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Friday, July 6, 2012


Monday, May 14, 2012

M.C. Escher: MIGRATION MAY 14, 2012
PLEASE FOLLOW ME AT:  and click on "Thoughts and Ideas"

See you soon, hopefully.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

In the Spirit of Steve McQueen, On a Metisse April 1, 2012

 Steve McQueen;  a, "Man's Man," riding a Husqvarna
Ever since I was a kid I've been fascinated with the concept of dirt bike riding. One of my heroes was Steve McQueen who raced through the streets of San Francisco in, "Bullet",  around the track in, "Le Mans", or jumping his motorcycle over barbed wire fences in, "The Great Escape".  I am ecstatic to share I've been commissioned to paint a number of paintings inside the Metisse Motorcycle FactoryOxford, England. Years ago, Metisse made a desert racing motorcycle especially designed for and named after McQueen. Today, they are in process of completing the prototype of a racing bike named after his son, "Chase".

Well, what's in a name? In this case, the legacy and quality behind the products produced by Metisse, speaks for itself, and the legacy of the legend of Steve McQueen continues into the 21st Century. 

I never thought my art career would move in this direction, but as a result of staying "open",  this opportunity has landed in my lap. I leave tomorrow for what will be my twelfth journey to Europe.

My technical approach will be to try to steer clear of photo realism;  handle the subject matter in a more painterly, and expressive way, and have fun while doing it.  I am looking forward to staying out in the Cotswolds, where when I am not painting in the factory,  I will get to experience and paint the quintessential English landscape, it's timeless rolling hills, hedgerows, and cottages with thatched roofs, seen in the 17th Century Landscape paintings by John Constable.

Once again, my child within is being paid to play.
Steve McQueen riding on his Metisse Desert Racer

Derek and Don Rickman creators of the Legendary Metisse Brand

Welding room at the Metisse Factory

The "Chase" Metisse under construction

Harry Erskine welding at Metisse

The "Chase" Metisse nearly completed.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ice Moon Cometh, Homer Alaska March 27, 2012

All I know it it was freezing cold (15 degrees F). but I was there to paint aloneness. Eringer and I had traveled to this remote destination to capture the surreal depth of desolation.

Out on the Homer Spit, nothing was moving except the wisping fog and lapping waves on the shore.

The rocks I stood on were black and Orca in shape, and I did my best not to slip on the ice that covered them while painting.

My -140 degree boots from Cabellas, made all the difference in my attitude to stick it out, and paint away. I added extra linseed oil into my paints (adding viscosity); in order to keep them from freezing

One has to be like leather when painting in this weather.

the Ice Moon Cometh
10x14 oil/board

Collection of Robert Eringer
Surreal Bounce 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The American Flag March 25, 2012

When traveling with Robert Eringer, on one of our Surreal Bounce Journeys, I captured on film, this Bald Eagle; perched like a postage stamp on top of this flag pole. Old Glory waving proudly with resolve through the damp and bleak breeze. 

Eringer and I traveled to Homer, Alaska in the dreary cold of Mid Winter, to try to experience the concept of  "Aloneness".  It was indeed dreary and desolate, yet expansive on many levels.  However, nothing was more heartwarming than to witness this sight as we arrived the Homer Spit. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

New Vincent Van Gogh Painting Discovered, Confirmed: March 20, 2012

It's always good to view a new work by an OLD MASTER.

This photo provided by the Kroeller Mueller Museum in Otterlo, Netherlands, Tuesday, March 20, 2012, shows a painting entitled "Still life with meadow flowers and roses" by Vincent van Gogh.

 My understanding; is it takes at least five Authority Figures on a particular artist, all to concur that a discovered painting belongs to that particular artist, before it is declared an original.

Looks like this one passed the test. 

I am amazed at the craftsmanship and composition, the muted tones, and light which Van Gogh captured in a timeless manner. Even though the painting is mellowed with age, the arrangement still feels fresh, and pure like they were gathered only a moment ago.

I am excited for the world, and recall the day I hopped over the barrier at Van Gogh's Asylum of St. Paul de Mausole, and laid my bones in Van Gogh's bed. 

