Month: March 2007

Joseph Grant County Park

We had a short winter storm come through last night which brought rain and colder temperatures. I like going out and painting right after these storms, > as it is the best time in this area to catch some big cumulus clouds and clear air. I originally thought about heading towards the coast, but got a late start, so just headed up the hill behind my house to Joseph Grant County Park. I had not painted this area in quite awhile even though it is less than 20 minutes drive.

The drive up Quimby Road was spectacular as usual. You can see all of San Jose, the Silicon Valley and most of the way up the San Francisco Penninsula on a good day. Dotted along the road are old farmhouses, barns, and myriad of farm animals.

I did an 11×14 painting at Grant Lake. The clouds were wonderful and I made it mainly a cloud scape. As the clouds drifted in and out, the light would dance through the hills making it an ever changing scene. The painting turned out good, a keeper. Below are some photos.


Grant Lake when I arrived.


My easel and the lake when I was about finished.


The painting on the easel. I will post a better picture of the painting when I get around to photographing it better.

Yosemite Renaissance

I will have a painting up for auction in the Yosemite Renaissance Fund Raiser over the next few weeks. The donated painting will be shown online and auctioned off at the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite National Park on Friday April 13, 2007. I decided to donate one of my latest studios series of the Truckee River after a heavy snowfall…similar to what I just demoed at the LGAA.

Big Sur

We had been having spring like weather, plus it had been awhile since I had painted the Big Sur area, and taken the Harley out on a painting trip, so decided to do both today.
I left around 7:30 when the sun was just starting to peek over the hills and mountains behind the house. I love the early morning motorcycle rides when the air is cool, and the sun is dappling the landscape with color.

After passing through Monterey and Carmel, I arrived at one of my favorite painting spots, Garrapata State Park around 9:00. I had done quite a few paintings here, including the one which won “Best in Oils” last year at the Carmel Art Festival. The California marine layer, aka fog, was hanging just offshore, so I drove around for a few minutes to see where I wanted to paint first. I ended up at one of my favorite parts of Garrapata, gate 8, and started in. Below is a shot of the Harley parked alongside Hwy 1, south of Carmel.


My first painting was a 12×16 of Sobranes Point with the fog starting to drift in. As I was painting, the fog would drift in and out. The focal point of the painting, however was the foreground bluff which stayed bathed in the morning sunlight the entire time. At times, the entire point would envelope in fog. Below is a picture of my easel, plus a quick shot on the easel of the painting. It’s not a very good shot of the painting, and I will post a better one at a later date.


It was getting toward noon, so I hopped on the Harley and headed into Carmel for lunch. A restaurant I frequently stop at during trips to Carmel is Cafe Stravaganza. It is tucked in a little corner south of the main town in the Crossroads Shopping Center at the corner of Hwy 1 and Rio Road. Some years ago, a local friend who owned a store nearby said Doris Day, the famous movie star and singer, used to eat there as it is close to an animal hospital (Doris Day is an avid animal and pet activist). If you like Mediterranean food, I would recommend it. Plus it is not too pricey, at least compared to most Carmel restaurants!

After lunch, it was back down the coast to do another painting. I stopped at gate 2 in Garrapata, and found another view of Sobranes Point, except further away. The fog was really rolling in and out and covering most of the point, plus much of the ocean. I love trying to paint the moodiness of the fog and this painting became a study in gray. Once again, the focal point was a close by bluff which the sun was illuminating against the steely gray of the background fog.

Below is a shot of the painting location.


My easel while painting.


The final painting, once again a quick snapshot on the easel. I will post a better one at a later date.


I finished this painting around 3 in the afternoon. By that time, I was almost completely enveloped in fog. My back was starting to get a little sore, so I decided to call it a day. I hopped on the Harley, drove down the coast to Bixby Creek Bridge, and it was really socked in, so headed back north towards Carmel. Passing Carmel, Monterey, Castroville (the Artichoke Center of the World), then Gilroy (Garlic Capital of the World), and finally San Jose, I arrived home.

Galerie Noir


I received an email last week from a partner in an art gallery at South Shore Lake Tahoe. The email, which was totally unexpected, invited me to start showing at their gallery located in the new Montbleu Resort (formerly Caesar’s Palace). He had seen my work at another gallery, James-Harold Gallery, where I show on north shore (about 40 miles away) and liked what I was doing. I checked with the owner of James-Harold Gallery if there would be any territorial issues, and he said no problem, it will probably help all my sales in the area.

After a few emails back and forth with Galerie Noir, I am tentatively going to take a load of paintings to the new gallery early April. Stay tuned for exact dates when things can be finalized and my works actual be seen.


Los Gatos Art Association Demo

I mentioned in a previous blog I was invited to to a demonstration painting at the Los Gatos Art Association monthly meeting. Today was the day. I decided to demo a painting of a Truckee River snow scene. I had done a series of plein air snow scenes several years back, and am now doing some studio versions of them. You can read about my trips here, and here.

I only had about an hour to demo the painting, and the painting had to be fairly large so everyone could see. With fifty or sixty in attendance, they told me it was a good crowd for their meeting.

Below are some photos of the meeting, beginning with an introduction.


I used one brush to do the entire painting, a number 10 bright, which I use on about 95 percent of all my paintings, including the small ones.


A couple close-ups when I was about half way through the demo.


I probably got about 2/3 of the way towards completing the painting and stayed a few minutes afterward. When I finish the painting and have a chance to take a snapshot, will post it back to this blog.

I have a demo on my website of a similar scene which you can see here.

Wild Hogs


This blog is normally about art, so why would I write a note about a movie? Well, many of you know I have a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and frequently take it on plein air trips. I can never decide whether the ride there is more fun than painting while there!
Been waiting some time for the movie Wild Hogs to be released, so I snuck out and watched it this afternoon. I don’t like to build movies up and say how great they are, because when someone else overrates it, it may become disappointing. However, if you like bikes or want to see a light-hearted good comedy, go see it!

As a postscript, searching the internet, I noticed most critics are panning the movie. I think they should lighten up…it’s not an Acadamy Award wannabe…just an entertaining flick.

Carmel Art Festival

The Carmel Art Festival is considered to be one of the top plein air events on the west coast. I have been honored to join about 60 other artists juried into the show this year, which takes place May 17-20. The artists will paint “en plein air” for two days, and the resulting works will be auctioned off on Saturday, May 19. More details can be found by clicking on Carmel Art Festival.

Last year, my first time in the show, I was honored with the “Best in Oils” award, the painting shown below.


“Garrapata Colors” * 12×16 * Oil on canvas board

Last year, family and other commitments limited my participation in plein air events, although they are one of my favorite art venues. This year I am similarly busy, but hopefully can participate in more. Stay tuned.

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