Friday, December 23, 2011

Home Again

Coast Guard Cutter Stratton, San Pedro, CA
I'm back from my deployment on the National Security Cutter Stratton. I met the ship in San Pedro, CA last week. After being assigned a room with 5 other members of the crew I was give a tour of the ship by Bosun's Mate Macdonald. Mac would answer all of the my questions and generally watch out for me while on board. I was allowed to go about the ship snapping photos on my own for the rest of the cruise up to San Fransisco. I think the crew were not as interested in me being on board as they were in getting to Alameda, the ships home port. Some of the crew had been working to bring this ship here for up to a year and the others were pretty much gone from home to bring the ship home 3-6 months. The crew wanted to go home and I don't blame them. 
Myself and Bosun's Mate Macdoanld
 Cutter Stratton
We left the following morning which was great since I needed a towel and forgot my comb. There is no supply room on board so I took the shore leave van into downtown Long Beach and bought what I needed at WalMart. There were going to be 12 other civilians on board and the next day they were doing what they could to come up with towels for them...lucky me. I talked to one of the crew and when he first boarded a ship he had forgot his towel and had to go a week using his shirt to dry off.
On the bridge of the Stratton
The next day we headed up through the Santa Barbara channel which is pretty busy with ship, fishing boat and pleasure boat traffic. As we neared Pt. Mugu Captain Cashin brought the Stratton up to 30 knots and maintained that speed for 2 hours. This was not a situation to be painting en plein air up on deck. I was glad I did not bring painting gear. Over the next few days the weather and ocean swells would have made plein air painting too challenging for me. The winds alone would have made painting a chore and you need to be out of the way of the crew at all times. In older ships they had side decks to move about the ship. These new cutters do not have side decks so you are constantly heading below decks to move forward or aft. There are also no portholes so once inside you see no ocean or land...Mac said it is a lot like a submarine that runs on top of the water. If you tend to get seasick being inside one of these for most of your days would drive you crazy.

 Sunset off of the Central Coast
 Steaming up the Santa Barbara Channel would be the last of our smooth seas. Once out on the open Pacific we would have stronger winds and heavier swells. Some of the machinery I needed to photograph was either not on board or non operational at this point. This is more of a delivery than a Coast Guard mission so that was expected. I took shots at what was available and that will have to work for me. The good part of being on board was being able to really know how the ship feels and acts, what the equipment looks like up close and how it all relates. Understanding how the crew works and what is happening on a daily basis also helps to portray this ship on canvas. Going on board will help immensely to give a more accurate account to the paintings later. I'm thankful for the opportunity from the Coast Guard as well as the kindness and courtesy with all of my questions to the Captain, XO and crew while on board. It doesn't get any better than this.
Rolling with the swells before dawn

 Sunrise and chilly weather as we moved north.
Sunday was cold and grey with clouds moving in. I would wake up usually about 3 times a night and finally get up around 5:30 or choice. The ships crew operates 24 hours a day so it is hard not to be wakened by the sounds of doors shutting in long narrow companionways or crew members getting dressed to pull their watch. Although there were 6 of us in our stateroom there were never more than 3-5 in there at any one time due to the strange hours of their watch or duties. The strong swells also kept you rolling around in your rack the further north we travelled.
Docking in Alameda, CA
After heavy swells all Sunday night we arrived at our destination. Even I was happy to reach nice steady land. I didn't get sick so that was a bonus. I was able to snap a gazillion shots. I took my sketchbook but the situation to sketch never came up. Early on I was too busy hunting down my shots and later the swells were too strong and it was too cold. I probably could have used the desk in our room to sketch but the guys needed that and I didn't want to get in their way. Being on board the ship for that length of time made it easy to make mental notes for painting and I also made notes in a small notebook I kept so I feel I'm good to go there. Speaking to the crew members about life on board and their duties is also very helpful to me. Understanding the crews point of view helps make sense of a lot of things that might come out in some of the paintings later.
      The CGC Morgenthau is a Hamilton Class cutter. The CGC Bertholf, the first built Legend Class Cutter that will replace the Hamilton Class ships. These ships along with the NSC Waesche were waiting for us in Alameda when we arrived.
   In the darkness before dawn I would talk with one of the crew while he checked the operations of the deck cranes used to launch the small boats. You get a feel for that type of duty when you are actually standing there watching it be done. If I choose to paint that I will do so while understanding the procedure and really knowing the cold and dark conditions it is done in.
Lowering the Colors

