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, December 17, 2006
MORE DISK SPACE AND OLD NEWS
My web service provider is allowing more disk space usage these
days, so I uploaded a bit of old news in the form of a video.
Back in 1998, when I owned a small computer software company, a
locally produced weekly show called "Silicon Valley Business
Report" decided to do a feature on me and my art. The feature
aired October 11, 1998. I have since retired from that career and
painting full time.
CLICK HERE IF YOU WANT
TO SEE THE VIDEO.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Two of the paintings I did last
Monday at Natural Bridges State Park.
STUDIO TOUCH UP
I just touched up a bit the two paintings I did Monday at Natural
Bridges State Park and took a little better photo of them, which
is shown on the left.
Monday, December 11, 2006
LGAA group painting
My easel with the first painting
of the arch.
A little closer shot of the painting,
although not a real good picture.
The group pausing for a photo.
My second painting of the creek
and lagoon area, again not a good picture of the painting.
BRIDGES STATE PARK
Natural Bridges State Beach is world-renowned for its yearly migration
of monarch butterflies. This beach, with its famous natural bridge,
is an excellent vantage point for viewing shore birds, migrating
whales, and seals and otters playing offshore.
Gatos Plein Air group was painting here today, we had a break
in the winter rain, so I decided to join the group.
I arrived around 9:30 and there was already quite a group clustered
in one area, everyone looking different directions to do a painting.
I decided to paint a stones throw away from the group and did a
painting of the beach looking out over the colorful ice plant towards
the last remaining 'bridge' in the water. The sun and tide were
constantly coming and going, so I had to put my 'stake in the sand'
as to the general look of the painting. It turned out fairly well,
probably a keeper.
The group started to break up a little after noon, but I wanted
to do one more, so spent about an hour on a study of the creek and
lagoon which flows into the inlet. By the time I had finished, around
two o'clock, only one other in the group was left.
I packed up for the 45 minute trip home, and it soon started to
sprinkle as I made my way back over the Santa Cruz mountains to
Silicon Valley. The next storm was starting to come in!
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
"Wizard Island" * 8x10
"Mountain Creek" * 5x5
I didn't do much painting over the Thanksgiving Holiday, but managed
to do a couple more mini's since. I did another one of Crater Lake
from my motorcycle trip last summer, plus a stream from the Sierras.
More can be seen in my Miniatures
Friday, November 3, 2006
"Crater Lake" * 6x8 *
"South Sister" * 6x8 *
Well, finished a few more miniatures. These are a little larger
than my usual miniatures at 6x8 inches. They are from a motorcycle
trip I took to Oregon last summer. I plan to do many more paintings
from that trip. As you can tell from my Miniatures
Gallery, they usually sell fairly quickly.
Monday, November 6, 2006
A view of the bell tower.
The mission church from El Camino
My easel on El Camino Real.
SAN JUAN BAUTISTA REVISITED
I joined the LGAA plein air group painting Mission
San Juan Bautista. They had painted there one time since, but
it was cloudy, and I didn't go. Since then, I had done a little
research on the mission, and realized the San Andreas fault line
ran right next to it, and along the original El
I had wanted to go back and do a larger study, so today was the
day. I also wanted to catch the mission in the afternoon light,
so took off around noon. I planned on doing only one larger painting
of the mission overlooking El
Camino Real. Since the sun sets around 5:00, I was going to
have to work quickly! It snuck up on me though, and about 3:00,
the sun was almost behind the coastal hills, but the painting was
well enough along to call it a day.
"El Camino Real" * 16x20
* Oil on board
Friday, November 3, 2006
A few of this year's miniatures.
Once again, I am painting a batch of miniatures, my usual routine
around this time of year. I have normally kept the size to about
5x5 or 5x7 inches, but am doing some slightly larger such as 6x8.
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! This time, I am also doing new works which I later
may want to paint as large works. As you can tell from my Miniatures
Gallery, they usually sell fairly quickly.
Although I am not done painting all of them, I thought I would
share the first few of this years crop. You can see most of them
here in my Miniatures Gallery.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
The sun breaking over Pescadero.
Some of the painters enjoying the
My second painting of the day.
Julia Seelos working on a masterpiece,
Artist Guild called a paintout today at Pescadero
Beach. The beach is a fun place to paint as you have the ocean
with sandy and rocky areas, great vistas up and down the coastline,
plus a creek and marsh area with lots of color.
I originally loaded up the Harley, but at the very last minute,
I transferred everything to my SUV. My back was still bothering
me a little, and I felt like just heading out in the car and sipping
coffee for the 80 minute drive to the beach.
