oil 11x14 magnify/purchase info I got out to paint one day while we camped at Moro Campground. This view has been painted my many artists over the years, and I was glad to finally have my turn. The morning started cloudy which allowed me to get my shapes in, and as the sun burned through I added the light. You can see that in the progress shots below. Today I'm packing up for Just Plein Fun on Balboa Island. So excited! Wish me luck!
oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase info Just got back from a beach camping trip, so here I'm finally posting the last of my Big Bear paintings. I got rained on a bit during this one, but I enjoyed it! Holding an umbrella in my left hand slows me down, but that might be a good thing. I have two paintings from Crystal Cove I'm anxious to post next, but in the meanwhile Just Plein Fun on Balboa Island starts Monday! I'm so thrilled to have been invited! I'll be on the Island or in the Fun Zone painting from Monday through Saturday. The two hour "Brush Off" competition is from 4-6 Saturday on Marine Avenue, followed by the Artists Reception and Awards at the Debra Huse Gallery. For more info, click here.
oil 12x9 inches magnify/purchase info Nobody was home in these cabins just a few doors down from where we were staying. I walked down with my afternoon iced coffee and parked myself under the pines. What a nice rustic scene.
oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase info I made adjustments in the studio to enhance atmosphere and light. I lightened up the value of the distant mountain and grayed the color to push it back in space. I warmed up the shadow sides of rocks a bit, and added light and warmth to the lit surfaces. Sorry about the wet paint glare in the upper right.
Next day at Big Bear Lake granddaughter Emily (9) and I went out to Boulder Bay. It was Emily's second time painting outdoors. She finished two small acrylics and waited for me to finish this 9x12. Then we headed off to lunch. I'm going to make some adjustments on this one in the studio. IN OTHER NEWS:Just Plein Fun is coming up very soon on Balboa Island. I'm so grateful to have been invited to participate in this event! If you're in So Cal check it out! I love painting on the island, and this time I'll be joining some outstanding fellow artists.
oil 8x10 inches magnify/purchase info Last month I joined my daughter, granddaughter and friends for a scrapbooking weekend at Big Bear Craft Cottage. Each day I went out to paint and played with watercolors in the evening. If you quilt, craft, scrapbook, etc., check out Big Bear Craft Cottage. This painting was from the first day when my navigation led me to the wrong house! I sat waiting for others to arrive, but when they didn't show, I got Starbucks and went off to paint. I finally did get to the right house about dinnertime. Whew! More Big Bear paintings coming up next post. The watercolor sketch below is from the weekend before, camping at Idyllwild Pine Cove. These boulders were right in our campsite. With our kids and grandkids we enjoyed hiking, fishing, horseback riding, archery and the pool. The best part was just being together enjoying nature. A short lull in the action one afternoon allowed me to sit down and sketch a bit. I hope you're enjoying your summer!
oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase info I painted this one in bits and pieces yesterday and today. I was juggling paint with repairmen for the washer, both refrigerators and a blown electrical circuit. At least I got a lot of breaks. That can be a good thing for a painting. Sometimes. Speaking of breaks, I'll have to break from posting for a while. I'm going to the mountains to paint this weekend, then next week a sewing project and a trip to Idaho. We're going to visit this precious little baby, Emmy May Werner, our seventh grandchild. Emmy was born on Monday and this Gramma has some hugs and kisses to give her!
oil 6x6 inches magnify/purchase info Our camping trip was great. While I get back to normal, here's a painting I did last month but never posted. These little dried pomegranates have made it into more paintings than I can count. They seem to be just the bit of color I need. MORE ON BRUSHES: Last post I realized that by comparing Rosemary's Master Series to Silver's Bristlons it was like apples to oranges. I suspect Rosemary has a line of bristle or synthetic bristle that hold a chisel shape nicely. I only intended to discuss how important it is to consider the different types of marks made with various brushes. Recently I was asked via email how I clean my brushes, since they last so long. So here's what works for me. First, I use turpenoid to get as much paint out of the brush as possible. After trying three different brush soaps, Jack Richeson's Linseed Studio Soap works best for me. I dip the brush in the soap and scrape the excess off on the rim of the jar. Then I work the brush on the bottom of my sink, quickly turning it over, back and forth pushing it into the sink while adding just a tiny bit of warm water. (Don't push it around in a circle. That will ruin the shape.) When it looks like no paint color is coming out of the brush I do the same movement in the warm water to rinse. Then with some hand soap in my hands, I rub the handles to get them clean. Then rinse the whole brush and dry with an old towel, squeezing the excess water out of the bristles, and shaping them. I lay them flat to dry. I used to do this after every painting session. But now if I know I'll be using the same brushes the next day, I just get all the paint out with turp. I try to make sure I don't leave brushes around that haven't been washed. I've heard Murphy's Oil Soap works for a lot of people, but I don't like the smell. Please let me know if these practical tips are helpful, and I'll keep them coming.
oil 6x6 inches magnify/purchase info Yesterday I held a teeny tiny oil workshop in what is normally my watercolor classroom and studio. Just three participants, and they did a fabulous job. This is the 6x6 demo I did for them after lunch. Why is the strawberry almost as big as the apple? That's a baby Granny Smith. So cute and a nice pop of wonderful green! Below you can see each participant's morning value study as they are just starting their color studies. I should have gotten pictures of their finished afternoon 6x6's. I get so focused on the content and guidance that I forget to take pictures! Recently I received an email question about how I clean my brushes. I'll address that in the next post. Meanwhile, we're off camping for Fathers' Day weekend. Have a great weekend, all you dads out there!
