This year was different. For the thirteenth year, I participated in the Carmel Art Festival. But this year, I have a drone. So I produced a short video of the spectacular California coast around the Carmel/Big Sur area while I was painting. It is one of the spectacular coastlines in the world. First, enjoy this short video “Dronin’ the Festival”…
In plein air competitions such as this, you have several days to paint at least two paintings, which are then auctioned off. The festival coordinators stamp the back of the canvas to ensure all work is done in the two days allotted. I won’t go into a detailed diary of the week like I have in past weblogs, but just a synopsis and a few pictures below, some of which are also in the video.
Wednesday evening, after having my canvases stamped, I headed to Perkins Park in Pacific Grove to start a painting of the sunset. I only had enough time to block in the major areas before the sun went down.
At the crack of dawn Thursday, I headed down the coast to Garrapata State Park, one of my favorite places to paint. I decided to do another Vertical Water scene, a bit like the one which won an award last year. The morning sun was lighting up Point Sur many miles down the coast and made for an interesting composition.
Then, in the afternoon, I went up nearby Palo Colorado Road and painted the redwoods. It was nice to get out of the wind along the coast and hug a tree for the afternoon (at lease figuratively!).
Friday morning, an old friend, Scott Loftesness visited, and I did a small piece in Perkins Park again. It was a cloudy day with a little drizzle, but the sun was hitting some spots in Monterey Bay which gave the painting more interest.
That afternoon I spent touching up, and framing the four paintings.
I sold two at the festival…not the best year, but good enough! Click on the thumbnails to see the title and size of each painting.
I was honored to once again participate in the Los Gatos Plein Air Art Festival which is sponsored by the Los Gatos Morning Rotary. It’s a plein air event where we have about 4 days to produce paintings which are then sold off Friday night and Saturday. It is also a charitable event as proceeds help local schools and art programs. This show is a little easier as it is local, and I don’t have to travel, plus have the advantage of my home studio for touch-up and framing, etc.
After getting my canvases stamped, I headed to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I had done a redwood scene for the recent Carmel Show, and it turned out well, so I thought I would do one for this show. I love the backlit giant redwoods with light filtering and spotlighting the colorful trunks. I ended up painting in the exact same spot I had many years ago, however did an entirely different scene and canvas orientation. (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—
The view I was trying to capture, however somewhat modified
Selfie in Cowell
After finishing up, I still had time to make Hakone Gardens in Saratoga before it closes at 5. I had been doing a Japan studio series, so wanted to put in a Japanese like painting in the show. I also wanted to make it a continuation of my recent vertical water series. Another painter buddy in the show, Mark Monsarrat was there. (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—
Koi pond at Hakone Garden
Painting in the shade!
Wednesday morning I touched up the prior days paintings, then headed out to Penitencia Creek to a spot I had painted for The Creeks and Rivers of Silicon Valley year long quest a few years ago. The place had totally changed in the last three years! Besides felling some trees, the creek was different, probably because of the record wet winter we just had. The scene I had painted was no longer there! The creek was still there, of course, and flowing well after our wet winter. I did find another spot just up the creek which satisfied my tastes. There was also an old swing, somewhat of a trapeze, which made for a good story. (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—
Selfie along Penitencia Creek
That evening I went up the hill behind the house and did a nocturne of downtown San Jose and Silicon Valley. I had painted a sunset at this location not too long ago, and it is just high enough to see all the way across the Santa Clara Valley. (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—
The scene as the sun was setting.
Selfie as it gets darker
Thursday morning I touched up the prior days paintings and then headed back to Los Gatos for a luncheon the Rotary was putting on for the artists. The Rotary always treats us artists well, with receptions, lunches, and plenty of wine! Later in the afternoon, I went to Vasona Park to do the final painting for the show. (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—
The scene to paint
Setup on a gravel bar
Selfie along Los Gatos Creek in Vasona park
Friday morning was touchup and framing time. The empty spot in the lower left of the Hakone painting bugged me a bit, and there were a lot of turtles in the pond, and I wanted more koi…then the thought struck to combine them and re-title the painting. I put the turtle and koi eyeing each other as pals in the pond. Their shadow on the bottom of the pond also gave the water a look of more depth.
My wife also suggested I add some ducks to the Vasona painting, so I put in a Canada Goose, and some goslings, which were all over the place while I was painting.
