Coastal Passions

Honored that two of my paintings will be part of the upcoming “Coastal Passions”, conducted by the Monterey Bay Plein Air Painters. The show will run 9/2/2022 – 10/27/2022 with a 
Reception: 9/2/2022 7-9pm at the 
Pacific Grove Art Center – Gill Gallery
568 Lighthouse Ave
Pacific Grove, California 

More info can be found here–  https://www.mbpapa.org/event/164031/coastal-passions-mbpapa-all-member-juried-show

Marina

Marina, 10×40, oil on canvas

In days past, I often drove by this wondrous area of the south eastern dunes of Monterey Bay, but now find the area enchanting. Recently working on a new painting, I chronicled my efforts on Facebook as it progressed.

My weblog readers might be interested in the development and processes as things went along. Below are my posts from Facebook…


June 20, 2022. So, I have had this 10×40 inch canvas sitting in my studio for 10-15 years. It’s a bit of an odd size, and over the years contemplated on a good composition to fit it. So, this week, let’s try something…


June 21, 2022. An old adage is “paint what you know”. It is a good point, but artists should occasionally push themselves out of their comfort level. In the case of the odd size 10x40inch canvas mentioned yesterday, I am going to paint what I know. We walk by this view at least several times a week near Marina, CA. Here is just a rough block in of the scene.


June 22 2022. Seems to be interest in the development of this odd sized 10×40 inch canvas, so here is today’s progress …

May not have a lot of time the rest this week to work on it, but stay tuned…


July 6, 2022. Back to the odd size painting (10×40 in) which has been on hiatus for a bit. Working all over the canvas now. Still working on the shape of the trees on the left. I actually scraped part of it off as it was overpowering the painting. Still a ways to go…


July 12, 2022. I did a little revamp on the 10×40 inch painting the last several days. I painted the large trees on the left several times, scraping and painting over. I still didn’t like it as they overpowered the rest of the painting, and didn’t give it the expansive view I wanted. So, I revamped for several days, painting them entirely out, repainting the background, and then a smaller tree. Here is the progression…the original trees, repainting the background, and then the result. I hope everyone agrees the effort was worth it!


July 18, 2022.The 10×40 painting still continues. Normally, I would have a painting like this done in about a week or two, if not sooner, however I have had a lot of distractions with houseguests and other things. You may not notice a lot of difference, but I put in a ‘separation layer’ of liquin, and then glazed some sunshine and atmosphere over the background areas. Also, similar to redoing the large trees on the left, I reduced the bushes on the right middle ground as they were too big and overpowering the view. Hopefully I’ll get this finished by the end of the week!


July 6, 2022.  Coming down the home stretch on this one. Just a little touchup here and there, and will consider it done…for now…


It helps living close to things you paint.  You can see things frequently, and then adjust your work accordingly.  We did a walk in the area a few days ago by the scene, and I noticed the prominent green plants have a bit of dead underbrush.  The green really contrasts with the reds and oranges of the ice plant, and a little underbrush modifies the effect.

In this painting, although true to the scene, I have moved a few elements around such as trees, bushes, etc. for a more pleasing composition.  Cardinal rule of any good landscape painting moves your eye around the piece without going off the edge.  Hopefully I accomplished that.  

For those familiar with the area, the general view is in Ft Ord Dunes State Park from the hillside near the Divarty underpass.    Monterey Bay is shown, and the distant shore is the Santa Cruz area.

For many years, going to my gallery representation in Carmel, participating in the Carmel Art Festival, etc., I drove right by this area to paint the rocky coastlines of Big Sur, the ice plant of Pacific Grove, and other more familiar attractions.  Now that I live in the area, the dunes of Marina and the south eastern shoreline of Monterey Bay beg to be painted.

I’ll consider this done for now. Final painting is shown here and above.

Point Lobos Foundation Art Appreciation Day

Headland Cove, Point Lobos, 8×16, oil on panel $600 unframed

I was invited along with the Monterey Bay Plein Air Painters to participate in the inaugural Point Lobos Foundation Art Appreciation Day  yesterday, June 11. The Foundation’s mission is to protect and nurture Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, to educate and inspire visitors to preserve its unique natural and cultural resources, and to strengthen the network of Carmel Area State Parks. We have had a warming trend in the area, and promised to be a great day for weather…and it was!

We needed to be in line at Point Lobos State Preserve by the 8am opening time as parking is always tight to non-existence there.  They graciously waived the $10 preserve entry fee for us artists.  Prior to the event, they asked us to pick a place to paint so they could advertise where we all were.  I chose Cypress Grove Trail as I had never painted there, and would probably have a lot of foot traffic.

