Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sep 18 - The Plein Air, Backlit Sunset

After doing the first painting in one direction (brought to you on Monday), I swung around and looked the other way and saw this absolutely spectacular color show going on to my right.

Quickly--oh, so quickly!--to capture the sunset-backlit church steeple and those palm fronds shimmering with the glow of the fast-disappearing sun, the brushes got this one in a record 45 minutes. As I put the last marks on the lower darkness, the Museum turned on the rooftop lights and the magic was gone. But the band was playing, friends were be-boppin' in front of me, and I cleaned my brushes with a whopping grin on my face!

Again take a look below to see how the Color System Flash Cards work--there's a second image. This tells me whether I've "nailed it" with the Color System. Let's take a look. I've superimposed the "Backlit" card next to the finished painting. I don't have any inherent red objects in this composition, but are you with me that the painting "reads right"?

I've just been told that the August workshop in Acadia, Maine is a go--that will be in 2009, last week in September, just as the fall foliage turns! What can be finer than a full-on, Five Day COLOR BOOT CAMP with gorgeous New England autumn leaves? Well, how about Florida the second week of May? Where you stay and paint in the same spot--the Carriage Museum--surrounded by horses and green landscape. Both workshops will be open soon for registration, so if you've wanted a Color Boot Camp experience, here's your chance. For West Coast artists, I'll be hosting several three-day "Mini Color Boot Camps" at my studio in Riverside.

Thanks for joining me on the journey, and yes, please forward this email to your friends.

A set of the Color System Flashcards can be ordered HERE. Just $12.95 + 3.00 shipping.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Sep 15 - Plein Air from the Rooftop Number One

In celebration of Restaurant Week, the Riverside Art Museum hosted a semi-formal "meet the chefs" evening, where for a flat fee, attendees could wander the museum and sample some gourmet courses. I arrived at the third story rooftop for an evening of painting, wine and music with about 400 attendees, and started on this 12 x 16 oil. Riverside has tree-lined streets with high/low palm trees along many boulevards--those fan palms are a trademark of the area.

Evening light, but very early--it was only about 5 pm when I started, and here we have daylight until 7:30 or so. So although this has the Color System working in it, the influencing colors are very minor. A whisper of orange in the palm fronds, and into the side of the building, then going quickly to yellow ochre as the distance increases. Shadows showing blue/blue-violet, and going darker to show the increased value contrast.

The building has some historical significance, as the current owners stopped by and saw it in process, saying that it has been in their family for generations. I painted the bell posts that are an integral part of the city of Riverside, and a stop light (on red!) to balance the lower portion of the composition.

This original, on-location oil is for sale for $300 through my Paypal.

Tomorrow, I share with you the much LATER painting, looking toward the sun, instead of sideways to it. Same rooftop, totally different end result.

So many nice comments coming in on the Flash Cards--they are in folks' hands now! Thank you all, so much!
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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sep 14 - A Win and A Show

It's finished. Just exactly what I wanted it to be, with enough detail to keep the viewer interested in all areas of the image. And yet with a focal point that sneaks up on you--because of the mist and the closeness of values in that area. This 24 x 36 oil is available for $1200 although right now I don't want to sell it. (It is now sold, sorry!)

How fun to finally pull one off that really says my art is going somewhere. I'm on a roll, expanding my thinking and yet paying homage to those who have gone before. In this case, it is Lanford Monroe, an East Coast artist who passed away at the young age of 50, and who was a stellar painter of the woods and Rockies--her husband printed a book of her work, called Homefields, and you can find it on line. I regret not knowing her while she was alive, but that is as it must be. Her ability to both tell a story and paint beautiful landscapes will live on forever because of his labor of love.

On another note, I was honored to receive Best in Show at the Maloof Foundation opening last night. As they were naming artists' names, I celebrated each one, for I know their work and it is an honor to be hanging with them. Then first place, going to my friend Pat Ford, and finally the wait for the highest honor.... and the judge called my name! Here is the painting--it is one I did while at the Santa Rosa Plateau, near the Vernal Pools, and is an 8 x 10 oil.

The judge said it had that extra "spark" she seeks in plein air work, and I'm hoping she was refering to the color!!

Tonight I was at the Riverside Art Museum plein air painting while a great event was going on--Several of the best restaurants and wineries in the Riverside area brought out samples of their fare and we had music and painters while folks enjoyed the cuisine and libation. I painted two 12 x 16 canvases in the three hours, and you'll see one of them tomorrow. The music was great!

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