Painting in the Gallery

James Harold Gallery in Tahoe City, CA, invited me to paint in their gallery this weekend and to show new paintings. They have been carrying my work for many years and I usually do some kind of summer show. I decided to go up to Lake Tahoe on the prior Thursday, drop of some paintings, then paint in the area on Friday. My wife wanted to go and when I checked motels, found out Reno (about an hour away) was at least half the cost of staying at Lake Tahoe. My wife’s brother was planning on going to Reno that weekend, so we all booked rooms at the El Dorado. Roger, a family friend decided to join us.

After dropping several new paintings at the gallery, we all met in Reno. That evening we had a great birthday dinner for my sister-in-law at Roxy’s right in the hotel.

Friday, I drove to Virginia City which is only about a 45 minute drive from our hotel. I had painted here last year, but didn’t finish it. Virginia City is the site of the famous Comstock Lode, at one time, one of the richest mines in the world. For a time, it was also the home to Mark Twain who worked for the local newspaper. If you are ever in the area, it is a wonderful place to visit as the historic old buildings have been restored.

I don’t paint architecture much, but needed to practice. After driving around town for awhile, I found some old un-restored buildings downhill from the main drag. Below is my easel and the scene–

virginia city

It was so dry and hot, the oil paints, which usually stay wet for days, were drying right on my palette! The painting didn’t turn out great, but I am learning.

Saturday, I painted in the gallery all afternoon. Rather than paint something from scratch, I brought a larger studio painting I was almost done with and finished it. The painting actually started out as an acrylic painting from years ago and was only half complete. After sanding it down and re-prepping it, I recently painted completely over the acrylic in oils, and then finished the rest in the gallery.

The scene is from a hike I did years ago down Four Mile Trail in Yosemite Park. The trail starts at Glacier Point and steeply winds down into Yosemite Valley. The views all the way down are spectacular, and is a ‘must do’ if you ever get the chance.

yosemite painting

yosemite painting

Here’s a picture of Your’s Truly with some of my work on display.

donald neff gallery

That evening, we enjoyed the “Le Grand Cirque” show at the El Dorado.

Sunday, I headed back to the gallery, and painted an 11×14 from scratch. Since fall was coming, I did a fall color scene from the Eastern Sierras, around the Virginia Lake area. My iPad came in handy as I could flip through hundreds of photo studies until I found one both me and the gallery owners liked.

painting in the gallery

fall aspense

After the demo, it was a long drive home, arriving late Sunday night.