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.