9 x 12 inch oil painting
on wood panel
In late winter, California fields and meadows think it’s spring. The first bit of rain brings back the green grass and a scattering of flowers.
I decided to paint this one with a secondary triadic color scheme, ignoring some of the actual color in favor of adding a bit of harmony from a limited palette.
That means, in non art-speak, that I chose to impose a color scheme upon the scene rather than painting exactly what nature gave me. And the color scheme I chose uses not primary colors (red yellow and blue) but the secondary colors they can be mixed to produce – orange, green and violet.
9 x 12
California impressionist oil painting on canvas panel
The San Gabriel Mountains constantly change their colors through the late afternoon and early evening. Starting out as browns and greens, they become blue violet as shadows fall, and eventually reflect the warm colors of sunset.
This scene captures a moment in that transition, from the vantage point of Hahamongna Park (formerly Oak Grove Park) in the upper Arroyo Seco between La Canada Flintridge and Altadena/Pasadena.
Wildflowers billow and catch the warm light of the late afternoon sun.
Yesterday I received some more good news about one of the many shows I’ve been entering. One of my plein air paintings, “Days End at Fallbrook” was accepted into the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) 6th annual “Best of Plein Air” show. The exhibit will be at the Esther Wells Collection in Laguna Beach from July 17-25.
“Days End in Fallbrook”
11 x 14
oil on canvas
16 x 12 oil on canvas
We’re finally getting rain in Southern California – a welcome change from the excessive drought of this past year. I hope that it is sufficient to sink down deep and nourish the parched root systems of all of our plants. They could use a good long drink. I’m optimistic that it will bring rushing water to our local canyons and snow to the mountains, for purely painterly reasons. Landslides we can do without and I suppose in keeping with the old adage that you have to break eggs to make an omelette, you have to suffer the consequences of rain to benefit from the bounty. Now it’s time for me to get back to the easel, finish up my Christmas commissions and get busy on some new work.
This past weekend was enjoyable in every way. Every night I had a different reception to go to where my work and the work of fellow artists was being shown. Friday night provided a good turnout at Carter Sexton Gallery on Laurel Canyon Blvd. near Magnolia. The paintings will hang until the beginning of January. Saturday night took us to the Segil Gallery in Monrovia, where I was thrilled to see that my Arroyo Reflections painting sold during the reception. Sunday night was a treat in every way at the California Art Club show at the Women’s City Club of Pasadena. Seeing old friends and making new ones is always delightful and among the reasons that I love being in that show.
Next week, I will be exhibiting a collection of paintings with the Pasadena Society of Artists at the Artists Choice Exhibition (ACE) in Silver Lake. [Citibank Art Space 2450 Glendale Blvd. (Northeast corner of Glendale Blvd and Silverlake Blvd.) There will be salons associated with the event where you can meet the artists – date TBA – and the closing reception will be Saturday, January 16, 2010 – 6pm to 8 pm.
I will also be showing and selling new work at a mini Descanso Gardens show December 19-20 (Sat-Sun) from 9 am to 4 pm, in the Birch Room, close to the entrance of the gardens.
“Meanwhile, back at the ranch”
10 x 12 oil
plein air painting of a ranch in Fallbrook, California
Late afternoon light casts long shadows across the pasture of this peaceful ranch in Fallbrook, California. When I was there painting, the peepers had already started their songs in the nearby irrigation canals. Spring grasses have turned to summer gold, perfect for grazing.
This weekend, June 27-28, I’ll be at the San Clemente Art Association Annual Show and Sale on the lawn by the community center. Dozens and dozens of plein air painters will be there, so I hope you can stop by if you live in that vicinity.
Fallbrook Fan Palms
12 x 12″
oil on canvas panel
I have been so busy this past week that I just woke up and realized that I haven’t posted in awhile, and I’ve had a hard time getting painting time in.
The show is going well at Gale’s and I had a wonderful turnout for my reception. Many thanks to everyone who stopped by to see my work and say hello. So many friends, family and collectors – it was a day to remember. Special thanks to our children who drove down from Palo Alto for the weekend. We celebrated every moment, and enjoyed seeing UP on Saturday night. If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t miss it.
Monday morning we took my entire show down at Gale’s to make room for her annual Taste of Art show – this year benefitting Pasadena’s Ronald McDonald House, which provides housing for families visiting sick children. I donated a painting of the Casita Del Arroyo Garden, and was delighted to discover that the same couple bought it who bought one of my bridges last year. It was a great party – delectable appetizers and drinks, and good cheer all around for a good cause. Tuesday morning we rehung my show, which will continue now through July 10.
