A Personal Journal of Art
This WebLog or "Blog" is a journal of my personal
experience with creating, observing, research, musing and other information
about art. Note that dates are in reverse order.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
MEDITERRANEAN ADVENTURE - EPILOG
Although we continued the cruise for some time (it was an 11 day
cruise), I had no other opportunities to paint. The days in port
were filled with tours and other activities. Usually on a cruise,
it should be a relaxing time. This cruise was so full of walking,
tours, and other activities, I was exhausted at the end. However,
wouldn't have missed a thing. Next time, maybe I will take it a
little easier and spend more time painting!
Friday, June 16, 2006
View overlooking Fira on the island
A closer look at Fira hanging from
the cliffs of the ancient caldera.
My paintings and palette on the
First painting of Santorini.
Second painting of Santorini. The
same scene from a different perspective.
Our third island stop was Santorini. This is really the island
I had been waiting for, as I heard it was spectacular. I wasn't
The island of Santorini Greece or Thera is located in the Cyclades
islands, in the Aegean Sea, Mediterranean. It is a small group of
volcanic islands and its name was given by the Venetians in reference
to Saint Irene. The island was also called Strongili and Kalisti
and was the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in history,
but what remains today is a submerged volcano and a caldera.
Our ship entered the caldera of the island, and tendered us to
the base of a 800 foot cliff. There are three ways to get to the
top and the town of Fira: walk, take a donkey, or ride a gondola.
We chose the gondola.
Arriving early in the morning, the sun had backlit the town of
Fira with the cliffs in shadow and the magnificent blue of the Mediterranean
all around. What a spectacular view! I couldn't wait to start painting!
Rather than walk around and do the tourist routine, I decided I
wanted to paint first thing while the sun was still low. I would
visit the shops later in the day.
I walked up a path along the cliff and found a spot I could sit
and paint the magnificent scenery. The first painting took me about
an hour and a half. As the sun rose, more of the cliff side became
lit, but much of it still in shadow.
After looking around, I decided there wasn't a better viewpoint
from which to paint than where I was, so decided to do a little
different perspective with more of the town of Fira in the painting.
I was starting to run out of time, as I agreed to meet my fellow
travelers, so didn't quite finish the cliff part of the painting.
Even then, it really showed off the magnificent view below me.
I could spend months just painting this island. Hopefully I can
visit again in the future and spend more time.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
The ancient ruins, including the
arch I painted.
My painting propped up against an
My second Greek isle painting of
an ancient arch in Rhodes.
Our second island stop on the cruise was Rhodes. Rhodes, Greece
is the biggest island of the archipelago called Dodecanese and is
the capital of the group. The superb capital of Rhodes lies outside
and within the walls of a very well preserved Venetian castle, built
by the Knights of Saint John, which is one of the finest examples
of medieval architecture. The beauty of its capital, its interesting
sites and its many Byzantine churches make Rhodes one of the most
popular islands of Greece.
After walking around inside the castle walls of the ancient city
and visiting it's many tourist shops, it was time to do my next
painting. I settled on one of the first places we visited within
the ancient walls, which was an arch that was once part of an old
Unlike Mykonos, I could sit in a sheltered area to do the painting.
The sun backlit the arch which made for an interesting study. However,
it was moving pretty fast and by the time I finished the painting,
much of the scene had changed.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
My mini acrylic painting kit.
I sat on this terraced area to do
"Little Venice" at Mykonos.
My first painting on a Greek Island!
Mykonos is an island of Greece and one of the top tourism destinations
in Europe. It is the most famous and popular island of the Cyclades
and attracts thousands of visitors every year. Mykonos island is
famous for its cosmopolitan atmosphere, its exciting nightlife,
its picturesque Cycladic capital full of whitewashed houses and
blue domed churches and its lively sandy beaches.
While the others were walking around exploring, I wanted to do
at least one small painting. I found a spot overlooking a part of
town called "Little Venice" due to it's picturesque buildings
built right up to the water.
Behind me were a row of old windmills, which gave tribute to the
fact that it is often windy on this little island. And, it was quite
windy today! I had to use my water bottle, and whatever else I had
to hold down the paper palette to keep it from blowing all the way
across the island.
Since I don't paint buildings often, it was a refreshing challenge
to paint the row of buildings overlooking the Mediterranean. I worked
quickly as I didn't want to prolong the time spent trying to keep
everything "battened down" in the blustery breeze.
My first Greek island painting turned out OK, but I thought I could
do better on the next isle.
Friday, June 9, 2006
We arrived in Rome today to start a cruise to the Eastern Mediterranean.
We had planned this trip for over a year and I am accompanied by
my wife, son, and 5 others from my wife's side of the family.