Friday evening was a VIP Gala in Los Gatos, so I headed over about mid afternoon to try to beat the Friday rush hour(s). We had to put up our one ‘best’ painting for the event, so I chose the Hakone piece. The gala was at the Los Gatos Hotel. It was outside, and hot, but still had a great time relaxing and chatting with the other artists and collectors. They had a delicious buffet and Hors d’oeuvre, plus plenty of wine! (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—
Hanging out at the VIP Reception
Hanging out at the VIP Reception
Carol and Marti enjoying the heat
Today was the main event where all paintings are put up for sale to the public in downtown Los Gatos at the Town Plaza Park. Crowds seemed a little lighter than past years, probably due to the heat wave. Besides discouraging people to come outside to the park, many in our valley head to the coast clogging up traffic going through Los Gatos. I did sell two paintings, however, so I was pleased about that! (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—
My panel at the show
Festival in the park
All-in-all, the Rotary once again put on a wonderful show, and a great big thanks to them for their work!
I have been participating in the Carmel Art Festival annually since 2006. There have been great years where I won awards, had paintings bid up twice my normal prices, and sold everything. I have also had bad years where nothing or very few sold. This year was one of the good years! The weather was great…sunny, however very cool. Enjoy this brief day by day post painting and showing at the festival…
I headed to Monterey/Carmel around noon for about the 90 minute drive. After checking into my motel, I stopped by the festival around 6pm to have my canvases stamped. In plein air competitions such as this, you have several days to paint at least two paintings, which are then auctioned off. The festival coordinators stamp the back of the canvas to ensure all work is done in the two days allotted.
After having my canvases stamped, I headed to Perkins Park in Pacific Grove. My plan was this: Since I was having relatives from the Philippines coming tomorrow afternoon to visit, I figured I would start a painting here late in the day, and then finish it tomorrow afternoon where they could easily find me.
I have painted here a number of times in various times of day and vantage points. Its a great spot as the iceplants are in bloom this time of year with their bright pink flowers. The common denominator is all those paintings sold, so why not stick with a good thing! I worked a little over an hour before the sun was too low to continue. (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—
A selfie after the sketch-in
The scene at the right light I was trying to paint
The next morning at the crack of dawn, I headed down the coast. The forecast was to be completely clear.
My morning plan was this: There is a specific cove I wanted to paint in the style of my recent “Vertical Water” series. The cove is on the trail out to Soberanes Point in Garrapata State Park. When I got there, the entire area was closed and a number of crews were working on rebuilding the trails. I asked if I could go out to paint for a few hours and they said no.
Time for Plan B. I went around another trail and found a spot on a bluff overlooking an inlet. You can see Soberanes Point in the background. I worked on the painting for a couple hours, fighting the blustering wind, hoping nothing would blow over the cliff! When I was trying to put in some details, the canvas was buffetting so much, I decided the piece needed to be finished in a more sheltered area. (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—
The scene to paint
At the edge of the bluff
Towards the end of my painting session
Catherine, now thats a serious painter!
Driving a little further south, I took a turn up Palo Colorado Road to get out of the wind. I have been on this road before, but hadn’t contemplated painting there this trip. The little creek was really flowing, and all of a sudden a redwood scene popped up which I just had to paint! It only took a little less than two hours to get most of the piece done, as I have done a number of redwood trees in this style. (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—
Along Palo Colorado Road
Another shot along the road
The basic scene I was painting
My easel along the road
I headed back north to Monterey, and after a bit of rest and lunch, on to Perkins Park to finish last evenings painting. Late afternoon, my wife Josie and my relatives arrived. After cleaning up, we all went to Fisherman’s Wharf for dinner. (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—
A wonderful place to paint!
With in-laws from the Philippines
by the seaside
Dinner on the wharf
Prior to starting any other paintings, I wanted to touch up and frame the three ‘keepers’ I had, so hung around my motel in the morning doing just that.
After lunch, I headed down the coast again to possibly do another painting. The pressure was off, however, as I had ‘three in the can’, so I just soaked up the atmosphere, scouted out places for possible future paintings, etc.
I turned in two paintings around 6:30 for the show, and hung around for a VIP reception. Part way through the reception, I turned around, and there was my brother in-law and his wife. I didn’t know they were in town, and neither did they know I was until they saw ads for the festival. We ended up going to dinner. (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—
Three to go
All hung up.
at the festival
Birthday dinner for Gene
After sleeping in Saturday and having a leisurely brunch with my in-laws, headed over to the festival. I was honored with the “Plein Air Magazine Award of Excellence” for the Vertigo! painting.
The Palo Colorado redwood tree painting sold at auction.
