Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Coastie Scene

          The beginning...paint the arms and see how it goes.

            I have to submit paintings that I had finished earlier in the year for the Coast Guard submission cutoff date that is quickly approaching. I had 4 pieces but I felt I should have done one more with mainly crew members in it. So, last week I started the painting below of crew members of the Stratton hanging a giant power cable across the back deck of the ship. This big black cable brings power from shore to the ship while it is tied to the dock. I think there were 3 or 4 of these pulled on board by the crew the day we arrived in port.
           I was going to paint this scene earlier but kept putting it off because I just don't have much experience with figures up close. I gave in and decided to try it. I figured I'd start with the arms first and if that went well I'd paint the heads next. No sense in wasting time painting in the background only to find the figures weren't going to work.
          The arms went well, better than I thought I could do. I drew in a light outline of the arms and then just painted in the rest working from just the values casued by the shadows, curvature of the arm and muscle mass. The hands were the toughest part only because they were smaller, the tiny fingers and really you just have the shadows between the fingers to seperate them to define the hand. I wish I had worked larger to give myself more room to work the hands better. I'll live with what they look like here. So, it was on to the heads next.
          The heads were tougher than the arms. Most of the head features are really just suggested features, the darks around the eyes, the pinkish tones of the cheeks etc. Basically I painted them the same way. I thought they looked workable so that was that....paint in the beackground and then go in a touch everything up to pull it together.
I painted the girl in mostly soft peachy tones but needed brighter highlights and made the mistake of using white...not good, makes the person seem as if they spent their life living in Antarctica....or they are dead! Later I came in and painted over with brighter pinks and flesh looking colors....remember, I'm working with 3 primaries ( UBlue, Aliz Crimson, Cad Yellow Med) and Cad Orange and homemade grey which was a mix of my leftover paint from the last painting. I also use titanium white but that's not a color....a limited palette.
 Finally the crew was finished enough to go after the background work. The white spots on the two crew members are for the life jackets. I painted in a ladder and a couple of white beams after this part but then called it a nite to let it dry up a bit. I'd continue in the morning.
Around noon the next day it was at this point. The girl looks pregnant! Had to make changes there.
The colors are too bright here so I greyed them down at the finish to get rid of that intense look on the blues of the uniforms. Also, had holiday company show up so I had to stop until I could continue on the next day. Pesky company! More company the next day too so I didn't get started until 10 pm and just worked on it till it was done at around 3am. The next day I just did some minor touch ups and called it finished!
This is the finish. I like the greyed down look of the uniforms here better. The CG uniforms are deep blue color and somehow they all look brand new! When I was in the Army are uniforms were OD (olive drab) Green but in various shades. Originally we were issued cotton fatigues and they were washed and starched eventually they looked almost white. Then the Army came out with permanent press fatigues and they kept their color all the time....the ones I still have look as new as they did back then. Varying the shades of blue is good...nothing worse than uniformity...unless you're in the Coast Guard....but we're painting here.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Those Who Inspire

Gerald Garden in 1976, photo courtesy of the 1976 Blair High Yearbook
              At my high school, Blair High in Pasadena, 1972-1976, the only art classes they really offered was Sign Art and Cartooning Class. I took them both but I took cartooning all 4 years. My teacher was Gerald Garden. I did very little cartooning and did more illustration work. Mr. Garden would come up to me with an editorial cartoon from Time Magazine or out of the LA Times newspaper and ask if I thought I could do I did and I think it sort of, maybe just slightly, amazed him how fast I could redraw an editorial cartoon without the aid of tracing paper or a projector. I liked drawing the old Sunset magazine covers. I also liked to draw just whatever popped into my head. I had gone to see Jaws one weekend and on monday decided to draw the boat from memory and it wasn't half bad. I had a great time in Mr. Gardens class. Here was a grown-up who took drawing seriously. I had never seen that. I think Mr. Garden made me feel that creating art was something some people actually did for a living...that it was even possible.
              After I came home from 3 years in the Army I worked and took classes at our local community college, PCC. Years later I mentioned Mr. Garden in one of my online Bio's and his daughter stumbled on it from a Google search. That put Mr. Garden and me back in touch and we occasionally emailed each other. Mr. Garden was then retired but working for the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum, now called The Autry. He did the cartoons and artwork in their newsletters. I lost his info when my hard drive crashed one year but after moving up to Solvang I found his phone number doing a Google search. I called him and turns out it was his birthday! We both got kick out of the odds of that happening.
Some of my projects at the end of my senior year at Blair 1976
               I enjoyed sending him things about art or cartoons or news I had via email and I was happy we had the chance to keep in touch...the least I could do to thank him for his inspiration and guidance when I needed it. I found out recently that Mr Garden had passed away and felt a great loss and sorrow but at the same time I felt very fortunate to have known him and that we had kept in touch. I would say that the sign of a good man is the impression they leave on you, the thoughts you carry around about them and the inspiration they have imparted on you. My best wishes and thanks to Mr. Garden for his life of teaching and the inspiration and guidance he gave to so many.      

