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.
Sunday, March 6, 2005
Pictures from painting along the
THE BRIDGES OF THE TRUCKEE DAY 3
Today was the final day of our trip to Lake Tahoe, and I wanted
to make the most of it. After dropping the snow boarders off, I
bee lined to a bridge I had painted from yesterday. Just moving
about 20 feet from where I did a plein air before, I painted the
exact same pool from an entirely different perspective. You would
never know I was within a mile for each painting!
After lunch, I again returned to the same bridge, and from the
same spot turned my easel to paint looking upstream from where I
was just a few hours earlier. This final painting of the weekend
was perhaps my best. I think by now I have been getting the hang
of painting this area in the winter!
All too soon, it was time to pick up the snow boarders and head
Saturday, March 5, 2005
Pictures from painting along the
THE BRIDGES OF THE TRUCKEE DAY 2
After the record breaking snowfall we had in the Sierras towards
the end of December, the Truckee was almost completely snowed and
iced over. Now, several months later, enough snow had melted to
form a wonderland for the plein air artist. The patterns of the
river as it wound its way from Lake Tahoe to the town of Truckee
formed myriad interesting patterns and seemingly abstract forms
just ripe for painting.
After dropping the boys off at Squaw
Valley, I continued with more painting along this river using
the private bridges to set up on. I finished one painting of a pool,
then moved on to another bridge and completed another.
That evening, I rode the Squaw
Valley Gondola up to the 'High Camp", met the snow boarders
and had dinner. The view was spectacular as the sun slowly set over
distant Lake Tahoe.
From the Squaw Valley Gondola.
Friday, March 4, 2005
On a bridge over the Truckee River.
THE BRIDGES OF THE TRUCKEE DAY 1
Well, there is still a lot of snow in the Sierras, so it was time
to pack up and take my son and a friend snow boarding again. Since
he was out of school today, it was going to be a three day weekend.
While they snowboard, I spend the day painting.
After dropping the kids off at Squaw
Valley for a day of snow boarding, I headed out to the nearby
Truckee River to do some painting. There was still a lot of snow
since my last visit 6 weeks ago, and it was still difficult to find
places to get off Highway 89 to paint. So, I ended up painting from
the many private bridges which span the Truckee between Lake Tahoe
and the town of Truckee. I am calling this my "Bridges of the
Truckee" series, although no bridges can be found in the paintings!
The point is, all the paintings were done from bridges over the
My first bridge was just downstream from the Squaw
Valley junction. Since it was already late in the day, I managed
to finish one painting from this bridge.
Monday, February 28, 2005
Pictures from Elkhorn Slough.
Located at the center of the Monterey Bay coastline, Elkhorn
Slough harbors the largest tract of tidal salt marsh in California
outside of San Francisco Bay. This ecological treasure provides
habitat for plants,animals , and more than 340 species of birds,
and is a major fish nursery for the region.
I had been wanting to paint this area for some time, so met up
with some fellow artists from the Los Gatos Art Association. The
slough is an interesting study for paintings. The tidal areas and
land mass form interesting patterns of light and dark, giving the
entire area an abstract look. These abstract patterns can make interesting
After finishing one painting, we all converged on the small town
of Moss Landing and had lunch at a small, but great Mexican place.
My friends had to return home, but I went back out to the same
spot, and did a painting in a different direction. No matter where
you turn, the patterns of the water and grasses formed interesting
shapes, just begging to be put on canvas. One more painting emerged,
so I called it quits for the day and started the hour long trip
Saturday, February 26, 2005
Pictures from the CAC statewide
paintout in Lafayette.
ART CLUB PAINTOUT
Art Club (CAC) was established in 1909 by the early California
Impressionists or Plein Air Painters. The club
sponsored a statewide paintout this Saturday. Four locations were
chosen, and anybody who wanted to attend could. It was only about
an hours drive to the Lafayette Reservoir, so decided to attend.
It was a fairly gloomy and cloudy day, so after doing a quick color
study at Lafeyette Reservoir, I joined some of the other artists
for lunch. It was a fun day of painting, conversation and artistic
Thursday, February 10, 2005
The Harley at Big Basin
The easel at Big Basin. The lighting
of the scene had totally changed when I took this photo.
Redwoods on the easel.
Basin Redwoods State Park is California's oldest State Park,
established in 1902, and is home to the largest continuous stand
of ancient coast redwoods south of San Francisco. It had been quite
a while since I had been out painting redwoods, so today I thought
I would take a trip to Big
Basin Redwoods State Park.
I hadn't taken the Harley out painting for awhile due to some low
back pains, plus I had been doing larger paintings than I could
not comfortably carry in the Harley side bags. Today, I also wanted
to do larger format paintings, so carried my Soltek easel in a "T-Bag"
on the back of the bike. This turned out so well, I will probably
start doing it more in the future. With the Soltek and a panel carrier,
I can do up to 12x16 size paintings on the Harley.
