A Personal Journal of Art
This WebLog or "Blog" is a journal of my personal
experience with creating, observing, research, musing and other information
about art. Note that dates are in reverse order.
Saturday, June 21, 2003
Yours truly with my son, Justin
in front of a painting.
The crowd in the lobby of the Trianon
Another crowd shot in the lobby
of the Trianon Theatre.
The Le Petit Trianon Theatre
in downtown San Jose was built in 1923 as an adaptation of the oft-replicated
Petit Trianon in Versailles. The building today is home for many
of San Jose’s arts groups.
I was invited to do a one night show there in conjunction with
a concert by the Saringhimig Singers. The Saringhimig Singers, founded
by George Hernandez is a choir composed primarily of Filipino descendants.
Their mission is promoting goodwill and understanding through music
and sharing the heritage of the Filipino culture.
This was a fundraising event, and 10% of any proceeds I receive
from sales from the show will go to the Saringhimig Singers.
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
Ellery Lake bathed in the morning
My easel with a painting in progress
along Ellery Lake.
I did a quick color study along
YOSEMITE AND TIOGA DAY 3
It was time to start heading home today, but with some painting
along the way. I found a perfect view on Ellery Lake, right close
to the top of Tioga
Pass. The backlit cliffs hanging over the sun drenched lake
was too inviting to pass up.
After doing about a one hour color study there, I moved on. I eventually
stopped along Tenaya Lake. I had done a studio painting from last
years trip, entitled Tenaya
Outlet, and wanted to see if I got the colors right. Well, I
think I did, but decided to do a color study in the same area.
Eventually, it was time to head back to San Jose. Upon arrival,
I found out the painting, Tenaya
Outlet, had just sold at the Yosemite
Renaissance Show. What a coincidence! The day I go back to visit
a spot I painted, the actual painting sells.
Monday, June 9, 2003
Painting a beaver pond in Lundy
Virginia Lake. It was too gusty
to paint! However, what a view!
Along the lower part of Lee Vining
Creek. This 'creek' was a raging torrent!
YOSEMITE AND TIOGA DAY 2
I decided to stay on the eastern escarpment of the Sierras for
the day. The eastern escarpment is one of the spectacular areas
of America, but other than the film site of many a western, doesn't
get much press. It is reminiscent of the Tetons, without the crowds.
My first stop was Lundy
Canyon, known for it's wildflowers, aspen and numerous waterfalls.
I set up and started a painting of a beaver pond. There was plenty
of beaver sign, but they actually never showed themselves.
It was a dry, gusty day and my acrylic paints were drying as soon
as they hit my palette. So, mid stream in the painting, I switched
to oils. Being so gusty, I didn't completely finish the work, but
at least got the colors down.
The next canyon over was Virginia
Lakes. These beautiful lakes are nestled below Dunderberg Peak.
Lots of fishermen were on hand, but I don't think they were catching
much due to the wind!
Later in the day, I drove up Lee
Vining Canyon. It was more sheltered here and Lee Vining Creek
was a raging torrent. I found a nice spot and did a quick study
of the roaring rapids.
Sunday, June 8, 2003
Rainbow Pool Falls on the south
fork of the Tuolumne River.
Painting along Cathedral Creek.
A work in progress of Cathedral
Along Lee Vining Creek. Notice the
late afternoon sun bathing the Sierra crest in light.
YOSEMITE AND TIOGA DAY 1
Highway 120 winds through Yosemite
National Park, over the Sierra crest and through Tioga
Pass. It just opened for the season, so it was time for a painting
trip! I had done a similar trip at the same time last year and many
We had most of our winter in April, so I was expecting lots of
lingering snow in the peaks, and many a full stream.
After leaving in the wee hours this morning, I stopped at Rainbow
Pool Falls along the way. This falls has to be the best natural
swimming hole in the world. A large fall drops into a deep pool.
Just right for diving and swimming. I decided to do a painting but
after about 30 minutes into it, realized it was a mistake! There
were so many screaming kids around, I decided to quit and move on.
I have nothing against screaming kids having fun...I just couldn't
concentrate on painting!
My next stop was a spot along Cathedral Creek where the water rushes
over solid granite. The painting was going well when a thunderhead
moved over and completely changed the light. To add insult to injury,
it started raining! Thankfully, it wasn't a hard rain, so the painting
Moving on, I eventually made my way to Lee
Vining, on the Eastern Sierra escarpment. After checking into
my motel, it was time to head back up Tioga
I remember going over Tioga
Pass in the 1950's when it was barely a one lane road during
a downpour. With thousand foot drop offs, it was a tense experience!
Since then, the road has been substantially improved with plenty
I hiked up the closed road to Saddlebag Lake along Lee Vining Creek.
The view was astonishing. The thunderstorms had cleared enough to
let the late afternoon sun through to illuminate the crest of the
Sierras. I can feel a definite studio painting of this sometime
in the near future!
Monday, May 19, 2003
Keith piloting the Cessna.
Coming in for a landing at Reid-Hillview
Keith and his Cessna returning home.