Friday, December 21, 2012

Old Painting Made New

A few years ago I needed a large painting for hanging over our fireplace for the Studio Tour. At the time we didn't have one up there at all and it was about time. I decided to go long, vertically, since it would fit better. I made up 3 feet by 6 feet stretcher bars out of 2x4's cut down to 2"x 2" bars. I stretched canvas over it and began painting a scene of a sycamore tree up off the road to Nojoqui (no-ho-wee) Falls from a reference photo I had taken. I liked the original painting...looked good and fit what I needed it for. More importantly, it was the best I could do at the time. Things change.
I think I've improved a little since then so I took the painting down, wiped off the varnish with a rag soaked in pure gum turpentine (beyond stinky!) and began touch ups I felt would make the painting better. I wanted to throw in some oranges, touch up the tree bark and suggest some fallen orange leaves down in the grasses. Done....I also wanted to add a bit more color to the grassy meadow behind the tree and that was it.
If I painted this one all over again I'd do it much differently now. This was my largest painting at the time and painting larger is different. You need bigger brushes and you need to practise painting with  bigger brushes. I would use even larger brushes if I painted this one over again now. I think that would make you feel as if you were still working smaller but on a larger scale of course if that makes any sense.  

Monday, December 17, 2012

Wildling Museum Move

The Wildling Museum in Los Olivos has found a new location in Solvang. Not only is the new location about 3 times larger, maybe 4 times but it is also lower in monthly rent. Personally, I think Los Olivos has gone berserk over property costs and now it's mainly a wine shop town. It used to be a town of gift shops, art galleries and some wine tasting rooms, a small home town feel but not any longer. Too bad.
The Wildling has supported the arts and local artists so when word got out  Linda and I volunteered to help....and we have a truck. Today we got there early for the move and helped carry most of their equipment out to the waiting trucks. We had about 15 volunteers show up so it all went much faster.
Good luck with the new location to the Wildling!

Friday, December 14, 2012


I'm not someone who has gobs of paint to squeeze out on various palettes....I live on a budget too just like everyone else. The other day I needed to grab my pochade box and go painting on location at Lake Cachuma. I scraped the paint off my studio palette and put it in the pochade and off I went. After getting back I needed to do touch ups on that PA painting so I just set up my pochade box near my studio easel and finished the painting. After that I started a quick snow scene and continued to use the paint I had left in the pochade box as a make shift palette. Works just fine and I've been doing this off and on for a few years now. No wasted messy transfering paint. I think it would work even better if it was just a larger palette with a small lip but used in the same manner...maybe I'll build one in the future. If I made the lid more air tight and added a sponge soaked in clove oil I wouldn't need to refridgerate the palette at all. The clove oil would keep the paint from skinning over for up to 2 weeks. Hmmm.......

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Busy Day....

         Well, I knew if I tried a snowscene with only rain outside there could be problems. No big deal...all good suggestions made by my friendly artists friends and I'm soaking them up like a sponge on overdrive. No big problems, just little things to dab paint on in hopes of making a better painting and learn the art of painting snow.
         Today I wanted to do my corrections which most have been done so I tried gwetting another photo of it but my camera just keeps picking up the oranges too much...I toned them down some but now it seems to be picking up a reddish tint....instead of having nice white snow and blue/pink shadows in it I'm getting violet shadows....well, violet shadows that are way to strong so I wait till morning daylight to try photographing it a different way.
         While all of that fun was going on I got a call from the Elverhoj (el-ver-hoy) Museum in town. They are having a group show, about 7 to 9 artists I think, this Feb and I was asked if I'd like to be a part of "betcher" buns I would! They want local scenes and I have plenty of those. So a show close to home is real good and I dig the Elverhoj too.....a very classy Danish museum built in a converted farmhouse.

          Another thing on my To-Do list today was send off my artist agreement for the upcoming California Art Club show in January....My painting "Bookstore Flowers" was just juried into that show which will be down at the Altadena Country Club. I was making finishing touches to my painting at Lake Cachuma with PACC while the other members ate lunch and took a quick break to check my email on my phone. I was expecting an email from Linda and there instead was the good news from the CAC. Cool!
          When you get notified by CAC one of your pieces is in the show the next step for me is to frame the painting. CAC likes gold frames and I have one for this painting so in it it will go. I've done a couple in black frames because they looked better in black but most go down there in a gold frame.
          ....and then there's Christmas to be ready, does it ever stop!?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


"First Snow"
12" X 16" Oil on Panel
I've wanted to paint snow for years now but we never get snow where I live. I've also not been anywhere near snow for around 15 years. Before that I was up to knees in snow every winter and saw plenty of it when I served 3 years in Germany in the Army....we lived in it over there. Snow has such a peaceful look to it. I really like the contrasts in color and nice strong shadows you can get in a snow scene so this is my first attempt at snow. The image is out of my imagination and from memory of looking at many a snow picture....and some fond memories of working in it, shoveling it, sleeping in it and falling in it.
A detail image from the painting....

Monday, December 10, 2012

Had our monthly paint out with members of PACC at Lake Cachuma today. Cachuma was Gerry's pick and a good one it was. I've lived up here for 8 years and not once have I painted at Lake Cachuma. Everyone arrived at different times but got to work right away. Some did sketches and some did paintings. I got lucky and spotted a scene looking across the lake and jumped right in...painting, not the lake. I was happy because it pretty much is done but I'll do some touch ups tomorrow morning. I was up really late last night and then got up really early, painted till noon and then spent the next couple of hours taking photos around the lake.
Water, grasses and a tree and that puppy was done!
Hanging out with the group as they had lunch and talking shop was fun. Like a knucklehead I didn't bring my lunch figuring I'd head home right after painting...should have brought lunch and did a second painting since things were going so well. This group of artists is really fun and they are all fine artists. Most of them are much more involved doing paint outs, plein air festivals and workshops a lot more than I. Sometimes I think I'm too happy doing studio work compared to lugging around equipment and paying for hotels at a plein air event. I like plein air painting but I think I far more enjoy studio painting.
The cart!
This little cart was bought by a couple of the artists to lug their equipment around and works pretty well. I think they bought it at Ace was a gardening cart but works great for those of you wanting an easier plein air outing. They use bungee cords to hold their easels on top and one hand it to location....whatever works.
  BJ Stapen at work
BJ Stapen and Camille Deller arrived at noon and painted up off the main road in to where we were all painting. BJ has the coolest Virginia accent but I'm not sure if that is where she is actually from. I have another friend from Virginia and they sound a lot alike....they remind me of southern belles you see in the movies. Camille is one of the first painters I knew in the valley who had some wor in one of the galleries that just blew me away. She's now into knife painting and don't tell her but I one day plan to steal her truck!....better mileage and shiny paint.
Camille working it up....I left the truck out so she won't get wise to my plan.
Beautiful Lake Cachuma in the background....which by the way is the water supply for Santa Barbara. I spotted her Utrecht bag on her cart and she told me of one of their store locations in Santa Monica, so the next time I go down that way.....well, you know, artists and art stores.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Eaton Canyon Sycamore...more

"A Changing Season"
12" X 16" Oil on Panel

I'm still gettng my share of Fall colors from my trip to Eaton Canyon. This sycamore was on a ridge in Coyote Canyon. The grasses were just fantastic there and from my low vantage point seemed to be reaching for the sycamore. I have been working on painting better grasses and this of course would cover all of the bases...grasses, fall colors, sycamore trunks and twiggy growth off of the sycamore and surrounding branches. Can't ask for more than that so I painted this one today starting around noon, 6 hours, but I took my share of breaks getting coffee, helping bring in the groceries, feeding the horses. I also listening to my music including favorite Christmas songs I've downloaded which is fun this time of year.
Some details of the painting......

