Monday, December 3, 2012

2013 Calendars

My new calendars are here! Go to the 'contact' page of my website, click on 'buy now' button, and fill out the necessary fields. $20 each, or 2 for $35, includes shipping.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

October workshop in Taos

This was the first painting location for the workshop in Taos. We had perfect weather, with beautiful fall color in the trees. It's difficult to see, but there are 9 painters in this photo.

I did a demonstration painting to start the morning at 9.

La Mirada  6x12"

This is another demo from the town of Arroyo Seco, where we spent day 3. 
Seco Yellow, 8x10"

Afternoon truck demo by popular demand. Seco Truck, 9x12"  sold

On the high road to Taos, I met a guy who lives on about 5 acres, half of which is covered with old rusty cars. I fell in love with this '64 Galaxie.

I had painted an old Cadillac in the morning, and needed a break from heavy structure and drawing. I set up on the same property at the fence line, and painted this view of the neighbors house.

In progress . . .

Penasco Yellow, 9x12"

Another day, another rusty car.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sonoma Plein Air 2012

It was a great week in Sonoma with beautiful fall light and harvest gold colors in the vinyards. I managed to do 12 paintings in 5 days, though one was not worthy of hanging, and another didn't feel quite finished. I tackled this Studebaker on the first day when it reached 103° by 3:00. I was happy to have my huge patio umbrella to shade my easel and me from the direct sun. "Studebaker Morning" 9x12" sold

Half way through this painting, I realized I had painted the scene before, several years earlier, on a different size and proportion canvas. I think this one turned out better. Of all the paintings I had on display Saturday, this one may have gotten the most comments, which surprised me. "Deferred Maintenance" 7x14" sold

The Sonoma event included a "quick draw" Tuesday afternoon, where the artists set up around the square and had an hour and a half to complete a painting, while being distracted by onlookers and a deadline. "Sonoma Hotel" 8x10" sold

This is a road with very little traffic which allowed me to set up my easel and my patio umbrella in the street. I carry orange traffic cones in my truck for just such an occasion. "Down the Road" 11x14"

I had seen this view the day before, and decided to challenge myself, painting into the setting sun across a vineyard. It was amazing to see how fast the colors and values changed in the last 30 minutes before the sun dropped behind the hill. "Harvest Haze" 8x16" sold

I liked the simplicity and clarity of this scene -- house, tree, ground, distant hill, and sky. This house was on a very busy road with traffic roaring past, between me and my subject, and I put earplugs in while I painted. To your list of plein air painting supplies, I recommend adding earplugs and a patio umbrella. This was I felt my best painting of the week, and is the one I took to the gala on Friday night.  "Home Sweet Home" 11x14" sold

I was so pleased with the composition of the painting above, that I decided to come back and try a dusk scene, waiting till just after the sun set before starting to paint. I had very low confidence in my ability to pull it off, and so chose a small 6x8" canvas. I learned that you really only have just over half an hour before the light is so low that you can no longer see color -- just values. And 15 minutes later you can't see anything at all. (add 'flashlight' to the list of supplies) "Sing Me To Sleep" 6x8" sold

I had painted this barn before, but never the red tractor. My umbrella saved me once again in the extreme heat. Dappled light is always a challenge and it seems to work best when I just invent a simplified shadow shape. "One Hundred and Three in The Shade" 12x12"

This was my last painting of the week. I spotted this old car from the street, parked my truck and walked down the driveway toward it. I took a few photos before 2 pit bulls (or similar) charged out from behind the house and pinned me against the back of this car. The owner then came out, and after hearing my explanation called off the dogs. It was a very tense 20 seconds to put it mildly. In the end, the owner was very nice and allowed me to stay and paint the car -- a 1951 Plymouth. Not only did I not lose any blood, but I was pretty happy with the painting when I finished. With all that adrenaline running through my system, there was no need for coffee this particular morning.  "Beware of Dog"  8x10"

Monday, September 24, 2012


These are some photos from the September workshop on Monhegan. There were 13 painters from all over the U.S., and we had a really fun week, with lobster, wine, and lots and lots of painting!

