Okay, I need your help blogosphere! I need to pick the top 3 paintings for the jury, and top 6 for the exhibition. I’ve listed my picks below. This group has done a great job last year, making suggestions and providing a much needed second pair of eyes. You know when you look at your own work too much, you loose some perspective. My personal favorites aside, I need to pick work the judge and collectors will most appreciate.

So, tear pause your Tivo with Larry King’s coverage of Britney Spears and chime in with your comments!

UPDATE [5-Oct]: I left out a painting, Rocks and Surf, below. Is it in the right order? I didn’t put it in the top 3 or 6…should it be? Thanks!

Top 3 for the Judge

Untitled – Oil on Linen – 12×16?

Bluffs (Montaña de Oro) – Oil on Linen – 16×20″

Tom’s Boat – Oil on Linen – 16×12″

Backup for sold paintings

Morro Bay Nocturne – Oil on Linen – 9×12?

Sweet Springs Marsh – Oil on Linen – 12×16?

UPDATE [5-Oct]: I adjust the edges of the distant hills, and better explained the light on the water, lower part of the painting. I think this now reads better (note: this photo isn’t great, the colors aren’t as true as the image above):

Sweet Springs Marsh – Oil on Linen – 12×16?

Near Laguna Lake – Oil on Linen – 9×12?

Rocks & Surf (Montaña de Oro) – Oil on Linen – 9×12?

Sycamore – Oil on Linen – 16×12

Cambria Bluffs – Oil on Linen – 12×16

17 thoughts on “SLO Plein Air ‘07, Pick your favorites

  1. I’m not too clear about the distinction between the judge and the exhibition categories so I’m just going to tell you the top five I like in order of preference. Hope this helps!

    1. ‘Near Laguna Lake’ is the one I like best
    2. ‘Bluffs’ at Montana del Oro
    3. ‘Sweet Springs Marsh’
    4. ‘Untitled’ (but I’m finding the turquoise is really zapping my eye)
    5. Cambria Bluffs

    Personally I’m not keen on the boat – but it’s always the case that people see things differently and we don’t all like the same things!

    Looks like you had some very sunny weather and very bright conditions. Should be interesting to see what everybody has come up with.

  2. Hmmm…two artists I admire (you and Elio) picked “Near Laguna Lake”. Interesting! I may re-think that one and move it up. To clarify, I submit three to the show and for judging. I’m then allowed three additional to replace any of the first three that sell. So I have to pick two groups, best 3, then 3 more.

    Thanks for chiming in so quickly, Katherine! I guess it’s breakfast time where you are, and I’m now off to bed.

  3. Ed, I didn’t read the other comments first, so I may be repeating what others have said. I like the colors in “Tom’s Boat”, but there’s something about the shape of the boat that bugs me. It’s like it’s been bent in a strange way and is sort of floating in space. To replace it, I think I would pick “Near Laguna Lake” which has some lovely colors, and solid composition. “Bluffs” shows a masterful handling of subtle color, bravo! And thanks for your comment about my river painting – I think you’re spot on about the shape of the bank being problematic. Thanks!

  4. I will limit my comments to the top 3 for the jury:

    1. Bluffs. This is a winner. A very strong composition, interesting light effects and the subtle variations of colours in the shadow area. This one must go in.

    2. Untitled. Different colours. The blue on the cliff echoing the blue from the sea work very well. The warmer red tones realy bring the foreground and, despite an extended palette used there, you done feel like it is a colour riot. The arial perspective works well to bring the eye from the foreground to the horizon.

    3. Near Laguna Lake. This one would bring variety alongside the two seascapes. I like the way the different planes interlock and the purple blue shadow on the right is very effective.

    I don’t like very much the boat. It is a matter of personal taste. If I try to rationalise, I would say that the geometry of the boat is very strong and made even stronger by the turquoise blue. If the 3 paintings were assesed by the jury side by side, this one would clash with the 2 seascapes and distract from the rich harmonies of the previous paintings. In addition, the mid-day light is less interesting than the mood of the other paintings.

    Overall, hard to choose as the standard is very high. Good luck with both the jury and the exhibition.


