Peace Rose Painting
8 x 10 oil on canvas
Here’s another in my rose series – this time a close up in a more realistic style. I love impressionism, but I wanted to challenge myself to do a more realistic painting from life, and this was the result.
Now for the taggage
5. When I was growing up we moved so many times (I can remember at least 6 elementary school and class changes) that books became my most constant and dependable companions. National Geographics – some of them decades older than I was – were among the most interesting. Almost without realizing it, I learned countless names of animals, plants, seashells and wildflowers from the colorful plates that accompanied each edition. When a magazine would come that was filled with paintings from some great museum, I would look at it for hours. (Yes, I was a bit of a bookworm. Still am.)
My mother was a plant lover and from her I learned the names of all the roses she cultivated: Chrysler Imperial, Love, Cherish, Honor, Peace, Mister Lincoln, Queen Elizabeth, Sutter’s Gold. Each colorful name brought stories to mind. When I visit the Descanso Gardens Rosarium and look at the labels of the roses in bloom, it’s like seeing old friends … ever new, ever fresh, ever young.
Below: starting this painting on a toned canvas.
Cabo San Lucas Seascape Oil Painting
16 x 20 oil on canvas
I’ve been working on a large commission of this same scene (in a 24 x 30 inch size) for a lovely client … and still have a few areas that I’m finishing up. In order to have something to paint over this past weekend at the bookstore, and to experiment with a few things, I painted the same scene in this 16 x 20 size. I don’t usually paint the same painting back to back, but this was a very useful experiment, and it also provided a little “performance art” for the people who came to the show.
So, for those folks who stopped by and picked up business cards during the show, thank you for visiting the show and now, my blog … and here’s how the painting turned out.
I have been tagged numerous times by different people in the 25 things game, and I’ve been so busy I haven’t gotten around to making the list. So instead I’m going to list a few things a day until the list is complete. I hope that counts!
1. I really don’t like heights. I don’t mind airplanes or tall buildings or big wide mountaintops but I feel very uncomfortable on tall stepladders or walking along trails with sheer cliffs or driving along ravines. Maybe I just don’t like heights when there’s the opportunity for falling.
2. I never owned a dog until 10 years ago, and I’m sorry we waited so long! I’ve turned into a real dog lover ( as well as a cat lover) and will happily pet and greet every friendly dog I encounter.
6″ x 6″
oil on canvas on board
If it’s not too late, I’m going to head over to the nursery today to see if they still have a few bare root roses left to plant. I do love roses and grow them in my yard. My favorites are Climbing Peace, Just Joey and Sally Holmes. But no matter the variety, every rose delights me and offers creative possibilities. At the Descanso Rosarium, there’s an amazing collection of roses from around the world – from the oldest shrubs to the newest hybrids. You’ll find climbers, rugosas, floribundas and more, intermingled with irises and drought-tolerant perennials that provide additional texture and color. If you are in Southern California in the spring, you just have to see it (and smell it) to believe it.
Reminder: If you’re in LA, join us tomorrow fro 7 – 9 pm at Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse for a meet the artists event. See new artwork and chat with local painters, photographers and authors. Angeles Crest Highway at Foothill Blvd. in La Canada (CA 91011)
6 x 8 inches
oil on canvas
This small painting evolved as a study as I experimented with some ways to work with texture and color in clouds and reflected water using a springtime color palette. Although I do most of my paintings of specific places, sometimes I work with the landscape in a more abstract way. This is not a painting of a specific place but is inspired by landscapes and skies I’ve seen all over our state. The challenge is to unify the colors in sky and land in a convincing way.
Newport Back Bay Sunset
5 x 7 inch
Oil on canvas panel
This small study was painted to make some design decisions about a larger painting of Newport’s Back Bay, where we visited last week. At sunset the colors of the sky are reflected in the marshy area. The trees probably weren’t this close together (the opening to the sea is larger) but I reserve the right to tinker with the composition whenever I choose.
The rain has mostly stopped here in LA, and that means that later this afternoon we should see some dramatic skies with the clouds breaking up and leaving. If it’s not too cold I might try to get ut and paint a bit.