AN EXTRA TREAT
Sometimes an extra treat can accompany the sale of a painting.
Keith and Christine of Livermore, CA, recently purchased a painting.
Keith is a noted nuclear physicist, professor, and airplane pilot,
along with a host of other accomplishments. Christine is my mother's
Since we live fairly close, and I live close to a small municipal
airport, Keith decided to fly down to pick up the painting. While
he was at it, invited me for a ride in his Cessna 210.
So, we went for about a 45 minute ride around the San Francisco
Bay East Bay hills.
Although I have many times flown in and out of San Jose on commercial
jets, the perspective you get from a small airplane is quite different.
I saw lots of little nooks and crannies in the hills behind my house
which I will now have to go explore for painting possibilities.
Thanks to Keith for a special treat!
Saturday, May 17, 2003
Armand Cabrera painting in the Craghead
Brian Blood painting on the street
in front of Pitzer's Gallery.
Laurie Kersey painting on the street
in front of Pitzer's Gallery.
Mike Shields touching up a painting.
THE CARMEL ART FESTIVAL
I visited Carmel today to attend the Carmel
Art Festival which started Thursday and runs until Sunday.
The "quiet haven" of Carmel has been one of the foremost
artist colonies in America for years. Strangely, they had no annual
event or Festival . Well, they changed that 9 years ago.
The festival is primarily centered around plein air art, which
has been a major force of representational art on the west coast
in the recent decades.
Strolling around town, I met Brian
Kersey (first place winner in the 2002 Artists
Magazine) on the street in front of their gallery, As a husband
and wife team, they are both represented by Pitzer's
Gallery. Armand Cabrera
was painting at at Craghead Gallery. Mike
Shields was doing a wonderful still life from memory.
The reception and awards ceremony were from 4:00 to 6:00 the place
was packed! I didn't stay for the final auction, so can't say at
this time what some of the pieces were selling for. However, it
looked like many were going for multiple thousands of dollars. Not
bad for a day's work!
The Carmel Art Association, central
station for the Carmel Art Festival.
Sunday, May 4, 2003
A park ranger stops to chat.
Painting China Cove. There is an
80 foot drop off right in front of my easel!
Brian and I at China Cove.
PAINTING POINT LOBOS
The second day of the workshop was at Point
Lobos State Reserve. This reserve has been called "the
greatest meeting of land and water in the world". Point
Lobos is outstanding for sightseeing, photography, painting,
nature study, picnicking, SCUBA diving, and jogging. More information
about the reserve can be found here
Brian's wife, Laurie Kersey, accompanied us for the day. Laurie
is also an accomplished painter and was the first place winner in
the 2002 Artists Magazine
annual competition. Her painting can be viewed here.
We started the day with a short hike along the Bird Island/China
Cove trail. I had been on this trail a number of times. What a glorious
morning stroll! Against the ocean, crashing waves, and hardened
rocks were brilliant orange California Poppys and other colorful
During Brian's morning demo, a park ranger stopped by to chat.
He pointed out a humpback whale cavorting not too far off the coastline.
We could occasionally see a plume of water rising as the great beast
would rise for a breath of fresh sea air. The whale stayed for much
of the day.
Although it threatened to rain a bit, the day turned out to be
quite nice. I did two paintings, one of a rock outcropping, and
one of China Cove.
Saturday, May 3, 2003
Brian Blood painting in a Monterey
A beautiful cloud filled day in
which to paint!
AT THE WORKSHOP
We met at 10:00 to start the workshop conducted by Brian
Blood. Brian is a well known California plein air artist and
lives right in Monterey. He also instructs at the Academy
of Art College in San Francisco. After some introductory remarks,
we went straight to the Monterey coast to paint.
Brian first did a demo, and then we painted the rest of the afternoon.
It turned out to be a wonderful day. The sky was full of thunderheads
and distant storm clouds. It is unusual to see these sort of formations
in this part of California.
Friday, May 2, 2003
Painting in the pouring rain.
Big Sur was "socked in"..
Painting at McWay Falls.
Unfinished painting of McWay Falls.
PAINTING BIG SUR
I left for the Monterey, Carmel and Big Sur area this morning.
I was attending a workshop by Brian
Blood on Saturday and Sunday, so decided to come down a day
early and paint along the Big
A major storm front was coming, but since I had planned this trip
well in advance, decided to go anyway. I stopped in Carmel
to visit some of the galleries & the weather was beautiful and
sunny. After an hour or two, I started south towards Big
My first stop was Garapata
State Park. Garapata
State Park is a favorite among local artists for its amazing
cliffs, rock formations, and pounding surf.
At the edge of the Pacific coast, you can generally see what weather
is coming in. It looked pretty safe to do a painting for an hour
or two. However, after about 15 minutes it started to sprinkle and
then pour. Sometimes I paint under the back of my Explorer hatch,
but the wind was whipping the rain sideways, so had to abandon it.
Time to pack up and keep heading south.
