Curves Ahead (SOLD)
I have tried to paint in the rain before but have found that once the canvas gets wet the paint will not stick to the it, so today with the rain in Los Gatos I wasn't very motivated to paint. I know some artists will paint under the back of their SUV, but I have a regular old car. I would like to paint indoors but I am not familiar with Los Gatos so I don't know where to go.
I procrastinated as much as I could until after lunch and drove up into the hills where there are wonderful old Victorian homes. I set up my easel so I could sit in the car. I hate to paint sitting so this was a last resort but at least I was out of the rain and with an umbrella so was my easel. I had found a road with a lovely row of eucalyptus trees that I thought would work even with the moody lighting. The painting came out OK but during my struggles, one of the local home owners came out to see what I was up to and we talked a bit. She looked through the paintings I had brought with me and picked one, "Curves Ahead" and decided to buy it. Thank you Alison and Parvez for starting my trip with a bang and making a very challenging day end on a high note.
There are several lessons to learn from this experience.
*Always take a box of available paintings where ever you go. If someone wants to take a look you have them with you.
*Be open to talking to people when you are out painting. You never know when the opportunity will present itself to make a sale and meet a new client.Comment on or Share this Article →
Hangin' at the Mini Mart 'Sold'
The good times just keep on coming with a Best of Show Award for my painting Hangin' at the Mini Mart at the 2011 Spring Exhibition at Gallery 800. Even more exciting is that the painting sold opening night. I also received 2nd Place for my painting Dana Point Harbor Boats. You can see my award winners and the rest of the wonderful art in this show until June 11.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day and enjoys the long weekend coming up. I will be painting at the Los Gatos 2011 Plein Air Competition which is showing June 3 and 4. From there, I will be driving up north to Coeur d' Alene, Idaho for the reception of The Oil Painters of America 2011 Annual National Juried Exhibition at Devin Gallery. My painting Morning Hits the Rocks will be on display from June 10 to July 9. With so much going on, I am not sure when I will be able to blog again but I will try to keep posting during my two-week trip.Comment on or Share this Article →
Lemon Yellow Chart
Color Chart Using Lemon Yellow as the Base Color
Here is another of the color charts which I completed before I left for Carmel. I am working through the exercise as recommended by Richard Schmid in his book Alla Prima. Here I used Lemon Yellow as the base color. The top row is a combination of Lemon Yellow mixed with a lesser amount of a color from my palette. From top to bottom, white is added to the mixture the same way I did with the original chart (see Steps to Understanding Color.)
Before, I never used a lot of Lemon Yellow in my paintings, but as I worked through this chart I realized that the soft peach and green colors were perfect for many of my spring paintings. I used much more Lemon Yellow when I painted Trail to Echo Mountain. Also the recent paintings I did in Carmel have Lemon Yellow mixed throughout.
Just by doing a few of the charts, I have already noticed a difference in my use of color. Working with each color expands my understanding of that color and how it interacts with every other color on my palette. Maybe this guy Richard Schmid knows a thing or two about painting.Comment on or Share this Article →
The just-completed Carmel Art Festival 2011 was a charmed trip but it was not without some self-inflicted stress. With every plein air competition I always feel a certain amount of anxiety; getting all my supplies together, wondering what the weather will be like, whether I will paint well or be off my game. I worry about the long drive and dozens of other things which can make or break the event.
Happily, this time all my stress for naught and the event went great. I even won an Honorable Mention award, but soon realized that this honor comes with a price, the dreaded Sunday morning Quick Draw. The canvas must be stamped at 8:30 AM; then I must get to the painting spot, paint, pack up, frame the painting and drive back to the park by 11 AM. Yikes. Now, I usually can paint a nice little 8x10 in about 2 1/2 hours, but that is all painting time so this would be tricky.
The other problem was the weather. Rain was in the forecast and sure enough that night it came down so hard it woke me up at 4 AM. After that I couldn't get back to sleep. Would the Quick Draw be canceled? My chosen location on the beach would be an impossible place to paint in the rain. Could I find a courtyard or overhang to protect me? No, there wouldn't be time. Oh no, I forgot to get a wake up call and the alarm isn't working. Now I'm afraid if I do fall back to sleep I will over sleep. Aughhhhhhh!
The next thing I know, I jerk awake and look at the clock. Did I over sleep? No. It's 7:10 AM. By some miracle I woke up without a wakeup call. I sprint to the window, pull open the drapes and amazingly, the sun is shining. Yea! I even have time to go down to the beach and set up my easel before having to drive to get my canvas stamped.
Painting the beach for a second time (see Afternoon Clearing above, painted Wednesday night and available for sale) is actually fun and I stop at around 10:30 AM, pack up, frame the painting, drive over to the park, wait for a parking space and run to the park just as two other artists are arriving. The painting sells at the auction in the park just before it starts to rain.
Now, I wish I could say that I learned something from this. I hope that the next time I am faced with a challenging situation I will remain calm, confident and assured... Hey I can hope.Comment on or Share this Article →
Sharon Weaver at Carmel
Sometimes things just click, sometimes happenstance conspires in your favor and sometimes luck is on your side. My trip to Carmel was a trifecta of all these things and more. I returned Sunday night after a hectic, creative 5 days at the Carmel Art Festival. This is the third year I have been juried into the plein air event but it is the only year sun was shining on both of the painting days. The bright light added a lot of color to all the paintings, making this years selection outstanding.
The highlights of my trip included an Honorable Mention prize for Harbor Reflection. The judge was Jean Stern the Director of The Irvine Museum. Jean, thank you for being so generous with your time and talking to me about my work. I am honored to receive this recognition. But the good times didn't stop there. Harbor Reflection and Playtime at China Cove both sold on Saturday with a bidding war pushing up the selling prices. A special thanks to all the people who bid on my paintings and congratulations to the new owners.
