Sunday, August 30, 2009

Vineyard, Lucas and Lewellen

" Lucas & Lewellen Vineyard"
12" X 24" Oil on Canvas
This vineyard is right up the highway from where I live. I don't know how many times I've driven by with my camera pointed out of the passenger window snapping away trying to get a good reference photo. I've captured this scene a few times with the camera anddecided to go ahead and paint it today. I started to do it Alla Prima but when it was most of the way finished I had to stop. We are having a heat wave here and this studio of mine is a converted garage but it still gets really hot in here by midday. I finished it off later this afternoon when it began to cool down. A little different from my previous vineyard painting.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A New Gallery

I've been wanting to put this on here for a while now. I was approached by a gallery a while back but wanted to wait until things were more definite before posting it. My work is now officially being represented by Galerie Gabrie in Pasadena, Ca. This gallery has been in business for years and represents some wonderful artists. The owners are some very nice people and very serious about the art they offer from their gallery. At our last meeting I left a couple of paintings with them but more will go down there soon. If you are in the Pasadena area please stop by to visit the gallery and see the great art they have.
597 E. Green St. Pasadena, CA 91107
Phone : 626-577-1223

Friday, August 28, 2009

Vineyard Alla Prima

"Kalyra Eve"

12 X 24 Oil on Canvas
I'm going to do a Plein Air show at the Faulkner vineyard in Temecula. The Faulkner Winery Fall Art Invitational is on November 7 & 8. ( click here for info on that... )

I'll be painting both days in their vineyards along with many very, very good artists. If you can make it please stop is their Barrel Tasting Festival during harvest time down there.

To brush up on that type of painting I will go do some plein air pieces locally at our vineyards. Before that though I decided to do a few Alla Prima pieces to work some things out and get my speed up to snuff (Alla Prima - to do a painting in one sitting). This painting is the first of those and was done this morning in about 2 hours. It is 12"x24" oil on canvas. Not blazing speed but I'll get a little quicker before November. I'll post the upcoming alla prima pieces and plein air pieces as they roll off the the way, I finally bought a French easel to try out. Looks pretty cool and after rubbing on more wood conditioner it looks even cooler!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Meadow at Evening

Meadow at the Mission
9X12 Oil on Linen panel
This tiny meadow is over at Mission Santa Ynez and overlooks the valley at the eastern end of the mission. At the end of a sunny afternoon you start to get nice looking long cast shadows from the pepper trees that line the entrance. This scene captures the various shades of earth colors as they weave an eratic pattern in that field of dry grasses.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


...And another good thing about joining and Artists Guild are the fringe benefits. One of them would be the occasional free critique sessions we have. I'm sure most artist guilds have these. A critique is a great way to get an idea of where you stand with your work and helps you to develop thick'll need that if you ever show your work anywhere! There is always someone who has a comment to make about your work...don't get mad, listen-think about it-catalogue it in your mind-and use it to do better work.
I had an art teacher in a design class back in college who would rake you over the coals if your work had a problem...people dreaded turning in work to be critiqued in that class. That teacher was tough if you had problems in your work but there was one very important thing...he was honest and didn't mind telling you if you screwed up. That tends to make most people mad and maybe even walk away from art. You just have to suck it up and keep your cool. In a half an hour you'll see what they saw and maybe realise you could improve your work so hang in there and listen to what's being said. Humble will keep your feet on the ground where they should be. I can't impress upon you how easy it is to just get mad. Art is very personal and it's like someone pulling your heart out and stepping on it when the critique gets ugly. Just keep your cool long enough to let your eyes and ears teach you.

We had a great turnout of about 40 artists from beginner to experienced. Artist James Armstrong did a great job of critiquing the work. James teaches at Santa Barbara City college as well as having his work represented by various galleries
My friend Becky Gomez's work under fire, hahaha. Becky is a very good artist and is also a participating artist in our Studio Tour. Becky always has a great presentation with her work which is also important in a critique...frame well or you'll hear about it. If you get a chance to get your work critiqued go for it. You can only learn from the process.

Monday, August 10, 2009


This post has nothing to do with art except that while in Kansas I took a boat load of reference photos. I attended an Army reunion with some of the guys I was stationed with back in Germany with the 1/37th Armor...1st Armored Division in Katterbach Germany. Needless to say we all had a great time. While there we were allowed to tour Ft Riley and the tank simulators they have. We were a tank unit, Gen. Pattons old unit that fought at the Battle of the Buldge to be exact, and we had the old M60A2 tanks. The simulators at Riley are of the new M1 Abrams tank you see fighting in the Desert Storm and Gulf wars. Too cool to fire and drive these newer tanks.
We stayed on a ranch owned by one of the guys just north of the town of Alta Vista, Kansas. We BBQ'd, drank beer, rode horses fished on his lake...lots of fun hanging out with these guys who really are like brothers to me.
The view from the front porch...lots of beautiful sunsets in Kansas.
This is the lake on the ranch where we had a small fishing derby.
My friend Dennis and I talked our host Steve into letting us drive his tractor and moves some of the bales of hay....or hay wheels. That's me driving and yes with cowboy hat on. The sun was scorching us all.

Dennis and I on an M60A1 tank we found in a park in Council Bluffs, Kansas. Felt good to be on a tank after 30 years.

This is what the inside of one looks like...very cramped with lots of stuff to bang your head on. Dennis in the Tank Commander position and me down below in the Gunners compartment.

I have a lot of fond memories of my old Army days and you develop really close relationships with the guys you served with. It was 30 years since most of us had seen each other but after 5 minutes it felt as if we had all gone home for 30 days leave and had just got back....we sounded exactly as we did back then, we got along just as we had back then in was great.