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“Jewel by the Bay”, Day 1

Here I am again, back in another 5 day event!  I had a week “off” (working at Wells Fargo last week), but I think I can use some more.  Nothing I can do about it, so time to press on.

This wasn’t a great day.  I spent a lot of time driving around Alameda, trying to get a feel for the place and find something inspiring to paint. I finally did, although the spot isn’t typical at all of the town.  It’s Bay Farm Island, a smaller island connected to Alameda by a bridge and famous as female aviator Amelia Earhart started many of her flights from the nearby Oakland Airport.  I’m happy with the feel of this one, very fresh. Other than the tops of the grasses, which I defined a bit, almost every stroke is the first I put down.  Over-working a painting muddies it, and the color in this one is fresh because I really pushed it and I didn’t mix other colors on top of the original strokes.
I’m happy to get one of three expected for the show out of the way.  I think tomorrow I’ll paint a Victorian home/garden, which is somewhat more typical.  Enjoy!

Bay Farm Island (Alameda) – Oil on Linen – 12×16″

“Jewel By the Bay” Paint-out & Show

Finally, “Jewel by the Bay“, a week-long paint-out locally! I was invited to participate in this Bay Area paint-out last year, but had to decline due to some last-minute travel. I’m 100% set for this one! It starts Monday, and includes about 30 nationally-known plein air artists, most local, many friends.

This is a typical “plein air” event competition, where a group of juried artists paint the same area for a week and hold a show at the end. This show beneftis the Frank Bette Art Center in Alameda. Check out my blog next week, and I should have daily postings. Here’s a run-down of events:

See the Frank Bette Center website for more information, including this plein air event page.

Telluride Plein Air, Closing

It’s been a long 8 days, exhausting. I’m happy with the quality of my work this week, not estatic about sales (sold 4), but that is pretty much out of my control. I think the paintings I’m bringing back are great quality and will eventually sell. If you’re interested in these, make me an offer, framed or unframed (see the table below).The reception last night at the Sheridan Opera House was well done. My good friend (the nemisis thing was a joke, obviously) Scott Lloyd Anderson took First Place. He did a great painting of some Tibetan Prayer Flags flying from a nearby building, as did Randall Sexton, who took Third Place. It was interesting to see two of the winners painting the same, relatively obscure thing. Second Place was won by Terry Masters, who did a “masterful” job of painting the view of the iconic falls from the Telluride Valley floor.One painting per artist was available for sale via a silent auction. Luckily, I had a nice bidding war going for my painting, “Alta Lakes #2“–which, if you’re falling this blog, a majority of my readers voted as #1. Good call, everybody! A wonderful Texan named Jeff told me, “My wife wants that painting, so watch out, she’s get’n it!” He was determined. I’m glad they won the bid, as they are a very nice couple.The general public sale yesterday was REALLY slow. Many artists (including me) didn’t sell a thing. It was a weekday, we have to remember, so while there were some tourists out, not many regular locals or second home owners. They did come out today, so sales picked up quite a bit. I sold both “Telluride Red Rocks” and “Telluride Gondola“, which is great because they’re both local scenes that would be difficult to sell elsewhere.I now have one week off (so to speak, I’ll be whipping things into shape at Wells Fargo), then I start ANOTHER week-long paint-out, “Jewel By The Bay” in Alameda. Luckily, it’s just across the bay so no hotels and I won’t have to see the Denver airport again–which I’ve been through SIX times the past two months). Randy Sexton was good enought to give me some tips on where to paint…who knew Alameda had beaches? Then the next plein air event is San Luis Obispo Plein Air, October 1-7th.

PS. Click the fireworks image to the left to see a video.

I’ve listed in the table below the remaining Telluride paintings available. I did give “Fir Street, Telluride” to the Opera House on consignment as they do continue to sell paintings throughout the year. If you’re interested in any of the remaining works below, make me an offer (will sell framed or unframed). Click to enlarge. CHEERS!

Available Telluride Plein Air Paintings

Trout Lake

Oil on Linen – 12×16″

Bridge, Telluride
Oil on Linen – 12×16

Fourth of July in Telluride
Oil on Linen – 10×8″

Alta Lake #1
Oil on Linen – 8×10

Telluride Plein Air, Day 6

One last painting today, and my art supplies are on their way home. I turned in “Alta Lakes #2” as my personal best for judging. I do think it was my best work, but it was small (8×10), turns out the smallest one there! Judges like larger work, I learned that at San Luis Obispo last year, and I’ve observed this bias in previous shows. I probably should have entered either “Telluride Gondola” or “Fir Street, Telluride“, both 12×16” paintings. When you’re judging work via this blog, I have them all scaled to the same size, so you don’t get the impact a larger painting has.
This bridge and creek are just behind my hotel. I stood in the shade under another nearby bridge to paint it.

