Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sonoma to Bodega Bay

I went to San Francisco and Sonoma recently, during a heat wave.  San Francisco was sunny from sunrise to sunset (which I have never experienced), and Sonoma was tickling 100.  So I drove over to the Sonoma Coast, which was foggy and cool, just what was needed.  On the way I stopped and took several photos - it was beautiful country.

There were several little shacks along the road like this - on the way to Bodega Bay.

There were several cattle and or dairy farms along the 30 mile stretch - cows were everywhere including right close to the road, at the very top of the golden hills and some were lounging in the front yards of farms.  More on the beaching coming.

Monday, June 24, 2013

White Roses

A friend of mine gave me some roses to paint, aren't they beautiful?  And white roses are so elegant.  Due to that I wanted to keep the palette very limited so I 'starved my palette' as I heard James Gurney say.  I used only cad red, ivory black and yellow ochre (and white).  This very much enabled me to keep the roses unified, so that the changes in value were harmonized to a certain degree; the various colors I used for the roses didn't fight each other.  

This is a another study on Arches paper for oil.  I might be getting used to this paper, for studies.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Dancing Palms

Last night I was so pleased to get an Honorable Mention in the 13th Annual San Clemente Plein Air Competition.  This is my third year of participating and needless to say I was surprised.  I haven't yet taken a good photo of the painting but below is a snapshot of me standing next to it (the one with the ribbon!).  I did this painting last Thursday, on the beach just to the left of the pier, next to the pylons at the beginning of the San Clemente pier.  The dinner/gala on Saturday which included the awards ceremony had quite a crowd, attendance was at least 25-50% larger than last year, so hopefully this bodes well for a good year in art sales!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Rose Pastel

I've been doing a lot of plein air painting in  "Paint San Clemente" this week so it is nice to come home and do a little study with pastels.  The roses are from my yard - probably the last batch this summer.  

Monday, June 17, 2013

Blue Vase in Pastels

Another experiment using pastels.  I'm having fun, not sure about this works yet but it is a lot of fun to play around.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


My first experiment with pastels.  This still life is a composition that was one of the many at the San Clemente Paint Out - the quick draw.  I painted this yesterday in oils, and took many photographs of the flowers.  Today I took a shot at it with pastels, it was a blast even though I don't know what I'm doing, perhaps that's part of the fun.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Shredding at Swami's

Quick study from a reference photo I took last weekend at Swami's - it was a great day for surfing, lots of people on boards that day.

Monday, June 10, 2013

China Mums and Daisies

I started with an old canvas that I painted over with the red ground, as seen below.  I used cadmium red, which is so so strong.  I thinned it out quite a bit, even so most of the original painting was gone.

The next step was to do a loose drawing, as seen below.  Once I did that, I used my palette knife to lay in a lot of paint, focusing on values.  I thought I had a photo of that but I guess I didn't stop.  I really struggled with my final photo because of the lighting,  I need to replace some of my internal lighting.  

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Red Tractor (Carlsbad Flower Fields)

I did this study from a photo I took this spring while painting at the flower fields in Carlsbad.  What is it about tractors?  Is it the DNA of generations of farmers in my lineage?  I see a tractor and I immediately want to climb into it, play with the steering wheel and the gears, like a 10 year old kid.  And to top it off, it's red.  So I just had to paint it!

Saturday, June 8, 2013


I painted with the San Diego Plein Air Painters today at Swami's in Encinitas.  This surf spot has been called Swami's forever, I assume because it is next to the Self Realization Fellowship, which, by the way is where Ravi Shankar's memorial service was held late last year.   The waves were big this morning, and tons of surfers were out.  Some pros were surfing too, their photographers were positioned up and down the beach ready to take that money shot.  I saw a couple of 360's while I was painting - fun, fun, fun.  

Friday, June 7, 2013

Palms at Sunset

I've painted these palms several times - they are in a neighbor's yard and I can see them from mine.  So pretty in during sunset, they really light up.  Maybe I should do 365 days of painting these palms like Kevin McPherson did with his pond in Taos, so instead of "Reflections on a Pond", "Reflections on a Palm", it could happen. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

China Mums and Blue Vase

I used a large brush for about 90 percent of this painting, switching to a medium for only a few brush strokes when I was finishing up.  Oh, and the limited palette I am currently experimenting with, with only cerulean and ivory black to make my blues just doesn't work for this vase.  I could have just worked with the palette and interpreted the color but I'm partial to this blue glass - it is almost pure ultra marine right out of the tube.  UMB is back!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

China Mums with Marigolds

I did this study on Arches Paper for Oils and I'm not sure yet if I like it, there isn't much of a tooth, or perhaps it's just different.  (Above is the block in). It feels as if the paper absorbs the paint a bit.  Below is the finished study.  I don't know if it's done-done, but it's done.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Setauket Mill Pond - 'Before the Deluge'

I painted this study from a photo I took last year at the Joseph Reboli Wet Paint Festival which is sponsored by Gallery North in Setauket.  The Mill Pond was in full bloom, in full glory.

Before the Deluge, by Jackson Browne is a great song, and really speaks to the times a lot of us spent at this beautiful, magical place.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Red Vase and Lemon

 Like most everything in this world, you can't put two things together without them affecting  each other.  This is demonstrated by the lost edge between the lemon and the vase, where the colors reflect upon each other  - where the separateness is broken.  In this study I blocked both things in as one object and then defined them uniquely through color, leaving the actual boundary blurred, just as I saw it while painting.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Old Poway Park

A beautiful day today - I did this study at the Old Poway Park.  This is the barn that holds the old trains.    Does that make it a "Train Barn"?  I really tried to stay away from detail, so that I could capture the light and color for a future larger work.  I can see some areas I would really enjoy working out a bit more - something to look forward to.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


A mostly overcast day at the beach but a few spots of sun here and there.   The tide was coming in while I painted and the rock I was on started to get surrounded by water but I got out of there before I got wet.