All artists who win an award are requested to participate in the Sunday morning quickdraw. You have 2 hrs to produce a painting, framed and ready to sell. This means you have about 90 minutes to actually do the painting. After I got my canvas stamped, I drove to Carmel Scenic Drive, a mile or so away, found a good spot, and did a painting of Carmel Beach. (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—
Painting in the quickdraw competition
Painting in the quickdraw competition
The quickdraw auction was well attended. Here are a few pictures, including my painting–
Got lots of bids!
By noon all my paintings had been sold. Normally we have to wait until the show is over at 3pm to pick up unsold paintings, but since all of mine were sold, a little after noon, I packed up and headed home. It was a great week with good weather, sold all my paintings, got an award, re-acquainted with fellow artists, and a little more tan!
Martial Cottle Park is one of the newest county parks, and one of the last remnants of the agrarian legacy in the Santa Clara Valley, once known as the “Valley of Hearts Delight”.
I went out last Monday to register and paint in the park, it was cloudy, with just an occasional thinning so the sun could break through a bit. I first decided to paint the main barn from a picnic area.
Here are a few shots of the morning (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—
The scene I am painting
Yours truly at Martial Cottle Park
My easel on a park bench
My painting on the easel
Later, I parked along Snell Ave, and painted the old home the Cottles used to live in. I don’t paint architecture much, so was a bit of a challenge. (click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture)—
Painting by Senter Road
Car and easel along Snell Rd in San Jose
At this time, I don’t know which, if any paintings will be in the show, but just dropped them both off. The paintings will be shown at the Santa Clara Government Center, Gallery at 70 West Hedding St. San Jose (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) which is the same gallery that exhibited “The Creeks and Rivers of Silicon Valley” several years ago. There will also be a reception at the park May 6, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. More information can be found here.
An online display and voting for people’s choice award will be made available, so stay tuned!
I was accepted into the Yosemite Renaissance show this year, so went to attend the opening reception with a short visit to Yosemite Valley. Of course, I’ll use any excuse to visit Yosemite, as if I need one!
The art reception went well. The show is very eclectic with everything from abstract to photography to textiles to sculpture. It was a strong show, and my painting was probably the most traditional, quiet painting there…which is fine with me!
If you plan on being in Yosemite Valley the next few months, be sure to stop by the Yosemite Museum to see the show!
The weather forecast kept changing, but as it turned out, it was clear sunny weather the entire time, but cold! Upon arrival to the valley, I started the above painting, but after recently recovering from a mild case of pneumonia, didn’t want to push it, so only got about half done and finished it when I got back to the studio. I wanted to do a plein air piece which would fit in my recent ‘vertical water’ series, so did a painting of Yosemite Falls reflecting in the Merced River. This is the ninth in the “vertical water” series, but so far the only plein air piece and a little smaller than the others which you can see here.
I have been participating in the Los Gatos Plein Air almost every year since it’s inception. Since it is close to my house, I can stay home and paint the local area without worrying about all the travel expense and time.
During plein air competitions, artists have several days to paint and present for sale finished and framed paintings. The festival coordinators stamp the back of the canvas to ensure all work is done in the days allotted. We had our panels stamped on Tuesday morning, and had until Friday afternoon to produce the paintings.
I already posted some of these on Facebook, but for those who are not on social media, here are a few pictures from the show. Click on a thumbnail to view a larger picture Note: Email subscribers may not see all pictures. Just click on the title for a link to the online version.–
After getting my canvas stamped, I headed out to Guadalupe Creek to paint a California Sycamore as I had been doing a series of these—
This is actually the same tree I painted as #57 in the Creeks of Silicon Valley quest, except from a different direction.
My easel along Guadalupe Creek Trail
Closeup of the almost finished piece.
The next morning, it was out to Metcalf Road about 10 miles from my house. I drove around a bit and settled on this scene—
Scene along Metcalf Road
I used my car to help shade the painting and easel to better judge values.
Another view of the SUV along Metcalf Road.
After lunch, I drove over to McKean road, south of San Jose, and after a little exploring decided to do a vista of Almaden Valley. I almost had to talk myself in tackling this painting as there is quite a bit to paint in a short time for a competition.
It was in the nineties, absolutely no shade and a breeze, so I painted out of the back of the SUV.
Almaden Valley from Country View Dr
I only got about half way through the painting, so called it a day and would return tomorrow afternoon to finish it.
I was up early for the drive over to Almaden Reservoir. I had checked it on Tuesday, and even in this drought, it was close to full.