Monday, December 03, 2012

Meeting the A List

My gallery owner, Jasminka Gabrie, at the recent Galerie Gabrie show in Pasadena 
            Last Thursday I made the rainy drive down to Pasadena to attend the a show at my gallery, Galerie Gabrie. What is normally a 2 hour drive turned into an almost 5 hour drive thanks to rain and Los Angeles traffic during rush hour. I wanted to go to this show because it's good to go to your galleries shows, to see my owner and her husband Jim and I would finally get the chance to meet other artists who are represented by the gallery. 2 artists in particular were there, Charles Muench and Dan Schultz. These 2 artists are very experienced California artists who will undoubtedly be in this years California Art Clubs' Gold Medal show (last years show). Dan has a gallery in Ojai and Charles has been selling phenominal pieces for years and lives in the Sierras. Both of these guys are ones I look up to and who I would consider on the "A" list of artists. I think we all have our "A" lists...the artists we look up to and aspire to one day be equal to. I'm not going to tell you the rest of my "A" list because everyone would have a different list of artists on their list. Mine list is a mile long anyways. 
Deck The Halls With Smalls at Galerie Gabrie 2012 
           I've got to tell you, meeting these type of artists is pretty much a trip. I've been to shows where other "A" list artists were in the same room but I hadn't met them. Charles and Dan were introduced to me by Jim Gabrie and they were both very cool, super nice and casual...nothing like I thought they would be. For some reason I always think artists who paint at much higher levels are always on this ethereal plane of thinking, kind of looking through you as they contemplate light, shadow, value and composition in everything they see while awake....maybe they do and are just so damn good at multitasking and can do it while they make you think they are interested in your conversation! There was no intense arty talk nor did they look down on was just fun talk with laughs and very much like meeting someone at a bbq in the backyard. It was too cool and a fun night at the show. 
          Another artist who is represented by the gallery is Ted Goerschner. Ted wasn't there but he lives about 5 minutes from me and we have been in a couple of shows up here in the Santa Ynez valley. I met Ted a year ago in a Quickdraw event and we had the chance to talk right before the event started. Ted was the same way....down to earth, super nice.....a lot like bumping into your favorite neighbor despite the man's gigantic reputation as an American artist.
Ted Goerschner making it look like childs play...I snapped this pic of Ted painting away in the 2009 Quickdraw in Los Olivos, CA. Ted's work can be seen on the Galerie Gabrie website 
          People up here had warned me about Ted...Ted was a guy who spoke his mind and if you goofed on a painting he'd tell you in no uncertain terms....sort of like one of my painting teachers in college. Ted turned out to be absolutely charming but I couldn't help but feel relieved when we first met that we weren't standing anywhere near my work! My lesson in meeting the "A" list artists is go ahead, be thrilled as hell and  relax, they don't bite.....(and maybe hide your work!)          

Friday, November 30, 2012

Sycamore in Eaton Canyon

"Sycamore In Eaton Canyon"
22" x 28" Oil on Canvas

Well, finished up the sycamore tree painting from Eaton Canyon. I like this type of intimate scene from the canyon....unlike the wide spread out canyon vista, a more detailed view of the canyon in a scene such as this brings more of the flavor out of the location. I like the distant faded sunlight posed against the rich colors of the shadowed foreground you see here. I look at this scene now and I think of an old Robert Wood painting my parents had in our house when we were growing up. Wood painted the forests so well.

A detail of the painting....

