Thursday, January 31, 2013

CAC City Lights Show

California Art Club
"City Lights"
Jan 18 - May 21, 2013 
I was very fortunate to get one of my paintings into the California Art Club "City Lights" show held at the very swanky Altadena Country Club. My painting, "Bookstore Flowers", was juried in to the show which made me very happy since I was unable to submit anything into the last 2 shows the CAC had due to scheduling problems I had. I really hate missing some of these shows because it is the only time I get to see some of my artist friends I know down that way. Over the years I've made some really good friends that are doing some wonderful work. Marian Fortunati and Laura Wambsgans are the sweetest people and very talented artists and they both had super pieces in this show.I'm hoping they both make sales!!!
If you can make it to see this show do so because the work I saw that was turned in was incredible....has to look even better hanging and lit up.
Altadena Town & Country Club
2290 Country Club Drive
Altadena, CA. 
Phone - 626-583-9009 for details  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wilcox Property

"Wilcox Property Shadows"
12x16 Oil on canvas
 Another painting from my visit to the Wilcox Property in Santa Barbara. Actually, this area is now called the Douglas Family Preserve but most call it by the old name. The first name came from the fact that it was the Wilcox Nursery...then the area was going to be developed but Santa Barbara residents bought it to keep it undeveloped.....and that's where the second name came from, actor Michael Douglas donated $600,000 to help with purchasing the property....a good guy with 600,000 reasons why it should be called the Douglas Family Preserve. On a great sunny day, walking in the shadows of these old trees and looking down into the swells of the Pacific ocean below the bluffs it doesn't really matter what name it is just feels good.
The morning shadows were just so cool there that day. I'm glad I got there early. I really would like to go back down there in late afternoon and see what the lighting is like. The cool thing about that place is the nice stands of eucalyptus, pine and coastal pines. There are many other types of trees there and the trails under the strees reminded me of hikes in forested areas in Washington and British Columbia. Very cool place.
A detail of the small coastal juniper.....rough bark and big branches shaped like banana trees.       

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Elverhoj Museum Show

I will be part of a 6 artist show at the Elverhoj Museum of History and Art in Solvang from Feb. 2 through April 28 2013. The show is called "The View From Here" and features 6 local artists presenting their interpretations of local scenes throughout the Santa Ynez Valley. I am honored to be a part of this invitational show and am looking forward to having my work shown at the Elverhoj. If you live close to Solvang please come by the museum on Saturday Feb 2 to the Show Reception between 4 to 6 pm. Also, on Saturday March 2nd there will be an artists panel discussion that I will be participating in.

Here is the show card below....for more info please contact Esther or any of the other fine people working at the museum....805-686-1211

Friday, January 25, 2013

Ted Goerschner

Ted painting in the Los Olivos Quick Draw
 Ted Goerschner
1933 - 2012
When I was painting with PACC down in Santa Barbara recently one of the members told me that Ted Goerschner had passed away right before Christmas. I was working on a painting at the time and was stunned to hear of his passing. The rest of my time painting was spent thinking about Ted. The one thing I personally know about Ted is that he was such a nice man and that I wish I had known him more than just that.
I first met Ted when we were both setting up our gear for the Los Olivos Quick Draw 2 years ago. Ted was represented by the same gallery I am in down in Pasadena, Galerie Gabrie. I'm positive Ted didn't know this since we had never met so I walked up to him and introduced myself. I had heard he was a straight forward no nonsense kinda guy and could be intimidating. It turned out he was super nice and I liked him instantly. 
If you have never seen Teds work that's probably too bad for you. You'd probably have to look it up online but I can tell you now you will only see pale images of Teds work. I had only seen his work for years online and thought it was good. Then, at our studio tour a few years back I saw my first Goerschner painting in person....hugh difference. If you ever get the chance to see one of Ted's paintings in person you will be in for a major treat...his color work was just awesome. Rich darks, intensive brights and a wonderful range in between. You really have to see one of his works in person to really get the full effect of a Goerschner painting. I have Ted's book on painting, "Oil Painting, The Workshop Experience", and in it he has the most killer dark greens in his snow scenes. Ted also had the most wonderful purple/violet color for distant mountains and a great violet tone used for shadows. Some guys make you drool with their painting and Ted could do that easily. Ted was a Master Painter for sure and he is going to be sorely missed by many.      

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Wilcox Property Shadows

"Wilcox Property Shadows"
18" X 24" Oil on Canvas
More fun with some really nice morning shadows down at the Wilcox Property in Santa Barbara. This is the main trail that runs parallel with the bluffs overlooking the Pacific to the left side of the painting. There are a lot of coastal cypress trees there and they make for a nice change in painting eucalyptus, oak and sycamore trees. Of course, the Wilcox property has some nice stands of eucalyptus so I had to paint some of those too. I saw these shadows while walking in and knew right away that I'd do some sort of painting with them. It was a lot of fun painting the shadows.
I plan on going back down here when the foggy days are here in summer. I'm sure there will be some killer atmospheric images to be had in this area. I cant wait!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sunset Above Santa Barbara

"Sunset Above Santa Barbara"
12" X 20" Oil on Canvas

I almost hated to title this piece ignoring the large storm clouds moving over the mountains. What a great scene this was as Linda and I were leaving Santa Barbara heading over these dark mountains back to Solvang....ominous but majestic all rolled into one.
I painted this scene over 2 years ago but something never seemed quite right. After it had dried into the storage room it went. After Christmas had passed I was going through the paintings in there deciding on what old ones would be painted over. I came across this painting and took another long hard look and decided to throw it back on the easel and revamp it with a new foreground. I'm glad I did because it works much better to me now. I added the eucalyptus trees and background trees, I reshaped the bushes and really exagerated the grasses. I also went back over the mountain in sunlight and added more rocks jutting out of the mountain. The scene is now not quite what was actually there but works better as a painting I think.

