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.
Tuesday, December 16, 2003
Picture along the beach with Ano
Nuevo jutting out in the far horizon.
A lone passerby was kind enough
to take my picture for me.
Up on the bluff with a painting
almost finished on the easel.
Fifty-five miles south of San Francisco and the Golden Gate, and
about 15 miles north of Santa Cruz, a low, rocky, windswept point
juts out into the Pacific Ocean. Año
Nuevo State Reserve is the site of the largest mainland breeding
colony in the world for the northern elephant seal.
I had been planning today's trip to the Santa Cruz coastline for
the last week. My destination was to be close to Año
Nuevo State Reserve. According to the weather man, there would
be two days of clear skies bracketed by storms before and after.
I love painting this coast right after a storm as the surf is spectacular.
Ten to twenty foot swells can pound the rocks, sea stacks and bluffs
resulting in waves almost licking the top of the forty foot cliffs.
By now, packing the Harley is getting routine, and I keep refining
my packing list and contents. This is my third paint trip to the
Santa Cruz coast in the Harley in the last month.
It was a crisp morning with the temperatures in the 40's as I left
on the Harley. I had prepared and bundled up appropriately so was
plenty warm as I made my way through the Santa Cruz Mountains and
up the coast.
I planned to spend most of the day at Greyhound
Rock, which is several miles south of Ano Nuevo. You
can click here for a neat panorama of Greyhound Rock.
By the time I arrived at Greyhound
Rock, the weather was in the 60's, warm and pleasant. The weather
patterns hadn't turned out as expected, so the huge waves were quite
I finished a painting down on the beach of a rock, the sea and
Nuevo in the background. I then headed up to the bluffs, had
a little lunch and commenced to do another overlooking the ocean.
I was approached by a lady from Santa Cruz who had seen me painting
the coast before. Before the day was done, she purchased both paintings
I had done that day. Smart collector...ha ha.
After a visit to the Santa
Cruz Harley Davidson dealer, I headed home on the old San Jose/Soquel
Highway. It winds up a valley in the western Santa Cruz Mountains.
The valley gradually morphed from suburbia to ranches and farmlands,
to a canyon brimming with redwoods and ferns. Stopping at a turnout
for a moment, all was quiet and peaceful in the lush greenery of
a stand of ancient redwoods. Too soon I had to head home.
Sunday, December 7, 2003
Picture of Going to the Sun Road
to use as a study for the landscape portion.
Combined with a photo of my Harley
in the driveway.
The painting after about 3 hours
of work. Notice I changed the painting from horizontal to more vertical.
PAINTING THE HARLEY
The vast majority of the paintings I have done over the last 20
years show no sign of man. There are no buildings, roads, trails,
people, or anything else related to man. I generally have wanted
to capture the pristine nature of the wilderness.
I decided to depart from the norm this week and combine landscape
painting with my renewed passion of motorcycles. I have started
a painting, primarily landscape in nature, but with a Harley in
I also wanted to do more paintings from a recent trip to Glacier
National Park, so am using a photo I took of Going to the Sun Road
as the landscape portion. For the motorcycle, I simply took a picture
of my Harley in the driveway.
If this experiment works out, I will certainly do more similar,
and in fact have other ideas in mind. I will let you know in a week
or two how it turns out.
Wednesday, December 3, 2003
My easel with a work in progress
at Bonny Doon beach.
The surfer museum through the mist.
Painting along the Santa Cruz bluffs.
A couple of shots of my ride along
Cruz is the quintessential beach town. It was here that Hawaiian
royalty first introduced surfing to the mainland--and locals and
visitors alike have been riding the waves ever since.
I had many times visited the Santa
Cruz Surfing Museum housed in the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse
at Lighthouse Point overlooking internationally renowned surfing
hotspot Steamer Lane. I decided to make this my painting destination
This is the second plein air painting trip taken in my Harley-Davidson
Road King. (See below about the prior trip.)
Although the forecast was for a clear day, upon leaving it was
fogged in. A marine layer sometimes settles in the Bay Area, but
oft times the coastline can be clear, so I wasn't too worried about
a nice day. As I worked my way across Santa Clara Valley, previously
known as the Valley of Hearts Delight, but more recently as Silicon
Valley, the fog began to lift and by the time I reached the Santa
Cruz Mountains, it was clear.
We had a late Autumn this year, and the trees were at their best.
Cruising through the coastal range, the contrast of the fall leaves,
cedars and redwoods were a sight to see. Wisps of fog hung in the
valleys dramatizing the effect as I cruised along on the Harley.
After transversing the mountains, I rode up the coast several miles
north of Santa Cruz to do a quick painting at Bonny Doon beach.
I enjoy painting along this coastline just after a storm, as the
waves are sometimes huge and there is usually nobody around. I set
up my easel and did a painting while a trio of fisherman tried their
luck from some of the rocks.
The fog was drifting lazily in and out and I would find myself
bathed in warm sunshine one moment and enveloped in the gray of
fog the next.