One of the local artists was surprised that I had painted China Cove. It seems that the road and path to China Cove had been closed for major repairs so no other artist even tried to paint there. My ignorance of that closure ensured that my painting was the only one of the recently open Point Lobos. Just one example of my good luck this trip.
A perk which comes with an award is painting in the Quick Draw....but I'll save that adventure for my next post.Comment on or Share this Article →
Stand of Eucalyptus SOLD
I am off to Carmel on Tuesday for the Carmel Art Festival 2011. Preparations are in full swing and I will be loading up the car soon. It is the third year I will be taking part and I am looking forward to the challenges which are unique to a plein air competition. My car will wind up stuffed with canvases, frames, paint, books, suitcases, food, portfolios, turpentine, brushes, laptop, and anything else I may need in the two and a half days of painting.
I always look forward to seeing the other artists, clients and of course the wonderful scenery that surrounds Carmel. The weather can be hit or miss with June gloom always a possibility at this time of year. I know it will be cool during the day and cold at night so I've got my long johns and heavy coats too. When standing in one spot for hours painting it is easy to be chilled to the bone.
I need to produce at least two paintings in two days but I usually try to get four completed by Friday evening. The Carmel Art Festival 2011 website will have all the paintings available through an online silent auction on May 14. I'll try to post about my adventures on the trip but if not you'll hear from me next week.Comment on or Share this Article →
Hangin' at the Mini Mart
I recently saw an article in The New York Times discussing the dozens of art fairs that are sprouting up all over the country. (Read here: Art Fairs Spring Up All Over this Month.) It started a train of thought about how the shift of responsibility to the individual is affecting every artist. We keep hearing about how empowering the Internet is for artists. In theory our work can be seen by potentially thousands, even millions of people. It is great "exposure." (See the article in FASO newsletter titled "Exposure: The Ugly Myth.") So we all have to have a website, a blog, a newsletter. The "exposure" is good and I enjoy it, but sales don't necessarily follow.
Then we hear that galleries aren't what they used to be. Many are closing, most are just trying to weather a slow market and maybe an artist shouldn't even bother with a gallery. After all, who can sell your work better than you can? Enter art fairs. Now the financial and marketing responsibility have completely shifted to the artist. There are all kinds of art fairs, from neighborhood sidewalk shows to large convention center extravaganzas. Some of the larger art fairs will attract galleries but many share the idea that the artist pays for the space and sells their own work. The business of art is now completely the responsibility of the artist. Some artists will like this idea and enjoy being in control of their own career. Others will be intimidated or not have the resources to jump into this arena. It is an interesting dilemma which only adds to the stress and pressure of being an artist.
How do you feel about art fairs? Have you had success? Is it worth the effort, time and money?Comment on or Share this Article →
Who doesn't love a good ghost story? North on Lake Street in the San Gabriel Mountains is the entrance to the Cobb Estate. There are several trail-head a short walk through the iron gates and past the deteriorated driveway. "Reports of hauntings at the Cobb Estate are wide-spread," is what the Los Angeles Ghost Patrol said about the estate after their trip to the haunted forest last year.
"We heard footsteps approaching down the road and when Carol grabbed the camera there was nothing there. Then the footsteps were heard near the stairs moving into the area of the house. At this area in the park we were positive that these footsteps were not caused by any human visitors. In the middle of all this, Tyler’s flashlight died even though he had put in fresh batteries. After Tyler asked a direct question about whether they wanted us to leave and I began to walk up the steps, we got the strongest KII hits of the evening. It was pretty amazing." To read the entire account of their experience at the Cobb Estate go to Haunted Forest at Cobb Estate.
I didn't know any of this when I suggested to Marian Fortunati that I wanted to paint at the Cobb Estate. After going our separate ways and exploring for a spot to paint, we wound up painting right next to each other, which is unusual. Maybe we sensed something odd about the area or maybe it was just a coincidence. Anyway, we were lucky because we came away without seeing any ghost and with two good paintings. Of course, we were there during the day. Who knows. It might have been different at night.Comment on or Share this Article →
Value Chart of Colors
I recently met Richard Schmid the author of arguably the best book on painting, Alla Prima. His lecture started me thinking about how I had always wanted to do color charts but....never have. It is one of those things which I know would help my understanding of color but there are always other things which need doing so I just have never gotten around to it.
Well last week I actually started on making up color charts and I can see that this will be a very informative exercise. Above is the first and easiest. It is just color straight out of the tube mixed with white. It is a five step value chart and I have added a few of my favorite colors which are not in Richard Schmid's palette. I am also trying a few of his colors which I have never used before. Here is a list of the colors as they appear in the chart.
1) Lemon Yellow
2) Cadmium Yellow Light
3) Cadmium Yellow Dark
4) Yellow Ochre Light
5) Cadmium Orange
6) Cadmium Red Light
7) Terra Rosa
8) Alizarin Crimson
9) Transparent Oxide Red
10) Cobalt Violet
11) Ultramarine Blue
12) Cobalt Blue
13) Cerulean Blue
15) Sap Green
16) Cadmium Green Light
Mr Schmid's chart has fewer blues and greens but I love the cool colors so I have added several to that side of the chart. Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt and Viridian are the three cool colors we share. Terra Rosa and Transparent Oxide Red are not colors I have used before and I see that they are the most neutral in the chart. They both have a lot of brown in them and I am looking forward to seeing how these two colors mix with all the others. I also can see that there is a lot of repetition of color on the cool end of the chart so maybe after this exercise I will have to admit that I can eliminate some those blues I love.Comment on or Share this Article →