice having a place of your own online that is basically, Your Gallery. This Blog will now become an extension of that space or perhaps The Space should I decide to shut my site down.

Typing is like talking to yourself with 2 fingers and I could do that all day but in case someone reads this I will try and keep this intro short.

I will begin to upload my pen & ink pieces and some of the paintings I have finished. I've only started painting in the last 4 or 5 months and completed about 15 so far. I love pen & ink but that takes lots of patience and hours of being "tight" with a Rapidograph. Painting allows me the break in that routine to create a piece of art in a few days and do it without any "tightness" involved......"Tight" meaning concentrating your buns off.

So here starts the blogging.......