11 x 14 oil on hardboard panel
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The Oak’s New Spring Gown
9 x 12 oil on canvas panel
In the western foothills of the Sierra range, valley oaks begin to deck themselves in fresh green foliage … lacy layers of silken fluff. Out in the meadows they look like girls going to their first big dance. The late light of day puts the lady in a spotlight as admiring wildflowers look on.
SOLD – “Spring Thaw at a Mountain Lake” 11 x 14 watercolor
Although it may seem that I’ve been missing in action, I’ve been busily working on many deadlines for different shows, and now some of that is behind me. Other deadlines loom, but they’re at a manageable distance. I took a little time tonight to work on this simple watercolor of a mountain scene, using a limited color palette of ultramarine blue, thalo blue, burnt sienna and sap green. I picked up an interesting tip from artist Al Setton, who I watched demonstrate a few nights ago. When he paints in watercolor or acrylic he keeps three rinse water containers. One for rinsing warm colors, one for cool and one clear water. When you’re painting in a hurry and don’t want to take the time to rinse twice (once in dirty water, once in clear) – if you consistently use the right rinse water before continuing with the same color, you won’t have much of a problem. It’s when you rinse in greenish water and then try to paint red that you can get in big trouble.
Sycamores and Sand – 5 x 7 acrylic on canvas on board
Click for actual size painting
Colors are strongest at sunset and dawn. In this miniature painting of a winter sunrise, the dawn touches wildflowers and clinging sycamore leaves and makes them shimmer. The location is near Palm Springs in one of the canyons where water and plant life are abundant.
“Temple of Love” – 8 x 10 – oil
This little painting was painted plein air style at Huntington Gardens early one morning. The sun was climbing rapidly so I concentrated on painting the “temple of love” first, while the light bounced warmly inside the classical structure. Then, I worked on the foreground and background trees and finally the grass, which didn’t change appreciably. I don’t know the species of the large tree but it is not a weeping willow. I’d say it looks like it’s in the juniper family, and although I looked for a plant marker I didn’t find one. Maybe some horticultural expert who knows the Huntington plants can enlighten me? There is such a plant as a Tolleson’s weeping juniper, but it supposedly only grows to 30 feet and this one was much larger.
Anyway, back to the plein air part. I’ve been using a glass palette these past few weeks and although I’m a little concerned about its fragility in the field, I really like the ability to clean it quickly with a glass scraper and have a fresh area to mix in. I use a Masterson’s box to transport my palette and to keep it airtight between painting sessions, so the paint does stay fairly moist.
I think I have just outted myself as both a plant geek and a paint geek. Sad, isn’t it? (grin)