We had tours booked on many of our ports of call, and although
this was not specifically a painting trip, I could not pass up bringing
a special paint set if time permitted. During the cruise we had
not planned any tours on three of the Greek islands, so I figured
I could fit some time in to paint there.
Although I had been painting in oils for the last several years,
I decided to assemble a special mini kit of acrylic paints. It consisted
- About 8 tubes of acrylic colors
- A set of unstretched canvas pieces cut to 8x10
- One 8x10 wooden panel & a couple large paper clips.
- One paint brush - #8 Silver Ruby Satin Bright
- Disposable paper palette
- A small water spray bottle.
All this fit in a large baggy, so was easy to pack. I would improvise
on a water cup or bottle. (I actually ended up just carrying a small
plastic water bottle)
We were sailing on the Celebrity cruise ship Galaxy for 11 nights
visitng Mykonos, Greece; Rhodes, Greece; Santorini, Greece; Istanbul,
Turkey; Ephesus, Turkey; Athens, Greece; and Naples, Italy.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Painting in the quick-draw
contest along Carmel Beach.
CARMEL ART FESTIVAL DAY 4
It was another gloomy day, with some sprinkles overnight and the
early morning. Today was a quick draw contest which all the award
winners are requested to participate in. Once again, I made my way
to the festival area, got my canvas stamped, then headed down to
Carmel beach to do a painting.
We had two hours to complete a painting, then return to the festival
area with it framed and ready to be auctioned off. Clouds were rolling
in and out, and I managed to finish a painting of Carmel Beach with
Pebble Beach, and the Monterey Peninsula in the background. Just
about as soon as I was packing it in, it started to pour!
I made my way back to the festival area & most of the other
artists were there with their paintings set up outside in the pouring
rain. Thankfully, I had brought my easel umbrella to protect the
wet painting. There was also quite a crowd of onlookers bidding
on the paintings under their umbrellas. What hardy art aficionados!!
In spit of the rain, my quick draw painting sold, with a couple
It was time to head home. It was pouring rain most of the way,
but by the time I returned to San Jose, it was starting to clear.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Sculptor in the park.
Yours Truly in front of my exhibit.
My two paintings waiting for a bid!
The festival was held outdoors this
year on the streets of Carmel.
CARMEL ART FESTIVAL DAY 3
Today is the main event for the festival. The paintings were put
on display this morning, the judging occurred, and the festival
opened at 10:30. I decided to have an easy morning with a leisurely
brunch, and then head over to the festival in the early afternoon.
Parking was hard to find...not unusual for a busy day at Carmel.
I finally circled around and found a spot, then walked to the festival.
Much to my surprise, I was awarded "Best in Oil or Acrylic".
The winning painting already had several bids on it. As the day
wore on, more bids were added to each painting.
Although my wife and son couldn't make it due to school activities,
a couple of old friends showed up, Nancy Green and Bob Sexton. Bob
is a collector of mine, and has 3 paintings from my earlier days.
The awards ceremony started around 5:00 with the arrival of artist
and actor, Tony Curtis. He gave out the first, second and third
awards. By the time they got to my award, he had left, so didn't
get a chance to shake his hand.
Both my paintings were bid up well above my normal gallery prices.
Quite a lucky day!
Friday, May 19, 2006
Along the North Shore
Trail of Point Lobos.
CARMEL ART FESTIVAL DAY 2
Another foggy morning. I decided to wait awhile to see if the sun
broke, so spent a little time in the motel room touching up the
two paintings from the day before. They both turned out to my satisfaction
(of course they can always be better in an artists eye), so I knew
I had at least something for the show, and was not under any pressure
to do another painting.
Late morning, I returned to Point Lobos, and found a place along
the North Shore Trail I had spotted on Wednesday. The light wasn't
quite what I wished, but the scene was spectacular! I finished the
painting in about 3 hours. Towards the end, I decided it was not
quite as good as the two I had done the previous day, so headed
back to the motel.
After photographing and framing the two paintings for the show,
it was back to the festival site to turn in the two paintings. The
deadline to submit the works was eight o'clock, and it made it in
plenty of time, around 6:30.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
My easel at Garrapata State Park.
"Garrapata Colors" 16x12
"Cypress Cove" 20x16
CARMEL ART FESTIVAL DAY 1
Well, as predicted, it was socked in and foggy. The forecast was
for clearing by afternoon, but around Monterey, this can be somewhat
spotty. I decided to wait awhile to see if the fog would clear,
so headed out around mid morning.
My first stop was a spot I had painted during the Tour of California
bicycle race last February. The fog was starting to lift, in places
which made for some great lighting. I painted for about 3 hours
to where the painting was just about complete but decided to finish
it later. Sometimes you can over paint a plein air painting, and
I wanted to wait awhile to see if it needed anything else.