I did what I could, just to get into his head!

Surreal Bounce Journey: An Ear in Provence. Photo: Robert Eringer
See my blog post: A Huge Presence in a Small Bed. May 20, 2010



Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sunday Service; St. Marks March 18, 2012

Moon Over St . Marks  8x6 oil/board
A few years ago I went on a Surreal Bounce Journey with Robert Eringer, and his imaginary friend, up to a little hamlet North of Santa Barbara called, Los Olivos. We traveled there to view the full Lunar Eclipse. The town has a, "No Street Lights" ordinance making the evening skies more enjoyable to view. This was one of three sketches I did that evening waiting for the big event.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Blue Rider Vase of Flowers: Water Color Demonstration #8 March 15, 2012

Blue Vase of Flowers,  Water Colors

Teaching day: Working in watercolors with the wet on wet paint application, and the use of a single one-inch sponge brush.  The objective is to restrict the variety of color variations; and limiting the palette to a cool blue harmony.  All colors will be influenced by a some quantity of blue.

The Blue Rider  bu  Franz Marc

This is nothing original: 20th Century Expressionists France Marc and Wassily Kandinsky created paintings motivated by the colors based on this Blue Harmony...

Now, just put on some Rythem and Blues,  mix yourself a Bombay Sapphire Blue Martini, and then paint away the blues!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Watercolor Demonstration #7 Harmony in Yellow March 14, 2012

Vase of Flowers    14x11    water color on paper
Color Exploration: Harmony in Yellow.

The challenge: how to create a painting where all the colors have some quantity of yellow as an ingredient. 

Collection of the artist 

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Abstract Impulse March 12, 2012

Every representational painting begins with an abstract statement; poetic marks coming together in harmonious relationships. 

The Zen-like philosophy of saying more with less; one brush stroke instead of 50, is one way of insuring a lasting, lively vitality of a painting.

Pushing the paint around while using a large brush instead of a small one, also serves an artist technically; to let go of control, and make bigger statements. 

Using an abundance of paint; with some colors mixed on the palette, and some mixed directly on the canvas, is another way which is bound to invite greater possibility of accidental brush strokes emulating a glimpse of genius.

Get out of the way, be the channel for the life force to create through you, and beyond you.  Merely witness the process and celebrate the dance with paint.  

But remember, if one works too long, too fast, or too hard into their subject, the  original lively poetic abstract may turn in to a labored thesis that is prophetically painted in prose.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday Service, Santa Cruz Island March 11, 2012

Moon  Over the Cross, S.C.I.  10x8 oil  2002
I found this JPeg of a painting I created around ten years ago when I went out to Santa Cruz Island to paint with the OAK Group. It's an honest rendition of the Moon, high over the giant red cross that rests on the grassy hill just above the Stanton Ranch.

For all I know the cross has been out there on the island since the 1860's, from a time when people lived more religiously and relied on the hope of God's support and guidance: they weren't afraid to see this symbol as a guiding light.

In the 21st Century, this symbol is offensive to many, and I am sure the ACLU would like to abolish it as Santa Cruz Island (except for the Stanton Ranch), is now controlled by the National Park Service.  

As an artist who sometimes lives life on the edge, the cross and what it symbolizes keeps and has kept me from going over the ledge.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Moon Time March 8, 2012

Silvery Moon Light  12x9 oil/panel 2009
This little nocturne, painted alla prima, was a demonstration for a Nocturne Painting Workshop I taught through University of California Santa Barbara, a couple of years ago. It was donated to the Scottsdale Artist School for their annual fund raiser.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Plein Air Painting in Adverse Conditions March 3, 2012

Blustery with occasional showers. only around 1/3 of the class showed up to paint the vista from Overlook Park in Summerland, (near Santa Barbara). It wasn't so bad. I found if we set up about 15 feet back from the bluff face the wind would pass over us, making it relatively comfortable.  It was a cold wind though, and those with thin skin checked out early.

My demo came out o.k.. I feel I got a good start on it; that is, until I walked away...  I left the painting unattended to go help a student, when the wind blew my easel over, causing a little bit of change to the texture of the clouds at the top of the painting. Fortunately,  all totally fixable.  Part of being an artist is knowing how to deal with the matter at hand, and to correct things that are out of place.