The scene I wanted to paint at Almaden Reservoir.
My easel along Alamitos Rd.
The Los Gatos Rotary Association was putting on a lunch for the artists, so I drove into Los Gatos, and had a pleasant meal with some of the other artists. I then headed to Los Gatos Creek. I knew in the hot midday it would be shady and cool…just right for a creek painting!
My easel along Los Gatos Creek.
Gretha, one of the participating artists was painting close by so took a few picts of yours truly.
It was then back to McKean and Country View Dr to finish the Almaden Valley vista painting.
I spent in touchup and framing. That evening was a ticketed reception, and I sold the California Sycamore painting.
The next day was the main sale day to the public. I sold all but one of the five painted for the show.
Once again I participated in the Carmel Art Festival and this was my tenth year to be in the show. During the competition, artists have two days to paint and present at least two finished and framed paintings for auction. The festival coordinators stamp the back of the canvas to ensure all work is done in the two days allotted.
I already posted these on Facebook, but for those who are not on social media, here are a few pictures from the show. Click on a thumbnail to view a larger picture–
After getting my canvas stamped Wednesday, I went out to Pacific Grove to paint the sunset.
Thursday morning I headed inland and painted a Sycamore tree. I eventually got rained out.
After the rain let up, I went back to Pacific Grove to finish the prior evenings painting. Although the light was different, I had enough color notes to finish the sunset.
Friday morning I went out to Garrapata State park to do a “regular old seascape.”
A selfie along the coast
I ended up doing three paintings–
Yours truly by my two paintings on display at the Carmel Art Festival
Perkins Park, 12×24
California Sycamore, 12×16
The Classic View, 11×17
Thanks for stopping in! In a few weeks it will be the Los Gatos Art Festival!
Duck blinds can be spotted around the south bay, and from what I can determine are for public use, first come, first served. There are also many duck clubs. To some, a duck club may seem nothing more than a mosquito-infested swamp inhabited by stealthy men in camouflage holding shotguns. But in the San Francisco Bay area, including Silicon Valley, duck hunting has been a bailiwick of established money for more than a century. Many of San Franciscoâ€™s prominent families have a duck club (or two) among their assets.
Last week I participated in the Los Gatos Art Festival as an ‘invited artist’. I always enjoy this show as it is close, don’t have to travel, and familiar with the area. But mainly, the sponsors always treat us artists well!
I won’t go into many details of each day, but just a few notes and pictures on the activities…
We stamped our canvases in the morning, and I took off for Stevens Creek Park, and did a painting of the stream, mainly for a ‘warmup’. There was a mandatory artists reception/meeting that evening, so I didn’t want to stray far. I forgot to take a picture of the painting in progress, but a few scenes below for the day. (Click on any photo to see a larger version).
First scene I painted at Stevens Creek. I forgot to take a picture of the painting on the easel!
We had an artists reception and meeting Tuesday night.
This was my big ‘travel day’. I literally painted from the mountains behind my house, to the ocean. In the morning I went up Quimby Road behind the house and did a morning view of the Santa Clara Valley and downtown San Jose. Early afternoon I was in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park painting the redwoods and late afternoon at Sharktooth Beach near Davenport painting the ocean.
Painting by Quimby Road. My home is at the bottom of this hill, and it is a very steep and windy road! That is Silicon Valley in the distance
Painting in Henry Cowell State Park.
North of Santa Cruz and just south of Davenport. There were a number of paintings of this cove in the show this year.
An artists luncheon was scheduled in Los Gatos, so I stayed around the San Jose area, McKean Road to be exact, and did a painting of a red barn right by the road. Little did I know, but the day before, a group of artists in the show painted the same red barn. I think there were about 8 paintings of that barn on exhibit!
The luncheon was at a Los Gatos residence, catered by Togo’s Sandwiches. After eating, I headed for the bathroom, and found a painting I sold last year at this event hanging on the living room wall!
My afternoon painting was a quiet spot on Coyote Creek right by Metcalf and Monterey Roads.
The red barn when I first arrived early morning.
My easel out painting along McKean Road
From last year.
Coyote Creek at the corner of Metcalf Road and Monterey Highway.
I went out early on San Felipe Road close to my house and did a painting of a Eucalyptus. The afternoon was spent in touch-up and framing.
That evening was a gala at a mansion in Los Gatos. It was a wonderful setting, and quite a crowd. The pictures below are before the crowds showed up.
