Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Oakhurst Fruit Stand

The couple who own and run the fruit stand in Oakhurst were nice enough to pose for me for some photos with my phone camera so that I'd have something to paint while I was sitting the Timberline Gallery for the last couple of days.  When they saw them they wanted to barter fruits and veggies for the paintings.  I'm all for that!  Both paintings are 8" x 10".

Silent Scream

Feeling a little frustrated lately ... although that's a strange thing for me because I can never sustain it for very long, no matter how I try.  Okay, that sounds strange, but here's the thing: when I feel frustrated I know that it's because I'm not progressing the way that I think that I should.  Realizing that I'm frustrated pushes me to try harder or to do different things and usually precedes a good growth spike ~ so, I take comfort from that ... and the frustration fades.  What bothers me about that, though, is that maybe I derail my growth by knowing that I'm going to grow and thereby diminishing the frustration that spurs on the growth.  Dizzying logic, I know.  Now I'm frustrated that I'm not frustrated more.  Oy.
This is actually a study for a new version of the Storm on the Sea of Galilee.

City Hall

When I was passing the San Francisco City Hall it reminded me of some of Trevor Chamberlain's oil sketches of the London, England area and I wanted to try my hand at it. His oil sketches of urban life have been very influential to me in the last several years.  I still have a lot to learn, though.


 San Francisco has a great train system ~ the Bay Area Rail Transit.  I love the convenience and savings that I get by parking a great distance from the city and riding the train.  Mostly, though, I love sketching all of the interesting people as they go about their commute.  I've probably done fifty or sixty sketches over the last year or two while riding the train ~ always thinking that they would make fun paintings.  I finally got around to doing a few oil sketches.  I may do several more ... and I may even do a "finished" work or two as well.

Christ Crusified and Risen

April Flowers

More daily paintings

 The Model takes a Break.  There's an old "wood stove" in the Gertrude Schoolhouse where a group of us artists do our weekly portrait painting.  The stove is actually the drums of a couple of old dryers.  It works real well.

 Along the Merced River at Briceburg.
 Meat Counter at the local grocer. A fun experiment with the strange lighting and complex scene.
Rototillin'.  A self portrait.  It's that time of year again ... time to put in the garden.

Abandoned in Bodie

There's a ghost town on the other side of the Sierra Mountains called Bodie.  It's now a California State Park and very well preserved ~ for a town that hasn't been inhabited for about 75 years.  It was a wild, lawless place where murder was nearly a daily event in its heyday (1880s and 90s).  It's a great place to visit if you get the chance.
This painting was done from a photo that I took a few years ago.  I would have loved to have set up my easel on location ~ but it was windy and extremely cold. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Painting at the Gertrude

While painting a portrait of Cheyenne Hernandez the other day at the YWA Portrait group, I "finished" the portrait of her early and decided to do a painting of other painters painting her.

It was a lot of fun to work on a full scene instead of a regular portrait ~ and I got to play with all of the colours of her costume that I didn't want to get into in the larger portrait.  The bright oranges and reds really washed out Cheyenne's beautiful olive skin, and I liked the very unfinished look that I'd done.

So, later, back at the studio I worked on it some more. I really like the concept and may do something a little larger, but I'll make the foreground (including the artists) a little darker so that the figure on the stand pops a little more.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Cathedral Rocks and Spires

I started this painting from sketches and watercolours as a demo at the ECCO Centre last week.  I only have an hour to give a lecture on pioneer artists in Yosemite and do my demo ~ so the painting portion of my presentation only lasts for about 20 minutes.  This is a scene I've painted a few times and the demo went well.  It's just slash and dab to give them the feel of what a pioneer might have started out with, and then I unveil a "finished" painting of what it would look like with another 6 or 8 hours of work.  This one is only 14" x 18" and I didn't put in more than 4 or 5 hours on it later in the studio ... but I may go back and play with it a little more ... preferably on location.

After the Snow

 We had a nice little snow storm the other day.  I love the way that the most mundane thing can be transformed by a little bit of snow and sun.  When the morning sun broke over the mountains, even the telephone poles became poems of the loveliness of winter.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to this spot before most of the snow had melted the next day ... but I still loved the way that the late afternoon looked in its gloaming.


Sometimes the small paintings can be the most fun.  This is only 3" x 9".

Friday, April 4, 2014

At the Art Auction

 I did a painting of Spokane Falls and the Monroe St Bridge just before I left Washington for California a few years ago.  It was in an auction at the local art museum.  While I was watching the proceedings I thought that it would make a fun series of paintings.  I'd kinda forgotten about it until I ran across the photos the other day.

This little girl was really cute and a delight to watch working.

 When I saw these women in the wings getting ready to parade another picture in front of the crowd, I thought that it would be fun if I did a painting of them that I would put into the auction the next year and they would have to carry that out ... and it would be a picture within a picture kind of thing. I didn't paint it that way ... but had fun manipulating it into that on my computer.

More March

 The Grass is Always Greener ... A small, quick oil sketch.
This look at the Miwok village in Yosemite was done on a cold, windy, wet day ... that had a few nice spots.  I had a lot of fun working out of my little box, which I had placed on a picnic table.  Later I added a few figures and put it in the "Valley View" show along with a portrait of an Indian woman making baskets.

Dad's Birthday

Honoring my father on his birthday. (29 March)

My Dad had many, many hobbies ~ one of them was painting. He started sometime in his mid to late thirties and stuck with it for the rest of his life, painting over 2,000 pictures (I'm not sure of the exact number ... he was very good at keeping track, something that I've never been able to do).
One of the fun things about doing this piece was recreating a couple of his paintings. The one on his easel (well, I put it on an easel ... he used a drafting table mostly) is of Nubble Light at Cape Neddick, ME. I used the one that I own which was painted in 1992 (#560). Lighthouses were one of his favorite subjects. The painting on the far wall was one of his first. I'm not sure what number it was, but I can remember it from my early childhood. Very abstract. I think that he called it "The Great Pumpkin" or something like that but it always seemed to be a deep sea painting to me.
There was a time when I was sick and had to sleep in the guest room for a few days, staring up at that piece ~ and for a long time afterward I didn't like to look at it.
I enjoyed visiting Dad in his Cape Cod studio and was glad that I took a few candid shots. I wish that I'd had him pose, though, because I actually had to use myself as the model for part of it and made some of it up.
When I painted in the pallet, I put big gobs of paint down and actually used it to work on part of the landscape. I got a little carried away and had to scrape some of it off. It was a fun and kind of surreal experience.
Happy Birthday, Dad. I hope that you like this painting in your honor. We all miss you.