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.