Bridge, Telluride – Oil on Linen – 12×16 (AVAILABLE)

Telluride Plein Air, Quick Draw

In today’s Quickdraw event, we had 90 minutes to complete a painting, while standing on the main street in Telluride (Colorado Ave). Yes, there’s some pressure, but it was actually pretty fun. I’ve done enough of these contests now to know what to expect, so I was pretty relaxed, chatting with people as they walked on by. I had just enough time to finish my painting.

Given the ample shade on the north side of Fir Street, I set up there again (as I did yesterday, when I painted in the opposite direction, towards the bakery). I’d painted the same building yesterday in the late afternoon, so I had fresh knowledge of its architecture, which certainly helps when you only have 90 minutes.

I’m very happy with the result. I brought the painting back to the Opera House for the sale, and it sold about 5 minutes later! There was a First Place prize awarded to Randall Sexton, who–if you don’t know him–is an awesome painter and teacher.

This painting was a good color study…representing the various warm colors here, from yellow to dark red. I wanted to check the values of the work, so created the black and white version above. If your painting reads well in black and white, it almost doesn’t matter what colors you use, the painting will work.

I’m not sure where I’m off to today….I think the peak from the town gondola again. Awesome views up there. Until then!


I am leaving Sunday on a 3 week trip that will start with attending a workshop with Ovanes Berberian, proceed to New York where I will be presenting at the Forrester Research Finance Forum, and end in Colorado for Telluride Plein Air 2007. It’s going to be a very busy trip, and I am definitely relying on FedEx Ground to get my art supplies from point A to point B on time!

Just as I blogged daily from my workshop with Gay Faulkenberry, and as I did in last year’s Ovanes workshop, I intend to blog daily–showing my progress, studies, and any tips I learn from Ovanes.  Last year’s workshop was amazing, and I’m excited to go back, having made progress since then.  Please check in next week, starting June 18th, and take a “virtual workshop” with me.

The New York visit will be brief (2 days). I am speaking on a panel with Wesabe founder and CEO Jason Knight.  I’m a big fan of Wesabe–basically, a “Quicken for Web 2.0”. It’s a very cool tool, check it out.

Telluride Plein Air will be a bit stressful…it’s my first year there, and it’s among the most prestigeous plein air shows in the country.  I also don’t have much time, basically 3 and a half days to paint 8-10 paintings for the show!  Luckily, I’ll have just come off a week long workshop, so I should be warmed up and ready.  Again, I’ll blog daily from there, just as I did at last year’s San Luis Obispol Plein Air show. I’ll ask my community of readers here to help me decide again which paintings to put in the show.  You’ve been great at helping pick the winners!

Tahoe Area Paint-out Announcement

I can’t attend this event myself, but thought others that read this blog local to Northern California may be interested in this Call to Artists, from my good freind Andy Skaff:

North Tahoe Arts in partnership with East West Partners through the Tahoe Mountain Resorts Foundation, Truckee Gallery, and the Truckee Donner Land Trust plans a month-long celebration of the wonders of Martis Valley at Lake Tahoe in October, 2007. As part of this celebration we are planning a three-day “paint out” at various locations throughout the Martis Valley the weekend of October 5, 2007, culminating in a sale and cash awards ceremony at The Village at Northstar at Tahoe on Sunday, October 7, 2007. East West Partners, the developers of the new Ritz-Carlton Highlands Lake Tahoe and The Village at Northstar hope to make this an annual event drawing regional and nationally known artists and collectors. As you may know, early October is a glorious time in the mountains when nature is at its best. The painting opportunities should be wonderful. After the Ritz-Carlton, now under construction, is completed, it is anticipated that it will be the venue for this annual event.

Low-cost housing at Northstar or home stays with local Tahoe artists will be available on a first-come first-served basis. There will be no entry fees for participating in this event. Please let us know, by responding to this email, if you have an interest in participating or have any questions, please send us an email at the contact number below”.

Andy Skaff
530/525-4937 (Tahoe)
925/254-5656 (Orinda)
510/325-6019 (cell)

Verde Artist Guild Paint-out Announcement

Friends of Verde Artist Guild,The Verde Artist Guild will be hosting a paint out July 14 at San Francisco’s Buena Vista Park. This is the city’s oldest park, with 360-degree views of the city, Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay. Bring a bag lunch and share your work, including any critiques you’d like. There is generally plenty of parking available, but carpool if you can (see below).

