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My second attempt at plein air painting in South Pasadena had a very tough start. I couldn't get out and motivated this morning. So it didn't surprise me that after driving to the scene I realized I had forgotten my camera, couldn't decide what to paint and had to run to the bathroom. Augh!!! Sometimes everything seems to be working against you.
Finally set up, I actually began painting after 10:30. Not an auspicious start. Once I started painting though, everything that went wrong that morning evaporated into the air. I had so much fun painting the arches, I was in the shade which was a good thing because it was over 100 today, and shadows from the trees danced their pattern on the bridge.
The reflected light on the under side of the arches was a warm glow. Starting so late, I didn't have time to finish the trees and will refine them tomorrow. This is the fourth bridge I have painted and I find myself always on the lookout for the next one I can capture in oils.
Side Street at the Theater
Another fun day plein air painting with Marian Fortunati.
This side door and facade held an old world charm not often found in Los Angeles, but the South Pasadena area has a number of interesting landmark buildings, bridges and parks. I am looking forward to painting some of them in the next few weeks. I will be working toward a California Art Club Exhibition featuring the South Pasadena area.
Sharon's Exhibit at the Bowers Museum Invitational
This past weekend I had the pleasure of being invited to show my work at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. The courtyard, where the event took place, is lovely with Mission architecture, fountains and arched walkways.
There were over 30 artists who participated and made the show a wonderful collective of talented plein air and representational work. With so many people at the museum to see the Terra Cotta Warriors from China, those in attendance spilled over into the courtyard to see our exhibit. Many left with a painting under their arm.
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I love painting plein air. Being outside, discovering new locations and enjoying the weather make the experience always memorable. Today, I met fellow artist Marian Fortunati at a little park along the Los Angeles River near Griffith Park. I had noticed a nearby bridge and did a scouting trip yesterday to figure out where to park and the best vantage point from which to paint.
It is amazing how nature has renewed the LA River, taking it back to a natural environment instead of a concrete bunker. There were egrets, ducks, flocks of different birds all along the river, with new vegetation sprouting up everywhere.
I have driven over this bridge many times without ever looking at it until the other day when I noticed how beautiful it is. I started with a number of sketches to help me decide how much of the bridge I wanted to paint and if the canvas should be vertical or horizontal. Then, I painted in the values. It has been over a week since I got back form Colorado and I was a little tentative at first, but the colors and scene soon had me happily painting away.
Marian, thanks for sharing this day with me.
People on the Open Studio Tour
How many fun art events can fit into one day? The Glendale Open Studio Tour scheduled from noon to 6 PM, was the first on my list of places to be yesterday. As a member of Artists of the Canyon, I was scheduled to set up a display at Dahl Delu's home for the Open Studio Tour with about ten other artists from our group.
At 1:30 in the afternoon I headed over to the San Fernando Valley reception for our 65th Anniversary Exhibition at the Finegood Gallery. Seeing everyone enjoying the art, the people and fellow artists renewed my love of this club and it's members. It was a great turnout with a large and enthusiastic crowd cheering as the awards were presented.
People's Choice Award for Special Award for Duo
But that was not the end of my art day because that night was a reception at the LA NoHo Gallery in North Hollywood were Dahl Delu was showing with a group from the Art Directors Guild. I have shown here earlier this year and Dan the curator is a tireless and enthusiastic host. It is always so important for all of us to support our local artists and art venues, so get out there and enjoy.
Sharon with Stairway to Heaven
I just got back from the Glendale Open Studio Tour Exhibition at the Brand Library. The art was wonderful and the people who came out to see the exhibit experienced a diverse and interesting mix of styles.
Country Club Morning by Paul Chamberlain
I am participating in this event because of the group, Artists of the Canyon, who will also be showing on Sunday, September 14, from noon to 6 PM at Dahl Delu's home at 2955 Graceland Way, Glendale, CA. This weekend of art is a city-wide celebration with three different tours going throughout the city to galleries and artists' studios. Come join us and share in the fun!
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On Friday morning I handed in three landscapes and one inside painting. That night the Patron’s Reception was held and I was overwhelmed at the number of people in attendance. When the doors were opened to the exhibition at 7 PM, they all rushed in wanting to be the first to view and possibly buy their favorite paintings. It was very exciting and I sold two paintings, Where the Water Runs and Light Reflections, that first night.
