I had a great time painting plein air in Palm Springs last weekend! I need to get back soon. The combination of blazing, clear light; nature; and modern architecture make it a great destination for plein air painters. Enjoy!
What I love about being an artist is the opportunity to continually learn and explore. My focus recently is learning to use new and different materials. Royal Talens sent me a set of Cobra solvent-free oil paints to try, and these are my first results. The benefit is I don’t have to use solvents, which even though labeled “odor free” really are not, and it’s nice so nice to clean up with soap and water!
As I explore how to work with this paint, I’m find myself painting with a much thicker impasto technique–and I’m enjoying it! Trying new materials can push artists in new directions and open up new possibilities. I hope you enjoy these studies, all done in San Francisco.
Yesterday, I finally had the combination of opportunity and weather I need to paint. It’s been a busy few months, having started a full time job in October. Since I’ll be traveling a lot more, I’m starting to carry a small watercolor kit to take advantage of any opportunities that arise then. I have to say, I really admire watercolorists. It’s much harder than it works. I should probably succumb to a workshop soon.
The sky was just incredible. Behind me was the sea (a normal subject), but looking up the path from the street to the beach, I saw a sight I knew I had to paint. I’m a sucker for intense blue skies!
Balboa Park in San Diego is a painter’s paradise. According to Wikipedia, the park is “Named for the Spanish maritime explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa, the park hosted the 1915 Panama–California Exposition and 1935 California Pacific International Exposition, both of which left architectural landmarks.” The architecture is great, and the park is surrounded by beautiful gardens. I had some fun with this one. Enjoy!
After a great week of painting (although, lots of work and some tough, 100-degree weather), my paintings for the San Luis Obispo Plein Air 2012 show at the SLO Museum of Art are ready to go! I need to choose three of these five for the show. I’ve listed them in order of my favorites first. What do you think?
[Update 10/5]: you’ve all convinced me, the last painting below (sunset) is in the show! Thanks for your feedback. It’s really difficult to judge my own work.
I’m so lucky to live in a city with so much beauty to paint! I’ve neglected it too long, often looking for inspiration in Carmel, the Central Coast, and elsewhere. I may eventually paint citiscapes again, but for now, enjoying the beauty of the coast. The only work not from San Francisco below is from Alta Lake, a friends home in The Sierras we get to visit a couple times a year. Enjoy!
I will be participating again this year in the San Luis Obispo Plein Air festival at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, October 1-7. I usually choose one area to focus on…not sure what it will be. In year’s past, I’ve focused on Avila Beach (cove) and the Rocky Point area (see below). Any suggestions? Let me know!
Here are works from previous years in this show. The painting below “Glowing Bluffs” will be my featured painting in the museum the week leading up to the show.
I have a couple of different recent paintings to share as I continue to explore new ideas and materials.
I painted this plein air work in San Miguel de Allende a few months ago, but it sat in my studio unfinished for a while. It needed just a few adjustments.
I love painting a dramatic sky! This was painted from a reference photo I took while staying at Red Rocks for the 1st Annual Plein Air Convention & Expo. I liked the counterbalance between the drama of the sky and the distant lights of the Las Vegas Strip.
And finally, I’ve been experimenting with new materials. This oil on paper work was done with new Cobra water soluble oils. I love the idea of painting with solvents! So far I like the, although I don’t have enough colors to truly judge–and I haven’t painted on anything other than paper so far. You may recognize this study, based on another done plein air in regular oil paint.
I have a few new plein air studies to share from my recent trip to Las Vegas. To be honest, not my favorite city, but I was there for the 1st Annual Plein Air Convention & Expo. It was held at the Red Rocks Casino & Spa. I’d stayed there before, but had no idea there was so much to paint just a few miles away. I’ve always found the subtle color variations in the desert landscape inspiring. I hope you enjoy–and if you’re an artist, check back in a week, as I’m planning an extended blog post on the convention, complete with videos of demos.
I just returned from one of the best workshops I’ve ever attended, with Frank Gardner in San Miguel de Allende. What made it great? It was a “whole” experience: painting (yes, of course!) and great insights from Frank, but what it made it extra special was the food, music, culture and the unbelievably welcoming vibe of San Miguel de Allende.
While there was always the threat of scorpions repelling from the ceiling (see New Adventures of the Ginger Gringo blog), Casa Santa Ana was a great home base for the class. We had the option of painting from the roof (first painting, below) or interiors in the casa. Frank also took us out to a couple of ranches during our stay (see slideshow below).
This trip is on my calendar for next year. Enjoy!
Here’s a slide show:
Painting in watercolor is SO different from oil. It’s a real challenge, but I’m enjoying it. I decided to take a short break from oil painting to learn a new medium. I’m sure I’ll return to oil soon, but enjoying the immediacy and delicacy required to paint watercolor. Enjoy!
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