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.
Monday-Wednesday, September 27-29, 2004
Painting in Vasona Park.
My easel in Los Gatos town square.
Yours Truly in
the town square.
EXPLORING LOS GATOS
The Los Gatos Art
Fest is quickly approaching, and in order to prepare for
the 2 day plein air event, I have been exploring the town of Los
Gatos. One of the rules of the competition is the painting has to
be done in the the town limits. The town is about half hour drive
from my home, across Silicon Valley.
Today, I met with several other participants in the show, Nick
and Karen , to paint around the town square. I ended up painting
a group of redwoods in the square.
On Wednesday, I also went to Vasona Park, in Los Gatos to scout
out good landscape locations. Although I was looking for water scenes,
the trees in Vasona are so beautiful, I decided to concentrate on
them for the festival paint-out.
Monday, September 6, 2004
My easel and Harley at one of the
magnificent vantage points along the Big Sur coast.
A view of the coastline.
On of the Germans on Harleys was
kind enough to take my picture.
UP THE BIG
After spending the night at Paso
Robles, I left early and headed over Highway 46 toards Cambria
along the California coast. Highway 46 winds over long smooth curves
through the golden hillsides past wineries, farms, almond groves,
and streams. The cool air of the early morning was refreshing as
the Harley purred along. Coming over the tops of the hills, the
ocean came into view in the distance and Morro
Rock which rises almost 600 feet over the Pacific looked like
a little stone far down the coast.
After breakfast in Cambria
Moonstone Beach Bar and Grill, I headed up Highway 1 and the
Big Sur Coast.
This stretch of Highway 1 is considered one of the most spectacular
drives in America, if not the world. For a distance of over 90 miles,
Highway 1 hangs off the side of the California coastal range as
it plunges thousands of feet straight into the ocean. It was a perfect
day for the ride. This is the first time I have ridden the Harley
up this coast and the going was spectacular!
Early in the morning, the ocean is a much lighter color and darkens
as the day progresses. This is because the light hits the water
at an angle, and bounces off the reflective surface. As the sun
reaches it's apex, the rays are more direct, and reach further into
the depths of the ocean. The ocean then becomes much more turquoise,
turning a beautiful blue green. I watched this morphousness with
interest all day long during the ride.
Along the way, a group of Harley riders passed me, or rather, I
was driving so slow, I pulled over enough to let them by. At the
next major viewpoint, there they were taking in the breathtaking
coastline. They were a group from Hamburg, Germany, and had just
spent 11 days touring all over California. They acted like they
had thoroughly enjoyed the trip. One of them volunteered to take
my photo, which is at the left.
Although I ended up doing only one plein air painting, I took almost
60 snapshots for future painting references.
I stopped and had a chat with group
of men from Germany on rented Harleys.
Sunday, September 5, 2004
Since purchasing my 2003 Harley, I had been trying to arrange a
rendezvous with a friend from LA, Bruce, who also owned a Harley.
Well, after a year, we finally got our schedules together and decided
to meet at the California
Mid State Rally in Paso Robles.. I had decided to spend the
night, and then take my time the next day going up the coast to
do some painting.
A local buddy of mine, Pete, decided to ride down with me for the
day. We took the back roads, Highway 25 from Hollister to San Miguel.
It was a little warm, but a beautiful day for riding! Highway 25
follows the valleys of the mid coastal range of California, or pretty
much through the middle of nowhere! This forgotten road of Cailfonia
winds past many farms, horse ranches, vineyards, rivers, and a ton
of solitude. We could have counted on one hand the number of cars
we encountered the entire way. It was a great ride with hardly any
traffic on this beautiful byway.
We arrived in Paso
Robles around noon, and my local buddy, Pete returned home.
Bruce, from LA, as it turned out was having headlight and tail light
problems with his Harley, so he returned home without getting together.
Monday, August 30, 2004
SEASCAPES IN THE STUDIO
Lately, I had been noticing the Seascape Gallery on my web site
was pretty sparse. So, I have been doing more seascapes lately.
I just finished on of Garrapata State park, which turned out fairly
well. I think it is one of my best seascapes to date. You can see
it on the left or in the Seascape
Gallery, along with some other new works.
I have a trip to Big Sur planned soon, which will probably help
increase the number of available seascapes on hand.
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Along Alpine Road.
FINDING AN OLD LOCATION
I have long said you could spend a lifetime painting the scenery
on the San Francisco Peninsula. You have everything from spectacular
ocean views, cliffs, redwood forests, streams, rivers, and mountains.
About 25 years ago I was painting in the middle of the peninsula
in a redwood grove along Alpine Road. I had picked a nice pool in
the creek to paint. About half way through, a pickup stopped, out
jumped a huge dog which proceeded to jump, splash, and play in the
pool I was trying to paint. I was getting a little perturbed as
this canine was messing up the pool I was trying to paint. The dog's
owner came over and started a conversation. He said it was his dog's
favorite pool, and oh, by the way, how much do you want for the
Well, I sold him the painting, and dropped by his house for a glass
Now, 25 years later, I had never been back to that same spot. I
also had not taken the Harley out for a painting trip since late
March when I encountered back problems. So off I went to look for
the pool. I am not sure if I found the exact place, as streams have
a way of changing after 25 years. I ended up doing a painting, though,
and thoroughly enjoying the ride.
Monday, August 16, 2004
A couple of Monet's paintings in
the exhibit at the Bellagio.
AT THE BELLAGIO
We took a short trip to Las Vegas the last few days, primarily
to visit one of my wife's best friends, and attend her daughter's
eighteenth birthday celebration.
While there, I sneaked off for a couple hours to see the Monet
exhibit at the Bellagio
Hotel. Claude Monet was a leader among the group of 19th-century
painters known as the Impressionists. It was his life’s singular
mission to capture the essence of nature and light with nothing
more than paint and canvas. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston had
agreed to loan the majority of the paintings from its world-renowned
collection of works by Monet.
I had seen a few Monets before, but never this many in one place.
I once read Monet, in some ways was much a product of the technology
of his time. Tubes for painting had recently been invented, which
allowed artists to be more portable, thus allowing them to go out
and paint in nature. Also, many of the bright pigments were new
allowing more intense colors in art. Monet, however was a genius
of his time paving the way for new interpretations of art.
It was interesting to see how thick he built up his layers of paints.
Maybe not as thick as Van Gough, but the surface of the canvas was
layered quite thick with the paints.
Friday, July 9, 2004
Yours truly beside my painting at
the South Bay Art Momentum.
SOUTH BAY ART MOMENTUM
This evening was the reception for the South
Bay Art Momentum project at the Le Petit Trianon Theater in
downtown San Jose. I had originally not planned on entering this
show. My perception was, it was oriented to more modern type art
and not the traditional realism I paint. The producer of the show,
however, encouraged me to enter, so I did. I entered the painting
"Reflections in Ellery" which was also accepted into the
prestigious National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society annual show
The show was an outstanding success. Over 350 attended the reception,
and it was packed wall to wall.