Donald Neff, Artist


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Donald Neff, Artist

Paintings of Donald Neff

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WebLog History:

Oct-Dec 2005

Jul-Sep 2006

Apr-Jun 2006

Jan-Mar 2006

Oct-Dec 2005

Jul-Sep 2005

Apr-Jun 2005

Jan-Mar 2005

Oct-Dec 2004

Jul-Sep 2004

Apr-Jun 2004

Jan-Mar 2004

Oct-Dec 2003

Jul-Sep 2003

Apr-Jun 2003

Jan-Mar 2003





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.

October-December 2005

December 28-31, 2005


The Truckee River.

My easel along the Truckee.

Squaw Valley as the sun disappears behind the peaks.


Well, it is snowboard season again, and I am off to Lake Tahoe with my son and his cousin so they can get in the first snowboarding of the season in. The weather doesn't look real promising, but conditions change, the boys were chomping to go, and we had reservations, so decided to take our chances. Of course, I am also anxious to do some plein air painting while they are working the ski slopes!

To make a long story short, after 5 days, the boys only got in two good days of boarding, plus one wet morning. I managed to do one painting along the Truckee. It rained, and sleeted, and rained, and snowed, and rained some more, and froze, and rained some more. We didn't have any electrical power the last 24 hours we were there.

On New Years Eve, we decided to at least go to north shore stateline, which had power. I occasionally play a little blackjack, and luck was with me as I walked away with a little over $150. After a nice dinner, we headed back to the motel, and sat in the dark as 2006 rolled in. It was a great time!!!

December 21, 2005


The town of Los Gatos, CA, asked me several months ago to help with a fund raiser for the local Museum. Patterned after the famous "Chicago Cows on Parade" and similar events (San Jose had it's own Shark event), each artist was given a statue of a cat which they could decorate any way they saw fit. The cats are now on display for several months around the town of Los Gatos, and will be auctioned off in February, 2006.

I was a little hesitant to accept the invitation to join since I don't do 'crafts' much, but decided what the heck, might as well do it anyway. I decided as the theme for my cat to somewhat copy the colors of a little fish souvenir I had brought back from Hawaii years ago. I always liked the colors in the little statue. I named the cat "Tropical Catfish", and after many trips to a local Michaels art store, and many hours it was finally finished. A couple of pictures are on the left. After it was done, I am not sure if it doesn't look more like a pinata, or an Egyptian tomb statue! At least it is colorful!

The upcoming auction event on February 12 should prove exciting. Thomas Kinkade, a Los Gatos resident will judge the best cat.

December 5, 2005

First in the series "above Squaw Valley"


Last winter, during a snowboard trip for my son, I decided to ride the Squaw Valley Gondola up to 'High Camp" to meet the kids for dinner. High Camp perches several thousand feet above the valley floor, and affords spectacular views all around the Lake Tahoe area.

I had ridden the gondola many times, but this time the sun was low and was streaking all down the mountain side. It was breathtaking! With the fading light dancing in and out of each rock, tree, ridge line, cliff, and snowbank, I snapped photos all the way up the mountain.

After returning home, and reviewing the photos, I decided I could do an entire suite of paintings from this one ride. It took me awhile to get around to starting them, but the first completed is shown here, and several more in the works.


November 27, 2005

Artists seem to group together.


My easel and a work in progress.

One of the fellow artists took a picture of 'Yours Truly' hard at work.

Enjoying the coast.


The Verde Artist's Guild was formed by a group of Northern California plein air artists who enjoy painting together. Verde was formed to paint in company and to share experiences and resources with each other.

Verde Artist's Guild hosted a "paint-out" today at Pescadero State Beach (in the Half Moon Bay area). I decided to join, so rode the Harley up. It was quite brisk, especially on the motorcycle. However, when I arrived, the other painters were cold after getting out of their warm cars, and I was warm after getting off the bike!

It turned out to be a wonderful day, of painting, visiting with other artists and enjoying the California coast. I managed to do two paintings of the beautiful coastline.

October 23, 2005

A few of the miniatures.



Around this time of year, I usually paint a batch of miniature paintings. They are generally only about 5x5 or 5x7 inches. I usually do small paintings of larger works or plein air paintings which I especially liked and/or sold quickly...which means someone else liked them!

After spending a week or two (off and on), I ended up with a batch of them. They were all painted in their entirety with only one single brush, a #6 Silver Ruby Satin Bright. I generally use only a couple brushes for any painting, in fact for plein air, I generally only use one brush, a #10 Silver Ruby Satin Bright, and occasionally a #4 filbert.

I painted everything from Big Sur to Tahoe and Sierra fall colors to mountain streams. You can see most of them here in my Miniatures Gallery.

October 15-16, 2005


Pictures of the color in Hope Valley.


The last few years, I have tried to take a trip to the eastern Sierras to catch the aspen and other deciduous trees in their magnificent fall colors. For those of you in California, an excellent resource to track when and where the fall colors are peaking, check out

Since I had been taking a number of trips during the year to the Tahoe area to supply James Harold Galleries with new works, my 'significant other' requested it just be an overnight trip as her family was still somewhat grieving over the loss of her sister.

So, I decided to concentrate in the Hope Valley area, which is about 30 miles south of Lake Tahoe. I left San Jose early so-as to try to get in a full two days painting. Traveling up Highway 88 over Carson Pass brought a flood of memories from the last time I had been on that road. During my motorcycle tour of the Southwest just the previous May, we had returned to San Jose over the same pass.

Although Hope Valley has a magnificent display of fall colors, there is not near the concentration of aspens as a little further south on the eastern Sierra flanks around June Lake and other areas. There was still plenty to paint in every direction!

The gold's, yellows, sienna, greens, and reds of the turning leaves were a sight to see. I decided to do a couple paintings along the Carson River and some of it's tributaries.

There were no motels available in the area, so I decided to drive up to South Lake Tahoe for the evening.


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