Saturday, March 31, 2012

Last Light

Last Light on the Oaks
20"X 24" Oil on Canvas

Taking a break from the Coast Guard work, this painting is of a spot close to home. This hillside is a view right from the end of my driveway. We had a storm blow out and when that happens I like to grab my camera and take reference photos of the clouds over our hillsides. I like a blue sky as much as the next guy but add massive clouds and things start getting majestic!
I like the colors of the last light hitting the trees so that was the goal here without getting over dramatic about it. The dark colors for the shadowed parts of the trees were a dark mix of Alizarin, Ultramraine Blue and a hint of Cad Yellow Light for usual colors. Fun painting.
Some details....
That little young sycamore was fun to throw in there and a nice contrast in color.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Whammy!

The Whammy...
Sometimes life just throws you a curve ball. Since mid December I've been fending off the pitches and beginning to wonder when they are going to stop being thrown at me. The same week I was to leave aboard the Coast Guard cutter Stratton my youngest sister had a stroke. There wouldn't be any test results for a week so I went on the cutter. When I came back our family was told she had stomach cancer that was too advanced for any treatment. A blood clot from that actually caused the stroke. Our family made plans to bring her home to my nephews house and provide hospice care for her. I would go and stay down there during the week taking my turn with helping my mom care for my sister. My sister passed away peacefully about a month ago. I am thankful for the time I spent with her and would tell you if you ever get the chance to look after a loved one in the last days of their life to do it. It can be a lot of work but you will never regret one second of it. Having the chance to look after someone you love when they need it most is a blessing and if God ever offers it to you don't think twice.
Incidentally, I came back home after the first week down with my sister and got a phone call from a girl I worked with back in the 80's at Bell & Howell. She was 4 years older than me and became a good friend. Debbie had moved to Mississippi when she married and we still kept in touch over the years. She was calling to tell me that she had been diagnosed with lung cancer and was in hospice care at her home now. My heart sank. My good friend Debbie passed away just over a week after that phone call. It has been a terrible end of one year and beginning of another.

And life goes the last two months it seems anything with wheels on it at our place has decided to break. First, my car has developed a crack in the exhaust manifold keeping it from passing the smog check...that's on hold. Linda's car started leaking water from what looked like a radiator hose so I replaced it only to find out it was a leak in the radiator behind the I put in a new radiator. While waiting for the radiator to arrive we used our truck to get around. The truck soon developed a bad misfire when going uphill. I installed new spark plugs, a rotor and distributer cap....problem solved!
A week later I walk out the door and notice a funny line on the inside of one of Linda's car tires...turns out the tire was showing the nylon cords there so I took it down to buy a new tire. Same day the dishwasher motor goes out...that's on hold.
 Radiator replacement fun. It is a lot easier to replace the radiator on my old van than it is on Linda's sporty little car. I'd have taken pics of all of the other fun stuff that has broken but I wasn't in the mood.

Oh no...not done yet. Two days ago Linda's car door window decides to not go all the way up. The next day the window drops down into the door on it's own! I took the door apart and find it has a stripped nylon wheel the window cables ride on but of course you can't just replace the wheel, we had to go buy a the whole assembly called a "window regulator". I just put that in with Linda's help this morning....and so we go inside to celebrate with a cup of coffee...that's right, the coffee pot is broke. Won't boil the coffee at all despite the lights being on. Drove to WalMart and bought a new one but that was nice since we didn't need to worry about the car door window falling down.

At this point I won't go into the lawn mower bearing going out a few weeks ago...
I woke up this morning and told Linda "don't touch anything!...don't even look at it". We are tip toeing at this point. I love to fix things but this has been like rapid fire lately. Of course, I brought that broken coffee pot to my studio and if nothing else breaks in the next few days I will pull it apart to see what went wrong other than it resides here at our house....where things, lately, have gone whammy.           

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pasadena Show

Had fun last night at the Contemporary Masters: Artistic Eden III show in Pasadena. Linda and I had a few family guests show up which was great but there was some confusion regarding guests. This is the first artist reception I've ever been to that didn't seem to want a large turn out so we didn't really put out the word. Apparently they wanted only the artists and maybe just a couple of their guests. Couple?!? The show runs for 5 months so if you live nearby do go and see it! It is totally worth it.   
The show is very impressive and held at the beautiful Pasadena Museum of History on the grounds of the Fenyes Mansion in Pasadena. I was really honored to just get into this show and can't thank whoever the judge was enough for that. There was some incredible work there and the subject matter, anything painted of the San Gabriel Valley, was something I loved seeing since I grew up there.
Rich Gallego on left and myself next to my painting of the Colorado Street bridge.
When I was growing up in Pasadena I used to think how cool it would be to actually be an artist painting all of these parts of Pasadena that I liked...historical stuff, cool spots I knew about and the places that were a part of my life growing up there. Walking around enjoying all of this work of scenes from the valley was like finally seeing that happen even though I only painted 3 of them myself. There were a lot of artists there who live in Pasadena and the valley so it was neat to be connected to them in that respect.
My painting of Eaton Canyon which was in a prime location at the show....right as you walk in. The gods of art were on my side there, haha. 

My painter friend Rich Gallego and his wife Ludelle were both there and Rich and I have the same sense of humor, we get along great. Rich had a good painting of a sycamore in Fall in there too. New to this show was artist Joe Millazo. Joe is from Arcadia and he works in pen & ink so I've seen his work around for a while now. Joe and I have been in the Los Olivos Quick Draw together. I dig his work...was fun to say hi to him last night.
Also ran into painter friend Laura Wamsgans and it was fun to chat with her. Laura has a great sense of humor and had a really nice interior scene she painted in the show. My gallery owner Jasminka Gabrie and her hubby Jimmy were both there too. We almost went out with them after the show but we had a 16 year old at home alone and I always worry about fire! hahaha. In fact, right before we arrived at the show he called us to let us know the house still hadn't burned down...good kid.