it takes a while, sometimes, to see what you want to change about a painting. There is a wonderful vineyard view, with rows of vines tailing into the distance, going over little hills and up into the ridge beyond. I wanted originally to push the colors into an unrealistic color “way” to see if it might spark some new direction or way of seeing, but, ultimately, I just found it sad. Who wants a sad painting around, especially in these times—it practically repainted itself! Below, the old version, then the new. This is 12×12, and, hey, if you wanted it in your life, contact me! My walls are full!
Art Escape Italy recently presented a self-portrait-during-the-lockdown challenge. If you won, you would get a free workshop in Italy in 2021. What’s not to like about that?! I had been to one of their plein air workshops in 2016, so I knew they chose quality instructors and great venues. This was a “stretch goal” for me, to accept the Art Escape Italy challenge, but I figured it was worth it, since the worst that could happen was nothing and the best that could happen was to win a workshop!
It was fun to try, and my first selfie in oils. Although it makes a lot of sense to paint yourself, it doesn’t always feel comfortable as it feels narcissistic or something, so I haven’t done it much. If you don’t want to bother people to sit for even a photograph, much less an actual painting, you yourself are always there…
They had about 150 entries. I did not win, but was close! The winner was a stand-out and I admire that portrait. Here’s Art Escape Italy’s blog post.
I worked on this painting more, struggling a bit with the interface between “reality” and non-reality (orange and purple areas). It’s settled down a bit and I like the general direction now.
I won’t finish that title —but you may think of the author Gabriel García Márquez. We must find and connect with the things we love and take joy from. Everything is helpful, from simple pleasures like a morning cup of coffee in your favorite cup to the more complex and absorbing occupations you may assign yourself. Connect with friends, get exercise, write a virtual letter. I challenged some of my painting friends to a Wolf Kahn-style effort. I’m not sure I really accomplished that. I was inspired by a photo I took of some clouds at sunset after a rain right here in the suburbs. You don’t have to be limited by what your landscape really is— take what is working and inspiring for you, and discard what is not. (see reference photo below)
I’ll keep working on this and I think I see what direction it needs to go now. However, any suggestions are welcome!
The Pacific Ocean feels giant all along the coast south of Carmel. Maybe it’s the mountains alongside which partly give it scale.
This painting will go into the Arts Benicia member show next week, I hope you can join me at the reception!
Art of the Community 2019
Reception is Saturday, January 26, 6:00-8:00 pm
at Arts Benicia Gallery
991 Tyler St. Suite 114, Benicia CA 94510
—how to pronounce the name of this park:
put together two short sounds: gara + pata
Normally when I go out plein air painting, I do more traditional style painting. This time, the tree shapes were so distinct, and my view of them was so narrow (vertically), the ocean color intense, a few stripes of brilliant sun, that I sort of fell into this more graphic representation. The headlands became pure shapes in the second one, at top.
See these and more at Open Studios in Benicia!
Even though it’s quite simple, I like it.
Benicia Artists Open Studios will take place on Saturday & Sunday, May 5 & 6.
Saturday, 11 am to 7 p.m.
Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm.
At Jerrold Turner’s studio:
640 East L St.
Benicia CA 94510
See you there!
With one foot in Alameda, one in Mendocino County—I will be joining two artists in a show at the Scharffenberger Cellers in the beautiful Anderson Valley. I will be bringing some urban scenes to balance out the bucolic!
Join us at:
SCHARFFENBERGER CELLARS Tasting Room
8501 Hwy. 128, Philo, CA 95466 (707) 895-2957
Woods, Wine and Water
Explore the Intertwining of the Wild & Human
Maeve Croghan, Debra Lennox and Micaela Marsden
June 6, 7, 13, 14, 11 am – 6 pm. 55 Harrison street, Oakland. www.markethallartists.com
I knew the two ships I painted a few years ago were going to be moved out to other ports, so I went down to Alameda Island with my camera to see if I could capture them again. I happened to get there on the very day they were being moved! I counted myself super lucky, and stuck around to watch & photograph what I thought would be a relatively quick process. 4 hours later, they were gone! I got to hang around with some of the sailers, both women and men, from nearby ships who were happy to see them leave and in high humor. One of the ships is named the Algol. I didn’t stick to “reality” with the colors, as that grey-painted steel can be pretty dreary.
more about the Algol http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Algol_%28T-AKR-287%29
While painting along the Russian River recently, I headed out to the coast with a couple of friends, specifically to go to Goat Rock. It had been predicted to be gloriously sunny, but in reality it was socked-in, dense coastal fog. We continued towards the rock, but couldn’t see it until getting right up close to it! (This is a large rock!!) My friends headed back inland to Bodega, but I waited for the fog to clear. The visibility actually went down as denser fog rolled in, so I decided to try painting something small and nearby. I found a nice jumble of lichen-covered rocks near the road. On one, a bush’s dry twigs curling around like an enveloping hand, with tiny, red-leafed brambles amongst caught my eye (hey, writers can take liberties too!). Loosely following the form of the objects, I followed my whims and tried to enjoy the process. It wasn’t cold, there were few people around, it was pleasant. The painting is almost evenly divided between fog and land, and appears black and white, but there are actually colors! I like the idea of going a bit abstract, though it may be sort of dark…?