Saturday and Sunday the exhibit was open to the public and Saturday night was the Artists’ Reception. There was a constant stream of people in and out of the viewing hall at the Elks Lodge. That night at the reception I won the Elks Lodge Special Award for Light Reflections. It was a great night with 80 artists, friends and family enjoying the good food and wonderful company at the Elks Lodge.
The next morning was the Brush Rush organized by my friend, Nancy Mc Donald. The exact location was kept secret until Sunday morning and with more that 15 artists participating, everyone scrambled to set up their easels around the Gold Club building in Victor. I decided to include only a corner of the building in my painting with one of the mines perched on the background hills. We started at 9 AM and had to finish by noon. It was very interesting to see all the different views of the same building. One artists painted the front doors, another the row of columns, some the entire building.
I packed up and said my goodbyes on Monday morning. While driving from Cripple Creek to Colorado Springs, I reflected on my experiences of the last 10 days. It was a great trip and one I will always remember. Thank you to Nancy and Kathy, the co-chairs of Victor Celebrates the Arts, for all their hard work that made it such a successful event. Comment on or Share this Article →
Thursday, the last day for painting. So far I had completed three 11X14 and two 8X10 paintings, nothing very big, so the last day I took a chance and got out the big canvas of 16X20.
I headed for the very first view I had wanted to paint, the back side of Pikes Peak, but had never gotten to paint because of the weather. It was a perfect day as I set up on the dirt road between Victor and Cripple Creek. I painted in the values first to set the shadows. As the sun moved overhead those shadows disappear so it was very important to establish them early. The far away mountains were alive with subtle colors and the Aspen trees to the right rustled in the wind. Around lunch the trucks from the mine started to rumble by me, kicking up dust, but I painted on.
Valley Below Pikes Peak
I had signed up at the beginning of the week to go to Bison Reservoir on Wednesday morning with a large group of artists. Only residents of Victor have access to this lake which supplies water to Victor. It was a short drive to the turn off and first of three locked gates. I had heard many wonderful things about the area and was not disappointed. Quickly, I set up my easel and got to work, capturing the shadows on the rocks. There were artists all over the lake painting and enjoying the views. I needed to leave at 1 PM, when another volunteer was letting some artists back out the locked gates, so I worked rapidly. I was glad I took the time to see and paint Bison Reservoir.
Bison and Artists Painting
I had to get back to Victor to meet Jean Beckman at 3 PM to paint the indoor site at the Elks Lodge. She was nice enough to take time out of her day to let me into the locked building. The Elks purchased this building in 1912 and did the renovation that installed the elaborate interior woodwork, the beveled glass windows and doors. When I saw the doors at the artists’ reception on Friday night, I fell in love with the deco interior and knew I had found my indoor site.
On Monday morning I was so exhausted that I slept in. Big mistake because after lunch it started raining and kept on raining for the rest of the afternoon. Another entire day wasted. Now I was starting to feel some pressure. I wanted to do at least four more paintings and only had three
Where the Water Runs
That afternoon I was to start my indoor painting, but unfortunately it was postponed until Wednesday. Augghh!!! I tried to keep my cool, but time was running out. Comment on or Share this Article →
Sunday was the first day I actually put brush to canvas. In the morning I went to a little valley right outside of Cripple Creek. The tree line formed strong shadows running across the valley floor and the old abandoned buildings added warm colors to the mostly cool scene. Nancy and I discovered in a local history booklet by Leland Feitz that this land had been occupied by a woman, Ceylon Beard, and was called Cottontail Gulch. What a great name for my painting.
Hail Storm Approaches
On the Road to Cripple Creek
The drive up to Cripple Creek from Colorado Springs was spectacular. I drove by sweeping vistas, jagged mountains, and cut out valleys. With Pikes Peak on my left, the turn toward Cripple Creek headed up a ridge of mountains past Mueller State Park. Up and up over 9000 feet, the drive suddenly crests a rise to reveal a lovely valley and the small mining town of Cripple Creek.
Looking Down at Cripple Creek
I was headed there to visit my friend, Nancy Mc Donald, who moved to Colorado from Los Angeles two winters ago. My second reason for traveling to this out of the way place was to participate in a plein air exhibition called Victor Celebrates the Arts which Nancy co-chaired this year with Kathy Stone.
I was very excited and a little nervous, since it was my first time at a plein air competition. For the next six days, I would have the opportunity to paint the local landscape, old mines and towns within a 10-mile radius of Victor. I was free to explore and paint until Friday morning, the deadline for handing in our finished paintings for the exhibit. The questions was, would I be able to produce quality paintings with the deadline looming?