      The crew of the Stratton hooking up the fresh water lines to use while in port and fill the ships tanks. The cutter Waesche in the distance.
With the crew mostly off the ship and me staying another night I was able to finish up getting photos I wanted without getting in the way. I checked my painting notes and once satisfied began to pack my gear for the trip home early the next morning. Mac was still aboard so I was able to ask more questions too. Mac is a great guy and helped me immensely. Very professional and dedicated to what he does for a living. If I wanted to see something he always offered to take me there. There were other members of the crew too, who I ashamedly cannot remember their names, who helped me also. They gave me their point of view and voice and things they said I have no doubt will work its way into my work. Overall my time on board was an awesome opportunity for an artist to get first hand reference material, observations and background info. This material will help in future works and I'm sure help to produce better paintings to submit. I enjoyed the trip, a chance of a lifetime for me, and can't thank the following people enough for the chance to do it....
Mary Ann Bader
Karen Loew
Rear ADM Schultz
Captain Charles Cashin
CDR Laura Collins
 Crew of the CGC Stratton.
and my pal BM Macdonald      
      Now to paint....   

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Made The Papers....

Last week the Santa Barbara Independent ran an article on my upcoming depoyment with the Coast Guard cutter USCGC Stratton. Click Here to Read. Nice article. Lately I've been spending my time buzzing around trying to get too many things done. I hung a show for another artist friend of mine in a downtown Los Olivos restaraunt early this morning...then used our tractor to help my neighbor move a lot of compost alongside her hilly terrain to keep our projected rains from washing away her hillside.

I went shopping in every store in two cities both 30 miles away to try and pick up a lens I badly need for my camera before boarding the ship...nobody had it so at the last minute I ordered in online from a company in NY...should be here Tuesday. Drove 120 miles to Pasadena to pick up another lens a friend is letting me borrow because it has Vibration Reduction built in. Both of my len's don't have VR and in low light without a tripod it's a safe bet that half my shots are blurred.  A VR lens should fix that. Have done a ton of reading about low light photography and watched about 40 videos on youtube about it an other photo stuff...just to brush up and learn some new things.

We had our Small Works show too and now it is on auto pilot...meaning the show runs until January. Good looking show too. The reception was fun and I was able to talk to some of the other artists which is always a bonus. Here in between all of this I've been writing press releases and doing the followup on fact, a reporter from our local paper will be here tomorrow doing an interview about the deployment. I did one over the phone for a paper up in Santa Maria last week too. I've also managed to get in some reading of two issues of Southwest Art that I had set aside to read at a later date. Did I mention mowing the lawn to mulch this falls leave harvest!?  

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Studio Tour...finis

Ready for schmoozing!
We wait every year for the Studio Tour to come along because of 2 reasons...meeting and talking with the people who like my work and, of course, sales. Day one of the tour was a slow start but picked up by midday. We had some new people come by who saw my preview piece in the museum and in the brochure put out by the Wildling Art Museum who hosts the event. This year we even had a few who mentioned they saw my work on the website that is put together by the!
The paintings were framed and looked great. We made some nametags that look comparable to what you see at a gallery show...professional looking.

We also had a lot of past visitors come by and it was great to renew old friendships. Always great to see these friends who stop by and we get a chance to bring each other up to speed. The weather was great yesterday too. Nice blue skies and perfect temps made for nice conditions to talk inside and out. Linda did a great job with snacks and drinks which is always received well by the kids who come along with their parents.
Linda again did very well with the munchies!

Day two, Sunday, was a different ballgame. We woke to the sound of heavy rain on our deck outside  the bedroom and at that point I lost all hope of a good crowd, or any crowd, showing up. We did get a some small groups of people showing up between 12-2 but mostly it was a day of the occasional couples, nothing like Saturday. More small sales on Sunday though so it all added up to decent sales for the entire show. I'm happy.
Linda looking very small next to the Eaton Canyon painting. That painting impressed a lot of people on both days.

