The Whimsy of San Gregorio

Recently, I’ve found a new muse in San Gregorio State Beach (CA).  It’s a wonderful, unique stretch of beach on the northern coast of California.  It’s a site full of whimsy: high art castles and lowly shacks, all made of driftwood from the sea.  A great past time there is to build all kinds of structures from the gnarled, twisted wood spread across the beach.  Kids just have a wonderful time building things and exploring “the neighborhood” of structures and arrangements around them.  I haven’t painted a full edifice yet, but starting my study of the place with by painting studies of little stretches of beach in different weather, full sun and foggy days, to get to know the place.

Beach Shack by Ian Crocket
Beach Shack by Ian Crocket

I painted the study below Sunday.  For me, it was a day of escape.  I didn’t sleep much the night before due to a nagging sinus headache that would continue a couple days, including this day. I knew that once I started painting and entered “the zone“–or in physchology, “flow“, which is “the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does” (source: Wikipedia).  Someone asked me how long I’d been working, and I truly had the no idea.  At first I thought, I don’t know, 10 years (thinking she meant total time painting), and then realized she must have meant the study, so I said an hour.  I’m sure it was much longer.  The headache did cease while painting!  Amazing things can happen when one finds something so absorbing to do.  I’m very lucky to have that.

So while I work on concepts for something larger in the studio, here are a couple recent studies to enjoy.  The last (below) will be featured in an article I wrote for the June edition of PleinAir Magazine.  I’m very excited about that!

As always, I’d love to know what you think, so please enter a comment on my blog.  Cheers, – Ed

San Gregorio State Beach CA (Sunny Day), Oil on Linen, 10x8
San Gregorio State Beach CA (Sunny Day), Oil on Linen, 10×8

 

San Gregorio State Park, CA (overcast day), Oil on Linen, 10x8
San Gregorio State Park, CA (overcast day), Oil on Linen, 10×8

 

 

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Plein Air Convention & Expo, 2013

2nd Annual Plein Air Convention & Expo
2nd Annual Plein Air Convention & Expo

It was a pleasure presenting today at the 2nd Annual Plein Air Convention & Expo!  If you were not able to attend, here are my slides.  In the presentation, I show how social media can either be a distraction or  help you reach fine art collectors and build your career.  Enjoy!

 2/16/2014 Update: I’m now conducting my own research about how digital marketing helps artists succeed. Here are related slides presented at the California Art Club Winter Symposium.  You can contribute to this research by taking a short survey.  Thanks!

Download slidesMicrosoft Powerpoint, or Adobe PDF.

 

Presented at the 2nd Annual Plein Air Convention & Expo, 2013, Monterey, CA
Presented at the 2nd Annual Plein Air Convention & Expo, 2013, Monterey, CA

 

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San Gregorio State Beach

Sunday was foggy along the coast, but I was able to find something interesting to paint at San Gregorio State Beach.  This beach is known for having plenty of driftwood, and beach-goers build really interesting huts and other structures there.  It’s well worth a visit.  This painting received a lot of comments on my Facebook page, so appears to be a winner!  I think people are reacting to the simplicity of it.  I hope you enjoy it.

San Gregorio State Beach (Foggy Day), Oil on Linen, 9x12
San Gregorio State Beach (Foggy Day), Oil on Linen, 9×12
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Baker Beach (San Francisco, CA)

We’re having kind of an odd Spring storm in San Francisco this Easter week, so I’m posting a study I painted a couple weeks ago at Baker Beach.

By the way, next week will be quite busy, as I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at the 2nd Annual Plein Air Convention & Expo in Monterey, CA..  I’ll be both painting a demo (using Arches’ Cobra solvent free oils, which was used to paint the seascape below), and I’ll be giving a talk on Social Media Marketing.  I hope to see you there!  Say hello!

Baker Beach (San Francisco), Oil on Linen, 8x10
Baker Beach (San Francisco), Oil on Linen, 8×10
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Testing Solvent-Free Oil Paint

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.

Monterey Cypress (Lands End, San Francisco), Oil on Linen, 8x10
Monterey Cypress (Lands End, San Francisco), Oil on Linen, 8×10
Crissy Field (San Francisco), Oil on Linen, 10x8
Crissy Field (San Francisco), Oil on Linen, 10×8
Ravine, Oil on Linen, 10x8
Ravine, Oil on Linen, 10×8

 

 

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True Blue Sky

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!

Real Blue Sky Fitzgerald Marine Preserve, Oil on Linen, 12x9
Real Blue Sky Fitzgerald Marine Preserve, Oil on Linen, 12×9

 

Ed Terpening (at Fitzgerald Marine Preserve, Half Moon Bay, CA - 1/12/2013)
Ed Terpening (at Fitzgerald Marine Preserve, Half Moon Bay, CA – 1/12/2013)
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Montana de Oro (Last Light)

Just recovered from a 5 day illness.  It’s nice to have some energy to paint after being sick so long.  This is from a reference photo of Montana De Oro, in San Luis Obisipo County.  I paint this location for the annual plein air show at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.  For this painting, my focus was getting the light/shadow colors just right on the bluffs.  Trying to keep it simple. Everything else are supporting characters.  Enjoy!

 

Montana de Oro (Last Light), Oil on Linen, 9x12
Montana de Oro (Last Light), Oil on Linen, 9×12
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Balboa Park (San Diego, CA)

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!

Balboa Park (golden light), oil on linen, 12x9
Balboa Park (golden light), oil on linen, 12×9
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SLO Museum of Art Show Preview

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?

Avila Bluffs (San Luis Obispo, CA), Oil on Linen, 12x16
Avila Bluffs (San Luis Obispo, CA), Oil on Linen, 12×16
Rocks & Surf (Avila, CA)
Rocks & Surf (Avila, CA)
Avila Cove (Late Afternoon), Oil on Linen, 11x14
Avila Cove (Late Afternoon), Oil on Linen, 11×14
Avila Cove (San Luis Obispo, CA), Oil on Linen, 12x9
Avila Cove (San Luis Obispo, CA), Oil on Linen, 12×9
Lake Sunset (San Luis Obispo, CA), Oil on Linen, 9x12
Lake Sunset (San Luis Obispo, CA), Oil on Linen, 9×12

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[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.

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San Luis Obispo Plein Air, 2012

I’m looking forward to painting next week on the central coast of California for the San Luis Obispo Plein Air Exhibition at the Museum of Art there.  It’s such a beautiful place to paint: coastal scenes, wineries, golden hills of oaks–they have it all.  So if you you’re in the area, say hello!  The show opens Friday, October 5th, and just runs through the weekend. If I have time, I’ll post work during the week and share my experience.  It’s scheduled to be in the 90’s next week, so I’ll probably paint along the coast. 🙂

San Luis Obispo Plein Air 2012
San Luis Obispo Plein Air 2012

 

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Sunrise or sunset?

Whether this is a sunrise or sunset depends upon your perspective, however, I think it’s a false choice.  It’s not one or the other–it’s both.  It’s sunset in San Miguel de Allende and sunrise in somewhere else. I find this same truth in life all the time, and I try to recognize it when it happens so I can see both sides of any situation.  Enjoy!

Sunset (San Miguel de Allende), Oil on canvas, 12x9"
Sunset (San Miguel de Allende), Oil on canvas, 12×9″
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The painting adventures of Ed Terpening