Thursday, November 29, 2012

An Artist's Support

            The other day I returned a phone call to one of my artist friends. I met this friend online years ago at a website I visit a lot composed of mainly artists showing their work to each other for critique. We eventually met at a plein air event down in Temecula, CA. I met two other artists down at that show who I've also kept in touch with. I can't stress how important it is to have artist friends to talk with from time to time....they are worth their weight in gold.
             My friend and I talked about a host of things that night. Him and I are going through so many similar things in our careers. It is good to know I'm not the only one thinking the same things that an artist can think of....and you have plenty of time to think about these issues when you are painting....or when you are awake for that matter! One of the topics we talked about was do we really see our work as we see it. Think of it....when I started out painting like most it was horrible stuff. After a while the paintings got better. I started thinking to myself after long hard looks..."hey, that looks good". I look at my work now and say "hey, that looks good". A week or so ago I was reorganizing my old painting storage area and pulled out a lot of the old paintings. They look horrible to me now! This then brings up the what I see now actually good or do things appear good to you just because they are in the present time. If so, a year from now my current work will look horrible to me. Maybe the mind does this to you to keep you from killing youself over current reality.
            There has to be something to seeing in the present time. I used to absolutely love a lot of the work of certain artists years ago. Recently I've gone back to enjoy these pieces again but found myself not as thrilled with them as I once was. Same paintings but a more dulled sense of enjoyment. Could be that I have looked at these works a hundred times...sort of like taking another bite of your favorite candy day you buy a different candy bar to shake it up. New art by these artists sometimes works but sometimes the artists go into different directions....sort of like the candy bar company changing the ingredients...uh oh.
           Anyway, I'm guessing the mind has some sort of plan that I don't understand so I won't pretend to make up an answer for it.
           Right after that call I received an email from one of the other artist friends I met in Temecula. We had a great swapping of emails regarding the fun and agony of getting into shows or art clubs. There are so many stories to be told of all of that mess and we had a great time sharing our experiences. I felt better. It's not all just happening to me, haha. It is good to have friends to talk with who can feel your pain and joy because they too are going through it. I've met some wonderful people through art. Painters, guild members, the people who buy the work and the ones who just love it but really can't afford it yet. I try to talk with them all as much as possible and enjoy the feedback and sharing of ideas and knowledge.
         When I was younger and still growing up creating art was a lonely thing. You sat in your room drawing or at the dinner table when all were outside. People didn't bother you because you were "creating". Of course back then you didn't have the pressure that you do once you get older and are more serious about it. Art is a serious thing, it isn't just happily painting away without a care in the world. Creating art now is many things but it is not a carefree hobby anymore. Having art friends who you can call, write or visit with to talk shop is like a big relief valve to lesson the pressure and bring a smile back to your face.   

On The Easel

On Thanksgiving I arrived early to Eaton Canyon to snap some reference photos before the rest of the days festivities. Many of the sycamore trees were in half of their autumn and golds and I actually prefer that period of painting them. There were plenty of fallen golden leaves lining the canyon floor below the sycamores which made for even better shots. I like this scene looking south to Pasadena at the exit of the canyon. Here all you can see is a hazy greenish background but that works perfectly for highlighting the tree.
I'm just about finished with this piece. I'm waiting now to see what changes I want to make....I know they are there and a days wait will point them all out to me. There were a lot of small thin branches off of the tree and I might go back in to add more of those.

This painting was started yesterday afternoon. I painted in the background and base colors of the tree trunks and growth under the trees. Both of those colors were just a dark reddish mixture of ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson and a slight bit of cadmium yellow light. Today all of the foreground was finished up....tree trunk colors, sandy trail, leaves, thin branches, the leave covered ground and vegetation under the trees. So far so good. I'll hopefully finish it off early tomorrow morning because in the afternoon I'll be heading down to Pasadena for the show at the gallery. My hope is the gallery will make some sales...not neccesarily mine...just any sales. If I don't finish it tomorrow I'll finish it on Friday morning for sure....then it is off to another painting...another lesson.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Deck The Halls With Smalls Nov 29, 2012

!!!!This Thursday....Nov 29, 2012!!!!
On Green....
Galerie Gabrie in Pasadena, CA will be one of 7 local shops on Green St, near the Pasadena Playhouse District, to open the red carpet for early holiday shopping and offering unique buying opportunities. There will be food, entertainment,, music and a Marketplace featuring handcrafted items to fill your holiday shopping list. There will also be a drawing for an original oil painting

"Deck The Halls With Smalls!"
Galerie Gabrie will be having their Small Paintings Exhibit "Deck The Halls With Smalls!" Artist, Charles Meunch will be having a book signing, Artist, Sylvia Trybek will also be finishing up her show which was rained out earlier.