One thing we tried this year is a bargain basement table. We put a lot of our older paintings mixed in with some sketches and small works, all unframed, and they provided a good flow of sales. We'll do this again next year. Very few people are looking for the big works to buy and it has to be the economy...everyone understands that so I won't dwell on that. We did manage to get the interest of a couple of serious buyers and that might happen down the line. A nice couple from down south have expressed interest in works I have at Gallery Gabrie and will go there to see more work. I plugged the heck out of my gallery down in Pasadena so hopefully a few others will stop in there soon too.   

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Off To Sea With The Coast Guard

I am a member of the Coast Guard Art Program, COGAP, and was recently asked if I’d like to be deployed for 4 days on their newest National Security cutter, the USCGC Stratton, of course I said yes. My assignment is to photograph the crew in their duties as well as images inside and out of the ship for future paintings to be submitted to the Coast Guard Art Program. I will board the ship in December and am looking forward to sailing on the newest ship in the Coast Guards fleet.

The Stratton is the third of four mega high tech 418-foot Legend Class cutters to replace the dependable but aging 378-foot Hamilton Class cutters built in the 1960’s. The National Security cutters perform alien migrant interdiction operations, fisheries protection, search and rescue, counter-narcotics and homeland security missions. On it’s first patrol out the sistership USCGC Waesche interdicted 2 vessels within a 48-hour period containing over 25 million in cocaine being smuggled to the US. The new National Security Cutters have the range to patrol from South America to the Bering Sea. The new cutters carry two helicopters and 2 long and short-range boats. The Legend Class cutters are real beauties!  
    Coast Guard Captain Dorothy C Stratton
Director of the SPARS, the Coast Guard Womens Reserve during WWII
I have known about this new project for about a month now but had to wait for my travel orders to be cut before announcing it. Mary Ann Bader, COGAP coordinator, has been great to work with in setting this all up with the Executive Officer of the Stratton. I’m looking forward to being on board the ship to observe the crew training and operation of the ship. I’ve been going over my photo equipment in preparation for getting as many reference photos as possible in the 4 days I’ll be with the ship. I’ll be posting some of these images when I return from the deployment in December.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Santa Ynez Valley Artists Studio Tour

S Y V   A R T I S T  S T U D I O  T O U R   N O V 18-20
The 2011 studio tour is coming up next week. Linda and I always look forward to the Studio Tour. It's a great chance to meet the people who enjoy my work, talk to old friends and make new ones. I've got some really nice new work up on the walls and we're just about ready for the show now...good thing because I just was picked for jury duty! Yes, there is a down side to excersizing your right to vote, haha.   
If you can make it up to the Santa Ynez Valley come on by. We will yak it up!
There are some great artists on this tour and it is a lot of fun getting to see the various studios and all of that very cool work.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Spring Landscape

"Spring Landscape"
9" X 12" Oil on Panel

This painting started out as a spare panel being used to try out some old paints I had. I never intended to make a painting out of it, I just wanted to try some paints out. After trying out those paints I continued on with other projects and this panel was leaning up against the wall near my easel. Many times I would look over at it seeing various compositions out of the random bits of paint on the panel. After finishing another project I decided to just make something out of those bits of paint and created this scene. I've never began a painting like that but it was pretty fun to approach a painting that way. Maybe for fun you should try to make some random brush strokes on a blank panel and then force yourself to create a composition out of what you have there.    

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Allegro

One of my paintings just returned from a show in Coos Bay Oregon at the Coos Art Museum. The Marine Art show up there is a beautiful show sponsored by the American Society of Marine Artists. I've been fortunate enough to be juried into 3 of their shows. My painting, "The Demise of the Allegro", is one that I painted after a huge storm in January 2010 washed 12 boats ashore on East Beach in Santa Barbara. The owners of these boats have a set time to remove the boats or the city will bring in heavy equipment to shred the boats into bite sized chunks and off to the dump they go.
Some of the boats are live-boards, some weekend boats and some are just waiting for an opening for the limited marina slips in the protected harbor. The boats can anchor offshore off East Beach but they are open to the ocean storms that roll in from the Pacific. Once a boat breaks it's mooring line or drags a flimsy anchor they will wash ashore and be pummeled by the heavy surf. Fiberglass hulls will crack, keels crack or the deck cap can separate basically sheering off the deck from the hull. All of this results in costly repairs to owners so sometimes it's easier to scrap the boat. In all cases it is sad to see a boat come to it's end.