Where Buena Vista Park, San Francisco. We’ll meet in area of the tennis courts, just above them. See the “Getting There” section below for specific details. You can also paint at the very top of the park, where a grassy knoll offers 360-degree views. If you can’t find the group, call Ed and let him know (cell phone SIX-FIVE-ZERO-868-2551). There are many flat, paved trails that lead to the top of the park, although Ed will be painting just above the tennis courts.
Getting There Buena Vista Park is located between lower and upper Haight a few blocks south of the tip of the Pan Handle. Haight Street forms its northern boundary, and it’s ringed by Buena Vista Avenues East and West.From the 101: Take 101 North to San Francisco, exit Duboce Avenue (bare left, you’ll head straight off the freeway onto Duboce Ave.. Turn left on Market Street, stay in the far right lane. After the Safeway on your right, turn right onto 14th Street. As you head up 14th, look straight ahead of you: the large pink buildings with the park behind is where you’re headed. Head straight up the hill, turn right on Buena Vista Terrace. It will end at Buena Vista Park. Turn left onto Beuna Vista Avenue East and park in front of Park Hill condos (large pink building on your left). After you park, cross the street to the park, and head right, down the sidewalk that circles the park. At the corner, you’ll see a wide concrete staircase, head up and take the road right over the tennis courts. There are great views of the city there, through Monterey Cypress trees, or, you can paint a wide range of Cypress, Pine and Eucalyptus in the area.
Parking There is usually plenting of parking in front of the old St. Joseph’s Hospital, now Park Hill condos. That is located at 351 Buena Vista Avenue East. You can’t miss it, it’s a huge pink building.
When Saturday, July 14, starting at 9:30AM. Some people paint until sunset, some stop after lunch–your choice. We’ll meet for lunch around 12:30PM, in the area above the tennis courts. Ed lives across the street from the park, so bathroom breaks will be available at lunch time.

Would you like to call your own paint-out? There are over 100 local Bay Area plein air artists on our mailing list. If you’d like to invite local plein air artists to p

Verde Artist Guild

PS. If you’d like to be removed from this list, please email us at

Gold Country Plein-Air: Recap

Gold Country Plein Air was the kick-off event for what will be at least five plein air paint-outs I’m scheduled for this year, including: Telluride Plein Air (June 28th-July 4th), Jewel by the Bay (July 17-20), Valona Plein Air (July 28-August 5th),  Estes Park Plein Air confirmed yesterday! (August 25), and San Luis Obispo Plein Air (not yet confirmed, October 1-7).

This nice thing about Kris’ show at The Vault is it’s non-competitive, and all the artists get along really well. It’s a nice annual reunion.  Several are in the upcoming Telluride show, including Paul Kratter and Douglas Morgan.  Paul was able to give me some tips at dinner the other night.  It’s probably the most prestigeous show I’ll do all year, so I’m a bit in intimidated.

Here’s one last painting from the show, one that I decided not to enter (three have sold, by the way!).  This one’s growing on me 🙂  I don’t know about you, but when I finish a a painting, it’s very difficult for me to judge it.  I guess you spend so much time looking at the “trees” in a work that you don’t see the “forest”.  Anyway, this is available to my blog readers only, let me know if you’re interested. If I sell this for a couple hundred, I can break even on the trip!

Pinecrest Lake, CA

Pinecrest Lake – Oil on Linen – 8×10

Gold Country Plein-Air: Day 6

Today’s event was a public paint-out on the grounds around Mountain Springs Gold Course.  It seemed a bit out of the way to me, but ended up being surprisingly well attended.  My guess is there were between 60-100 people there.  Most were collector/ameture artists, which was great, because they asked very good questions (not the typical, “how long does it take you to paint that” query).

I did sell one today (“Golden Hour“), so that was a nice surprise when I came back to the gallery.
Here’s today’s setup.  Perfect weather, no wind, 68 degrees C.

Plein Air Painting Easel Setup Sonora CA

Today’s painting (of course, I couldn’t digitally scan as it’s wet, so the quality of the photo is just okay. I’m happy with it!

Mountain Springs Hillside – 8×6″ – Oil on Linen

A couple of participating artists, Kathleen Dunphy and Charles Waldman.
Group of plein air painters, Sonora CA

Gold Country Plein-Air: First Delivery

It’s still raining here this morning (supposed to clear, keep your fingers crossed), so I spent the morning fixing the pond in “Mountain Springs Sunset”, and also framed the first three to deliver. Kris (the gallery owner) called this morning. Since it’s raining, she’s setting up still lifes in the gallery, so unless it clears, I could post a still life later. I do want to make it to the Tuolomne River sometime later today.

Gold Country Plein Air 07 - Sonora, CA - Ed Terpening
Here’s “Mountain Springs, Sunset”, with the pond re-worked: