Iguassu Falls

Many of you know I took a trip to South America earlier this year, and spent two days at Iguassu Falls, both on the Argentinian and Brazilian side. You can read about the entire trip here.

The falls is such an awe inspiring natural wonder, it is really hard to take in. To paraphrase Eleanor Roosvelt when she visited, “This makes poor Niagra look like a kitchen faucet”. It was a long time wish fulfilled, and I did two plein air paintings while there. Well, it is time to do a studio piece, and I started by doing a 12×24 inch ‘small’ study shown below. I may make a few minor adjustments, but it is pretty much finished–

You can click the image to see a larger version. Well, it’s time to break out the big brushes! I have two 36×36 inch canvass which I am going to paint the smaller study onto. It will be a diptych with final measurements of 3×6 feet, which is the largest work I have done so far. I don’t plan on offering it for sale, but want to hang it in my living room as a reminder of my visit to this spectacular wonder of the world. Stay tuned.

Los Gatos Art Festival

Once again, I participated in the Los Gatos Art Festival this year. It was five days of non-stop activity! Below is a summary of each day.

TUESDAY
Tuesday morning was time to stamp the back of the canvas to ensure all paintings were done during the festival. I arrived at about noon, got my canvas stamped, and then headed to Stevens Canyon Road to paint along Stevens Creek. It was also very shady, which was nice as the week was forecast to be very hot. I ended up doing one painting, using a little artistic license for the lighting as the canyon area was quite dark.

I then went several miles away to another part of the creek and started another painting of a pool with a family looking for tadpoles and fish..

I only got it about half done before having to leave for an artists reception and meeting back in Los Gatos. Below are a couple shots of the artists meeting–

There were plenty of hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer. The Rotary Club of Los Gatos, who put on the event, really treat the artists very well!!

WEDNESDAY
The forecast was to be clear all day, so I departed at 5:30am to try and catch the morning light in the New Almaden and Hicks Road area in the southern part of Los Gatos and San Jose. It was foggy! I proceeded up around Almaden Reservoir, and found a great spot at the end of the lake with a lot of vegetation and color. It was also looking towards the sun peeking through the fog. Around 9 the sky had mostly cleared.

You can see my easel set up right behind my car. Its kinda nice painting right by the car as I can listen to the radio, and not have to hike and carry my painting setup very far!

After painting for about three hours, I drove on up Hicks Rd to the Mt Umunhum Road, and up it. Lo and behold were several artists painting the view! Carole Gray-Weihman was teaching a student apprentice the ins-and-outs of plain air painting!

Below is a view of downtown San Jose from Mt. Umunhum road.

Late morning I proceeded into New Almaden, and found the Carson House, built in 1854. I liked the way the light was illuminating the large cactus and the plants along the fence. I pencil sketched in the painting, then went off to have lunch with my motorcycle riding buddy, Pete Kemling.

After lunch, it was back to Carson House to continue work on that painting.

The light was a little different, but I painted the way I saw it before noon.

Later in the afternoon, it was time to head back up Hicks Road to find a late afternoon scene. It wasn’t very far, when I decided to paint the same cove in Almaden Reservoir from a different direction–

I was able to paint right out the back of my SUV, which also kept me and the painting in the shade and out of the late afternoon sun–

The lighting just kept on getting more dramatic–

I got the piece only about half done before it was getting too dark, so headed home.

THURSDAY
Woke up early, but wasn’t planning to go out until the fog had cleared, and what do you know, a clear morning! It was around morning rush hour and I wanted to go back to the New Almaden area, so took the back roads, Hwy 101 down to Bailey, and up over a small ridge to McKean Road. It was foggy again in the area! As soon as I cleared the ridge, though, the fog was lifting and Mt Unumhum was lit up by the rising sun. A great view I had to paint. As soon as I pulled off the road, a local park ranger came by and said I could not park along the road and had to wait until 8a when the Calero Reservoir parking was open. So, I killed some time getting coffee, and came back to Calero and spent most of the morning doing the painting.

By the time I was done, the fog had completely disappeared…

Lunch was put on by the Rotary again, at a home in Los Gatos. Again, great food and drinks!

I went back in the afternoon, finished both the Carson House painting, and then the Almaden Reservoir painting…kind of a repeat of the afternoon before.

FRIDAY
I had 5 good paintings for the show, and was pretty tired, so spent Friday around the studio doing touch ups, framing, and other preps for the show.

That evening was a ticketed gala at the California Cafe. The entire restaurant was reserved for the event, and it was packed! Once again, great food. Just a couple pictures of the event–

SATURDAY
Today was the main show, which took place outside in the central Los Gatos Park. Below are a few pictures of the event, followed by my paintings in the show. It was a very hot day, reaching over 100, but that didn’t seem to stop the crowds from coming! Two of mine sold, Unumhum View, and Almaden Afternoon.

Me by my panel. By the time I got this picture taken, one painting was already gone, being sold at the “Buy it Now” price–

We had live music all day–

Below are the paintings I exhibited in the order I started them. You can click on each to get a slightly larger view of the piece.

Stevens Creek 16×12 Oil–

Almaden Morning 12×24 Oil–

Carson House 11×14 Oil–

Almaden Afternoon 16×20 Oil–

Umunhum View 12×24 Oil —

For artists wanting to enter plein air shows, I would highly recommend entering this one. The Rotary treats their artists the best of about any plein air competition I have participated in!