  5. hi ed –
    it’s a plein-air competition right?

    the painting of the boat is more about an object (which isn’t particularily explained in it’s enviroment,context …. a boat amongst cactii? interesting but why? i don’t get it …) than about plein-air ‘à l’impressionisme’

    the two bluffs are about plein-air ‘à l’impressionisme’ …. shame you don’t have a third bluff to play the series card.

    btw, my favourite is the ‘nocturne’

  6. I do like the boat, but I like Sweet Springs Marsh better. I agree with the first two.
    I think the boat bothers me because both ends are sharp…. i.e., the far edges aren’t any softer than the front edges. But I love the colors and the plants.
    -Kendra Page

  7. Wow, thanks everybody for such timely, thoughtful opinions! I’m going to do some touch up work this morning, frame, and then check this blog one more time before 1pm (PST) when I hand in the paintings. Thank you so much!

  8. Hands down for me.. it’s Bluffs… love the shadow in the foreground and light of the middle plane…difficult subject handled beautifully. Nice to see you back…missed your blogs.

  9. Hi Ed, Since you asked, here is my opinion in order of preference.
    “Bluffs, Montana de Oro” , “Near Laguna Lake” , “Cambria Bluffs” I think that the untitled one could be in there too, but the sky bothers me a bit. It does not make sense with the foreground. I see too much blue reflected in the water to be from that sky. The sky should determine the light for the whole painting and I think it would read better with simple blue sky like in the photo of your set up. Not as bright of a blue as in the Laguna Lake piece. Leave out the clouds, a simple sky would give the eye a place to rest from all of the busy texture up front. Good luck with the judging.
    Frank Gardner

  10. @Frank, yes, I see you caught it later. Those are distant hills in the untitled bluffs seascape. I’m glad you told me you mistook them for the sky, as I’m sure others may have the same reaction. I do believe it’s clear when you’re standing in front of the painting, but online it’s a different story.

  11. @everyone: thanks again for your considered critiques!

    Many of you picked “Near Laguna Lake”, but, I pulled it out this morning and sometime between Monday and today it received a coat of dirt/dust from mother nature! Unfortunately, it’s too wet right now to clean off, I’d just end up ruining the painting. When it dries, I’ll be able to flake off the dirt easily.

    Many of you took aim at the boat as a bit “off”. I agree. Although I like the piece because for me it’s an unusual perspective, subject and composition, it’s not right for this show.

    Many of you liked “Sweet Springs Marsh” as well. I actually made some adjustments to it today, to better explain the shadows. So, my first two of three are set: “Untitled” (now titled “Morning Buffs (Shell Beach)”), Bluffs (Montaña de Oro) and I am waffling between the “Morro Bay Nocturne” and “Sweet Springs Marsh”. I think I’m going to go with the nocturne because it’s sure to be unusual as most artists don’t paint them. It also seems to look good with the other two hung together.

    I’m going to show the nocturne and marsh painting to a few friends at the art center before I decide. Thanks for your great feedback!

  12. Ed . . .I may be chiming in a bit late here. In the “for what it’s worth department,” rather than look at ‘things or places’ I assessed the compositions and handling of color and value. The ‘Bluffs at Montana etc” is numero uno! I had not seen any of the comments before looking very closely at that piece. Your subtle and very effective values and slight color shifts in this piece are truly moving! Match that with the lightly handed highlights that sing with light and you have a winner! “Near Launa Lake” is good as a third piece, but, frankly, your nocturn is a stunning piece that is sure to turn many heads at the show. With the clear light from the horizon, the feeling of night is unmistakeable. Laguna Lake is a well executed piece, but so might alot of other similar landscapes in the show. I think your best chance is with Bluffs and Nocturn. I take my hat off to you for making lots of great work for this show! You must be exhausted! GOOD LUCK!!!!

  13. Hi, I’m probably too late, but I also like Bluffs, hands down. 🙂 Then Cambria Bluffs and Near Laguna Lake. Nocturn is different so may be a good entry for that.

    I bet you are worn out. Congratulations on your work and good luck.


  14. Ed,
    Very strong paintings.
    The Nocturne just dances with light and motion. A beauty.
    Bluffs (Montana de Oro) is a knockout as is Cambria Bluffs. Great design and dramatic values.
    Sweet Springs Marsh and Laguna Lake are lovely complimentary pieces.
    Untitled is beautiful but the “sky” “hill” is confusing.
    The boat is a bit sharp and also the Sycamore needs some masses of leaves breaking through the trunk IMHO (this from someone to whom trees give fits)
    It’s courageous of you to ask for critiques and we can all use them.
    I can critique better than I can paint 😉 more objectivity.
    I really like your work!

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