I've decided to post some of the stages it took to create this painting and some of my reference photos taken that day.
In the background you can see two more boats washed up on the rocks. Directly behind me were 2 sailboats and a Uniflite cabin cruiser...farther down were 4 or 5 more boats. You can see how the hull has been scraped against the rough sand and rocks.
  Another pic of the Allegro as the storm winds down.
I did a simple sketch of the boat and then painted in my background. I tried to keep that heavy mist that was in the air that morning.
 The seawall and boat painted in. I was told by another person there that the seawall had been under the sand before the storm hit.
At this point I began working the water in the foreground. While working the foreground the upper half of background would be tacking up to paint the rigging in last. It is way too hard to paint rigging over wet paint. After painting in the boat and water I decided I didn't like the seawall cutting the painting in half and shortened it to make the painting work better.

My finished version of the Allegro. Being at the actual location taking my reference photos really helped to add emotion and feel to the painting. I have owned a couple of boats in my life so I could totally understand how the owner must have felt over this event. I could feel some of those feelings inside of me just standing there taking photos. I have a strong connection with this painting now due to having been there as she lay aground. The owner tried to get help to dig the boat out but since the cabin was facing the sea she filled with too much sand and water. The owner ended up cutting the boat up. Here is an article in Noozhawk with a pic of the owner cutting her up and a video showing heavy waves washing another boat into the Gaviota pier. 

Friday, November 04, 2011

Eucalyptus Tree

"Eucalyptus Tree"
20" X 24" Oil on Canvas
I had painted this scene about a year ago but back then I painted grasses a certain way. When I see work that has those grasses I want to go back over them and paint them the way I do now. I have moved on to a looser look with the grasses, more "weedy" looking grasses. This one was not varnished so it was easy to just throw it on the easel and go back over the grasses...really, just adding to what was already there. Fun stuff.

    Wednesday, November 02, 2011

    Framing Big

    A while back I painted a very large painting of Eaton Canyon. The painting measured 36" X 48". I ordered a very cool looking 5" wide gold frame for it which arrived a couple of days ago....cost a small fortune too. When the frame arrived I couldn't get over the size of it. It's huge compared to all of the other frames I had ordered in the past. I framed the painting this morning and it's now hanging in my living room for the studio tour that will happen later this month.
    Linda giving me a hand here...literally! This shows the normal smaller wire hangers I use compared to the larger ones needed for this frame, haha. Big guys there. Nice thick wire on this one too...I think it was 100lb wire wrapped in plastic. Painting and frame weighs about 40-45lbs. For those of you painters doing your own framing you can find these wire hangers on eBay and buy them in lots of 250. See the black tape wrapped over the wire....this is to protect the hands of the volunteers who will one day hang your work in gallery shows. They will appreciate not jabbing loose wires under their finger nails if you remember to take the extra two seconds to wrap the ends with tape. Be kind!

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    Henninger Flats Painting

    "Fall Below Henninger Flats"
    20"X 24" Oil on Canvas
    When you are hiking in Eaton Canyon you are below Henninger Flats. Peter Stiel originally owned the property and his friend William Henninger from Virginia began squatting on the land in 1884. Henninger built a home and grew hay, nut and fruit trees up there. Eventually the property was sold by his daughters after his death to various buyers who eventually sold it to the Mt Wilson Toll Road company.
    There is a great site with info and photos of the descendants of William Henninger, and his Native American wife Teresa, having a reunion here.
    My parents lived almost right below Henninger Flats in Pasadena. Trees are raised there and Henninger Flats is easily spotted from below by the trees at the two campgrounds they have there.
     The trees at Henninger Flats are visible just above the sign on the freeway overpass.
    I've hiked there with my Dad and brothers and friends over the years. There is an access road that runs across the front of the mountains and gives great views of the San Gabriel valley below. Whenever I'm in Eaton Canyon I always look up to the trees at Henninger and recall the various times I've been up there. Down in Eaton canyon when fall rolls around the sycamores turn color and and contrast nicely against the blue and greys of the San Gabriels.
        The trees again visible at upper left in this late afternoon shot from Eaton Canyon.

