Seasons of Martis Day 2

Today was the official start of the Seasons of Martis Plein Air event. The forecast was for snow overnight and throughout the day, so I wasn’t so excited about getting up early for the sunrise. Below is my car in the morning….


Around 9:00 the sun peeked out, so I thought…better go! I headed out and checked in for the show at Northstar Ski resort, and then made my way to the Martis Wildlife viewing area, which I had scouted out yesterday. It was cold and overcast, but not too bad. There were already a number of the plein air artists out painting. I set up and started painting. After about an hour, a new wave of snow came in and, it got bad enough, we just had to pack it in. I didn’t mind the cold or snow, but it was impossible to paint with all the melting precipitation all around, let alone see anything in the ‘white-out’.


Check out the snow on Richards jacket…what a die hard!!! Also notice you can’t see any mountains in the background…they were completely whited out.

We were close to Truckee, so I went in for some lunch. The Squeeze In Cafe was great…a wonderful omlette was so big, I brought half of it home. It was still snowing, sleeting and cloudy, so I retired back at the motel for some rest.

About mid afternoon, the sun poked back out, so I headed for the Truckee River to start another painting. I paint the Truckee often, and it sells well in the gallery, so why not capitalize on my strengths! I painted for a couple hours, and my back really started acting up so I got out a camping chair to sit on.

While I was painting, the owners of the property from across the “restricted bridge” dropped by. we briefly chatted and I learned they knew the owner of the gallery I show at in Tahoe City. Seasonally they post “Keep Off” and “Don’t Park” signs, but me and my Ford Explorer ignored it. The owners slowly drove around my easel in the road, checking their house, and went merrily on.

I had painted a number of paintings from this spot over the last couple years. In fact, my demo oil painting is from here. Finally, as some of you know I have been fighting back pain off and on for over 30 years. it got the best of me, and the sun was starting to fade behind a new wave of snow showers. Time to pack in and have a relaxing evening.


Off to Seasons of Martis

I am off tomorrow to participate in the Seasons of Martis plein air event. Information about the event is in the previous blog and on my website. Looks like we will get a little snow Thursday and Friday, so it should make the painting interesting. I have never painted a snowstorm before, but it might be fun trying. It is supposed to be sunny Saturday, so may have to do most of my serious painting then. I might try to post to the weblog as we go along as my motel has high speed internet support.

I am also dropping the new Cave Rock painting mentioned in prior blogs at the Village Art Gallery in South Lake Tahoe, plus a number of new miniatures at James Harold Galleries in Tahoe City. It turned out quite well–

The Red Boat, Cave Rock, Lake Tahoe

“The Red Boat” * 48×36 * Oil on Canvas

Seasons of Martis

I have been accepted into this new plein air show near Truckee California. The event takes place October 5-7, 2007, with three days of painting by over 20 noted local and regional artists at locations throughout the beautiful Martis Valley as part of the month long Seasons of Martis celebration. This event is being sponsored by North Tahoe Arts and East West Partners through the Tahoe Mountain Resorts Foundation. A list of participating artists and the locations at which artists will be painting during this three day event will be posted on their website soon. The final display and sale will be at:

Seasons of Martis Exhibit and Art Sale
The Village at Northstar, Truckee CA
Sunday, October 7th, 4-7 pm

Awards for the ‘Best of Show’ will be judged by a well known group of California artists, including Zee Zee Mott and Jean LeGassick. Other awards include ‘Artist Choice’ and ‘People’s Choice.’ A portion of the proceeds from the public sale will go the Truckee-Donner Land Trust and North Tahoe Arts.

Below is one of my studio works of nearby Truckee River…

Truckee River

If you are wanting an excuse to visit Tahoe, come up and see the show! For more information, see their website.

Carmel Art Festival Day 4

Today was the main event where the public is invited to view the finished works, awards are granted, and the paintings are auctioned off. Most plein air events auction off the paintings, and the Carmel Art Festival is typical. During the day a ‘silent auction’ is open where buyers write in their name and a bid for the painting. Once it reaches so many bids for a particular piece, (ten in this instance), the painting with be “live auctioned” off vocally to the highest bidder. This is conducted something like what most people have seen or may be accustomed to in a live auction. Both my paintings had enough bids to go to live auction…the only artist with both paintings to do so.

The day actually went pretty slow, as most artists hang around the exhibit space and chat with other artists and art collectors. Pastor John Helveston and his wife Lucy came down and kept me company for part of the day. Pastor John presides over a local church close to my home.

Below are a series of photos from the day.

Some of the event tents
The paintings are hung outside under canopies.
“Yours Truly” alongside my two paintings.
Jeff Owen alongside his sculpter. Jeff is from San Jose, is a fellow member (and past president) of the Los Gatos Art Association. He sculpts using old junk parts. The title of this sculptor is “Mask”.
My two paintings.
My two paintings in live auction.