Through constant downpour, I arrived at my goal, Julia
Pfeiffer Burns State Park. McWay Falls in Julia
Pfeiffer Burns State Park has one of the most photographed waterfalls
in California, second only to Yosemite.
The weather was clearing, so I set up to paint. The weather didn't
cooperate. The wind came up in gusts I would guess over 40 miles
per hour. I spent much of the time just holding my easel and hat
so it would not fly off the 80 foot cliff in the blustering wind!
In spite of it all, I finished the painting,
Thursday, April 17, 2003
Demonstration at the Phantom Galleries
PHANTOM GALLERIES DEMO
This evening was the reception for the Phantom
Galleries artists in downtown San Jose. The event is scheduled
for every third Thursday.
I was invited to do a painting demonstration for the event. I decided
to do a painting similar to my plein air paintings recently done
in Monterey. It was fresh in my mind, and I just couldn't pass up
painting the colors of the ice plant again.
A good crowd showed up. My guess is there were 70-80 in attendance.
There was live music, lots of refreshments, and great cheesecake!
I had two hours to do the painting, which is about the maximum
amount of time I usually allow to do a plein air. I brought a printout
from my digital camera plus a plein air painting as reference to
paint by. Referring to the digital photo was a handicap. The Monterey
coast and the brilliant colors were fresh on my mind. So, I just
painted from memory. The only time I refereed to color was from
the plein air painting done on location.
The painting turned out quite well for the time allotted.
Wednesday, April 23, 2003
Today I received an unexpected email from an old grade school acquaintance
of mine, Todd Rockhold. His older brother, Scott was in my grade school
class. I had not seen either of them for probably forty years.
Todd had stumbled upon my web site and was looking for an artist to do
a commissioned work. Sadly, I found out his brother Scott had died in
a tragic hiking accident in 1987.
We negotiated the commissioned work, and it is in progress as I write.
Monday, April 14, 2003
Julia & her daughter; proud
new owners of a Neff original.
Monday, I stole away again in the afternoon to paint the ice plant.
I picked a slightly different spot which caught more of the coast
as the carpet of ice plant disappeared around the shoreline. It
was a slightly overcast day, but did not seem to diminish the brilliance
of the colors.
As I was finishing up the painting, an art admirer, Julie from
Fresno, stopped. She bought the painting on the spot.
Sunday, April 13, 2003
Blooming ice plant in Monterey.
Plein air painting of the ice plant
We took a short trip to Monterey, California. My parents usually
come out during spring break and we usually take them on a short
This time of year, the ice plant around the coast is in full bloom,
and was absolutely breathtaking. The little flowers form bright
rainbow carpets of magentas, blues, greens, and yellows.
I snuck away from the family to do a plein air late in the afternoon.
Of course, I wanted to capture the color of the ice plant, so stopped
by one of the oceanside parks and started painting.
Thursday, April 10, 2003
We hung my show at "Phantom Galleries" today. Phantom
Galleries is sponsored by the City of San Jose and
are temporary art exhibits occupying vacant storefronts in downtown San
Jose. The project aims to provide opportunity for local artists to exhibit
their work while fostering economic development by focusing attention
on available retail space.
is produced by Two
Fish Design Group, part of POPULUS Presents, a public space activation
collective coordinated by the San Jose Downtown Association in partnership
with the San Jose Redevelopment Agency.
My exhibit is at 70 S First Street, in downtown San Jose, California.
It is within walking distance of most of the downtown venues, including
the Fairmont Hotel, the Convention Center, San Jose Museum of Art, the
Tech Museum, and others. If you are downtown, please be sure and visit.
In addition, Phantom Galleries has invited me to do a painting demonstration
during their "Third Thursday" reception, Thursday 17th of April.
The reception takes place at 55 S. First Street from 7:00 to 9:00 PM.
Be sure and attend!
Monday, April 7, 2003
My easel in Uvas Canyon Park.
Unfinished painting on the easel.
We had a week of off and on rain, so I decided to take a painting
trip to Uvas
Canyon Park. Uvas Canyon Park is nestled in upper Uvas Canyon
on the eastern side of the Santa Cruz Mountains several miles south
of San Jose. Swanson Creek cascades through the canyon and creates
many waterfalls and cataracts. With the recent rains, I figured
the water would be flowing nicely.
One thing about the San Francisco Bay area is, if you do not like
the weather or terrain, just go ten miles in any direction and it
will be completely different! Just a couple miles from suburban
sprawl, and you are immersed in the hilly countryside.
The drive to the park is mainly along winding and hilly back country
roads filled with spring wildflowers, cows, horses, barns, and an
occasional country estate. And, oh yeah, the IBM Research Center
in the middle of nowhere! Fields of California Poppies, Mustard,
and Lupine gave a rainbow of color to the landscape. The road to
the park was almost as pretty as the park itself!
After arriving at the park, I ended up painting a small waterfall
called Granuja Falls, not far up the trail. I didn't have time to
hike around much, so will save that for another day.
For those who live in the southern San Francisco Bay area and enjoy
the out of doors, this park is a pleasant trip.
Prior: Jan-Mar 2003