The Quest

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The quest started as a simple idea. I didn’t even know if I would, or even could finish it.  After all, it was a commitment for a year.  

I didn’t know if any of it would turn out any good, or just a bunch of bad paintings for the scrap heap.  I didn’t know if anything would be interesting or worth looking at.  

I didn’t know I would eventually paint ghost towns in Silicon Valley, or haunted springs, or wild beaver sign in a metropolitan city, or the worlds largest homeless camp, or the world’s first ‘plein air selfie’.  

I didn’t know eventually strangers would walk up to me, give me a hug, and say I brought back their fond childhood memories.  

I also didn’t know it would snowball in scope and public interest way beyond my first simple idea.

Four years ago today, I started the year-long quest to paint a different “Creek and River of Silicon Valley” each week en plein air, or on location.

At the time, even finishing the year successfully was not known, but I ended up with 60 paintings of 43 different creeks all over the South San Francisco Bay area.  Little did I know it would grow with articles written by international art publications, multiple showings in various venues, and a book.  Discover about the quest, including a short documentary video, interactive map, and other information here–

http://www.donaldneff.com/creeks.html

The collection of 60 paintings is still intact and will be for the foreseeable future.  I am still seeking venues both local and nationally for showings, so if any of you have ideas for venues, please let me know!

The Creeks Collection


Continuing the ”Creeks and Rivers of Silicon Valley” year long quest.

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After a little touchup, sales varnishing, salve and re-shooting all the paintings in “The Creeks and Rivers of Silicon Valley” quest, I made this short video of the entire collection. Enjoy it along with a little Celtic music! Click on the picture above or if not shown, this link to view the video.

 

Plein Air Magazine also wrote a short article for their weekly electronic newsletter and Plein Air Collector web site. Click here to read.

San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society posted an article about my painting of Drawbridge, an actual ghost town in Silicon Valley here.

 


Click this link for a map of all painting locations along with each painting.
Click on this link for a Pinterest catalog of all paintings so far.


Thanks, Plein Air Magazine!!

Silver Creek 8x10 OIL
Silver Creek 8×10 OIL

Plein Air Magazine picked up on my year long project and honored me with an article in their weekly newsletter and their website. Thanks Bob Bahr & Plein Air Magazine for a great article! Click here to see the article.

Plein Tahoe

Plein Tahoe

Introducing my new book, cialisPlein Tahoe“, which chronicles six years of painting Lake Tahoe in plein air. A section on Yosemite is also included. With over 45 full color reproductions of my paintings, the hardcover book comes with a full color dust jacket.

For those who love Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, or my work, it would make a wonderful Christmas present! Click here for more information and to preview the book.

Creative Spotlight

Just received word I am the featured artist on Creative Spotlight this week. They also have several of my demos’ on their website. If you have never explored this website, it is full of great information, demonstrations and lessons every artist can learn from.

The painting shown is currently at my solo show at James Harold Gallery in Tahoe City, CA.

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Winter Break * 30×40 * Oil on Canvas

Publicity

Sal Pizarro, wrote a short blurb in his column in todays Mercury News.

In the bustle of Silicon Valley, it’s easy to succumb to the notion that the beauty of the Santa Clara Valley has been displaced by industrial parks, strip malls and the always-dreaded sprawl. ….

You can read the rest here.

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Basil Wolverton

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An artist friend emailed me a recent book review from the New York Times by Steven Heller entitled The Original Art of Basil Wolverton.
From the article:

Any aficionado of early Mad comics published during the first half of the 1950s, when Mad was still a riotous comic book and not yet a formatted magazine, will recognize the brilliantly perverse parody of a Life magazine cover featuring a portrait of a hideous girl next to the headline “Beautiful Girl of the Month Reads Mad.” The artist who concocted this misshapen, bug-eyed, fang-toothed, pimply-faced, spaghetti-haired, pig-nosed monstrosity was Basil Wolverton (1909-78)…

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Heller later says:

Wolverton’s work predates by decades many of the more acerbic comics of the 60s underground commix era, including those of R. Crumb, and is revered by many contemporary comics artists for his graphic lunacy and his matchless facility with pen and ink.

So why am I blogging about a ‘long ago’ comic artist? I knew Basil Wolverton and his family as a young child growing up in Portland Oregon. Our families attended the same small church and of course all the kids looked up to Basil as a famous cartoon artist. As a kid, I and many of my peers tried to copy his hilarious and creative drawings. His drawing style was very unique with crosshatch shading, spaghetti like hair, etc. It probably is what got me interested in drawing in the first place which later led to painting, etc.

Basil’s son Monte carried on the family tradition and makes his living as a cartoonist. Some of his drawings are almost indistinguishable from his father’s.

More information on Monte and Basil can be found here.

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The Plein Air Scene

For those of you who have not heard of this website, be sure and check it out. The Plein Air Scene is a ‘must’ bookmark for any plein air artist, or any other artist for that matter. Of particular interest to me is the listings of current art shows, upcoming events, paint-outs, and galleries in California. Of course this post is a little self serving as Sarah Beserra, publisher of the website, just put one of my paintings on the home page!

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