Carmel Art Festival Day 3

I had two decent paintings for the show, so the ‘pressure’ was off, but had wanted to paint a spot at Point Lobos I had seen on my trip the week before. I decided to check it out in the early morning light. It was a spot that I had encounterd Paul Kratter on Wednesday painting in the afternoon sun (I found out later he didn’t enter that painting in the show). The scene was entirely different in the morning sun, and I liked it better. I originally thought about doing a ‘backup’ painting and having fun, so did a 16×12. Like the day before, you could see Pebble Beach golf course on the distant shore. This time, there was less fog. Below are a few pictures of the painting on my easel.


By the time I finished the painting, the rocks, which had been almost entirely in shadow were now in full sunlight.
After lunch, I went back to the room to touch up the paintings, photograph them and frame them. They had to be turned in between 6 and 8 that evening. At the last minute decided on the smaller work I had done that day over “Pebble Beach” I had done the day before, as it had a richer, warmer tone, plus I liked the trees better.

I had my paintings in around 6:30. The hard part was over. Time to relax and rest up for the festivities the next day.

“Pebble Beach” * 16×12 * Oil on canvas board

Above is the painting for the day. I actually touched it up after I took this photo, adding a bit more froth in the surf and a few more darks in the rock.

Carmel Art Festival Day 2

Today was the day to start painting! Fog was forecast for the morning but clearing later in the day. So, I set my alarm for seven o’clock just to see what was going on. Seven rolled around, I looked out and it was still pretty well fogged in. I lay back down, and suddenly woke up. A skylight in the vaulted ceiling was streaming down sunlight…and it was 9 AM! Yikes!! I pulled on my clothes, jumped in the car and headed down the coast to where I wanted to do my first painting.

The fog was still lifting in places. I planned on doing a painting just past Hurricane Point where a river winds it’s way past a rock outcropping and hits the Pacific Ocean. It was windy! Now I know why they call it Hurricane Point! I had to hide behind my SUV in order to accomplish anything. For this painting, I was using an odd size canvas and not my normal canvas board. The wind was pumping the stretched canvas in and out, flapping it around. I could paint, but could not do anything with much precision. I had to peek around my car in order to view the scene I was painting. I did manage to finish the painting about 90 percent. I would have to finalize it where it was calmer! Below are a few shots at the scene, which was turning out to be quite a nice sunny day!


After stopping in Carmel for a quick lunch, it was time to head to Pt Lobos. I had previously spotted a location yesterday to check out first. As soon as I got there, and parked, the fog was starting to pour in. On the distant shoreline was famous Pebble Beach golf course, with the greens glowing in the late afternoon sun. It would go in and out of the light, which made for a magnificent background. I did a 20×16. A couple deer were grazing around me most of the time I was painting. I forgot to take a pictures of the work on the easel, but got some pictures of the deer.


With the sun hitting on Pebble Beach, I decided to name the painting just that!

I was pretty tired, so headed back to the room, had a nice dinner, then settled in to rest for the next day. I had two paintings good enough for the show, so tomorrow I didn’t have to panic to get any more paintings.

Below are the two paintings I did today:

“Meanderings” * 12×14 * Oil on canvas

Pebble Beach

“Pebble Beach” * 20×16 * Oil on canvas board

Carmel Art Festival Day 1

I am writing this in Carmel, but cannot post it to my weblog as the wifi Internet connection here at my motel seems to be intermittant. So, I will have to post it when I return home after the festival.

I drove down today to participate in the Carmel Art Festival. This is my second year in the show. What basically happens is you have two days to paint two paintings to offer up to an auction process. Although Carmel is only about 90 minutes from my home, I always stay somewhere in the Carmel area. I don’t want to bother with spending 3 hours on the road each day, rather devoting all my focus to the work at hand.

I meandered on my drive down, taking some back roads around Elkhorn Slough to look for places to paint.

Elkhorn Slough

I arrived in Carmel midday, and drove down past the town further south on the Pacific Coast Highway to see how the fog was rolling. In this part of California, it is hard to judge where the fog might be from day to day and even hour to hour. Later on, I checked into the motel, the same place I stayed last year, Munras Lodge.

For these plein air competitions, you have to 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 didn’t really paint on location for the show. After getting the canvas stamped I decided to go down to Pt Lobos State Preserve where I planned on doing at least one painting. It was clear, and I hadn’t seen Pt Lobos without fog in quite awhile. I encountered Paul Kratter, another participant, already out painting. He was painting the exact scene I had planned on painting the next day!

A couple shots of Paul Kratter painting Pt Lobos.

I hiked around and found some other potential spots to do the next day.

This might make a good painting!