I spent most the morning working on an 8×16 piece of Headland Cove.  The painting turned out pretty good, shown above, and is a keeper, although as always, will touch it up a bit. Below are a few pictures of the day…

After lunch, and a quick power nap in the car, I painted another piece, 8×10, from the same spot, but a more intimate, closer view of the rocks.  My objective was to capture the ever changing colors and value of the ocean as it crashes agains the headlands.  I accomplished that, but totally messed up the compositional aspect of the painting.  I ended up with 5 evenly spaced rocks of equal size.  I will modify it some for a more pleasing composition, hopefully without taking away the colors of the pounding surf!

Pt Lobos Surf, 8×10, oil on panel, $380 unframed.

I rarely put prices on my paintings online, but in this case I will.  Proceeds from the paintings will go to the Foundation.  Free shipping in the continental US. If interested, please email me donald@donaldneff.com .

Art Appreciation Day at Pt. Lobos

"China Cove Panorama", 12x36, oil on canvas
“China Cove Panorama”, 12×36, oil on canvas

Come join us at Point Lobos State Preserve this Saturday, June 11. I’ll be participating in their Art Appreciation Day by painting en plein air most the day. Any paintings I do that day, or a few I bring from the studio will be on sale with part of the proceeds going to charity. Come early, as parking fills up quickly.

More info can be found here.

Vote!

I have five paintings entered in the May Plein Air Salon Art competition. They have a peoples choice award which you can vote for online. Below are the five paintings, and if you click on each one, will take you to a page to vote. If you have time, and willing, please vote for each painting. The deadline is June 10, 2022.

Misty Sentinel,16x20,oil on board
Misty Sentinel,16×20,oil on board
“Thunderbird Lodge”, 24×12, oil on gallery wrap canvas
“Thunderbird Lodge”, 24×12, oil on gallery wrap canvas

Whales, Whales, and More Whales!

At Ft Ord Dunes State Beach near our home in California, earlier this week, was an amazing display of nature.  For several days, dozens of Humpback whales were frolicking close to shore, feeding, breaching, slapping, spy hopping, and other activities.  Enjoy this short video I took mainly from shore with my iPhone 13, but also a few shots from my drone of some stragglers after most were gone.  Be sure to turn the sound on.

DUD

Well, I originally didn’t plan on telling anybody about this, but just for the record, last Wednesday’s painting was a total dud.  It happens. Frequently with artists.

I went out with the Monterey Bay Plein Air Painters again.  The venue was the Monterey Wharf.  We painted there last February, and while everyone else was painting Del Monte Beach, I painted a boat in the wharf.  This time, I was going to paint the beach.   Only one other painter showed up, Al Shamble, who picks and coordinates all the venues for the group.

Generally, I consider these paint-outs more artist social events, and don’t try to produce a great painting, but this time, my piece was a total dud.  I kept painting and scraping it for a few hours, and then, since I had to attend to other things that day, packed it up and left.

The best part of the morning was just sitting on the wharf, hearing the waves, listening to the seagulls, watching a little kid learning to surf, and viewing the sea lions playing around the sailboats.  Actually, it was a pretty good morning!!

Here’s a few pictures…

141 Feet Above Garrapata

141 Feet Above Garrapata, 14×18, oil on canvas

One of the spectacular coastlines in the world, the Big Sur coastline runs for 90 miles on the west central coast of California.  California Highway One winds along its length and is flanked on one side by the majestic Santa Lucia Mountains and on the other by the rocky Pacific Coast.   Garrapata State Park extends along the coast on the northern part of the coastline and I am fortunate to live just half an hour away from this spectacular area. 

Out painting with the California Art Club last January, I flew my drone for a quick flight.  You can read about that excursion here, plus a short video I made, shown below.

This painting is a frame from the drone video I took that day, and can actually be seen around the midpoint of the video below.  I have occasionally been doing paintings from a drone’s eye perspective, the first being “The World’s First Plein Air Drone Selfie” here.

Natividad, “A Time to Heal”

I am honored to have two paintings in the Natividad “A Time to Heal” MBPAPA show. Natividad Medical Center, 1441 Constitution Blvd., Salinas, CA. The show runs for an entire year, May 30, 2022 – May 30, 2023. At this point they are not sure if an artists reception will be scheduled, depending on current covid condition.

%d bloggers like this: