Saturday, January 25, 2014


I found this beautiful farmhouse in Sonoma County while visiting my daughter last year.  I did a larger painting of this last year but wanted to do this again- this one is 8 x 10 and good enough from which to do a larger painting soon.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Field Study - Penasquitos Lagoon

I went out with the SD Plein Air Painters this past Saturday - it was quite nice out again this weekend!  Almost too hot for jeans (in January).  We painted the penasquitos lagoon at hide tide, and my objective was to concentrate on the values of the plains: the sky, the ground, the water and the trees.  One should see 5 values, some are closer than others but my aim is in this order of light to dark: Sky, water, reeds, background, Trees.  I have been practicing with black and white studies in the studio all week - so I set out to do the same in plein air, being very deliberate about my sketch and not as picky about the color.  It's always better and at the same time harder to paint outdoors.  I took a workshop once where the teacher said it's like camping vs staying home with all the comforts.  You have to pack all the gear, and you have to set up, break it down at the end and in between your brushes fall into the dirt, your turp spills, your coffee cools.  I could go on!  But in return for this suffering, just like everything you cook at a campsite tastes better, all the smells and sounds and sites you see outside are more intense, and more informing than a photograph.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Winter Surfer at Swami's

It has been extremely warm this winter - I have painted at Swami's a few times recently.  The weather brings out the people, the surfers, the families and the painters.  Instead of doing a standard seascape I decided to focus in on the surfers.  I took a few photos and got a shot of a surfer dropping in on a big glassy wave.  So, I started with the colors I saw in front of me as the waves came in, and when I was ready to put the surfer in I referenced my camera for position, proportion and shadows.  It is always magical to paint on the beach, for me it is and I hope I capture some of that energy.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Winter Flowers - Quail Gardens

I painted today at Quail Gardens with the SD Plein Air Painters.  It was very difficult to choose what to paint but when I walked by this plant I stopped.  It was a beautiful morning, I haven't been to Quail Gardens since my younger daughter was a baby - we went there to take photos with my friend who is a photographer.  It was a great backdrop for photos. And a nice place to paint!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year - New Things

I originally blocked this in a more representational style, with a different palette.  And I looked at if a few days, over the holidays and thought about doing this differently - and what better day to do something new.  Is it abstract,  or is it expressionistic?  Who knows but I was satisfied after finishing it - one could argue that it's not there yet but that's the fun of it.