Plein Air Painters of Mendocino – Annual show!

Hi all,

I will be participating in the Plein Air Painters of Mendocino Annual show which starts Friday, March 7. This is primarily a landscape show, as you may have guessed, with a popular subject being the beautiful Mendocino coast. If you are planning to visit the coast, this is a good month to do it as it —  the whales are normally migrating north in March. They come very close to shore at this point in California, and you can easily see them at Point Cabrillo as well as all up and down the coast. Come up, and enjoy whale sighting and check out the art!

Plein Air Painters of Mendocino annual show

Plein Air Painters of Mendocino annual show

elusive purples

Irises from an urban garden

Irises from an urban garden

Irises have a lot of style, as far as flowers go. They are more shapely, and have more presence than your average 5-petalled, even-tempered type! It is a challenge getting the right purple, though. Some colors which exist in nature simply do not exist in paint. I worked and worked and worked on the color, and though I like it, I never quite achieved the purple I could see on the flowers themselves.

the “village” of Mendocino

Lansing Street - Mendocino

Lansing Street – Mendocino

As the main commercial district, it’s pretty lively, much more so than it looks here. We could call this an experiment in seeing what a town looks like sans cars, people, dogs or even random birds. The Plein Air Painters of Mendocino will be having their annual show just a few blocks away at the Oddfellows Hall, on Kasten & Ukiah streets during the month of March (starting on the 7th). I will be participating in this show, it should be fun!

Caspar Point

Caspar Point

Rocks by the abalone beach

I visited this place in Caspar on the north coast with a friend a month or so ago. While we were setting up our gear, an abalone diver and an oyster collector climbed down the steep cliff to the beach below. The guy hunting for oysters on the rocks scrambled around with his little dog following him everywhere like an animated flag, so that we never lost track of him except when he ducked behind one of the house-sized rocks. The diver in his colorful gear waded out and disappeared into the waves. When it got too dark to see our colors, we hefted up  our gear and wet paintings, and started the short hike back. Within a few moments the diver came up beside us. We were happy to see him safe, he had an abalone for his efforts, we both had good painting starts – a good day.

Muir Beach overlook


I’ve been looking for a way to paint in oils while traveling without having to carry stretched canvases, which take up a huge amount of room and are awkward to carry. I had a scrap of linen left over from another project and thought I’d gesso it, and try it out. This is a custom size, 10″ wide by 36″ tall. Next step: mount it on a panel. This might be the hard part!

new painting of Carquinez Straight – in progress

This is an in-progress painting, which is intended to become more muted in tone. I love these colors, though, and I’m not sure I want to radically change them from here. I find it joyful, I even like a lot of the loose brush strokes. So, given that I promised to deliver a more “realistic” version, do I paint another one? What do you think?

Carquinez Straight, from Mare Island Natural Preserve

Carquinez Straight, from Mare Island Natural Preserve

Art in the Park at America’s Cup

This was pretty fun, they actually thought to include an artist-focus on a quiet race day last Saturday. They were good to us, gave us coffee in the morning, lunch at noon, some cool schwag, and a show at the end of the day. ArtSpan was a partial sponsor, and documented the day

Here’s my second 2-hour oil sketch from the day — the water needs work, but I like the colors. It’s an impossible view of the Bay Area, with Mt Tam in the background just for fun!


This was a beautiful black boat, moored next to what was reputed to be Larry Ellison’s floating hotel, not shown…