oil 10x10 inches magnify/purchase info I wanted to see what all the hoopla was about, so I ordered some Rosemary brushes. These are their Master Series Long Flats. The brushes seem well made and are extremely soft compared to any other brush I've used. That took some getting used to. I decided they're perfect for soft-edged passages, but if I wanted a clear mark or thicker paint I used my Silver Bristlon Flats. In the photo below, you can see after one painting the Rosemarys are splayed a bit even though I carefully cleaned them. (I didn't use the largest one.) The Silver Bristlons (a synthetic) on the right are years old and still have their beautiful chisel shape. I'll use both the Rosemarys and the Bristlons. Once in a while it's fun to use a different type of brush than you're used to. It's good to play with the way you lay down paint.
oil 6x6 inches magnify/purchase info My friend, Mary Jo keeps sharing her roses with me so I can paint them. Let me just say, the rose is a humbling flower to paint. If you have a problem with pridefullness and overconfidence, paint some roses from life. I wiped off the first attempt.
oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase info I couldn't resist the light at the end of this tunnel, a barn on beautiful Baker Scudder Farm in Rancho Cucamonga. Thursday friends and I met up there to paint. Though overcast for most of the day, the dark inside the barn made for some nice contrast. I don't like to make changes once I get the painting home, but this time I risked it. Basically I added more interest in the focal area, and reduced interest in the foreground. Below is how it looked before the changes. I decided the red rake detracted from what I wanted to convey.
oil 12x16 inches magnify/purchase info Yesterday I grabbed an old painting that had been lying around my studio minding its own business since 2012. "At least I can improve those gawd-awful greens", I said to myself. So with no still life or photo reference I repainted the entire painting. Really fun!!! Here's the old painting:
oil 12x12x1 1/2 inches magnify/purchase info Yesterday was National Donut Day. By 10:00 am the girl at the donut store was worn out and the two bottom shelves were empty. I took two glazed home and went back later for these beauties. They were still warm when I got them home. I wanted to eat one so bad!!! For this painting I toned my canvas with Indian Yellow and Thalo Red Rose which gives it a warm glow. This is painted on gallery wrapped canvas with sides painted and ready to hang. Wouldn't it look great in a contemporary dining area or kitchen?
oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase info Here's a plein air piece I did yesterday.
I think this is an old citrus hauler. I was told by one of the volunteers that it's a 1938 and has 180 thousand miles on it all within the city of La Verne. I don't know a thing about vehicles except how to drive them, which I enjoy very much! This one won't start anymore. Lost all it's power, but gained a lot of character.
oil 8x8 inches magnify/purchase info Here's the demonstration I did yesterday afternoon for the Loma Linda Art Association. I was able to finish it during the meeting for the most part, then make some minor adjustments at home this morning. That orange surprised me when I cut into it and saw the beautiful Cara Cara color.
oil 12x9 inches magnify/purchase info
Yesterday I met others from SOCALPAPA to paint at Crystal State Beach Historical District. While I set up the sun started to burn through the overcast giving my subject some nice shadows. In the shots below you can certainly see the change in light conditions. (The last shot of the painting is more accurate than above.) By the time I finished, my subject was pretty much buried in shadow. It's always a surprise when I finish and look around me. The beach had filled up with sunbathers and children played in the waves. I chatted briefly with some of the other artists then headed home at 1:30 to try and beat the Friday afternoon gridlock. A great place to paint is worth the drive, especially if I come home with a good one, and this one made me happy.
oil 12x12 inches magnify/purchase info This painting was inspired by Armin Hansen. On Sunday we visited the Pasadena Museum of California Art to take in the Armin Hansen Exhibit. I was blown away by the power of his paintings of Monterey Fisherfolk but also the few still lifes. Powerful design, bold color and thick paint. This was painted by natural light from a window behind the table. I used the following pigments: cad lemon, alizarin, ultramarine blue, thalo blue, permanent rose and T white. (Plus my pre-mixed greens as discussed in previous posts.)
IN OTHER NEWS: This coming Sunday I'll demonstrate for the Loma Linda Art Association. The public is welcome. 2:00-4:00pm. Loma Linda University Drayson Center, 25040 Stewart St., Loma Linda, CA.
oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase info On the second and last afternoon in Zion National Park I hiked the short distance up to Weeping Rock. My feeble attempt to describe it is this: At Weeping Rock you are on a ledge on the side of a mountain. The ledge is maybe 50ft long and 10 feet wide. The wall curves up and over your head with a curtain of water dripping off. The photo and my painting both show the view from the ledge. (If you enlarge the photo below, you can see the water droplets falling.) Spectacular atmosphere changing every ten minutes or so. Very challenging, but what a very special place to experience with my brushes in hand. For the painting, I was interested especially in the sweet spot where the mountains rise out of the valley floor so near each other. Also pictured are my four paintings for the trip laid out on my campsite table. The color represented is very accurate. It was a great trip.