Month: October 2007


Many of you have heard and some have inquired about the earthquake we had in California last night around 8:00. It was only 5.6 on the Richter scale, but we were almost on top of the epicenter, so really shook the house for 10-15 seconds. Everyone and everything here is fine. We had a couple knick-knacks fall in the kitchen, but that was it.

More info can be found here:

Here is a map of the San Franciso Bay Area, the big blue box showing where the earthquake was centered. We live right around the bottom of the big blue square.


Painting Locations

One of my many email subscriptions is to Barry John Raybould’s Virtual Art Academy. It is a monthly two or three page edition with a variety of mini art lessons, painting tips, and other information. You can see the latest edition here. You can subscribe here. He also has a full set of self study courses which comes with a small fee.

His last newsletter mentioned the start of a weblog which features painting locations around the world, which I thought might be of interest to my readers–

Ed Terpening also started a more localized version for primarily California. You can find it at–

Guadalupe Oak Grove Park

The Los Gatos Plein Air group was painting at Guadalupe Oak Grove Park today, so decided to join. My bad back wasn’t doing much better, but really was getting stir crazy and wanted to get out. The park is about a 30 minute drive from the house, so off I went.

Guadalupe Oak Grove Park is a small park in south western San Jose. It is the site of an old quarry, with plenty if majestic Oak trees, granite outcroppings, and nice grassy areas.

Quite a few from the group were out, probably 8-10. I did one fairly quick painting. I was trying to capture the hillside as quick as I can with lots of color to make it interesting. It was time to call it a day so as not to over do it. Below are a few shots of the day.


Looking down a hill. Way in the back are several other artists out for the day.


Nick White working on his masterpiece.


Looking up the hill from where the previous shots were taken. You can see my painting sticking up in the foreground. I will try to get a better picture of it on the website in the next couple of days.

Plein Air Painters of America

The Plein Air Painters of America is one of the preimminent plein air art associations in the U.S. They were holding their annual show in Stockton this year. Although they have events occurring all weekend, I wanted to go today while they were having a paint-out in a local winery. Some of the top plein air painters and landscape artists would be there.
Below are some photos of the event.

Ralph Oberg working on a scene of the vineyard
Gil Dellinger doing a pastel of the vines.
Scott Burdick, doing a portrait. I ran into Scott last January in Yosemite Park and painted with him a few days.
A group of the artists in the middle of the vineyards.
Kevin McPherson with quite a crowd. Kevin is considered one of the ‘deans’ of today’s plein air movement.


I had forgotten to post a picture of the demo painting I did several weeks ago at Sandy-by-the-Sea Gallery in Carmel, California. I was reminded of it when I got a check in today’s mail, as they sold the painting a week or so after the demonstration. Anyway, the gallery took a photo of it and emailed to me awhile back…so here it is.

Big Sur, california

Big Sur Afternoon * 8×10 * Oil on board

Home Again

I returned home to day from the Seasons of Martis Plein Air event. It would have been nice to take my time and explore some of the changing fall color, but I had basically one thing on my mind…get home and rest my bad back for a few days! BTW, I probably would have had to drop out of the event, but by wearing my Back-A-Line support belt, it gave me enough support to keep going. I also wear this special belt on my motorcycle if I am riding for any length of time.  For those with bad backs, you might check it out.
All-in-all, the inaugural Seasons of Martis event went well, and I hope they have started a long running yearly tradition.

I also updated the photos to the correct size.

Seasons of Martis Final Day

Today we had to turn in our paintings by 1:30, and then the reception/sale was being held at NorthStar Village between 4-7 pm. I originally was undecided on whether to go out and do another quick painting in the morning, as I had enough time to do one, or just touch up what I had. Well, when I awoke, my bad back made the decision, and I decided to stay close to the room, and touch up the 4 paintings I had done, frame them, and not rush the morning.

I delivered my works around 12:30, and the show looked great. From what I saw, there were some excellent paintings in the exhibit.

I had a few hours to kill so drove around Lake Tahoe for awhile to gather some photo studies. I do quite a few paintings of Lake Tahoe, and am always trying to come up with new ideas. After cleaning up for the reception back at the motel room, it was back to NorthStar.

The Seasons of Martis exhibition was in a special tent at NorthStar. I have included a few pictures below.


Frankly, I didn’t expect a big turnout as it was a late Sunday afternoon when all the weekenders had gone, plus it was the off season for the area and not too many people around to begin with. I was pleasantly surprised that there were quite a few people attending. I met some old artist friends, plus a number of artists I hadn’t met, but had been communicating with as we show in the same gallery, plus others. It is always great to run into fellow artists, and I think events like this help us constructively compare and keep our craft up. After I put my paintings up, and observed others, I immediately fought the urge to pick up my brush and change just something….maybe talk about this for a later blog.


I don’t have inside information, but it seems sales were a little slow in starting, but in the end they picked up, and I think the show did fairly well with brisk sales. I think slowing art sales may be a little indicative of the slowing economy. Ed Terpening who just participated at the San Lus Obispo show reported pretty much the same. I usually sell out at plein air events, but nothing this time. The one and only juried award, best of show, went to Paul Kratter, probably one of the more well known artists exhibiting.

We artists had to stay around until 7:00 to pick up the paintings if they hadn’t sold. About a quarter to seven, one of the artists told me about a closer place I could park my car to load paintings. Well…might as well kill time and move my car closer to make loading easier. So off I went, to move my car. By the time I got back to the exhibit area, many artists were picking up their paintings. What??? There was a ribbon on one of my paintings! They had just counted the tally and I received the “People’s Choice” award. What a surprise!! Below is a bad shot of the painting–


Seasons of Martis Day 3

Today was a continuation of the Seasons of Martis plein air show. As the weather man predicted, the snow moved out and I awoke to a clear sky. After yesterday, however, I knew I would have to pace myself in order not to strain my bad back. I spent part of the morning touching up the paintings I had done so far.

The good weather was beckoning, though, so I took off for the Truckee River. This time, however, I went to the canyon where the Truckee flows out of Martis Valley towards Reno. I ended up by a bridge near the town of Hirschdale. It was a beautiful day, and place to paint. The aspen were just on fire in a grove over the river. I decided to make this painting more impressionistic, and allowed an hour to finish it.

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