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!