20% of the retail price on all paintings sold between Nov 15 and Dec 31 will go directly to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy

This event will happen on Thursday, November 29th. 2012

11:00 AM to 8:00 PM

Galerie Gabrie 597 E. Green St. Pasadena, California
Phone - 626.577.1223
.....Click image above for more info.....

San Gabriel Mountains in 2 hours

"Down In The Canyon"
9"x12" Oil on Panel

I had wanted to do some painting before heading down to my parents house for Thanksgiving day so the night before at about 9pm I decided to paint this little Eaton canyon scene. I was trying to get as far as I could that night but in a couple of hours it was done. On Friday it was tacky enough to set into the frame just to see how it would look when it was framed up. I like it. This is a late afternoon scene where the light is still hitting the higher mountains in the background but the canyon bottom is in shadow. You can see some of the warm light still hitting the trees along the top of the walls and heading up to the foothills. This is another painting where I've gone in and just blocked in all of the colors first and then gone back over each area putting in the details....having fun with that method.

A detail of the painting......

Monday, November 19, 2012

Eaton Canyon Sunset

Well, all finished. I wish I could get a better photo of the painting but it is a wide painting and I have to back away to get the wide panel into the viewfinder which then keeps me from getting a good solid image...It's not bad but probably could me much better.

 "Eaton Canyon Sunset"
12" X 36" Oil on birch panel

I'd say it works pretty well as a painting of one of my favorite subjects...the San Gabriel mountains. These are hard mountains to paint and I feel I'm really making progress with them. There are some really nice passages in this painting but seeing them in an online photo doesn't do them justice. One particular area I like a lot is the left side showing the distant trees and far off bluffs along the mountain bottom...
Overall....this one came out well. I'll let it sit and dry and work on getting a frame for it in the meantime.

Starting a Painting

For a long while now I have painted pretty much in a manner that worked well for me...painting back to front which in the landscape works out pretty much top to bottom. First paint the sky, distant hills, trees in mid ground, foreground trees, foreground grasses last. I'm not quite sure I remember why I started painting that way but somehow it just evolved that way and it worked for art, whatever works for you the

In using this method each stage of the painting was as close to finished as I could get and then I'd move on to the next area....after all areas were completed I'd then go back in and adjust them to work with each other and as a finished painting. Knowing and seeing in my mind what I was after made it easy for me to work this way. Most of the time I tend to paint the painting in my mind before actually picking up a brush...this way I know what I want it to look like when it is finished and can very much see it.

There is something I am finding out about painting this is a slower method. The other afternoon I started another painting, 12x36, and decided to just block in all of my areas at once. This blocking in put all of my foundation, or base, colors down in about an took that long because I was finicky about the base colors and trying some new ones for this painting. Once those base colors were in I just started working the areas adding, little by little, the detail in each area with little color notes. I also would let an area sit while working other areas and then go back to the previous area. The bulk of the painting was completed sometime after midnight....I didn't work straight through but it still went fast. I have spent today dialing things in and still need to work some other small areas in before I call it finished. The painting is a mountain canyon in afternoon light with lots of varied color and this way of painting this particular scene works very well. Hopefully it will be finished tomorrow and then I'll post the finished painting then. I know blocking in your painting might be old hat to many painters but it is a method I'll work more with in the future now that I've rediscovered it for myself, haha.  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tres Hermanas With PACC

