While recently in Scotland with a painting group, plein-air painting in the walled garden of a castle in the cold with every layer on I could find, a message came to me in a text in my pocket congratulating me on my award! I was mystified, as I had not heard of this. A short time later another friend sent a photo of a painting I had entered in a Bay Area show, with a blue ribbon! This explained it, and what a fun way to find out!
You can see this painting and the other award winners at the El Cerrito Public Library at 6510 Stockton Ave, El Cerrito CA until December 10.
This is an “alla prima” or “all at once” painting from a few months past up on the Sonoma Coast. It works better from a distance than right up close, as you get more of the feeling of the coast stretching off South. I may work on it some more, in the studio.
Weekend Warriors – 2-day portrait workshop. Randy is a great teacher – relaxed but informative and supportive. I find his work inspiring, wonderful images capturing a feeling of a place without being slavishly detailed, and lots of luscious brushwork.
These are two sketches and a full-day portrait which I did over this intensive weekend. I scrubbed one. It’s good to throw paintings over sometimes, it makes it easier to abandon those which aren’t going in the intended direction. Don’t hang on – move forward!!
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…?
I could have posted about this sooner, but I’ve been super-busy with family in town, and, getting ready for these events!
Scene on the Straight —after a year hiatus, has returned. It is in an all-day (10 am to 5 pm) event which raises funds to hire underserved youth to restore regional wildlife habitat areas. A good cause. I am participating with the Joules, a local group of plein-air painters. Scene on the Straight website. I will have oil paintings and 6 miniatures (watercolors). Located at Martinez Regional Shoreline, Martinez. ONE DAY ONLY!
Valona Paintout 2014 —an invitational paint-out event. What is a paint-out, you ask? A paint-out is a challenge to produce a painting (or 3!) in a specified period of time, in this case, a week. The canvasses or paper are stamped by the gallery at check-in, and you are set on the loose in a certain area to capture something about that locale. There is an upcoming history article about Strendzel Hall coming up, so I tried my hand at making an old, fairly plain-looking building which has been through numerous remodels, look interesting. The C&H Sugar factory is located in Crockett, which sort of encompasses the old town of Valona, and it has many industrial but some beautiful structures. I heard from a local that these giant tanks topped by a continuous tin warehouse was a steam generator for the sugar plant. I thought they were kind of awesome. (Ok, I know my taste is sometimes odd!). This was a funny view, too, because of the proximity of this quaint little Victorian house which has a tiny, octagonal room hanging out over the street. (other people are odd too! Would you build right next to a steam generator of this size??)
Reception Saturday evening 6 to 8 pm, at the Epperson Gallery 1400 Pomona Street, Valona, CA 94525
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!
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!
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.