Friday, April 30, 2010

Hills Above Cachuma Lake

"Hills Above Cachuma Lake"
5" X 7" Oil on panel

This one came from a reference photo I had taken while on a hike near Cachuma lake. I made two hikes that in the morning with an overcast sky and then another when the sun came out to get some sunlit pictures. The hike was only about a mile or so so it was no big deal to do it twice. Great weather and with Spring here all was in bloom along the way. I've done two versions of this painting...the other version is a nocturne that was suggested by a painter friend and I'll post that one later. I like this version and see little things that could be touched up on. Fun little painting.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Wildling Museum Auction

Yesterday I attended the Wildling Museums annual BBQ fund raiser at Rancho Arbolado. I had donated a painting for the event that was to be auctioned off to help raise funds for the museum. The winning bid was excellent and the museum staff was very happy. The couple who bought the painting were really nice people and my congratulations to them. While I was there I had the chance to go on a jeep tour of the ranch and do a quick hike to shoot some reference photos.

The lupine and poppies were in bloom throughout the ranch as well as many other native plants.

I also ran into a couple who own another ranch in the valley. They had invited me to paint on their property 2 years ago so I will make it a point to get out there in the next 2 weeks. They are a very nice couple with one of the oldest ranches in the valley. The husband is from one of the original families that settled Solvang.

We stopped for a glass of wine on the jeep tour. This area offered views to the Pacific Ocean and the view is one thing that sets Rancho Arbolado apart from most of the ranches in the valley.

All in all the BBQ went very well thanks to the museum staff who did a great job. The weather was awesome which was in contrast to when I was there to paint months ago. It was windy, muddy and cold when I went there....stuff you deal with when painting plein air.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Nipomo Project

" Nipomo Vista"
12" x 16" Oil on canvas
I was one of 12 artists asked to participate in an event sponsored by the Dana Adobe in Nipomo. They asked the artists to paint a scene of Nipomo past or present. I opted for the present but had a great time researching the town of Nipomo. It seems one of the most famous images out of the depression was photographed there by photographer Dorothea Lange. This is Mrs Lange posing on her car with her big box camera......
The pic she took while stopping in a farm workers camp was known as "Migrant Mother" might recognize it....
Lange took a group of photos of this woman and her children. One of them included the tent and some background where she was at while waiting for their car to be repaired on their way to Oregon.

Here is a pic of nipomo today with the same eucalyptus trees in the you can see this area hasn't changed much....

These eucalyptus trees provided shade and a place to camp while working the farm fields of Nipomo. From this shot below you can see some of the pea pickers with the hills of nipomo directly behind them. At the time Dorothea Lange stopped it was because she had saw a sign that read "Pea Pickers Camp".

Anyway....I like history, especially local history! My grandma & grandpa broke horses and picked pecans during the Depression in Oklahoma and Texas. They met at a dance on a saturday night for the pickers...That was a tough bunch of people who made it through that. Next time you sit down to have a fancy coffee drink at Starbucks just think about what some of those people went through....just to survive.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New Frames

"Manu Mele Aground at Santa Barbara"
12" X 24" Oil on Canvas

I need to replace some frames for the gallery and they just! These frames are from San Diego Frame Manufacturing. SDFM make great frames and supply frames to many of the frame companies in Southern California. I love their frames and prices but you are going to wait on time is usually at least a month from the time of your order. I'm a single artist ordering a small quantity of frames so maybe that is part of the reason. They supply large orders from the big framers so I'm sure they get preference on delivery times. Despite that one snag, SDFM churns out high quality frames for a great price.
Here are some more pics of the new frames......

"Before Sunset"

9" X 12" Oil on Panel

"The Demise of the Allegro, Santa Barbara"

16" X 20" Oil on Canvas

Monday, April 12, 2010

California Oak

"California Oak"
6"x6" Oil on panel
A simple scene of an oak tree lining a valley. Oak and eucalyptus trees are two of the trees that stand out most in the California landscape....another close tree would be the palm tree which I'm' not sure is even a tree at all....but when you see their size growing along Colorado blvd in Pasadena what else could you call it but a tree. When I was growing up in Pasadena my elementary school had oak trees out in the playground and along some of the bungalows. Their acorns always gave us hours of fun throwing at each other. And of course sooner or later you had to break one open and taste it since we all knew the indians ate them...not very tasty at all. Probably because of school my first memories of trees are of the oak. Fitting.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Stream At Eaton

"Stream At Eaton"
6" X 6" Oil on panel

Thought I'd try a painting with running water in it. With all the rain we had this winter it was nice to see the river running up at Eaton Canyon. I wasn't looking for a typical scene of the river up there where it is much easier to tell it is Eaton Canyon being painted...I was just looking for an image with a small waterfall and rocks. Doing a study of both of these subjects will help me down the line hence the painting here.....

I've been wanting to do a waterfall, even a small one, for some time now. I'd like to experiment with the various ways of portraying the water. I could have spent a little more time on this one but it was done alla prima today and I don't want to get burnt out over water...plenty of time to learn to paint small creeks and streams. I like painting the rocks and always seem to have to force myself to make them different values and colors. These have a little too much texture considering they are being polished by the water. On the next try I'll keep the rocks smoother down in the water and rougher along the shore...seems logical.