Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Recent California Sketches

 "Laguna Canyon" (9x12) o/c 

Here are a few small paintings and studies I did on my two recent road trips to southern & northern California... In August we went down to L.A. for the opening of my solo show, "End of the Trail" at Maxwell Alexander Gallery, and also for family vacation time that took us to Mexico to visit my folks...

 "California Light" (12x12) o/l

In September I drove back down for the Sonoma Plein Air event, which I enjoy immensely for it's beautiful hill-covered vineyards and rugged coastal scenes. I also got to paint with friends I only see once a year...

 "Blue Eucalyptus" (8x10) o/c

Painting in Sonoma is a kind of California "fix" for me as I miss my roots living in the northwest part of the country now; anytime I can get down to my home state (especially to paint) I take it!

"TwilightMoon"(6x8) o/l

 Laguna Beach is another favorite place for me having visited there since I was a kid in the 60's and 70's and then rented studio space in the 80's. It's not quite the same as back then, but still has a charm and beauty unlike any other on the west coast...

"Three Arch Bay" (9x12) o/l

I was fortunate to hook up with a childhood friend who now owns a quaint little beach cottage in Three Arch Bay (a very exclusive and hard-to-get-into place with it's own secluded beach). We were able to spend a couple of days there, swimming and painting; it was a beautiful and memorable visit -- thanks again Danny, see you next time!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Show Opening August 19th~

"Smugglers" (30x40) o/c

My new solo show, "End of the Trail" opens next weekend, Saturday, August 19th at Maxwell Alexander Galley in Los Angeles, CA.  This show will include 13 new oils ranging in size from 16x10 to 30x40. 

These paintings are all within the western genre and revolve around the metaphor of the "trail" (our life's journey) with it's various experiences, and emotions... Reception times are 6:30 to 8:30pm, and catalogs are available thru the gallery~

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

 "Sycamore Trail" (23.5x28.5) oil on linen

This image was comprised from sketchbook drawings, photos, plein air sketches and imagination...
I always go thru a series of thumbnails-to-tighter pencil drawings, working out a composition, and this was no different except that I had some small plein air paintings as a foundation to springboard from...

 Sketch book thumbnails

The painting below (sans the horse which was added later) was done in the foot hills of Saddleback Mountain in Orange County, CA last spring. The horse was added later via a photograph my dad provided from near his home in Mexico. For the larger, "Sycamore Trail" I wanted the rider and pack horse to be scaled way back in  mid-ground so the painting would be formerly a 'landscape' rather than the horses & rider taking the spot light. The supporting trees in the background came from another plein air sketch I did in Irvine Park not far from the painting below...

"Waiting" (field sketch 9x12) oil on panel SOLD

I am not quite adept enough yet at pulling accurate horse anatomy purely from imagination, so photo reference was necessary, especially for the horses in motion (something I am constantly studying) but overall I'm pretty happy with the somewhat early California Impressionist feel this one turned out having...

Friday, July 28, 2017

Outdoor quick sketches~

Scotch Church Road (9x12) oil on panel

These are just a sample of field sketches I've done lately, studying colour for my larger western studio paintings...

 Untitled (9x12 cropped) oil on linen

These were all done not far from home in Tualatin, Hillsboro and Sherwood, Oregon.

Summer Pond (9x12) oil on panel

Even when on a deadline with studio work for galleries, I still make time to get out and paint from nature -- the ONLY way to learn the subtle nuances of light and colour...

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Signature Artist Member with California Art Club!

"Waiting" (12x16) o/c

So happy to be upgraded to "Signature" Artist Member of the California Art Club!

This is a very prestigious art club founded in 1909 and built on the foundation of promoting and supporting contemporary-traditional fine art.  CAC is one of the oldest, largest and most active art organizations in the country, boasting past memberships of such notable west coast painters as, William Ritschel, Euphemia Fortune, Hanson Puthuff, Edgar Payne, William Wendt, etc.

I am very excited and honored to be part of such a great organization, and look forward to many years participating in their events and exhibitions! 

Monday, June 12, 2017

"The Watchers"

 The Watchers (24x32) o/c SOLD

This is a new piece that will be included in my upcoming solo show opening this August at Maxwell Alexander Gallery in Los Angeles. Most ideas like this one start as a thumbnail doodle in my sketchbook where I jot down ideas from imagination, or from something inspired by real life (as was this one from my last trip to the desert earlier this year)...

(Original sketchbook thumbnail)

In this case it was a scene I imagined of trackers, bounty hunters revolutionaries...or? The main idea was whatever these guys are doing, it is punctuated by the rising moon and diminishing daylight -- contemplation of a trail gone cold perhaps...

 (colour sketch 8x10)
After I settled on the composition, I had a friend dress up and model for both figures, and I used reference from several plein air paintings I had done on site in the Anza Borrego desert not far from the Mexican border. I also like the element of mystery, not just from the early evening atmosphere, but from the figures facing away from us (and ones head being cropped off) that keep them anonymous and perhaps a little more vague as to their intentions.


 The paintings I like by other artists (and what I hope to achieve in my own) are the ones that give you a start to a narrative that the viewer has to complete; this gets the viewer involved on a more personal level even if they know nothing of the people in the picture.

(Another sketchbook thumbnail)

If a painting can be effective as not just a nice visual, but as a story telling (or "story starting" device) then you've accomplished something that makes the art twice as interesting...and I think people enjoy that a little bit more~

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

New Work...

"They Will Pay" (16x16) oil on linen SOLD

This is a new piece going into my solo show at Maxwell Alexander Gallery -- this show will consist of western figures (Cowboys, Bandits, Smugglers, etc.) opening in L. A. august 19th, 2017. 

Friday, May 5, 2017

Feliz Cinco De Mayo!

"Spanish Guitar" (16x12 cropped)

Another work-in-progress going toward my solo show in Los Angeles at Maxwell Alexander Gallery... Exhibition opens august 19th!