OK, away from they keyboard and back to the easel for me! I’m working on a large (24 x 30) commission and I need to keep on-task.
“Red Cabin at Mt. Pinos”
12 x 16 oil on canvas
We had another good rainstorm here in Los Angeles, which translates to snow in our higher mountains. I had been saving this painting for the next snowy occasion , so here it is. It’s a new one, of a cabin in the woods on Highway 95, through Fort Tejon National Park, northwest of L.A. on the slopes of Mt. Pinos.
I hear there’s another storm coming in a day or two. After that one passes we’ll probably make another snow trip, perhaps closer to home into the Angeles Crest National Forest.
Snow is interesting to paint because, being white, it picks up all the colors of the environment. When you look at this painting, there’s actually very little pure white in it. But it’s unmistakably snow, right?
Sunset Surf (at Newport Beach, CA)
8 x 10 oil on linen on board
During those times of year when the landscape has shed its fall color, and before spring color appears, sunsets continue to charm the colorist in me.
Newport Beach is one of my favorite subjects for painting – from Balboa Island with its charming shops and village ambience, to the spectacular sunsets of the beach and back bay.
While visiting the Laguna Art Museum recently for the Wm. Wendt exhibit, I saw some paintings by Laguna painter Frank Cuprien and was captivated by the way he captured the luminesence of the surf when the day was drawing to a close. When I saw a Newport sunset with those same opal tones, I was tempted to give it a try.
Try this: This is a small painting, a study, just 8 x 10 inches. To see it as it is meant be seen, enlarge the picture then stand back from your monitor about 8-10 feet, if you have the room. It looks different, doesn’t it? Whenever I am painting up at the Descanso Gallery, people come up to see what I’m doing, standing about 3 feet from the painting. I think that I can read their minds sometime as they see the expressionistic brush strokes, which look coarse in close up. So I walk them back a short distance, as in a living room or dining room and then have them look again. They are almost always surprised at the difference.
This is one of the inherent problems with showing work online when your viewer is sitting right next to the monitor. So … give it a try, stand back and see the difference.
To see more of my seascapes, visit my seascape gallery page.
8 x 10
oil on canvas on board
Several of my friends have been incorporating palette knife techniques into their work, or painting entirely with the knife. I thought it sounded like fun to experiment with, so I took one of my photos with a lot of clouds that I thought would lend itself to that expression, and this is the result. The location is Heisler park in Laguna Beach, a little north of the art museum. Clusters of fan and sago palms decorate the promenade and make interesting shapes against one of Laguna’s radiant sunsets. Everytime we visit we see lovers gazing at the sea. On one occasion a wedding was being held in a small gazebo along the walkway.
So this is my tribute to Valentine’s Day – a little romance along the seashore, as wild and tempestuous as love itself.
(Placerita Canyon Nature Center)
9 x 12 oil on canvas on board
The brilliant colors of fall give way to the softer colors of winter. In the last transitional days, some color remains on the trees, but the landscape takes on soft and refined hues.
Today the rainstorms are subsiding, and I’m optimistic that the next few days will show snow-decked mountains. I can hardly wait to see what the storm has left. Every season brings its unique gifts. As a California painter it’s always a thrill to see the seasonal changes of this beautiful and varied state.
Descanso Rose Garden Pathway
8 x 10 oil on canvas on board
Available for sale.
This painting has evolved through the years. It started as an oil sketch a few years ago, but I put it away, dissatisfied. Today, with a few miles under my brush, I took it out again and revisited the subject. I’ve noticed differences in how I paint certain subjects. I’m more aware of color in shadows, and I tend to paint masses of leaves and flowers rather than just individual blossoms. I’m more likely to change the scene from “what is” to “what could be.” And I am more inclined to simplify and not to put in every bench and bud if it doesn’t add to the composition. The painting is wet so I had to filter it a little bit to get rid of all the distracting specks from the indoor light. When it’s dry I’ll either scan it or take it outside on a non-rainy day and shoot it in light shade or indirect north light. Which is to say, it’s a bit crisper than this.
If you’re interested in this painting, please write. My email is at the top left of this blog.