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Saturday, June 5, 2010

East Beach, Windy day. June 3, 2010

In the likes of Eugene Boudin, I painted this painting as a demonstration, for my Summer class 2007. The first day of class is always a challenge as there are sometimes up to forty students crowded around watching the demo, asking questions throughout the process.

My Thoughts during the painting:

I am stimulated mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally as I figuratively dance with a brush in my hand; coming up with answers to my students' questions. I try to remain focused, adhering to my original motif; hoping I don't screw up the painting.

Most of the time I am lucky to get a good start, but finishing is another story. That may take weeks, or years to do depending upon many variables. Every painting will hopefully find a home some day.

If I don't sell a painting, I look at it as an opportunity to improve it until it does sell. I paint and hope to sell, not paint to sell. This way I stay pure to my craft.

This painting did sell, eventually, and to whom I know not.

It's all about detachment, through and through.

East Beach, Windy Day
12x16 oil 2007

Private collection

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Angels Flight. June 2, 2010

June Gloom has arrived here in Santa Barbara, and it seems like the entire day is Gray with no change in temperature; I might as well be living in Denmark!

As a pilot, I remember days when the clouds were so low I couldn't fly under Visual Flight Rules (VFR Conditions), however with the aid of an instructor I could get a 'special' to, "get on top" of the clouds to fly around. It always seemed like I'd arrived in heaven when I eventually broke through the cloud cover.

Twelve years ago, when I was in the midst of getting my Master's Degree in Art, the Moon was coming up full, and I needed to capture it, or try to anyway. But the clouds were low and in the way. Then I got the idea to try and drive up to E. Camino Cielo, (3000ft. agl) and paint the effect of moonlight above the clouds.

Up on the top of La Cumbre Peak, I set up to paint this painting. It took me almost four hours to complete, then another eight hours glazing it in my studio. During this time I was amazed to witness the thinning of the ocean of fog over the city of Goleta. As the fog would thin, the light would come bubbling up like a glowing soup in a cauldron.

With the Green underpainting tone of the canvas, and blues of the moonlight cast upon the clouds and mountains, it truly gave me the inspiration of what it may be like to be an angel; above the fray, free to play.

Angel's Flight
22"x44", oil/canvas 1998
Private Collection

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Everything's Coming Up Roses. June 1, 2010

I tell my students: it's not what the rose looks like, it's what it smells like.

This gets them considering their subject in a multidimensional way, which, hopefully will translate on to canvas.

Warms and Cools juxtaposed will give greater vibration than complimentary colors adjacent to each other.

I am still trying to evoke an emotional response from my viewers. If I can do that, I know what I have expressed has been clearly communicated.

Summer Roses
11x14 oil/board 2010

Collection of the Artist

Monday, May 31, 2010

They Gathered at Sunrise. May 30, 2010

Skip forward five years.

I taught an oil painting workshop out in the Owens Valley in 2008, in the granite rocks configured near the town of Lone Pine, called the, "Alabama Hills". They are amongst the oldest in North America.

Time stands still out there in the vast solitude of the valley.

Now, I don't claim to believe in anthropomorphism but these rocks are alive. They move, they talk. They have seen so much change since the dawn of time, and stand still like Stonehenge.

On this particular morning, I painted them while they seemed to be gazing into the morning sunrise; huddled together like a family, in awe of the life they were witnessing.

I don't think they noticed they were being observed by my watchful eye, and if they did, they maid me no mind.

"They Gathered at Sunrise"
6x10, oil

Collection of Gerry Winett, and Ann Sanders

A Rosie Day. May 31, 2010

Spent a wonderful day teaching the art of painting en plein air (on location) at the Santa Barbara Rose Garden. I have a great class of adults, many of whom I have taught for close to ten years now.

Today's lesson was about how to paint flowers, and warm/cool contrasts. The demo took about an hour and 15 minutes.

My best friend Bella is seen in the upper left of the photo, waiting on gopher.

This was a rewarding day.