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.
Monday,September 25, 2006
Nick White and the visitor from
The visitor from Italy.
My easel in front of the arch I
SAN JUAN BAUTISTA
San Juan Bautista was founded 24 June 1797 (15th in order) by
Padre Fermin Francisco de Lasuén. The Mission is named for
Saint John the Baptist. The Indian name was Popelout, or Popeloutchom.
It is known for being the largest of the mission churches, with
three aisles instead of the single aisle in other mission churches.
Three of the nine bells in the chapel area remain. The church is
active and has been since the Mission's founding.
The mission is less than an hours drive from my house, and today
the Los Gatos Plein Air Group was painting there. I don't usually
do structures, but have been wanting to paint some of the missions
Off I went on the Harley to join the group. I arrived about 9:30
and there was already a number of the group painting. In addition,
a visitor from Italy (I didn't quite catch his name) decided to
join us. Evidently he found out about the plein air group on the
Los Gatos Art Association web site.
I proceeded to do one painting of a side gate and arch overlooking
the old El
Camino Real, which runs the length of California. The painting
turned out quite well, what I call a "keeper".
"Gate to El Camino Real"
Friday,September 15, 2006
Mt Hood from Hwy 35 in the Hood
PAINTING FOR MYSELF
If you don't paint what you love or want to paint, then there is
no use in painting. You have to paint what you are passionate about,
or it will show through to what you are trying to do.
I learned that many years ago when I was young and stopped painting
from calendar photos, magazines, and other material, and started
painting from my own experiences. Everything I have painted in the
last 35 years is either on the spot or from my own photo studies.
I started a large painting a few days ago, frankly, just for myself.
It is from a photo I snapped while sitting on my Harley pulled off
the roadside in Hood River Valley. The motor was still running and
the scene has been running in my mind ever since.
I was born in Portland, Oregon, so the first mountain I ever saw
was Mt Hood. We left when I was about 5, but .I have been back many
times since. The only painting I ever did of Mt. Hood was many years
ago from a calendar photo. It was time to rectify that situation.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Painting along the Truckee river,
shows what the scene looked like when I started and when I finished
TAHOE RECEPTION TRIP DAY 4
It was time to do some more works of the Truckee during the summer,
so I rose early and found a nice spot where the sun was just starting
to fill the river valley. It was another beautiful morning, I finished
After checking out of my motel, and dropping by the gallery, it
was time to head home.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Working on a small painting demonstration
in the gallery.
Several shots from the Gondola at
TAHOE RECEPTION TRIP DAY 3
Hal, the owner of James Harold Gallery, invited me to spend Sunday
painting in the gallery. David
Lemon, a well know sculptor had just driven down from Montana
to sculpt in the gallery all week. David gave my painting while
he sculpt a second vote, so I decided why not.
After a leisurely morning, I set up in the front of the gallery.
I had brought no photo studies to work with, so either had to paint
something from memory (a very good exercise for all artists to try),
or do something similar to what I had done plein air and currently
hanging. I chose the later. I decided to to a horizontal version
of a plein air painting I had done on the east side of Lake Tahoe
just last July.
Since we had all afternoon, I could take my time.
Several winters ago I had taken the Squaw
Valley Gondola up to High Camp just as the sun was starting
to dip behind the mountains. I always wanted to do it again in summer
and capture some of the same shots without all the snow. So off
I went. The place was almost deserted, but the gondola was still
running. I hit it just right! What a beautiful ride dancing over
the rocks and light as it streamed down the mountainside. More studies
for my "Above Squaw Valley" series I started last year.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
The Truckee River as we started
Nick White working on his painting
along the Truckee.
The river as we finished our paintings.
Quite a difference in lighting!
Looking into James Harold Gallery
with several of my paintings in the window.
Your's truly with the 'poster painting'
for the show.
Hal Slear, the gallery owner straightening
one of the paintings.
TAHOE RECEPTION TRIP DAY 2
Today, the special show at James Harold Gallery opens.
They planned a reception beginning at 1:00 this afternoon. That
left the morning some time to paint!
My good painting buddy, Nick
White stayed over an extra day of his vacation in the area to
see the exhibit, and maybe do a little painting. We decided to stay
close and just go down the Truckee River from Tahoe City.
Nick drove, so we set out around 7:00 AM for the river.
We found a beautiful spot where the sun was just beginning to light
the side of the river bank as it curved into the shadow. What a
beautiful morning! The river reflected the glowing, sunlit river
bank like a mirror on the floor.
We set out to paint, and both of us did one piece.
My work, I think was good enough as-is, so I later took it into
After cleaning up at the motel, it was time for the
I had not seen the gallery prior to my arriving, as
Hal, the owner insists on hanging and moving other works of art
himself. It's one of those..."I can do it faster and better
alone". Well, he was right...everything was hung and displayed
impeccably. They stayed up until about 2 in the morning to finish
everything. The only problem he had was my inept wiring on the back
of a couple larger pieces.
The lighting of the gallery was great. I had painted
a scene of Santorini, Greece, which they hung in the front window
of the gallery, and with the light really brought out the colors
of the work. It almost looked like a different painting!
The reception went well, with quite a group stopping
by to view my works.
One section of paintings in the
Friday, August 25, 2006
Thomas Hill Foster, grandson of
Hill, a well known California painter.
The dock at Chambers Landing.
TAHOE RECEPTION TRIP DAY 1
Harold Galleries scheduled an exhibit for me beginning tomorrow,
August 26. I had wanted to head up to the lake several day's early
to do some more fresh paintings for the show, but jury duty tied
me down until noon today. I had everything loaded in the truck ready
to go, including about 17 new paintings for the show.
I arrived at the gallery about mid afternoon, and proceeded to
unload all the paintings for the show. Nick
White , one of my painting buddies had coincidently been at
Tahoe all week, so he stayed over for the show. After we unloaded
the paintings and checked into the hotel, it was off to Chambers
Landing to do some painting.
When we arrived, a man was sitting by the beach with a large painting
on an easel. We struck up a conversation, and found out he is Thomas
Hill Foster, grandson of the famous painter of Yosemite, Thomas
After painting for several hours, the sun was so low it was time
to pack it in for the day.
August 4-12, 2006
NORTHWEST MOTORCYCLE RUN
As most of you know, I own and ride a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
I frequently take it on plein air trips.
We had planned a motorcycle trip to the Pacific Northwest for some
time, and now was the time. Although this is mostly an art adventures
weblog, I am making note of it because I plan to do some paintings
from the area.
I was born in Portland, Oregon, most of my relatives live in southern
Oregon, so the area is a little special. I have a painting hanging
Between Two Blues" at Ambassador Joseph LeBaron's residence
in Nouakchott, Mauritania. The painting is of Crater Lake in southern
Oregon, and depicts an American Bald Eagle Soaring between the deep
blues of the lake and the sky.
Anyway, after this trip, look for more works from Oregon in the
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
LAKE TAHOE DAY 3
After the failed attempt to find Secret Cove yesterday, I was determined
to locate it today. It was actually quite easy, as there is a large
paved parking lot right by the trail head!
I preceded to do two paintings in the morning, and then headed
over to James
Harold Galleries to drop off my work from the last couple of
Whenever I drop off my newly painted, and still wet works, it gives
the gallery a slight odor of oil paints. Hal and Madalyn, who own
and run the gallery don't seem to mind. Not sure if it helps or
Then it was time for the long Harley ride home. Hal, the owner
of the gallery has a Harley, also, so he rode part way with me.
Although coming out of the Sierras on the motorcycle is loads of
fun, I do not look forward to the long hot drive across the San
Joaquin Valley in late afternoon.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Small cove by Thunderbird Lodge.
The painting on my easel.
LAKE TAHOE DAY 2
Most of my painting trips to Tahoe always seem to concentrate on
the west shore of the the lake. It is hard to beat Emerald Bay,
DL Bliss State Park and the Rubicon Trail. It was time to concentrate
on the eastern shore today!
My destination was Secret Harbor, which has a parking area and
trail down to the beach area. Being less familiar with this side
of the lake, I pulled off on a dirt pullout which had a trail leading
towards the lake. This must be the place!
I got my gear and headed down the trail. and soon the going got
pretty rough and steep, so I decided this was definitely not Secret
Harbor! After further hiking down a steep narrow trail, encountering
a barbed wire fence, and turning back, I ended up in a small cove
just north of Thunderbird
Lodge. It was a beautiful cove with the morning sun streaking
across the aqua's, blues and shallow sienna's of the inlet. Just
about anywhere you go on this lake you can find a wonderful spot
I set my easel right on a narrow stretch of sand, and started to
paint. After two or three visiting families and their wonderful
dogs, plus working on the painting for a couple hours, I headed
over to James
Harold Galleries for a visit. After Lunch, I headed back to
the west side of the lake to gather some studies for studio paintings.
Monday, July 10, 2006
Silver Lake by Kay's Resort.
My easel set up close to one of
Kay's Resort's boathouses.
Mt Tallac towering over Fallen Leaf
My painting showing the snow cross
Mt Tallac is known for.
LAKE TAHOE DAY 1
Sales for my work had been a little slow early in the year at James
Harold Galleries in Tahoe City. Recently it picked up quite
a bit, so they needed more paintings. It was off to Tahoe again
for several days of painting! I certainly have a difficult time
complaining about that!!
Since it was summer, it was time to take the Harley. Leaving early
in the morning, I decided to drive up Highway 88 and over Carson
Pass. I had always wanted to paint some of the wonderful lakes along
Highway 88, specifically Silver and Caples Lake. For this trip,
it would be Silver Lake.
What a great morning! Riding in the cool of the early morning while
the sun is still struggling to awaken the landscape is a wonderful
experience. Climbing Highway 88 up the Sierra foothills, I left
behind the warming San Joaquin central valley to the coolness of
the high Sierras.
I arrived at Silver Lake around 9:30 while the sun was still low
enough to give some depth of shadows and character to the landscape.
I stopped at Kays
Resort, on the highway and close to the small dam and spillway
which helps regulate the lake.
The view right there was great, and after spending several hours
painting the lake with Thunder Mountain casting a shadow at its
feet, it was time to head on into Tahoe.
After checking into my motel on the south part of the lake, I wanted
to head to Lily Lake and do a painting. I had painted Lily Lake
before, and the painting sold rather quickly, so why not do another
Lily Lake is on the western tip of Fallen Leaf Lake. As I was
cruising along on my Harley, Fallen Leaf Lake came into view, and
above it, Mt Tallac was towering and showing off it's famous 'snow
cross' which can be seen only certain times of the year. It beckoned
me to stop and paint it, so I found a spot along Fallen Leaf Lake,
and finished a painting there.