Friday night Gala
Friday night Gala
Friday night Gala
I delivered and hung all my paintings for the show…
My paintings at the Saturday exhibit and silent auction.
Another shot of the exhibits at the Los Gatos Art Festival
Below are the paintings in the show (I didn’t show the first painting from Steven Creek, as I feel it still needs more work)…
Downtown 16×20 Oil
Pathway in the Redwoods 8×16 Oil
Sharktooth Beach 8×10 Oil
The Red Barn 12×24 Oil
Coyote Creek 10×8 Oil
Eucalyptus Study 11×14 Oil
It was a good show with many strong works, however sales were quite disappointing, at least for me. It’s always fun, though, to paint, meet old friends and other artists!
I was honored for the eighth time to participate in the Carmel Art Festival. The show works like this: the artists have two days to paint at least two paintings to offer up for auction. You must have the back of your canvas (or whatever you are painting on) certified before the contest. They usually stamp it with a date, and put a little sticker on it. This is to ensure no one walks in with a painting they didnâ€™t really paint on location during the time allotted.
Although Carmel is only about 90 minutes from my home, I always stay somewhere in the Carmel area to avoid spending 3 hours on the road each day, rather devoting all my focus to the work at hand. Early mornings and late afternoons are the best time to paint, which makes all the more reason to stay in town.
I drove down to Carmel around noon Wednesday, meandering a little bit in the area to look for new places to paint. After checking into my motel, I headed over to the reception area to get my canvases stamped, then out to a place on Scenic Drive overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Carmel River State Beach to start painting. A lot of the artists head to this area first as it is fairly close and there are only a few hours after the canvas stamping to paint until dark. For this reason, I had avoided it in past years, but decided to try it this year.
I spent several hours painting, waiting until almost sundown to finish the sky. In this instance, you can paint much of the scene in shadow as it will not change much. However, when the sunset lights up the sky, I quickly tried to catch the colors. I stayed until it was almost too dark to see. Below is the scene, and my painting on the easel. You can click on any picture to see a larger version.
Along Scenic Road
My easel painting along Scenic Road
The painting wasn’t quite finished, but some of the details could be done the next evening.
In the morning, I drove up to Elkhorn Slough to do another painting. I had been painting this area the last couple shows, and enjoy the vistas. Parking along Elkhorn Road, with a great view of the slough, I opened the rear of SUV up and turned on the car radio to keep me company, as I frequently do. After painting several hours, the radio suddenly went off. Upon checking the ignition, the battery was almost dead and then I realized I had also left my headlights on! I raised the hood, as the universal sign of distress, but no one seemed to want to stop, so it was time to call AAA, the American Automobile Association. An AAA truck was not too far away, so he stopped by and gave me a jump start. It was time for a lunch break, so I drove into Moss Landing and had Sand Dabs at Phils Fish Market. (Actually half the reason I like to paint the slough is it is close to this great restaurant! The restaurant was just listed as the #1 world’s best beach restaurant by the BBC.)
I wanted to work on the painting another hour or two, so drove back to the spot and finished the painting.
Painting Elkhorn Slough
About mid afternoon, it was time to head back to Scenic Drive and finish the prior evenings piece. By now I had two good pieces for the show, so the pressure was lessened from now on.
Friday Point Lobos State Preserve was my destination Friday, which is a favorite of about everyone in the show. I first stopped and painted Whaler’s Cove.
The afternoon I painted a quiet little spot in the preserve called Hidden Beach.
After framing the two pieces for the auction, I drove back into Carmel and dropped them off. Below are the four pieces I did, the first two were entered in the auction. The second two, I want to touch up a little bit before they were displayed anywhere. Click on any picture to see the entire painting.
Last Five Minutes of Glory
After a leisurely morning, I headed over to the show. The show was quite strong. We had artists from all over the United States, plus Australia and the Netherlands. You can see all the paintings on their website here. Below are a few pictures of me and the show.
Yours truly at the Carmel Art Show
Wider view of the paintings pavilion.
Sunday was somewhat of a repeat of Saturday. After a leisurely morning, I checked out of the motel, grabbed a deli sandwich and headed down the coast. I found a spot along Garrapata State Park for lunch and enjoyed the view…
Upon returning to the show, I met the lady who purchased my first painting, “The Last Five Minutes of Glory“. She was born and raised in Carmel (lucky lady!), had seen that scene countless times, and it reminded her of the Carmel of her youth. She purchased the piece as a wedding present for her daughter. It’s always nice to meet a collector who falls in love with your work! It’s a big moral booster!