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........