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 think this is the longest period of time I’ve gone without blogging! Feels weird. I’ve a a busy couple months: started a remodel at home; and was hospitalized for kidney stones. No fun! Remember to drink lots of water…apparently, that’s how you can help avoid them.
This is my first painting after being out of commission for a couple weeks. Feels great to get back. I like this enough that I can see painting a larger studio work from it. Hope you enjoy it.
It has been an exhausting but inspiring and productive week preparing for the San Luis Obispo Plein Air show at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art. The show opened today and runs throughout Sunday. Here are some of my works in the show. It was a week of dramatic weather, so I focused on that, particularly the clouds.
Sunset, Oil/Linen, 12×9
San Simeon, Oil/Linen, 12×16
After the Rain, Oil/Linen, 11×14
Rough Seas, Oil/Linen, 16×20
Sunrise, Oil/Linen, 11×14
One more Big Sur painting as I prepare to paint the central California coast for San Luis Obispo Plein Air next month. It was fun in this painting to abstract the distance obscured by fog. Let’s hope it’s not foggy when I’m there (although, hey, I’m getting lots of practice). I’m headed to The Sierras tomorrow, where the temperature is scheduled to range between 85-95! I plan to test out water color a bit more, to prepare for my trip to Sydney in November. Cheers!
As I start to prepare for the San Luis Obispo Plein Air show in October, I’ve been referring back to photos from my recent plein air painting trip to paint studio work. What struck me about this scene was the strong contrast between the sea and sun-lit land, much as represented in by Sorolla in his incredible works of the Spanish coast (like this one). It’s a meeting of two worlds, which is what interests me so much about seascapes.
This was pretty difficult to photograph, by the way. The water is deeper and more varied with subtle greens. It’s seems it’s difficult for the camera to pick up both those details and the subtle land colors at the same time.
In these two studies (painting at Asilomar, just north of Carmel) I was focusing on the use of dark transparent colors to represent the ocean. click on the paintings to see the detail. Notice how the use of transparent Ultramarine Blue gives it a nice watercolor-like glow. Even though it’s a dark color, it reflects the white board underneath, so it gives it the feeling of both being dark and light at the same time. To create the reflection of light on water, I wiped away more of the paint to show the white ground, rather than paint a second color on top. BTW, pure Ultramarine is too intense to represent the Pacific, so I deaden the color, generally with a Cad Red, or sometimes with Gamblin’s Chromatic Black–a great transparent Black that will reduce the chroma of any color.
Davenport, CA (just north of Santa Cruz) has some really dramatic bluffs that make great subjects for a painting. The light/shadow colors of the bluffs are interesting because they are light colored, and so reflect light from many different sources, including the sea, land, other rocks nearby, etc. It’s a fun subject to paint, and a somewhat common theme in my work (eg, 1, 2, 3, and 4). As always, comments welcome. Enjoy!
Seemingly out of the blue Friday, during an especially cold and rainy Winter, we experienced a sunny warm day Saturday. It was 70 degrees (F) on the coast! I jumped in the car with my trusty dog Gracie and headed to nearby Half Moon Bay. This pier is in Pillar Point Harbor, where fisherman sell their catch daily “direct from the boat” . The yellow fishery has always interested me for the striking color and shadows it creates. And while I painted this, Gracie had a great time chasing birds and dragging seaweed around. Enjoy!
A couple recent paintings today, one exploring new ideas, the other a bit more traditional.
This first painting is from a reference photo of Avila Beach, taken during San Luis Obispo Plen Air last year. I was in a cliff looking down. I always liked the abstract qualities of shape and color in this photo, but thought the near top down perspective might be a bit odd. It’s less traditional, which I appreciate as I explore abstraction in my work. I like the simplicity of this, yet I think this study could make an interesting larger work. Color-wise, I think this painting works well because I’ve balanced out warms/cools and color saturation–both from he difference between the rocks vs water.
This was painted from a reference photo taken in the Palm Springs area–I believe 1000 Palms, when I took a workshop with Mark Kerckhoff there a couple years ago. Funny how these bits/bytes are the physical reality of the moment, until recreated in oil years later. I’m pretty happy with this study, though I wonder if the brush just about the boulders are too saturated and yellow. What do you think?