I got there around 8:30 and was the first on the scene. It was
still cloudy, but the sun was breaking through over the Santa Cruz
Mountains, and starting to light up the little town of Pescadero.
What a great study!! Pescadero creek and estuary was reflecting
the distant breaking sunlight, with all the myriad colors of the
marshland scattered all over. I proceeded to set up and paint as
the other artists rolled in over the next couple hours.
The first painting turned out good, so I changed location, as the
beach area was now flushed with sunlight as the overcast slowly
faded out to sea. The next painting turned out fairly well. I had
two 'keepers' and it was not even lunchtime yet.
After visiting with some of the other artists, we decided to head
into Pescadero and have lunch at Duarte's,
a historical tavern and restaurant.
In the afternoon, it was back to painting. I did another quick
study of the cliffs, and decided to call it a day.
"Pescadero Cove" * 12X16
* Oil on board
Friday, October 27, 2006
"Harris Beach" * 2436
* Oil on canvas
IN EMBASSIES, BARBADOS
About a week ago, I received an inquiry from a curator at the Art
in Embassies Program. They wanted to know if I had a painting
of the Pacific Coast which I wouldn't mind lending to show at the
embassy in Hamilton, Barbados.
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 emailed them a number of photos of my works, and today received
Mary Ourisman chose "Harris Beach" to show at the
Sunday, October 22, 2006
"Hood River Valley" *
30x40 * Oil on canvas
LOS GATOS ART RECEPTION
Today was the art reception for the Los Gatos Art Association Annual
Members Show. I had entered a painting of Mt Hood, Oregon, and Hood
River Valley. I originally painted it mainly because I wanted to
have a painting of Mt Hood in my living room.
The painting had 'traditional' and 'cliche' written all over it...a
dirt road leading into quaint farmhouses with a looming mountain
overhead...not something art jurors usually like. With this in mind,
I was not sure how the juror would see it. As it turns out, she
recognized all the traditional aspects, but still thought it was
a well executed work, and awarded me a third place.
Friday, October 13, 2006
I received an email today inviting me to show on a new web site,
It is being run by Mark
Gudmundsen, an excellent painter of Yosemite and other National
Parks. The web site shows an open invitation to be juried into their
web site. Check it out!
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Painting Leavitt Meadows.
Along Sonora Pass.
Nick painting along Sonora Pass.
My easel alongside Hwy 108.
SIERRA COLORS DAY 4
We were expecting clear skies in the morning, but were disappointed
with a still gloomy day. In addition, most of the mountain passes
towards home were now closed, so it was necessary to make alternate
plans, We reasoned the passes might open later in the day as it
had snowed only 2-3 inches and a warming trend was in the forecast.
So, we drove north on Hwy
395 towards some of the passes which are open year round. After
brunch in Bridgeport, I called the Caltrans hotline, and it sounded
like the nearest pass, Sonora Pass on Hwy
108 was open. Away we went, and soon came upon a road sign indicating
the pass was still closed. Well, we decided to see for ourselves,
and drove up to where the gate closed the road!
Just prior to the gate, we had come across a wonderful scene of
Leavitt Meadows with the West Walker River meandering through. It
was a high vantage point, and we could see groves of aspen dotted
over the entire area nestled in the foothills of the eastern Sierras
all beneath a changing canopy of snow clouds. Another breathtaking
view we just had to paint!
Around the time we were about finished with the paintings, lo and
behold, a Caltrans truck came rambling down the mountain. We flagged
him down, and he told us Sonora Pass was now open. Wonderful news
as we didn't have to travel any further north to try to catch an
Meandering over Sonora Pass on 108, we stopped to take lots of
pictures, and then came on a scene we had to paint. I am not sure
the exact location, but I think it was Leavitt Peak, or at least
in that area.
My back wasn't doing so well, and the painting wasn't fairing much
better, so after about an hour, called it quits. I at least got
the values and colors I wanted of the peak and the foreground hills.
The rest can be done later.
We continued on down Hwy
108, eventually winding our way back to 'civilization' and the
San Jose area.
It was a great trip. I think we hit the fall color peak maybe a
week or two early, but there was still plenty of color. I wanted
to finish more paintings, but with the snow and my aching back,
it just wasn't "in the cards". However with about 180
digital photos, I could spend the next year doing studio paintings
from the trip.
Hat's off to Nick
White for being such a great travel companion and painting buddy!
My almost complete work of Leavitt
Meadow and the West Walker River.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
My SUV braving the snow outside
my motel room.
Colors in Lee Vining Canyon
Mining equipment at Bodie
The film crew of "Eye on the
Bay" around Bodie.
Bodie's Main Street.