On monday I headed out to Tres Hermanas Vineyard in Foxen Canyon, just north of my house. I was to meet up with members of PACC for our monthly painting spree. I did a show, a 3 day, no sales show, at Tres Hermanas and used the time spent there painting. Whoever thought up that show was insane...but I digress. I sometimes like the area and sometimes hate it....I don't like the hills there that much and most of the land doesn't get me excited at all. Fun the first time and wondering what to do next. Anyways....I had to meet with Linda later on so I only had a few hours to paint and felt pressured to paint something decent since I was with the group. I also choose to go big, 12x24, so at some point I decided I'd never finish and I'd be good at getting something started and would finish back home. I figure I did 3/4 of the painting out there and the rest in the studio today. I first wanted to paint the road because it had these nice shadows running across it.
As cool as it looked my eyes kept wandering over to the morning sunlit hills. I liked the shadows being cast from the trees and the warm colors of the hillsides....I went that way. I blocked in my areas and immediately began tweaking things. I wasn't sure of how I was going to approach it, focusing on the hshadows or the sunlight or the the end I balanced all of that but I think I lost one of them being a stronger element and making the painting work better. I blame it on hurrying...hahaha!
   One of the ladies pulled her car in and set up to paint together since we arrived first. The rest of the group were down the road and around the turn there. I stopped on my way out to say hi and see what they were coming up with. Some good things going with this group. My very wet painting laying across the backseat on my jacket since I don't have a carrier for something that large. Still, it was nice to break out of the 9x12 restriction out there and I'm sure I'll do it again.
My finished painting.....


Friday, November 09, 2012

Santa Ynez Summer Field

"Summer Field"
10" X 20" Oil on Panel

Had to slow down painting there for a while due to other things needing to be taken care of. I thought for a nice get-back-into-the -swing-of- things it would be good to just do a painting from no reference material, out of my imagination and memory. I like doing these types of paintings and since I paint a lot of the Central Coast it is not very hard to do one of these like that. I've painted scenes in the valley a lot so those views are always in my mind. This scene would easily be simlar to scenes along the highway heading over to Lompoc. Grassy sloping foothills easing up to the Santa Rita or Santa Ynez mountain ranges. Decided to capture the last of the warm grasses of summer before our Winter is here and with it the occasional rains bringing green grasses.

If you are an artist I highly reccomend painting from what you have inside of your head. You just need the vision of the parts that make up a scene which you've probably painted many times before and can arrange a composition in your mind and then you're off! This type of painting is pretty fun and gives you the ability to paint on a rainy days when it is no fun or too cold to paint outside. Beats painting in the snow too!

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Galerie Gabrie On Green

On Green....
Galerie Gabrie in Pasadena, CA will be one of 7 local shops on Green St, near the Pasadena Playhouse District, to open the red carpet for early holiday shopping and offering unique buying opportunities. There will be food, entertainment,, music and a Marketplace featuring handcrafted items to fill your holiday shopping list. There will also be a drawing for an original oil painting
"Deck The Halls With Smalls!"
Galerie Gabrie will be having their Small Paintings Exhibit "Deck The Halls With Smalls!" Artist, Charles Meunch will be having a book signing, Artist, Sylvia Trybek will also be finishing up her show which was rained out earlier.
20% of the retail price on all paintings sold between Nov 15 and Dec 31 will go directly to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy
This event will happen on Thursday, November 29th. 2012
11:00 AM to 8:00 PM
597 E. Green St. Pasadena, California
.....Click image above for more info.....

Friday, November 02, 2012

Morro Bay Streetscene

Painting of Morro Bay Streetscene....
12"x16" Oil on Canvas Covered Panel
I painted this scene a few years back and recently pulled it out to do some minor touch ups to it. It will be one of the paintings I will enter into the upcoming California Art club show in Pasadena later this month. The scene was from a reference photo I took while working the gallery at Morro Bay. Next door was a cute little bookstore that had these planters out front in full bloom despite the off and on rains that day. No tourists were out due to the rains so I walked outside to snap some photos of this and other scenes of the street. I don't paint a lot of flowery paintings so this was one of my early attempts to do so. It wasn't bad so I eventually framed it and showed it in 1 or 2 shows around town. Landscapes are so much easier to paint because they don't have any architecture to deal with which is why I try to paint the countryside instead of streetscenes. I should do more of them though since I could always use the practice. Paint what you love because everything else you paint is just work, hahaha.
A closer look at those intimidating flowers...well, they were to me at the time I painted them. Painting the half barrels was a lot of fun so maybe I'll try those in another painting down the line.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Studio Tour 2012