To quote Richard Bach, "There are not problems; only opportunities to be creative!"

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Pelican Brief March 1, 2012

Birds of a Feather
 In the last few days there's been a flying phenomenon of feathery friends gliding in formation up the coast. Weather it is part of a winged migration due to a mild winter in Southern California, or an aviary  invasion, these prehistoric looking pterodactyl are a sight to behold. 

Transcending time; linking millenniums, teaching through metaphor. 

One gets it if they listen...

Flock together

Monday, February 27, 2012

Plein Air Painting, View from Rincon February 27, 2012

Afternoon Light, Rincon  12x16  oil/canvas
A nice sunny day along the bluff top, I painted this for my art class as a demonstration painting, capturing the Southern California Light.

The painting will be on exhibit at the upcoming Winter Quarters Exhibition at the Chris Dentzel Gallery, in Santa Barbara. Opening Wednesday February 29, 2012 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Atmospheric Perspective, Santa Barbara February 26, 2012

View from Vedanta 12x17  oil/board  2012
View from Vedanta
The Vedanta Temple in Montecito offers a commanding vista toward Santa Barbara, as well as a mellow space for meditation.

Demonstration painting for my plein air painting class "Light and Shadow in Art". This painting will be on exhibit for the upcoming show, Winter Quarters at the Chris Dentzel Gallery
Santa Barbara; opening February 29, 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Winter Quarters Art Exhibition February 25, 2012

Clarence Hinkle's View  9x12
National Academy member Clarence Hinkle (1880-1860) lived in Santa Barbara
from 1935-1960. He taught at the Art Center in Los Angeles, and influenced many contemporary artists such as Santa Barbara OAK GROUP member, Meredeth Abbott.  

Last November I was invited to take my class to his former home/studio,  by it's current resident; artist, Priscilla Fossek, to view his studio (which is now her studio) and yard where he'd painted many a masterpiece. I wanted to give the class the opportunity to get close to the "spirit of a master," and paint from a perspective rarely seen by the general public and/or those who appreciate art history.

Winter Quarters Art Exhibition

February 29-June 29
Chris Dentzel Gallery
828 Santa Barbara Street, Santa Barbara

(805) 962-5030

Preview Evening Wednesday February 29, 2012 5-8pm

First Thursday Opening: Thursday March 1, 2012 5-8 pm

Friday, February 24, 2012

Winter Quarters Art Exhibition February 24, 2012

Winter Light,  Butterfly Beach 9x12 oil
Butterfly Beach Demonstration Painting.

I love painting at Butterfly Beach in Santa Barbara, especially because it is so popular; everyone considers it to be, "Their Beach".

This is the finished Demo from (see my Blog from Ground Hogs Day: February 2, 2012

It will be on exhibit next week at the Chris Dentzel Gallery,  in the Winter Quarters Art Exhibition.

Winter Quarters Art Exhibition

February 29-June 29
Chris Dentzel Gallery
828 Santa Barbara Street, Santa Barbara

(805) 962-5030

Preview Evening Wednesday February 29, 2012 5-8pm

First Thursday Opening: Thursday March 1, 2012 5-8 pm

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Winter Quarters Art Exhibition February 19, 2012

Winter Surf 6x9  oil/board
Quick gestural sketch of the California Surf off Arroyo Burro Beach, Santa Barbara

It was my demonstration painting for my class "Light and Shadow in Art"
Painted February 8, 2012.

I dedicate this post to my long time buddy Steve Taraldsen, who is battling enormous  waves of adversity; get well soon my friend. Hold Fast!

Winter Quarters Art Exhibition

February 29-June 29
Chris Dentzel Gallery
828 Santa Barbara Street, Santa Barbara

(805) 962-5030

Preview Evening Wednesday February 29, 2012 5-8pm

First Thursday Opening: Thursday March 1, 2012 5-8 pm

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Winter Quarters Art Exhibition February 22, 2012

Winter Sunset 9x12  oil/board 2012
Winter Sunset from above Tunnel Road.
The Sun sets incredibly fast in the winter; one must paint quickly to capture the fleeting light over Santa Barbara.

