Category Archives: Citiscapes

Vahona Plein Air ‘06, Day 1

Vahona Plein Air is a short, three day paint-out for which I only need to paint 3 paintings. I did well today, painted two good ones. If I can get one more done tomorrow, I can skip Sunday (and just come to the reception at 4).

Both of these were painted on the same street, a half a block apart. Between the two I took a lunch break a drove around the area–only to return to the same street! I guess I am enjoying painting architecture lately, particularly doors/windows with plants, usually bougainvillea, which is in bloom everywhere in California.

“Trash Day” – Oil on Linen – 9×12″

The reds don’t look right in the photograph above. I’ve come to the conclusion that I need a new camera!

First Avenue (Crockett, CA) – Oil on Linen – 12×16″ (SOLD)

Painting at home

Saturday I spent time roaming around Buena Vista Park looking for something to paint, plein air. I found great views on the windy side, but it was too windy to set up. The side with no wind, no luck. So ended up coming back home and taking Gracie to the “Scent Garden”. Turns out the light was perfect, at home all along!

I’m really happy with this one. I keep a good combination of textures (heavy paint and transparent), and I think the feeling of light is just what I wanted to convey.

Window View – Oil on Linen – 10×8

“Jewel By the Bay”, Day 4

Just a couple of paintings to post that haven’t made up yet. The first painting below was done last night at the sunset “Quick Draw” event. I painted fellow artist Janan L. Shannon. This work will be part of the silent auction fund raiser.

Artist in the Shade – Oil on Linen – 10×8″ (SOLD)

I loved the light on this scene, later afternoon, my favorite time to paint (after a nap, of course 🙂 I was going for a simple, strong graphic-like design.

Red Box Cars – Oil on Linen – 12×16

Verde Artist Guild Paint-out – Buena Vista Park

We had a good turn out at today’s Verde Artist Guild paint-out, dispite the thick fog.  We all managed to find something to paint, and in fact many of us painted a house across the street from the park, at the corner of Buena Vista East and Dolores.  A long-time resident walking her dog told us the house belong to a former US ambassador, and that he’d purchased several homes on the same street for his children. Nice guy!

Joining today was (left to right), Richard, Christin Coy, Karen, Julia Seelos, New Person (sorry, can’t recall her name!), Cathy Boyer and David Stonesifer.  I managed to paint to small studies below.

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!

Telluride Plein Air, Day 4

Another great day in Telluride! I stuck to painting in town again today, there’s really so much here. I also need to start thinking about tomorrow’s “Quick Draw” competition and find a spot. We’ll have 90 minutes to complete a painting for judging and then live auction. This will be the first test of sales here, which I hear are pretty good. The town boasts celebrities like Oprah and Tom Cruise, who was spotted by a friend in the market. PLEASE, PLEASE Tom Cruise buy one of my paintings in this show! Imagine, being able to list him or Oprah as a collectors. Sweet.

Speaking of sweet, both my paintings today are a bit riotous in the color department and done on the same corner, looking in opposite directions. Although I don’t generally enjoy painting architecture, I do like painting man-made stuff because the colors are stronger than I often seen in nature.

Here’s my first, morning effort. The always affable Keith Wicks was just across the street from me, in fact that’s his truck in shadow. Keith is a great humanitarian. He founded the Sonoma Plein Air event, a fund raiser for local art programs. He also co-founded this event, a fund raiser for the local Sheridan Opera House, which itself hosts many non-profit events for the community.

Fir Street, Telluride

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

After a nice rest, I did this afternoon painting. Fourth of July in Telluride is supposed to be quite an event. A great small-town parade, that apparently everyone tries to participate in, including local Norman Schwarzkopf, commander of the coalition forces in the First Gulf War. One year the artists road in the back of a pickup truck, waving their paint brushes.

Fourth of July in Telluride – Oil on Linen – 10×8 (AVAILABLE)

I need to pick one painting for the competition by tomorrow night. I’ll try to post whatever I do in the morning…but, of all the paintings done so far, which is your favorite?

Telluride Plein Air, Day 1

I’m out of the chaos of New York City and in laid-back Telluride, Colorado today. The flight in from Denver was a very small prop plane, and while I don’t feel completely safe in them I did get a great view of the surrounding areas to paint. There’s a lot here: red rock canyons, meadows, steep mountain peaks (with just a bit of snow left) and a colorful downtown. The town is really beautiful.

I had to leave NYC at 4am this morning, so was pretty tired by the time I got here. Only one painting done, which is more than I’d planned actually since we weren’t supposed to have our canvases stamped for the show until tomorrow. I’m ready!

There are many colorful alleyways in town, and it’s possible to compose paintings with glimpses of the surrounding terrian. Here’s one I did today. I realized later that I didn’t photograph the final painting, but this is close enough.

Telluride Alley – Oil on Linen – 10×8″ (AVAILABLE)
By the way, as I’ve done during other plein air competitions like this one, I’m going to post the final completing paintings, and ask for your help to pick the best. Apparently, I can only submit one to the competition, whereas all the paintings can be hung in the show July 3/4. Thanks in advance for your help!

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

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Buena Vista Park #2 – Pink House

This is the second study of views from the area around Buena Vista Park.  This is actually from the “Scent Garden” of the Park Hill condos across the street from the park, looking South-East.  The distant hill is Corona Heights.

In this painting, I concentrated on contrasting the natural elements in the top third with the man-made structures below.   I’m having fun, figuring out how to play with these geometric shapes to make interesting patterns.  I’m not sure the values in the foreground are quite right (probably too light, as they’re in shadow), but I think there’s an interesting juxtaposition of shapes and colors.

Pink House – Oil on Linen – 8×10″