It took about an hour and half to get to the park. After leaving
the congestion of rush hour in Silicon Valley, it was refreshing
to cruise through the cool Santa Cruz mountains along the winding
curves of Hwy 9 and 236.
I spent about half an hour walking around the redwood trails looking
for places to paint, but as fate would have it, the best spot was
right by the restroom close to the parking lot! The sun was illuminating
perfectly the base of a large redwood right by the trail.
After walking some of the redwood trails again, I ended up doing
the next painting about 10 yards from where I set up for the first
painting. The second painting was of a meadow with the stately redwoods
backlit in the background.
Tuesday, February 1, 2005
Painting in the Rocky Point restaurant
One of the cliffs along Soberanes
Painting at Garrapata.
SUR DAY 2
The next day, I headed back up the coast and stopped at Rocky Point
again. After a nice lunch at the Rocky
Point Restaurant, I did a painting right from their parking
Next stop was Garrapata again. I wanted to catch the area in the
afternoon light. After finishing another painting of the rocks and
pounding surf, it was getting too late to start another one. So,
it was hiking and relaxation time. I walked out on Sobranes Point
and watched the surf as the sun went down. As the sun set, the sky
was filled with brilliant oranges, and the surf glowed with a golden
aura. Too soon it was dark and time to head home.
Monday, January 31, 2005
Carmel Foundation out painting.
My easel at Lucia Lodge
SUR DAY 1
Big Sur is one of the greatest meetings of land and ocean. I had
been planning to take a trip down the Big Sur coast ever since riding
the Harley up the coast last September. I wanted to wait just after
a winter storm where the surf would be high, the air clear, and
lots of cumulus clouds. It had been about a week since the last
storm, but weather, family, and schedule was right, so I decided
to take the trip this week. I planned to paint down the coast one
day, stop for the night where ever I found myself, and paint up
the coast the following day.
Although I would have loved to take the Harley, I wanted to paint
bigger works this trip, so the Ford Explorer would have to do.
After an early drive of about an hour and a half, I arrived at
my first stop,
Garrapata State Park. Garrapata
is a four mile stretch of rocky coast, beaches, inlets, and
cliffs along the Pacific. I could have spent the entire two days
just painting here. It was a beautiful day and I spent several hours
by the pounding surf painting, watching for whales, and generally
enjoying the day.
The next stop was Rocky Point. There is a restaurant here. When
I arrived, I was surprised to see about 20 artists all out painting!
Turns out they are from the Carmel
Foundation and out painting for a day. Well, I unloaded my gear
and painted right along side them.
After finishing the painting there, I headed on down the coast
and stopped at the Lucia
Lodge. Located on the ocean side of Highway One midway between
the Monterey Bay and Cambria. Lucia Lodge offers a stunning view
of the Big Sur coastline and rugged Santa Lucia Mountains. I decided
to stay here, and did a painting right outside the door to my room.
Sunday, January 23, 2005
Painting 'over' the Truckee River.
On the easel is the painting over
One the bridge over Eagle Creek.
Painting of Eagle Creek.
PAINTING SNOW AT TAHOE
The last several weeks saw record snowfall in the Sierra Mountain
Range. Over 20 feet of new powder fell within a matter of weeks
breaking 70 year old records. Needless to say, my son was chomping
at the bit to go snow boarding. So, we have spent that last couple
weekends at Lake Tahoe.
It is sometimes difficult to steal away to paint while on vacation
with family, but I managed to do a few paintings around Tahoe. The
snow at Tahoe was so deep, it was hard to find places the paint.
Yes, there were potential paintings everywhere, but the snow was
packed so high above the road, anywhere you could pull off, it was
impossible to set up or get to a scene. One solution, was to paint
on or by private bridges where there was little traffic.
My first painting was on a private bridge over the Truckee River,
close to Squaw Valley. "No Trespassing" signs were everywhere,
so I did not venture too far on the bridge to paint! There had been
so much snow, the Truckee River was completely covered in ice and
snow for 15 miles or so as it flowed out of Lake Tahoe and towards
the town of Truckee.
Painting snow can be very tricky. It is never white, and can sometimes
be very dark in value.
On our second weekend visit, Lake Tahoe was fogged in most of the
time I was there! I eventually found a place to paint by Emerald
Bay on the bridge that spans Eagle Creek, over Eagle Falls.
I also found one of the best spots right in the town of Truckee,
along the Truckee River. I was far enough from Lake Tahoe the fog
melted into steady sunshine!
Painting in progress along the Truckee
Yours Truly along the Truckee River.
Wednesday, January 5, 2005
Plein Air of Pescadero
My easel along Pescadero Beach.
I delivered a number of paintings today to the Eriksen Gallery.
They will be hanging them this weekend. After visiting the gallery,
I did my usual trip down the coast to work on some plein air.
Post Script: I later found out one of my plein air paintings sold
within several hours of hanging my works!!