My next stop was at Point Lobos. I wanted to do a painting of Cypress
Cove in the afternoon sun. Fog and clouds seemed to still be rolling
in and out with the sun peeking around every once in awhile. Never
the less it was a great afternoon, and after about 3 hours the painting
was almost complete.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
A few pictures while
scouting out places to paint.
Art Festival is considered to be one of the top plein
air events on the west coast. I am joining about 60 other artists
juried into the show this year, which takes place May 18-21.
The artists will paint "en plein air" for two days, and
the resulting works will be auctioned off on Saturday, May
20. There will also be a quick draw competition on Sunday,
May 21. Celebrity artist and actor, Tony Curtis
will appear at the auction.
I drove down today from San Jose, a little over an hours drive.
I decided to spend the afternoon driving around looking for places
to paint, check into my motel room, and then attend the artists
reception in the evening and have my canvases stamped for the competition.
I had ridden the Harley down about a week ago scouting out new
places to paint. Although I am fairly familiar with the area, I
wanted to explore some places I had not been. Fog was forecast for
most of the mornings, so it was important to find out where and
how long it would stick around.
Even though I was about an hour and a half from home, I decided
to stay in a motel. I didn't really want to drive back and forth
everyday, especially in the early morning to catch the first light
of the day. After checking into the motel, I headed for the Opening
Artists Reception where they stamp the back of the canvases you
will be painting on. This is so no one is tempted to use any work
not done during the two days of contest painting.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
A few pictures of
the exhibit at the Toll House in Los Gatos, CA.
TOLL HOUSE RECEPTION
We had as mall reception at the Toll House in Los Gatos, CA, which
is hosting a showing of 26 of my paintings. Everything from plein
air to studio, miniature to large paintings are represented. Both
oil and acrylic paintings are sprinkled throughout.
I had no idea how many would turn out. The date was set only last
Monday, so I only was able to email invitations. Anywhere from zero
on up would be my guest. As an enticement, we raffled off a miniature
painting. The winner could pick any of the 5x5 or 5x7 miniatures
in the show.
As it turned out, we had a crowd of about 20. The raffle was won
by my brother-in-law. He probably deserved it as he drove two hours
just to be there!
I forgot to bring the camera, so don't have any pictures of the
reception. On the left are some pictures of a few of the displays
right after we hung them.
The paintings will be up for around 3 months, so there is still
time to stop by and see the collection.
Monday-Tuesday, May 1-2, 2006
Pictures from painting in Pinnacles
Site of my first painting several
hundred years from the parking lot.
The first painting.
A little closer view of the work.
It was starting to get a little
hot, so Nick White found about the only shade close to the parking
Second painting of the day of some
of the magnificent spires.
Rising out of the chaparral-covered Gabilan Mountains,
east of central California's Salinas Valley, are the spectacular
remains of an ancient volcano. Massive monoliths, spires, sheer-walled
canyons and talus passages define millions of years of erosion,
faulting and tectonic plate movement.
The monument is less than two hours south of my home,
and I had often wanted to come down and paint the area. The last
time I had been here was to watch the condors on the the east side
of the monument. You can read
about that here.
Nick White of the Los Gatos plein air painters had
scheduled a trip about a month ago, but it was rained out. This
time it was a nice sunny day, with more in the forecast.
I rode the Harley down, and arrived in the park around
9:30. Nick had just arrived with his wife, and as it turned out,
we were the only ones in the group for the duration. We walked around
for awhile, and then settled down to paint. We all painted in the
same general area.
After a lunch break, Nick decided to start another
painting, and I took a hike further down the Balconies trail. Upon
returning, Nick had come a long way in his second painting, so I
set up next to him in the shade and did another work.
Unfortunately, the park gate closes at 6:00, so we
had to leave earlier than we would have wanted. We definitely wouldn't
be catching the sunset in the park!
Since this was a bit of a drive, we had decided to
stay in the nearby town of Soledad, and paint the next morning.
After a bite to eat, it was off to the motel room for a relaxing
evening. For some reason, I could not sleep that night...must have
been the chinese food...so in the morning decided to head home.
Nick was at the park gate when it opened at 7:30,
did one more painting before heading home. This is a definite 'must-do'
trip again in the future!
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Pictures from painting in Hakone
My easel by a little stream which
Some of the other artists painting.
As the oldest surviving Japanese-style residential
gardens in the Western Hemisphere, Hakone's tranquility and elegance
is nestled in the hills above Saratoga, CA, close to San Jose.
The Peninsula Outdoor Painters were meeting here today,
so I decided to join them. I had never been to the gardens, and
had wanted to for some time. I rode the 30 minute ride over on the
Harley, paid the entrance fee, and we painted for the morning. Although
the garden was a little smaller than I expected, it was still beautiful,
and a wonderful place to be. After one painting of a little stream,
I realized I had not brought a lunch, so just decided to head home.