Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Catalina Paintings

Paintings framed up for the Catalina show in October at Galerie Gabrie in Pasadena
What a chore this project was...from beginning to end. Travelling to Catalina island and painting there was not that big of a deal but framing these pieces was. I've been using a frame supplier from San Diego and have ordered these frames before with no problem. Naturally, 3 of the 4 frames for this show arrived with bad cuts...meaning the frames were slightly larger than my canvas sizes. What that caused me to do was take them apart and restretch with slightly larger bars...and no the stretcher bar keys didn't work or I would have done that and I tried that first anyway. Also...the smallest frame her, the 9" X 12" was so badly put together that any evenly cut 9"x12" panel wouldn't fit...the frame wasn't square. I had to tweak that to get it to work down in the garage. I thank my lucky stars I like to mess with wood because this all is doable and not that hard but I should'nt have to in the first place. Return them??? Not enough time....yep, that was my first thought that lasted all of 5 seconds figuring out the time frame. After restretching it was time to problem there. It's all corrected now and they are soon to be hung in the gallery down in Pasadena.
This show will run through the month of October so if you are in Pasadena stop by Galerie Gabrie to see it. Say hi to Jasminka for me and enjoy lots of great art there.
Galerie Gabrie, 597 East Green Street, Pasadena, CA Open Tue-Sat 11-5pm 626.577.1223

Monday, September 27, 2010

Eucalyptus Study

Eucalyptus Study
6" X 8" Oil on panel
I recently painted this little study of a eucalyptus tree to work on not only the tree but the background in a more tonal approach. I really like tonal works and am a big fan of Brent Cotton's work. There is always such a mysterious look to that style of work when keeping the overall value very low. The dark lighting and soft edge work is really a big draw to me. Keeping any painting really dark allows the viewer to "see" more as they study the painting. For a painter it can't get any easier to let the viewer complete the painting as they see fit. I think that's why works with low lighting work so well. I think most painters start out feeling they need to paint everything in scene. Painting a dark forest and having areas so dark they are practically void of any detail allows the viewer to fill in what they let their imagination do the work. I love paintings like that.

This little study was fun and allowed me to venture over into tonal work if only for the background. I think I'll do another one soon keeping the values low so that I can paint in a little mystery into my work.

Some detail of the euc.....

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Colors of Catalina Show

The Colors of Catalina Show . Pasadena, CA Oct. 9 - Nov 6 2010
Artists who are in the 4 galleries that comprise the Pasadena Art Gallery Association were asked this last summer to travel over to Catalina island to paint scenes for a show benefitting the Catalina Island Conservancy. I am very fortunate to belong to Galerie Gabrie and headed over to the island with my painter friend Rich Gallego. We were asked to paint the flowers in bloom but we probably missed that by a few weeks since Catalina islands' spring bloom doesn't last very long. We were left with rolling hills surrounded by blue pacific waters. I did however find some gold carpeted flowers and painted away for 2 days.

Rich and I painted the first day together up in the hills near the island airport which was built by Wrigely...of Wrigley's gum fame. The second day we split up, I headed for more flowers near the Wrigley botanical gardens and Rich painted the pier in Avalon harbor. Aside from painting Rich and I had some great Mexican food, plenty of art talk and checked out some of the local artists work scattered in venues throughout the city. The tiny town of Avalon is very cool to stroll around. Our hotel was right in front of the Conservancy bus stop so transportation up to the airport was a breeze.

Rich's gallery, Segal Fine Art, is having their show right now and ends around Oct 9th I think. Galerie Gabrie will have their show with the October dates above. If you can get to Galerie Gabrie in Pasadena it will be worth the trip.
Galerie Gabrie, 597 East Green St. Pasadena CA Phone - 626-577-1223
Open Tuesday through Saturday 10:30- 5pm

Avalon Harbor, Catalina Island

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Yellow Moon

"Yellow Moon"
12"x16" Oil on Canvas

Just finished this one up. I wanted that background very pale and boy did I get it, hahaha. This painting was done more to see how this scene would look should I choose to go larger. I had the idea for a very late afternoon scene with the moon rising. I tried to keep the moon very pale so there isn't much contrast with the sky as you can see. The painting is still sitting on my easel and the moon works better here. The photo seems to reduce what contrast there is. I tried to add contrast but then the trees start getting pretty dark...more than what's in the painting so I opted for not messing with the contrast.

Overall, I like the results and will more than likely go larger with this one soon. I'll probably add a bit more dark to my sky to increase that contrast with the moon but as it is I'm pretty happy.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Rancho San Carlos de Jonata

"Oaks At Rancho San Carlos de Jonata"
15" X 30" Oil on Canvas

I was very fortunate to be invited to visit and take reference photos of this Ranch. This is one of the "Old California" Ranchos handed to prominate Mexican Citizens and this rancho was given from Governer Pio Pico to Joaquin Carrillo and his brother in law Jose Maria Covarrubias. Early Ranchos were used to settle California and raising cattle was the main business at many of the Ranchos. In the 1840's there were so many cattle that travellers were allowed to slaughter a cow for a meal. The cattles hides and tallow were probably more important than the meat of the cow at the fact hides were considered "California bank notes" and used as currency until the gold rush came along.
Over time the original Rancho was sold off, split up and the land handed down to new heirs. Part of it, about 9000 acres, became the town of Solvang. There were 3 founding members of the Danish American Colony Company who founded Solvang and one of them is the relative of the man who now owns a large piece of the original Rancho de Jonata. He and his wife are really great people and love to paint too.

I tried to capture this view looking east across the Santa Ynez valley to show the vastness of the land and rolling hills of the valley. It's a midday scene and has that sun drenched feel to it. Below is a shot of the painting progressing. I have laid in my darks for the trees in the foreground and was at this point putting in the mid greens in this area.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Foxen Canyon Oaks

"Foxen Canyon Oaks"
20" X 30" Oil on Canvas

This painting is just abouyt finished. I'm going to let it sit and ponder it for the next few days while starting another painting. It's late and I photographed it which for some reason the late pics never seem to come off good. The original painting is here and has a really decent look to it but for some reason some of that is getting lost in the photo. I'm really too tired to mess with it though and at this point I want to move on to the next painting instead of messing with taking a better pic.

I had a great frame that was custom made to this size of the painting a few years ago. I had painted a vineyard scene but it wasn't my favorite vineyard scene so the painting ended up in my bedroom against the wall. I decided to quit wasting the frame and took the painting off of the stretcher bars. I restretched new primed canvas over the bars and painted this scene. I rolled the old painting up and stached it in the "art" closet, a 5'x8' room I use to keep all of the art materials, packaging, prints, frames and old paintings in. I think this one will work just fine in the frame. Dying to see what the varnish does for it.

It's been hot here the past week and the studio is too warm to paint in. I have an air conditioner but hate running it all day due to the cost it adds to the monthly electric bill....also it is only a few feet from my easel so it is kind of loud. Most of the year the studio works fine but when it gets hot half of the day gets pretty toasty in here....come on Fall!