    Thursday, October 06, 2011

    Rancho Arbolado Lupine

    "Rancho Arbolado Lupine"
    24" X 36" Oil on Canvas

                 I attended a fund raising BBQ for the Wildling Art Museum that was held at Rancho Arbolado. The BBQ was held down in a small valley on the ranch and you parked up on top of a ridge. This view here is from that ridge late in the afternoon as we were getting ready to leave. Below that far mountain range in the distance is Hwy 101 coming through Gaviota Pass. This was last Spring as the lupine and poppies were starting their bloom and the dash of color made a great contrast to the endless greens of the hillsides.
                Lupine is always fun to paint and at times drives me crazy. A lot of people like lupine too. Linda, my Mom and Jasminka, my gallery owner love lupine...not to mention the many comments we had on paintings with lupine at last years Studio Tour. Lupine comes in various colors. I've seen purples, blues and magenta colored lupine. All of these have bits of white in them. For some strange reason when I'm painting blue lupine I'll get the feeling it should be more purple or magenta colored...and vice versa. I guess I just need to paint more lupine to get that out of my system or maybe it's just the way I see the colors of lupine. Sometimes they look purple and blue...and violet...and magenta, hahaha. See what I mean!? I'll work with them some more and maybe I'll either see their true colors or just make a better decision and stick with it, haha.   

    Thursday, September 22, 2011

    Island Encounters...Wildling Art Museum

    Painting by Carl Oscar Borg
    Today is the reception and opening for the Island Encounters exhibit at the Wildling Art Museum in Los Olivos, CA. The exhibit will run from Sept 21, 2011 to Jan 8, 2012. I was fortunate enough to have one of my paintings make it into this show. The show is filled with paintings, photographs and sculpture depicting scenes of any and all of the Channel Islands.
    I'm happy to be in this show because my work will hang with some wonderful artists including Carl Oscar Borg, Elmer Wachtel and Lockwood de Forest. The show also includes work by some very fine contemporary artists too. The museum staff and their volunteers have made some wonderful creative adjustments to the main floor hall where the show will be held. I'm looking forward to seeing the exhibit later this afternoon. Do try and make it to the Island Encounters exhibit if you are in the area between Sep 21, 2011 and Jan 8th 2012

               Just arrived back from the Island Encounters opening reception. Wow! I was only aware of a few of the artists that had work hanging in this show before going to it and felt privileged to have my painting in there with them. I was astonished to find works by Elmer Wachtel and DeWitt Parshall. Also were works by contemporary artists Matt Smith, 2 from Kevin Macpherson, Joseph Paquet, David Gallup, Whitney Abbott and many more. What a line up of talented artists.

    Elmer and Marian Wachtel both had paintings overlooking Avalon harbor on Catalina Island. The museum put up a current image of the harbor where you could see the area they had painted back then and how it has changed over time. There were recognizable geographical elements that were in their paintings that remain today making it easy to reference what they were seeing and almost the location to where they were painting from...very cool. Parshall had a great subdued painting of a rocky shoreline with some birds flying in the foreground that was awesome. You could see how Parshall had painted thin, almost translucent at the edges of the rock formations too give the viewer this almost blurred edge...I wondered why he had painted the edge that way when I was right up on the small (about 12x16 I think) painting but when I looked again from about 10 feet away the effect was awesome....we painters of today think we are smart, ha! The Matt Smith piece was a small 8x10/9x12? painting with of course the killer rock work he does so well. I wish I had taken my camera but no dice...left it at home tonight but due to the crowd inside I would have never gotten a good shot and so I just enjoyed myself and studied too. Like I said...if you are close to Los Olivos, CA. this is a great exhibit to see....and drool.            

