Ocean Cove 8x16 Oil on Panel
Carmel and Los Gatos are now behind me. The stress of painting on demand, under unknown conditions, in strange locations can take a toll both mentally and physically, but I have now fully recovered from my recent plein air events. Unlike last year when both trips included rainy and foggy conditions, this year the weather was ideal, so I challenged myself by painting other than my usual subject matter and learned a lot from the experience.
With sunny skies and wonderful weather, I explored the area south of Carmel, driving along the Garapata coast. The experience proved to be a wonderful resource of extraordinary beauty and I took my inspiration from the rocky coast and hidden coves that were carved into the shoreline. Two paintings, Ocean Cove and Shell Beach were painted at the same location, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon, illustrating how the time of day will drastically alter the colors of a scene.
Ocean Cove (above) captures the sun coming over the mountains casting clear, strong shadows. The quality of the morning light was yellow and that was reflected in the cliffs and green vegetation. The ocean water also reflected that yellow turning the ocean turquoise. Even the shadows were influenced by the morning light and were very blue.
Shell Beach 12x12 Oil on Linen Panel
After a late lunch, I moved to a different vantage point of the same area and painted Shell Beach. As the afternoon progressed, I could see the entire palette change from the morning yellow light into an afternoon red light. I saw the cliffs take on a peach cast and the shadows turn from blue to purple. The water also reflected the red by turning from turquoise to a deep blue.
The different color themes are an example of how the time of day affects every color in your palette. Even the same scene will look drastically different because of the light change. Realizing these subtle changes in light will help to make every painting unique to the moment, not a preestablished formula.Comment on or Share this Article →
Seacliffs at Garapata 22x24 Oil SOLD
Plateaus, peaks and valleys are physical characteristics used to describe a scene from nature but I recently realized that these terms also apply to the cycle I experience with art.
First, I am on the plateau where I have a comfort level and I am satisfied with my work. At this stage I produce most of my paintings and I am very positive about my art. Inevitably this stage doesn't last as long as I would like and dissatisfaction starts creeps into my subconscious. I become critical of my work and I start to identify different areas which I need to improve. Thus begins the process of change.
Next I enter the valley were I am more and more dissatisfied with my paintings and searching for solutions to new problems. I start to experiment with the elements that I am not happy with and push in different directions to solve problems that I wasn't even aware of while I was on the plateau. Being my own worst critic, I experiment with different solutions and struggle to improve. At this stage, I don't paint many paintings and what I do paint is filled with frustrating false starts, irritating stops and experimentation. Working through my problems, I will eventually come out with a break through painting that changes how I approach my work.
I have now climbed from the valley to the top of the peak and emerged on a different level. I feel renewed by my discovery and improved skills. I am thrilled to see that my paintings are improved and I can now enter another productive plateau. For me this cycle of creative renewal is what it means to be an artist. How many times will this cycle happen? If am lucky forever or at least until I am no more.Comment on or Share this Article →
Three's Company 11x14 Oil
My day trip to Laguna Beach was amazing. As I drove into a parking spot at Heisler Park in Laguna, I knew it was going to be a great day. The sun sparkled off the water, there was a light breeze and the temperature was in the 80s. First on any day trip, I like to take some photos, walk around and just enjoy the place. There were two other plein air painters on the point (in my painting near the 3 palm trees) who were painting the rocks below. Instead I liked the view looking south at the rocks and set up along the park walkway.
Because of my location a lot of people stopped by to look, ask questions and give their positive opinion. Thanks to all of you who took the time to chat. I notice that I feed off the energy of the people and if someone doesn't stop to look, I wonder why. This small boost must be only a fraction of what a performer or sports star must feel when they are being cheered on by an adoring crowd. I can only speculate on that rush. So if you are out there painting in front of people, don't be self conscious, but instead use that energy and enjoy the attention.
After painting, I attended "the Best of Plein Air" at Seven Degrees Gallery. The exhibition is put on by the Laguna Plein Air Painter Association. Even though I am a newbie to the club and this is the first show I showed in, the members were very welcoming and it turned out I knew several of the other artists. This only reinforces my view that supporting local clubs is very important. I look forward to participating in more shows with this group. The show continues through June 27 at Seven Degrees, 891 Laguna Canyon Rd. in Laguna Beach, CA 92651. You can contact Rosemary Swimm at (949) 376-3635 or (949) 584-9162.Comment on or Share this Article →
Trail to Echo Mountain, 12x12 (showing at Seven Degrees in Laguna)
Tomorrow I am taking the day to have some fun. I have a painting in the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association show, "Best of Plein Air" and I decided to combine the reception (June 7, 6PM to 9PM) with a painting excursion. Laguna Beach has been good to me in the past by providing inspiration for several of my larger works and the little plein air paintings I have done there are some of my favorites. The view from Heisler Park is great in every direction and deciding what to paint is the biggest problem.
View From Donkey Hill, 12x12 (Painted at 2011 Los Gatos Plein Air)
Next week I am off to the 2012 Los Gatos Plein Air to paint all the local color. Victorian mansions, lakes, wineries and the ocean are only some of the many attractions the artists will be interpreting. The locals turn out in a big way to support this charity sponsored by the Rotary Club. While I am gone I hope you enjoy your summer and I will be posting again on a regular schedule after my return.Comment on or Share this Article →
Surf's Up 11x14 Painted at the Carmel Art Festival
I have been busy. The 2012 Carmel Art Festival was a few weeks ago and next week I am off to paint at the Los Gatos Plein Air. This past weekend I did two demonstrations, one for the open house at the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art and the second for the Loma Linda Art Association. No excuse for not blogging but sometimes there just doesn't seem to be any extra time. I have several paintings that I need to talk about but this post is just a quick good news blast.
The best new thing today was opening my email to find that a previous client bought a second painting of mine from my website. "Misty Waterfall" was painted immediately after I did my first commission painting of another waterfall. In a way those two paintings where the start of my love affair with painting water and inspired me to study all the variations that water provides. I am still exploring the possibilities and suspect I will never exhaust my love of painting the ever-changing nature of water.
"Misty Waterfall" 36x24
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