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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Solar Sun Dog, June 4, 2011

Came out of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art yesterday after viewing the Wright Ludington Collection, and saw many people on the streets looking upward and taking photos. I turned my gaze skyward to see the most spectacular circular rainbow around the sun.

Ice crystals in the upper atmosphere, were refracting the mid-day sunlight like a prism, creating this rainbow effect.

Some day I'd like to capture one of these "Sun Dogs" in a painting. I've seen them appear at night around a full moon. I wonder if they call these, "Moon Dogs".

My understanding is it's nature's way of warning us, in a strange way, to pay attention to what lies ahead. Coming events cast their shadows...and it looks like rain!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

L.A. Painting: Down on "D" Street, June 3, 2011

Same neighborhood, different night. "D Street" in Long Beach. This scene reminded me of something out of the 1930's, it looked like an Edward Hopper motif.

I began this painting on location, at 11 pm, and packed up my gear at 5:30. All night long the gravel trucks sped by, racing down the road and beyond. It felt like they were missing me by only a few feet.

I had to fight the commuter traffic back to Santa Barbara, dozing off a number of times; Not a very smart thing to do.

I remember spending another twelve or so hours on finishing the painting before taking it into the critique.

Capturing the "feeling" of night continues to be my goal.
Down on "D" Street
28"x22" oil/canvas 1998
Private Collection

Nocturnes: Ship Yard Nocturne, June 2, 2011

Naval Ship Yard, San Pedro.

I painted this painting near Fisherman's Wharf in San Pedro. It shows a Navy ship in dry dock with the curtain pulled over it's bow, hiding the top secret sonar.

This painting was not accepted into my thesis exhibition for it was too small.

The late, former Marine Architect, friend and collector of mine, Pierre Claeyssens bought this work straight out of my studio as it took him back to the days he designed Liberty Ships right in this same neighborh0od in the late 1930's and into WWII.

It's more of a challenge to paint urban nocturnes because of the amount of lights and structural patterns/reflections, etc. I give thanks for my frontal lobe which allows me to edit keenly.

Ship Yard Nocturne
12x20 oil/board 1998
private collection

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Flags of our Fathers May 30, 2011

Memorial Day, 2011

Dawn's Early Light on Old Glory. It graces my home...long may it wave.

I don't remember being around in WWII, but I am here now, enjoying life. I am constant reminded of the sacrifices others have made and continue make today, for my freedom and liberty.

It's humbling for me as an artist, to paint paintings with an awareness of the fact that others have provided me with extraordinary opportunities in this rich life I lead.

So, I strive diligently to repay them in thought, word, and deed.

Photo: The Near Beach Hotel showing her colors.
The Flag: My Father's Flag: Flown over the U.S. Capital on December 7, 1941

Photo: T. Van Stein