Winter Quarters Art Exhibition Opening February 21, 2012

Sunrise, Mammoth Mountain  6x10 oil/board
Winter Quarters Art Exhibition

February 29-June 29
Chris Dentzel Gallery
828 Santa Barbara Street, Santa Barbara

(805) 962-5030

Preview Evening Wednesday February 29, 2012 5-8pm

First Thursday Opening: Thursday March 1, 2012 5-8 pm

Monday, February 20, 2012

Winter Quarters Art Exhibition February 20, 2012

Winter Light, East Beach  12x16 oil/board 2012

Winter Quarters Art Exhibition
February 29-June 29
Chris Dentzel Gallery
828 Santa Barbara Street, Santa Barbara

(805) 962-5030

Preview Evening Wednesday February 29, 2012 5-8pm

First Thursday Opening: Thursday March 1, 2012 5-8 pm

Moon Over the Turkey Tree, Santa Cruz Island 10x8
The Opening of Winter Quarters 
Join me, and fellow artists Cynthia Burt and Filiberto Lomeli

Preview Evening Reception: Wednesday, February 29, 5 - 8 pm

First Thursday Opening: Thursday, March 1, 5 - 8 pm

Chris Dentzel Gallery
828 Santa Barbara Street


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Winter Quarters Art Exhibition February 19, 2012

Cover Image: Cynthia Burt

I have been asked to be a part of a three person art exhibition opening on First Thursday Evening, March 1, 2012 at the Dentzel Gallery in Santa Barbara. I will be exhibiting along with fellow artists Cynthia Burt, and Filiberto Lomeli. We will be exploring the depths of Winter's light and long shadows in Southern California through our plein air paintings.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Watercolor Demonstration #6 February 16, 2012

Today's lesson for my Color Exploration class: Harmony in Red.  The objective: integrate variations of red into all masses in order to achieve an overall harmony.  

Most of my painting was done in the Wet on Wet fashion which allowed for less control of the medium. I'm letting the paint say more in an unpredictable manner, so the painting can have life and vitality; and doesn't feel labored.

Roses 12x10 
Collection of the Artist 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Graffiti Art Valentine February 14, 2012

What better way to say
then with a heart thats made
of pink, black, and white spray!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Installation Art February 11, 2012

Art for Art Sake.  My first attempt at installation art. Venice Beach 2011 

Left by the side of the  road, it's fate unknown...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Teaching Day: Joaquin Sorolla, and The Art of Play February 9, 2012

Today's class was set up at the Arroyo Burro (Hendrys) Beach in Santa Barbra. Beautiful Day, Beautiful Weather, Beautiful Light. The Surf was up: waves 5-8 feet! Everyone was feeling fine.

Today's Demonstration:  looking into the glistening path of light from a high sun overhead, the goal was to think color first, then seeing the relationships on the notes of color adjacent to the highlights. I chose the color harmonies based on a painting I'd seen painted by Joaquin Sorolla; called, "Beach on the Noon"
(I will post my demo later). 

Joaquin Sorolla: Beach on the Noon

Boy on the March

What captivated me was the quantity of foam that accumulated at the shoreline. I saw a little boy playing by the sea shore and felt compelled to capture his since of exhilaration while playing in the suds.

Lite and Frothy

He did his best to avoid the Foam Monster, until he decided to climb into the largest pile of foam, pick a bunch, and take some home.
My Class at Play

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rocket's Red Glare February 7, 2012

One of my art students, Meggi McKenzie, took this photo the other day, North of Santa Barbara.  

My philosophy is that because they are open, and looking out over the ledge most of the time, Artists tend to find themselves in situations where they are the witness to events: such as the Artist, Collin Campbell Cooper being on board the S.S. Carpathia when it rescued survivors from the Titanic.  I've been lucky enough to see the original paintings done on location during the rescue, and they are a site to behold.

In this case, Doreen caught the rocket in mid flight as it was heading somewhere, "out there".