SIERRA COLORS DAY 3
It had been cold and rainy much of the night, and we awoke to a
drizzling rain. My lower back had started bothering me the day before,
for no other reason that I know of than just a change in weather.
We decided to hang around the motel for awhile and around 11:00
AM, it started snowing heavily. I actually enjoy "cocooning"
in a room (or my motorhome) while the snow is floating down outside.
In spite of the snow, after lunch, we decided to drive up Lee Vining
Canyon. We got a special treat seeing the changing Aspens with all
their colors in contrast to the white canvas on the ground. Looking
up, we could occasionally see the canyon walls reaching ever further
in the clouds as they caught the white powder drifting down.
After a 'back rest' in the motel room, it was off to see Bodie.
State Historic Park is a genuine California gold-mining ghost
town and is one of the best preserved ghost towns in the west. Visitors
can walk down the deserted streets of a town that once had a population
of 10,000 people and for a time was the second largest town in California.
The town was about a 40 minute drive from Lee Vining, the last
three miles being dirt road. Only a small part of the town survives,
preserved in a state of "arrested decay."
We walked the streets and realized why it is such a photographed
place. Old buildings were everywhere. Interiors remain as they were
left and stocked with goods. With the several inches of snow, it
especially set the colors of the buildings apart.
While walking around, we ran into a film crew, and found out they
were filming a local San Francisco TV show called "Eye
on the Bay".
Monday, October 9, 2006
Beaver pond and meadow in Lundy
Nick White busily paintings along
the dirt road in Lundy Canyon.
My almost finished work on the easel.
View of the Minarets.
SIERRA COLORS DAY 2
The forecast was for a cold front to come in later today, so it
was time to get out and paint while we still had sun! We headed
up to Lundy Canyon, which has some magnificent stands of Aspen,
a string of beaver ponds and meadows with towering peaks all around.
Driving past numerous photographers, we finally settled on painting
by one of the upper beaver ponds. The scene was very layered. with
several peaks in the background; the canyon walls framing the scene;
the yellow, green, red, and brown aspens; then the colors of the
grass and water in the beaver ponds gave it a magical quality.
We could have spent all day in the area, but after finishing one
painting, decided it was time to move on. The clouds were starting
to roll in, so we weren't sure how much painting and photography
time we would have.
After lunch, we decided to head down to Mammoth
Lakes area. I had not been in this area since the early 80's.
Been close many times, but not to the lakes. It was clouding up,
so we decided to just take the scenic loop and take photo studies
for later paintings. We drove up to an overlook of the Minarets
and other Sierra peaks. I don't think I had ever been up to see
and what a spectacular view. If it had not been so cloudy, I would
probably have stopped there and done a painting. We went further
on and cruised around the lake area, then it was time to head back
to the motel.
Sunday, October 8, 2006
Mt. Dana hovering over the colorful
Painting along Saddlebag Creek in
the high Sierras.
Carson Mountain above the turning
fall colors around June Lakes.
SIERRA COLORS DAY 1
Once again the fall colors are coming out and it is time to take
a trip to the eastern Sierras to catch the aspen and other trees
in their magnificent colors. For those of you in California, an
excellent resource to track when and where the fall colors are peaking,
check out http://www.calphoto.com/fall.htm.
Last year, due to a recent death in the family (my wife's sister),
I limited my trip to just an overnight up to Hope Valley, south
of Lake Tahoe. We planned this year's trip for four days and three
nights, headquartered out of Lee Vining, California. A good painting
partner of mine, Nick
White was going along for the trip.
We got an early but uneventful start at 6:30 AM, and headed for
Tioga Pass in the Yosemite High Country. We stopped to take a few
pictures here and there, and finally arrived around 11:00 AM at
our first painting location of the day, along Saddlebag Creek, close
to Ellery Lake. The weather and view was spectacular. The bushes
along the creek were in full fall color. As we looked south, we
could see Mount Dana hovering over the landscape like a king ruling
his subjects. With the blues, grays, and light sienna's of the mountains
contrasting with the brilliant yellows, oranges, reds, and ochre's
of the meadow, it was a wonderful place to paint, let alone just
We both did one painting. Mine turned out fairly well, what I call
a 'keeper' to hang in a gallery, however I left a little of the
foreground to be completed later. We needed to go down the mountain
to Lee Vining to get a motel, as we did not have reservations.
What a bustling and busy surprise Lee Vining was! I am normally
here when the town is deserted, but today, we had a hard time finding
a room. Nick and I finally had to split up in separate motels for
After checking in to our motels, we decided to head to June
Lake and other nearby areas. It was starting to get late in
the afternoon, and the sun disappears early behind the eastern Sierra
escarpment, so we decided to just poke around and take photos for
later studio paintings.