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.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Painting from the hills above San
"Evergreen II" plein air.
BEAUTIFUL SKIES REVISITED
I previously wrote about painting the skies around San Jose in
the February 19 entry, so won't repeat some of
those musings here. I haven't done too many cloudscapes, so have
been anxious to work on them some more.
We have had a series of storms the last couple of weeks, seeming
to come in about every other day. I had been waiting for just the
right skies between the storms, and today looked like a good day.
It started out raining, but by late morning was starting to clear,
and the big cumulus clouds started forming. Once again, I dropped
everything and headed up the hills behind my house to the same spot
I had painted about 3 weeks ago.
The skies where spectacular. I commenced working on a 12x16 canvas,
but after about 15 minutes, it started to sprinkle. I was under
the last wet remnants of this storm front. Although I don't mind
the rain, I have had paintings ruined by a little too much rain,
so headed to the car to wait out the anticipated short cloudburst.
After about 10 minutes, the rain passed on and I was able to complete
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Subject of the first plein air along
the Big Sur coast.
My easel. The light has changed
substantially since I started.
TWO BIRDS, ONE STONE
It's always great, as the saying goes, to "kill two birds
with one stone". The Amgen
Tour of California, a bicycle race patterned after the Tour
de France is passing through town. The world's top professional
teams are competing over an eight-day, 700-mile race on a route
that includes the California redwoods, wine country and the Pacific
The tour was in San Jose yesterday, and today is racing from Monterey
down Hwy 1 through the spectacular Big
Sur coastline to San Luis Obispo.
What an excuse to go paint Big
Sur! I can spend the day painting, and then watch the race as
it goes by.
I left early this morning on the Harley, and arrived at Garrapata
State Park, just south of Carmel around 8:30. The coastline
was wonderful in the morning light! I was well into the first painting
of the day, when around 10:30, took a break and waited for the race
to go by. They arrived about 10:45. As I had heard...they pass quickly!
Only took about 15 seconds for the race pack to go by. I was snapping
pictures as quick as I could, but only got about 5 shots!
I finished the painting, which turned out quite well, took a lunch
break, and did another painting from almost the same spot, but looking
in a different direction.
My back was starting to get tired, so by mid-afternoon it was time
to pack the Harley up and head home.
The bike race approaching...
...and passing by.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
"Evergreen" plein air.
Having spent my adolescent years in East Texas, I am always enchanted
by the beautiful skies and clouds when I go back to visit. Huge
thunderheads, magnificent in their awesome power would bring refreshing,
but short bursts of moisture during the summer months. Huge puffy
cumulus clouds would fill the sky rolling slowly past in no hurry
to get anywhere.
Here in the San Francisco Bay area, we rarely see such wonder in
the skies. Although the skies here have their special charm, being
close to the Pacific, the 'air' is usually a non-event. The exception
to this is just after a winter storm. Such a day was today. The
skies were so beautiful, I dropped everything, and rushed about
a mile up the hill behind my house, and did the painting on the
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Lower Yosemite Falls
El Capitan shrouded in winter weather.
Looking through the front windshield
of my car during the snow storm.
The morning was looking pretty dreary. The forecast was for partly
cloudy, with a slight chance of precipitation. During breakfast,
it started to lightly snow. Huh-oh...there goes my painting day.
I had hopes of clearing skies and a little sun.
A new trail had been built to Lower Yosemite Falls, so it was time
to do a little exploring while waiting for the sun to come out.
After the morning hike, it was time to check out of my room. As
soon as I checked out, lo and behold...out comes the sun...and then
disappears just as quickly! I don't mind painting in inclement weather,
but the snow gradually started to get heavier & heavier, until
it was almost a blizzard.
Still having hopes of clearing, I drove around, but mainly waited
in the car watching a winter wonderland form in the valley as the
snow kept falling and piling up. At about mid-afternoon, I decided
to call it a day and head for home.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Painting at Tunnel View.
It seems whenever I paint Yosemite "en plein air", I
like to do more intimate scenes. Today, it was time to break that
habit and do a vista. The perfect vista here, and perhaps one of
the most famous vista's in the world is at "Tunnel View".
From here, you can see most of the valley with El Capitan on the
left, Half Dome in the background, and Bridalveil Falls on the right.
The scene was too immense to capture on one canvas...at least it
was too wide for any blank canvas I had brought. So, I decided to
concentrate on the south wall and Bridalveil Falls. I worked till
mid afternoon, and then called it a day. It was getting to late
to start another painting, so time for relaxation.
Note To Self: Next time I want to do a Yosemite panoramic vista...bring
an extra wide canvas!
Monday, February 13, 2006
Merced River at Cathedral Picnic
My easel along the river.
Yosemite late afternoon glow.
I recently received a coupon for one free nights stay at Yosemite
Lodge if at least one other night was paid. What a good excuse for
a trip to Yosemite! Yosemite is wonderful this time of year as the
huge crowds of the summer are gone with few people around, and the
valley has a hush you don't hear other times of the year.
I left early this morning, and made the usual trek across the San
Juaquin Valley and to the park. The weather outlook was good for
my three day trip. This has been a rather dry year for snow, so
I was not expecting much snow, if any on the valley floor.
As soon as I entered the valley, I stopped at Cathedral picnic
area. This little picnic area is right on the Merced River and has
beautiful views of El Capitan and other valley features. The sun
was perfect to do a painting of the upstream bend of the Merced
as it winds it's way past a sand bar. I worked on the painting until
early afternoon, then decided it was time to check into the lodge.
After settling in the lodge.it was time to drive around and look
for another painting site as the sun started dipping lower. A perfect
spot was found along the road by Curry Village. The afternoon winter
sun was streaming straight down the valley floor illuminating the
north wall with an incredible glow. I didn't have much time, but
started to paint anyway. After about 45 minutes, I realized the
light was changing too rapidly to finish the painting and would
soon be gone. I will have to finish this one another day.
Tuesday, January 30, 2006
One of the paintings I sold at Eriksen
in the last year.
Sadly, I had to travel to Half Moon Bay today to pick up all my
works on display at Eriksen Gallery. After about 30 years, they
were closing their doors. The gallery had originally been started
by Mrs. Eriksen, who passed away several years ago. It was taken
over by her daughter, Teresa, and they were doing well until the
landlord tripled their rent. Since it was not a full time endeavor
for Teresa, and her husband Gene, they decided to close their doors.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
My easel at the ranch.
My easel at the ranch.
Cathy working on a masterpiece.
Rancho San Antonio County Park is one of Santa Clara
County's most popular parks. This 165 acre County Park, combined
with the adjacent 2,135 Midpeninsula Regional Open Space Preserve
(MROSD), provides 2,300 acres of trails and other recreational
I decided to join the Peninsula Outdoor Painters
group today. It was a beautiful day, and I heard they were expecting
a lot of painters. I wasn't disappointed. Over 25 artists showed
up! After we painted for several hours, it was time for a lunch
break. Everyone gathered as we reviewed everybody's work.
Lunchtime art viewing.
Monday, January 23, 2006
The Harley in the parking lot.
My easel at the preserve.
It had been awhile since I have been out with the Los Gatos Art
Association plein air painters, so joined them today at the Arastrader
Preserve. Arastradero Preserve is a 609-acre open space preserve
in the Palo Alto foothills. It was also a great day for a Harley
ride, so I met Nick White and some of the others for a morning of
I did one painting, basically across the street from the parking
lot. The morning sun was illuminating an eucalyptus tree against
the cool shadows of the hills, which made for a great composition.
Painting of the Eucalyptis.