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.

“Meet the Artist” at Sandy-by-the-Sea Gallery Follow-up

I mentioned in my last post that Sandy-by-the-Sea Gallery in Carmel is hosting a “Meet the Artist” each Saturday evening in September. I did my event last night.

We headed down to Carmel mid-afternoon. I wanted to stop on the way at Pebble Beach to visit Brian Blood and his wife and painting partner, Laurie Kersey. They were having an open house as part of the Monterey County Artists Studio Tours. Brian and Laurie just moved to a home in Pebble Beach, and their place looked wonderful. We only spent about 15 minutes and had to head to the gallery to get set up.

I was going to be painting in the gallery, so set up my easel and paints. I had started an 8×10 seascape in the morning, working maybe 20 minutes or so to block in the general shapes, etc. It’s a good thing, because I forgot to bring the photo reference, so had to complete the painting from memory! If there was enough interest, we would auction off the painting I completed that evening, or another painting, so I also brought along a Lake Tahoe scene painted just Thursday.

Carmel turned out to be pretty ‘dead’. The summer tourist season had pretty much ended, and not many were around. Probably throughout the evening a dozen or so wandered in and out of the gallery while I was painting.

I finished the 8×10 seascape with an hour to spare. It turned out quite well…one of my better small seascapes. Maybe I should paint from memory more often! I brought a spare canvas, so Sandy, the gallery owner asked me to start another seascape. Again, I painted mainly from memory, but using some of my other works in the gallery as guides. I got about half done with that one before it was time to pack up.

Below are a few shots towards the end of the evening.


Working on the second painting. Notice the first painting just below my arm sitting on the easel.


The paintings to the far right are some of my works hanging in the gallery.


Working on the second seascape.

After we packed up, my son wanted to drive to Moss Landing and eat at Phil’s Fish Market and Eatery…one of the better seafood places on the coast. It was a great dinner but we were so full brought about half of it home!

“Meet the Artist” at Sandy-by-the-Sea Gallery

Its a little bit last minute, but the Sandy-by-the-Sea Gallery in Carmel is hosting a “Meet the Artist” each Saturday evening in September. I’ll be there on Saturday, September 8 between 6 and 8. They will have a reception along with refreshments. I plan on doing a painting demonstration, and we will probably auction it off when complete.

Coincidentally, the Monterey County Artists Studio Tours is that weekend also.

Below is a painting I have showing at the gallery.

“Pescadero Cove” (plein air) * 12×16 * Oil on canvas board

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


I had failed to mention something in my prior post today. When I came down to Carmel for the art festival, I also brought 8 paintings down, which are now being displayed at the Carmel art gallery, Sandy-by-the-Sea. I had spoken with them the week before, and they seemed anxious to show my work, however a little short on gallery space. So, most of the works are smaller. About half are plein air and the rest studio. Below is one of the works on display there.

“Pescadero Cove” (plein air) * 12×16 * 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!

Prepping for the Carmel Art Festival

The Carmel Plein Air show is next week, so I decided to take a trip there to paint and look for places to paint. When you do a plein air show, preparation is key. When you have two days to come up with two great paintings, you better have a plan! I usually plan 3-4 works to do, and then decide which ones to actually paint based on the weather at the time. This time of year, Carmel weather is very unpredictable. It can be sunny one moment, shrouded in fog the next, and maybe even start raining.

The night before, the forecast for the Carmel area was morning fog clearing during the day. It was clear in San Jose when I took off on the Harley around 6:30 AM. I wanted to be at Point Lobos State Preserve when it opened at 9:00. When I got within 10 miles of the ocean, the fog was just thick as can be. Driving through Carmel, and down the Big Sur coastline, it was the same. I stopped at Pt Lobos for about an hour, took a short hike, and the fog was still thick. So, I decided to head back to Carmel, have some breakfast and see if the fog would lift. It didn’t.


Along the North Shore Trail at Point Lobos

Time to go gallery hopping in Carmel!! I visited a number of my favorite galleries, and during that time, walked into an unfamiliar gallery which I found out had been open for about 6 months. One thing led to another, it it looks fairly certain I will start showing my work there very soon. I won’t mention the gallery name, or when my works might be on display until we get things settled.

The fog was starting to lift slightly, so, time to head to Big Sur. I got to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, and it was nice and clear, so checked out the river, then headed back up to Pt Lobos for the second time. Still foggy! Oh well, I’ll do a painting anyway! So, I hiked the North Shore Trail a ways, and did a small 8×10.



The scene and my painting at Point Lobos.

It took me about an hour, finishing around 5:00 and the fog never lifted. I was hoping to catch a nice sunset, but it just wasn’t going to happen today. So, I loaded up the Harley and headed home. It turned out to be a drab day, but I will have to be prepared if we get two drab days when we have to paint next week for the festival.