Now I’m framing 25 additional paintings to take to Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Gardens this Saturday and Sunday, June 6 and 7, in Claremont for the Art in the Garden show and sale. This is the third annual juried event and I’m happy to be participating for the 2nd time. The gardens are at 1500 N. College Drive if you live in the inland empire and would like to come say hello. I’ll have original oils and watercolors, framed and unframed, as well as prints and cards.
Because things have been so busy, I am posting a plein air painting that I did in late April, but I haven’t had time to get it photographed. Three or four stately fan palms bordered a path through an open grassy ara. The late afternoon light wrapped everything in a warm glow.
Pretty soon I’ll be back in the groove of everyday painting again. I miss it, but I have to take care of business, too.
Spring to Summer in Fallbrook
9 x 12 oil painting on canvas
A country ranch road in Fallbrook, California
Here’s another little landscape inspired by my Fallbrook trip. There were several mornings when the marine layer had moved in and was cloaking the hillsides with a gauzy look. Around 8 o clock the mist would start to burn off. You can see where the grasses on one part of the field have already started to turn golden. Other foliage still maintains the fresh spring look.
I haven’t posted in a few days because it’s been very busy getting ready for my show at Gale’s Restaurant, celebrating Mothers’ Day and taking care of other family responsibilities.
Did you know that if you want to see all of my paintings in any one category – such as all Fallbrook paintings, or all mountain paintings that you can filter these posts by categories? Look for the pulldown menu in the left sidebar.
If you’ve been following my blog, you know I’ve been preparing for this event for some time.
So, if you’re in the LA area and would like to see my work in person, I invite you to come to my show of California impressionist fine art.
Place: Gale’s Restaurant
Address: 452 S. FairOaks in Pasadena, California
Dates: Sat. May 16 – Friday, July 10
Reception: Sunday afternoon, May 31, 4-6 pm.
10 x 12 oil study
This little windbreak was interesting with its varied heights and shapes. It reminded me of a group of kids lined up for their school picture, or perhaps an a capella group getting ready to perform. I had a good time capturing the top light on the trees, which suggests the middle of the day. The short shadows communicate the time of day as well.
Studies are useful for many purposes – we learn about how to render certain types of plant life, how to capture the quality of light at a certain time of day, how to describe distant and near objects, even how the sky looks under different weather and lighting conditions.
Days End in Fallbrook
California landscape plein air painting
11 x 14 oil on canvas
At the end of the first day of Libby Tolley’s workshop, which was held in the classroom, I was excited to get outside and find a location to paint. All day the temperatures soared into the high 90s, maybe even 100 degrees, and we were all relieved to paint and practice indoors. As evening came, it had cooled off enough to be tolerable. But on top of that there was a brush fire nearby which filled the air with smoke and gave the sky a warmer than usual color. The color combination was irresistible.
What attracted me to this scene was the beautiful eucalyptus, and the layers of color and foliage disappearing in the smoke back to the distant mountain range. On any given day, the scene may have looked entirely different. A little earlier in the year and the foreground grasses would have been green. On a fire-free day the atmosphere would not have provided the interesting sky effects of warm and cool, intermixed. In the morning, everything would have been lit from the opposite direction. This is one of the things I love about plein air painting – the practice of capturing a very specific moment in time that may never occur again.
While I was there, next to a curb on a culdesac where no houses were built, a man who lived nearby hailed me with a wave and I told him what I was doing. He and his sons came over to watch me paint for awhile, and then I packed my things up. It turns out he’s in the agricultural business and knew a number of places to paint where there are reflective pools of water. Like I’ve said before, I think I could be in the middle of the wilderness and still draw a crowd. It always happens and because I’m a social person, I don’t mind sharing my love of painting.
Morning Breeze (Fallbrook, California)
16 x 12″
oil on canvas
As the week progressed in Fallbrook, the weather cooled and large clouds would appear every morning. This painting, inspired by my visit there, depicts a view looking eastward across a small creek that helped irrigate the ranch where we were painting. Clouds are among my favorite subjects to paint and in this case they are the primary interest.
If this painting is dry, I might be bringing it to the Montrose Art Walk this Saturday on Honolulu Avenue in Montrose. I can’t promise, because it may not be dry enough. But on the other hand, at a plein air event, the patrons buy paintings at the end of a QuickDraw event, and they are soaking wet, painted just an hour before. So I might very well bring this one along.