Our first morning, painting on Horn Hill.

Me painting on my free afternoon.

Bob working on an outbuilding near the lighthouse.

The last day, indoor demo, back. . .

. . . and front. Monhegan House dining room.

The group on the front lawn of the Island Inn.

Jim finishing up at the lighthouse.

Our group painting at the lighthouse.

Kevin Beers, me and Errol at our first annual cocktail party hosted by Remak.

Almost the whole group, back row, left to right: Errol, Karen, Jill, Kevin, Remak, Tom. Front: Tony, Connie, Richard, Jim, Bob and me. (not pictured: Nina, Kathy, Manny)

Karen, Bob and Jill at the cocktail party, waiting for the sunset.

All aboard. Finally on our way to Manana! On my last visit to Monhegan 3 years ago, I had tried unsuccessfully to make it over to Manana for a hike. This year I was determined. It took us 3 days for everything to fall into place, and we finally made it, though not with the entire group.

Rusty at the helm, on the way to Manana.

Climbing the ramp onto Manana. Island Inn and the ferry in the background.

This building contains an old engine that used to pull supplies up the ramp to the Coast Guard station.

Abandoned Coast Guard station.

Yes, there are indeed goats on Manana! We spotted 6.

The view from the top of Manana toward Fish Beach.

Me painting the fog at Swim Beach.

Errol and Tom working the morning shift at the lighthouse.

The popular red house at sunset.

My hotel room view on Vinalhaven.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Monhegan, Maine 2012

These are paintings done during a 5-day workshop on Monhegan in September, including a few I did after it was over. On one of our beautiful weather days, we all went up to the lighthouse to paint. I love the variety of planes and shapes this building has to offer.  7x14" sold

Another favorite place of mine to paint on the island is the lawn in front of the Island Inn. More interesting planes on the foreground building, and a nice big cast shadow. Manana, the island in the background, makes for a nice organic backdrop to all the structural stuff in the middle ground. I did this mostly on site, then worked on it another 20 minutes once I got home. 9x12" sold

On the 4th day, the weather and light were constantly changing, and I got the sense everyone was a bit tired (including me), so we declared the afternoon as free time and I did this backlit scene. 9x12" sold

One afternoon I was excited to have a couple hours to paint, but a light sprinkle began just 5 minutes after I started painting. So I packed up my stuff and went back to my 4th floor room where I had a nice view from my window and painted this overcast scene while I sat on the floor.  8x10" sold

On the last day of the workshop, it was pretty overcast, so I set up in the dining room of Monhegan House and did this demo from a photo, and talked about capturing strong light and shadow. 9x12" sold

After the workshop was over, I spent 2 days on Vinalhaven painting and taking pictures. I was thrilled to see this view from the deck of my hotel room after I checked in. Could not have been more convenient. A couple staying 2 doors down in the same hotel, who had ridden their Harley's all the way from Oregon ended up buying it. 11x14" sold

My hotel room came with free use of a bike with a basket. I had left my car in Rockland, and was able to ride the bike around Vinalhaven with some of my painting stuff in the basket, other stuff slung over my shoulder, while holding the easel in my left hand. It was kind of precarious, but fortunately I didn't have far to go. This scene was just down the street from my hotel.  8x10"

I found this boat in a nearby boatyard and really wanted to paint it on site, but the place was too busy with forklifts, trucks, customers and workers. So I painted it as soon as I got back to California from the safety of my studio. 8x10"

One night on Monhegan after dinner, I walked around taking photos at dusk -- a difficult light for cameras to capture. I really liked the graphic quality of this scene, with the deep blue water, yellow sky and lights in the windows. I started this one right after I finished the boat painting above -- trying to keep the memory of the scene fresh in my mind.  8x16"