    Eaton Canyon Painting

    "Eaton Canyon Dusk"
    38" X 48" Oil on Canvas
    The painting above was painted back in January 2011. It is a large painting,  36"x48", and so it was leaning along the wall here drying...and staring at me. I finally had enough and threw it back up on my easel. It must be an artists curse that if you look at one of your paintings long enough you will undoubtedly see changes you want to make. Sometimes the changes make the painting better and sometimes you should have listened to your first instinct to call it quits. Paintings live and can taunt you, haha. I think the changes I have made on this one were for the better and I'm much happier now with this one...good thing too because it's large and is very hard to ignore here in the studio.
    I've gone back in and lowered the contrast of colors in the distant mountains...being subtle speaks volumes. I've also varied the edges of the oak tree shapes, mainly the tops, in the midground. Oooh, much better! I adjusted the colors and detail of the midground bushes that run across the paintings center. I then came to the foreground and added work to the tree, worked more grasses in and worked more on the bush to the right. Some slight work on some rock shadows, the sandy riverbed sand...etc etc etc. Basically I touched up most of the painting and wondered why I had stopped before. Vision! Sometimes it tells you you're finished and sometimes, most of the time, it doesn't really mean it. I don't think there is a painting I have finished that when looking at it later I don't see something I'd's that curse. Really an artist just improves with time and paintings and so it is only natural to see earlier work and want to make changes. Right now, I'm happy with the finish. I'm going to go broke buying a frame for this one, yikes!

    Monday, September 12, 2011

    At The Foothills Of The San Gabriels Show

    Lifelong friends Lupita and Jose Fernandez and painting on the wall there
    (better picture of painting below). 

    Sunday 11, 2011 was the day of the show reception for the California Art Club show "At The Foothills Of The San Gabriels. This was held at the Altadena Tow & Country Club which provided the backdrop for the best CAC show I've been to since being a member. The group of CAC members who put this show on did a fantastic job of it and the staff working the show from the Altadena Town & Country Club were awesome. This place is gorgeous and coupled with the work hanging by the members of the CAC made for one heck of a show. Laura Wambsgans was there and she not only had a great piece of work, a waterfall scene, but she was a great hostess and a good friend. Thank you Laura!
      Artists' Laura Wambsgans and Bruce Boycks in front of Lauras' painting "Mountain Stream"

    Several of my friends and family showed up for support and had a great time. I was hoping to see another friend of mine, Artist Marian Fortunati, but I learned she was over at the Channel Islands doing a workshop with Artist David Gallup. Marian had a great piece in the show too. About halfway through the 2 hour event my painting, "Myrtle Avenue", was sold which brought nothing but smiles from Linda and myself. I was able to talk shop with a few artist friends and in general just had a great night! I was able to hand out several show cards to help promote my September show at  Galerie Gabrie too. There were some wonderful paintings there and several in my opinion were priced below their value. If you'd like to see some of the paintings in the show you can go to the CAC page here.
     Artist Bruce Boycks, Linda and friend Jerry Gonzalez with my painting

    At The Foothills Of The San Gabriels show will run from now until January 10th, 2012. You are welcome to visit the Altadena Town & Country Club to view the show, their address is 2290 Country Club Drive, Altadena, CA.

    Thursday, September 08, 2011

    Linda Vista Painting

    "Over Linda Vista"
    18" X 24" Oil on Canvas
    Growing up in Pasadena I had always heard of the famous Pasadena Art Center College of Design. If you've seen the movie "Rudy" it was sort of like that only I wasn't wanting to go to Notre Dame, I would have wanted to go to Art Center. I never had the money for that and was too busy working. That doesn't keep you from drawing and painting though so I kept up with that on my own and at classes at Pasadena City College. My Dad worked for Brookside Golf Course and Art Center was up in the hills just above Brookside and the Rose Bowl. One year a friend of mine took me there to look around since his son was soon to go there. It was pretty impressive to say the least. 
    Recently I was dropping some work off at the Galerie Gabrie in Pasadena and decided to head up there to get a better view of the mountains. I brought my camera and decided to get a lot of reference photos of the San Gabriels mountains. I parked in the student parking lot and hiked down the hillside a bit snapping away. Awesome view across the San Gabriels looking east over Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre...then off into the distance over Monrovia and Duarte. 
    There was a small road going down the hillside and I liked the view looking somewhat north/east above La Canada at the foothills of the San Gabriels...pretty awesome when you're that close. I painted this scene of that view. I like the mid ground hills jutting up in front of the San Gabriels in the distance. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, JPL, is just on the other side of those hills hugging the bottom of the mountains. Nice area.
    A detail from the painting....