A detail of the painting.
Click on image for a larger view

Monday, January 14, 2013

Painting at the Wilcox Property

"Trail At The Wilcox"
9" X 12" Oil on panel
Today was the paint out with PACC at the Wilcox Preserve in Santa Barbara. This area was set aside as open space and a haven from developers. Land is at a premium down in Santa Barbara and this coastal bluff is prime real estate down there....has to drive the developers insane that they can't get their hands on it.
This was my first time there, and aside from the thousands of dogs brought for a walk in nature by yuppies and eldery doing a good job of staying in shape, the place is a cool painting area.

While there I had a chance to talk to a fellow artist who joined our group to paint for the day. Her name was Kathy Francis from Port Townsend, WA. and she was down here avoiding the fun of Winter up in Washington. Kathy shows her work in a gallery in Port Townsend and a member of a painting group just like ours. Was really fun to see her work for the day and talk about life down here and up north, people we've met and places we've been. Hopefully when she is down this way again she'll hook up with our group to do some painting. When I showed Kathy my painting for the morning she suggested I drag the lowest shadow across the trail and up into the grasses on the I did when I got back to the studio...good suggestion!
   Kathy Francis working it up out in the field

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Eaton Canyon Fall

"Eaton Canyon Fall"
20"x24" Oil on Canvas
Another scene from my hike through Eaton Canyon on Thanksgiving Day. This old sycamore was up in Coyote Canyon, a small canyon that drains into Eaton Canyon. Great hike that morning. Met some really nice people out for some exersize or just sight seeing and taking in some fresh morning air.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Leaving 2012

Finally! My 2 daughters were unable to come up to my house to celebrate Christmas until a few days ago...3 very cool days with them, one of their husbands and the giving, good food, some sightseeing in town, lots of laughs and the chance to hug my now 21 and 22 year old daughters.

My young little ones
I have always found it interesting that I see my children in all of the stages of their lives everytime I see them. They can be talking to me and I listen but see images in my mind of them learning to walk, feeding them babyfood and the smiles they had...hearing conversations with them when they were small. My oldest daughter once asking me how long it will be before Santa comes down our "chimely". I remember the bad times too...having to spank my daughter for not picking up her toys in her room, scolding her for not wanting to do her homework, sending them to bed early for acting up...stuff all parents should do that you hate doing inside but can never let them see that you feel that way. 
Christmas 2012 Jennifer left, Amanda right
Parenting was tough. I'm glad I was the way I was with my girls because they make me proud today. They understand hard work, helping others, being kind and treating people with repsect. When I hug them it isn't like hugging that one's like hugging 21 and 22 different people. I'm glad for the visit with them....glad they are still good people. I painted them both a snowman painting for Christmas so they can hang them each year at Christmas time.
 Getting that worn out look, hahaha. Amanda's baby at 5 mo old
I'm not so sure how art will go this coming year. Sales were dismal over the last 4 years with each year getting worse than the last. Because of the slow sales I have been jumping online searching around and reading articles about how to drive up sales. There is a lot to read and the popular consensus is to use social media to drive up traffic and your visibility as an artist. Of course, this is mostly pushed by internet marketing guru's trying to sell you their "how to promote yourself and drive up your art sales" videos, software and newsletters...not to mention the traffic your visits bring to their websites. Have you ever had the feeling that you were being conned.....well, that's the feeling you end up with after reading dozens of these articles. I'm not mad about it....everyone is trying to make a living somehow. I've learned a long time ago that you should trust your first instincts. They really are usually right. My first instinct after reading all of these articles always tells me to go back to the harder at trying to paint better. I enter shows, I'm in a gallery, I have a website, 2 Blogs, 2 Facebook pages, a Twitter account, I'm on LinkedIn, I've just joined Pinterist, I'm a Moderator on an art website, I'm a member of several art organizations, I eat sleep and drink art and am typing this...I also paint. I make frames, canvas boards, stretcher bars, do my framing, snap my own reference photos, deliver my work, buy my supplies, keep organization of receipts, bills, sales, expenditures, advertising, web master of my site, read read and read more about what is going on in art and see what is selling out there. It all can be very frustrating at times but no one is going to do it for you. I remember my art teacher in high school asking me if I was going to go to the Art Center once I graduated. Art Center was astronomically expensive back then and my blue collar and proud of it Dad was not going to pay for that. I told me teacher that I liked art as a hobby and that I'm sure it was really hard to try and make a living off of it....first instincts at work again. I love being an artist but just like parenting, it is hard. We'll see how the year goes.......