Upon finishing a quick painting, I moved on down the coast to the
cliffs along the Santa Cruz coastline. After a quick lunch, I painted
the point by the museum. Quite a few surfers were out on Steamer
Lane, as the waves were starting to pick up since the last weather
front we had.
After 90 minutes, the painting was done, so it was time to pack
up and stop by the local Harley dealer. After buying a T-shirt,
I cruised down the coast to Watsonville, and back over the coast
range via Highway 152. Highway 152 twists through Hecker Pass, winds
through the redwoods and along a variety of ranches, farms, lakes,
and houses. Enjoying the fall colors of the many vineyards, it was
starting to get dark as I made my way home.
Thursday, November 13, 2003
Mayor Ron Gonzales, Council woman
Cindy Chavez, and our group of artists. I am on the far left.
Some of the other artists busily
A PAINTING DEMONSTRATION
Several days ago, I was invited to do a painting demonstration
today for the grand opening of a newArtist
and Craftsman Supply store in downtown San Jose. Six other artists
also came to do demos. Part of the deal to do the demo, was we got
to use the stores supplies!
I took a number of photos as potential subject matter and while
there, decided to do a painting of Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite
National Park. The photo I was using to paint from was taken 25
Soon after setting up and starting my demo, the Mayor of San Jose,
Ron Gonzalez and Council woman Cindy Chavez stopped by to tour the
new store. We all got together for a photo shot of the group.
I finished the painting in about 3 hours, and it turned out fairly
My demo painting of Bridalveil Falls.
Wednesday, November 12, 2003
The Harley Road King with Pigeon
Point Lighthouse in the background.
A passerby took a picture of me
and my easel with the lighthouse in the background.
Attendees of the workshop busily
at work on their masterpieces.
Stefan (far left) giving out some
Today is my first plein air painting trip on the new Harley
Davidson. As I mentioned before, I am the proud new owner of
Anniversary Harley-Davidson Road King.
The destination today is a plein air painting workshop conducted
Baumann. Stefan is a well known artist who has a PBS series
on painting the national parks called The
Grand View. Be sure to catch this series out as it begins again
The workshop is the afternoon only, but I decided toleave early
and make a day of it. We were to meet at Pigeon
Point Lighthouse, about 27 miles north of the California coastal
town of Santa Cruz. The lighthouse, sitting on a rocky bluff overlooking
the Pacific Ocean, is one of the tallest in America.
I took off on the Harley, and headed the 40 miles through the Santa
Cruz mountains and then up the California coast. What a glorious
day! Riding the motorcycle there was as much fun as painting at
the destination. It had been rainy the last week, but today was
sunny and cloudless. With the sun and sea air in my face, I was
ready to get to painting on arrival!
I did one painting of Pigeon Point, ate a small sack lunch, and
by that time, the workshop was ready to begin.
Over a dozen showed up for the workshop. Stefan has quite a following,
greatly due to his PBS series " The
Grand View". The workshop was only 3 hours long, but most
attendees finished, or almost finished one painting.
By the time I left, it was nearing sundown. There was not a cloud
to be seen, and the entire sky filled with the pink of the setting
sun. The entire coast embraced the warm light filtered by the marine
layer of mist far out to sea. The pink faded and I was slowly enveloped
in darkness riding the Harley down the coast.
Tuesday, November 11, 2003
Pictures of me and my new Harley
In 1903 William Harley and three Davidson brothers formed a company
which has become an American legend. It is one of the most recognized
brand names in the world. They named their company after their last
Davidson and they built motorcycles.
The year 2003 was celebrated by Harley
Davidson as their 100th Anniversary. After growing up on motorcycles
and not riding for about 24 years, I decided I would fulfill a lifelong
wish, and bought a 100th
Anniversary Harley-Davidson Road King last August.
Although I have been riding the motorcycle for several months,
tomorrow will be my first plein air painting trip on it. My favorite
outdoor easel, a Soltek, would not quite fit in the side bags, so
I recently purchased a 'Palm' Openbox-M
pochade box. I had been wanting one of these for quite a while,
and now had the excuse to buy one.
After packing the saddlebags, I found everything I needed just
fit, with little room to spare. Thankfully, I didn't have to strap
or bungy any bulky equipment on the back. The Harley was ready for
it's first painting trip!
Monday, November 10, 2003
A friend mentioned to me last weekend they had seen
an article about me in a local society paper called the Valley
Scene. It was a bit of a surprise, because the paper did not
mention anything to me. I have not located a copy of the paper yet,
but found a blurb on the home page of their web
site. Not sure how long it will stay there, but you find it
by clicking here.
Tuesday, October 7, 2003
Soaring Between Two Blues
in Embassies Program was established by the United States Department
of State in 1964. The Art
in Embassies Program is a global museum that exhibits original
works of art by U.S. citizens in the public rooms of approximately
180 American diplomatic residences worldwide.
I received official notification today that my painting, "Soaring
Between Two Blues" will be placed in Ambassador Joseph LeBaron's
residence in Nouakchott, Mauritania. The painting is of Crater Lake
and depicts an American Bald Eagle Soaring between the deep blues
of the lake and the sky.
2003 Prev Jan-Mar 2004