    Tuesday, September 06, 2011

    Rancho San Carlos De Jonata

    "Rancho San Carlos De Jonata Vista"
    15" X 30" Oil on Canvas
    I was invited to come to Rancho Jonata, one of the original Spanish land grant ranchos from early California, by the owner and his wife. They are also one of the founding families of Solvang and really sweet people. While there I was driven all over the rancho by the owner and enjoyed their hospitality. This view is one of thousands they have there at the rancho and was one of my favorites. I love the hillsides spattered with oaks and grasses looking off to the mountains in the distance. A truly beautiful place.

    Thursday, September 01, 2011

    Galerie Gabrie Featured Artist

    Featured Artist September, Galerie Gabrie

    Last Friday I took the last of the large paintings down to Galerie Gabrie to be hung for the Featured Artist show for the month of September. It was hot down in Pasadena and the air conditioner isn’t working in the truck, one of my paintings got scratched so back to my studio it went. It wasn’t a great day so far. By the time I got to the gallery things started to change. I luckily was able to park right in front of the gallery to unload thanks to a car that had just pulled out…bonus! I ended up having a very good talk with my gallery owner, Jasminka Gabrie, and I began to feel pretty positive about how the month of August had gone. I had just finished doing the Quick Draw show in Los Olivos, which was my first time in that show, and my painting in the auction brought the highest bid. Another painting of mine in a Silent auction also sold. The day after that show I got an email from a client interested in one of my larger paintings. The painting was already down at Galerie Gabrie for my Featured Artist show. She said she would be in Pasadena towards the end of September and would go see the painting then. On my drive home I was feeling much better about how things were going.
      Jasminka, myself and Linda at the Los Olivos Quick Draw event.

    On Saturday I returned to the gallery to drop off one more painting I had and looked forward to seeing the gallery since this is the day they would hang my work for the show. Turns out the client I spoke of was waiting for them to open and walked in to buy the painting before it could have been sold during the show. You have to be an artist to know how it really feels to sell a painting before it is even hung for a show. Artists usually work thousands of hours alone. The endless solitary time spent painting gives them enough thoughts, hopes and doubts, to fill up the back of a truck. The people who purchase your work are those who carry the message to you that you are, in fact, on the right path….they bring the answers to that truckload of thoughts, hopes and doubts. The drive home that day was even better than the one before regardless of the heat.
                 If you are close to Pasadena, California please try and make it over to Galerie Gabrie anytime in the month of September. Jasminka will be happy to show you my work and she’s always fun to talk with.

                   Galerie Gabrie, 597 E. Green St. Pasadena, CA. Phone 626-577-1223
    Tuesday through Saturday 12:00 to 5:00 PM
    Photos of the show were sent to me by Jasminka Gabrie.

    Sunday, August 28, 2011

    Chamberlin Ranch Oaks Repaint

    "Chamberlin Ranch Oaks"
    6" X 8" Oil on Panel
    This small painting was painted about a year ago. I recently had this in the Silent auction during the Los Olivos Quick Draw event and it sold to a really nice woman from Hermosa Beach, CA. I had wanted to try and paint another version of the small painting to push the colors and add more detail in the foreground. Before the Quick Draw I grabbed a 16"X20" canvas that had a Marine painting on it and decided to paint over it. 
    Normally when painting over an old painting I'd sand off any lumps of old paint and then wipe it with a mixture of yellow ochre or indian yellow and turpintine first. This gives you a more even tone to paint over and fresh paint for the new paint to stick to. Instead I just wiped it down with a very diluted mix of turpentine and copal and once it was tacky I painted away without a tinted ground. This forced me to paint thicker since I tend to paint thin. 
    "Oaks At Chamberlin Ranch"
    16"X20" Oil on Canvas
    There were slight changes to the newer painting since I wasn't trying to copy the original but just use it as a reference. I got most of the painting in before delivering the small painting on Thursday night to the auction. After the weekend event was over I came back to the new painting and finished it off. I really pushed the colors and detail which was the point of it all. I like the changes and added color/detail of the new painting. It is a good thing to try doing these with ones own work. There is a normal pressure with every painting as you try to make it a good painting of course but in doing a second painting I found that pressure was not there. I already had a good painting so there was a lot more freedom to experiment and make changes here regardless of the outcome...if something didn't work I could always just wipe it down or wipe the whole painting down and start over. Things went well on this one so I'm happy with the effort.  

    A detail of the tree and foreground....