It's kinda romantic to look at, unless it is an ICBM  from Vandenberg Air Force Base; heading toward China, Korea, Russia, beginning World War III.

If it was the last day on the Earth as we know it, I'd want to go out painting...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Superbowl Sunday Sunset February 6, 2012

While many were glued to the tube, a few caught a glimpse of the last light of day. For those who missed it, this is the one that got away...
Sunset, near Santa Barbara

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Teaching Day. February 2, 2012

Criteria for Demonstration:  

Held at Butterfly Beach along Channel Drive across from the Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel, the lecture began with a thumbnail sketch, then articulating the process and importance of designing the composition; like creating a road map for the sub conscious.

Using a warm and cool of each primary color and white,  advancing the colorist theory achieving vibration through the juxtaposition of warm and cool colors.  Creating the entire painting on the palette first, then laying then blending masses together on palette for the purpose of achieving color harmony. 

Along the way, editing patterns; simplifying, then weaving the masses together like tapestries and holding to the principle of using one brush stroke instead of 50.  I'm thinking, "poetry, not prose," and applying the paint as briskly as possible in order to capture the light before it changes.  

One must paint as if their house is burning down.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Searching for Sponge Bob: L.A. Art Expo February 1, 2012

What can you do with a bunch of Green Boas? Hang'em from the ceiling, and have giant plastic jello molds, each with fans inside blowing their lids making the boas shimmer and undulate...  Wow, this concept was most certainly anti C L A M actic!!
It did provide comfort for those suffering from aqua need for anyone to ever swim, scuba dive or snorkel again; they can experience the magic of the undersea world right on dry land!  

I looked for Sponge Bob, but I guess he'd run away with Patrick.  Someone had last seen them chasing Damian Hirst's static butterfly decorations.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Pearls of Wisdom from a Monkey's Uncle January 31, 2012:

As if the Second Thursday Art Event in Los Angeles wasn't edgy enough, I attended the L.A. Art Expo a few days later. 

At the Expo my first introduction to 21st Century Conceptual Art was this particular installation; designed to evoke some kind of  primal instinct in the viewer; it was about multi-dimension, time collapsing on itself, all roads lead to Rome in this moment of NOW, esoteric kinda thinking.

It reminded me of the Ape(s) coming across the big black bar in  Stanley Kubrick's "2001 A Space Odyssey", (root word ODD). However, in this case the primate comes face to face with the  conceptual Pearl of Wisdom axiom. Here, the monkey is frozen in time with a funny look on his face; are we to assume this died of fright? Or maybe it died at the instant revelation of ecstatic enlightenment, or maybe of after merely witnessing the enormous size of the pearl! (I might have died if I discovered a pearl this size). Maybe it's about witnessing a moment of transformation? Who knows. The artist wasn't there to answer any questions.

Whatever,   in any case, it's nice to know taxidermy is still available for stuffing family pets; or, to put it in a politically correct manner, "Preserving" them for art installations.

Alas, Shakespeare had it right:  there  is "nothing new under the sun", and at least from my perspective, at the 2012 L.A. Art Expo, this held true, and I don't care to doddle around this Monkey Business any longer.

In 10 Days My Blog will be moved to my website: 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Postman Always Rings Twice: Teaching Day January 28, 2012

Old Barnsdall Oil Co. Gas Depot, on Hollister, near Santa Barbara

Every now and then things fall into place. Wednesday's class location was changed at the last minute due to unforeseen  circumstances. (Construction Equipment)

Instead I opted to relocate the class down the lane near Ellwood, to paint this historic icon which is behind a fence, and slowly decaying.  Still, it was there for us to paint it's portrait.

Light and Shadow in Art, on location Jan. 25, 2012
I only know this building was used as a film location for the movie, "The Postman Always Rings Twice", starring Jack Nickolson. Then one of my students in class told me he use to work there pumping gas. (a long long time ago).

Another student then sent me this image of the gas station, taken not long after it was built. (Thanks Bill)
Now we can only hope to make each brush strokes count, as we paint away each moment; imagining the ghosts of the past...and it all comes together.

The postman always rings twice, because if we don't answer the first ring, we may be out painting. 

In two weeks I will be running this blog through my website: