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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Midnight in the Funk Zone April 10, 2010

There is an area in Santa Barbara known as the Funk Zone. It is relatively small in size and houses local businesses like coffee shops, Surf Board Manufacturers/sellers, Wineries, Art Galleries, Pizza joints, etc. The tall building near the end of the street is known as the, "Bekins Building" which I believe houses some photography studios.

I painted this painting back in 2003 for my Solo exhibition at the Carnegie Art Museum, in Oxnard, CA. It was one of the rare occasions where I started off with a reddish under painting. I believe I started the painting at 8pm and finished around two AM.

Normally, there is plenty of traffic in this location; esp. on Sundays during the Beach Festival on Cabrillo Blvd. However at midnight to two a.m. there is another crowd of people who seem to come out of the woodwork and saunter through the streets.

My attraction to the subject here is the funk; this location has enough of "Old Santa Barbara" to keep me intrigued, without it becoming too melancholy. It is slowly being revitalized to make way for the "New and Tidy".

This night, the only real challenge was to stay focused on my painting, and not succumb to the smell of freshly baked Rusty's Pizza wafting from the building next door.

Regarding the content of the painting; it sure 'feels' desolate. Even in a beautiful city such as Santa Barbara, the Funk Zone is an extremely safe place to paint at night.

Midnight in the Funk Zone
24x32 oil/canvas 2005
Painting subject to prior sale

Friday, April 9, 2010

Moon Over the Moor. April 9, 2010

During my first One Man Solo Museum Exhibition at the Carnegie Art Museum, in 2005, I did a plein air demonstration on my techniques for painting Nocturnes.

I first performed a slide presentation on the History of Nocturne Painting. While the lights were off I turned on my head lamp and book lights, revealing a blank canvas on my easel and a palette set up with all the colors ready for painting. I spent approximately 45 minutes to an hour painting this image. It is from my imagination.

Even though my basic basic design was based on some houses and landscape I'd seen in Scotland, The Moon and Clouds are mine.

The demonstration was merely to give a understanding of what I go through to capture the chiaroscuro while subjecting myself to low light situations.

In Mid June I am heading up a show of nocturne artists, at the Santa Barbara Tennis and Racket Club. This image was selected by the Curator, Susan Tibbles, to be the invitation piece.

Moon Over the Moor
14"x12" oil/Panel 2005

Painting subject to prior sale

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Baptismal Light, April 8, 2010

While this is not the best reproduction of the painting, I still am fond of the experience.

Mission San Antonio is in an out of the way location. In fact it is so remote that the mission, as well as the surrounding landscape make the location seem timeless. The challenge for me was to paint the effect of moonlight on a stucco building, much like what Charles Rollo Peters attempted in the early 20th Century. I wanted to have a light on inside to invoke mystery or wonderment. I wanted to convey this without creating a warm and fuzzy feeling to the painting like Thomas Kinkade might do.

This painting was accepted into the 90th annual California Art Club Gold Medal Exhibiton in 2001. It now hangs in London in the art collection of Reek Piseran of Corporate Intelligence Service, U.K. See: "Surreal Bounce".

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Stepping Up to the Plate. April 7, 2010

I chose the tone of a dull orangish brown in compliment with the moonlight I was seeing on the surface of the mission baptismal. I lined in the image with a combination of darker reddish brown oil paint mixed with linseed oil.

Joseph, being a former alter boy, made friends with the padre, and gained access to the baptismal. He lit 12 candles and put them in the window of the Baptismal so it would glow nicely for me.

I painted for two and a half hours until I felt I was complete with the painting; (enough to finish it from memory).

We packed up and drove back to Santa Barbara on a moonlit road, with the Air Stream and some wet paintings in tow.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mission San Antonio April 6, 2010

My gallery rep, Joseph Bottoms, took me up to Carmel for a night hauling his large Airstream behind his Chevy Blazer. It was a painting trip, as well as a recon excursion for an O.A.K. Group exhibition which would benefit the Carmel Valley Association.

We Stopped along the way to paint Point Sur Lightouse under a full moon, as well as a visitation to Mission San Antonio. Joe pulled his trailor alongside the Mission, which sat in the middle of the Fort Hunter Liggett Army Base in Central California.

While Joe made us something to eat, I set up my paints and started to paint the Mission Baptismal. This photo gives a pretty good indication of the palette configuration I was using at the time.

The Moon was rising, the Army Helicopters were warming up near by, and I was set up on what looked like unmarked graves from the indians who died while building the Mission 200 years ago, or less.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Contemplation. April 5, 2010

What next?

What is it I am here to do? What is it I am trying to say?

What can I do with my art which will satisfy my souls' need to express myself?

While walking in Santa Barbara, I saw this image appear through the fog. I took the picture, then watched the images disappear into the fog again.

Sometimes, such as with these two figures in this photo, I will need to sit and be quiet; contemplate that which makes my heart sing, or intrigues me, or nothing at all. and then wait for the spark of an idea to arise.

I find if it is meant to be, the stars will align and the evidence will reveal itself for me to put the pieces together.

And if everything appears symbolically as a potential teacher for me, and my awareness, I will awaken to the realization and read the manifestation clearly. In the case of these foggy apparitions, I looked at these two figures as 'showing up' in my reality in order to remind me I need to look inward for my answers; take personal responsibility for my chosen path, practice meditation, practice "ZENTOLOGY" (My word).

My peace of mind exists in knowing that I am always where I am meant to be, doing what I am meant to be doing, being who I am meant to be. I am to meant to create art for art sake and art for commerce sake; and yield for victory.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Wall Art at the CAF April 4, 2010

Now it is done.

This picture shows the wall in which the painting hangs. The aviation painting hanging next to "Tigers Over Kweilin", is is one I created in 2006 after being given the opportunity to fly left seat, traveling back from Fresno in the CAF's C-46 Curtis Commando, "China Doll". I shall visit the creation of this painting in a future blog.

My paintings hang for all to enjoy, and spark the imagination. Aside from the occasional bird dropping and yearly cleaning, most viewers are respectful when they view the paintings up close; in other words, they don't place their hands on them.

This is a good thing.

In retrospect, it has now been three years since the installation, the museum has grown in many ways, and I always enjoy returning to see my "children" from time to time. Their affect on the public? I guess the ripples go out; seeds are planted.

Now it feels like my job is done, the story is told and honor bestowed.

Now what?