Linda's Halloween-themed table setting for the Studio Tour
This years 2012 Studio Tour has come and gone. Linda and I look forward to each years Studio Tour because we get to meet people who we can talk about the art with. Some of these people buy the work and we make new friends and meet old ones who have come by in the past. The best part is getting to hear their feedback on my work.
  The studio main wall
We had plenty of new work up on the walls and heard some great comments on the paintings. I had a large painting I wanted to show but didn't have time or the money to order a new frame for it so I made another floater frame out of oak. The frame came out great and we had some great comments on it.
My large 4 feet by 5 feet oak floater frame
With the economy the way it is we offered some smaller paintings which went over well. Half of my sales came from these little guys. People want an original and they want it affordable and I wanted to make some sales so it all worked out for us, the buyer and the Wildling Museum which sponsors this event.
Our good friend Holly Cline from the Wildling Museum who sponsors this Studio Tour. This is her last year as she moves on to bigger and better things. I am so going to miss Holly, she is a great person and has done so much for me and a lot of other artists up here in the valley...good luck Holly!!!!
The little gems ready for browsing....
One of the reasons behind the Studio Tour is to allow people a view of what happens in the creative process so I like to show the tools of the trade and answer as many questions as I can about painting as well as show my work, the finished result. I had people stop by who are beginning painters and seasoned ones as well. They always enjoy getting answers to questions they might have, tips I offer and the rapport of artist to artist. It's fun! I have parents bringing their college and high school students to see a working artists studio and it is fun to answer their questions and ask about their classes and their art experiences so far.
 My plein air easels and the "promo" table...yes, if you don't like talking about yourself you can always let that table do some of it for you but you need to do it too.
Notecards, my book, business cards, show flyers etc....promote yourself because no one else is going to do it for you !
Also...make credit card sales!! Right now it is easier than ever for an artist to accept credit card sales. You used to have to go through a difficult process of getting a merchant account which cost a lot of money monthly. Not anymore. Nowadays all you need is a smart phone and a little adapter that slides into it's earphone jack. There are a few of these companies offering it...we use the Square. Worked great and easy to fact, the device is free when you sign up with the service which charges on a per transaction basis or monthly depending on how much you sell monthly.    

 My best helper!
Having Linda to lend a hand in all of this is "priceless". She handles sales, food, helps set it all up and take it all down too. She also helps answer questions since she now can do all of the art speak, haha.
Overall, it was a good show. Great people, good art, sales...and pumpkin pie! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I just figured that since I had some new frames come in for pieces that I will show during the Studio Tour I'd see what some other paintings would look like in some of these frames. So I switched back and forth with paintings that fit.
 "Song Of The High Desert"
This wide desert scene is seen here in the frame I ordered for it since it is an offsize....12" x 36". Thankfully my frame company in San Diego was able to get the frame made and shipped to me right before the Studio Tour! YES!!!. This is a great combination of paint color and frame. The painting is sold already and I'm sure the owners will love this.
"Stratton In San Pedro"
Above is one of the paintings that I will submit to the Coast Guard soon for possibly jurying into their 2013 Collection. It is the National Security Cutter "Stratton". I took the ref photo the first night I boarded the ship in San Pedro, CA to go with her over the next 5 days to Alameda, CA. Was a fun trip and a great ship to be aboard. I'm not sure what the Coast Guard framing look like but it sure would look great in this one!
  "Summer Fog"
I love the fog we have been getting lately here in Solvang. I painted this one when we were not getting any and I missed it....I love fog! I like the combination of green and gold so to me this works just fine. I also like the combination of blue and black frames...anything with lots of blues looks great in black frames but that's just me.
"Securing The Stratton, Alameda"
Another NSC Stratton painting. Did I mention I like nocturne paintings in black too???..I do. This was the night we arrived in Alameda. The dock has those warm tones in it in the foreground which works nicely with the gold trim around the opening of the frame. Black just shoves your eye right into the painting...that's why I like black frames but never get to use them enough. Galleries seem to like gold frames more and I think that's because home owners consider black frames too "museum" like....too stark a contrast on todays pastel interior colors I guess.