Hakone Pals

From April 2020, for a year, I posted on Facebook a painting each day as a brief diversion from the lockdowns and other bad news this year. Neglecting my weblog, I’ll post in the coming days some of my better posts. Some of these paintings are still available.

“Hakone Pals”, 24×12, oil on canvas, plein air 

Over 100 years old, Hakone Gardens in Saratoga, CA, is one of the oldest Japanese estate, retreat and gardens in the Western Hemisphere. In 1915, two San Francisco arts patrons, Oliver and Isabel Stine, intending to build a summer retreat, purchased the 18-acre site on which Hakone now stands. Inspired by her trips to Japan, Isabel Stine modeled the gardens upon (and named them after) Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. 

Having visited Hakone in Japan, I especially appreciate the namesake, and the countryside there is beautiful views of Lake Ashi and Mt Fuji.

From the “Studio Keimusho”, another “Vertical Water” painting completed for the Los Gatos Art Festival of Hakone Garden. Look at the painting and can you guess why it was named “Hakone Pals”??

You can read more about this painting here–
http://www.donaldneff.com/blog/hot-hot-hot/

Merced Reflections

From April 2020, for a year, I posted on Facebook a painting each day as a brief diversion from the lockdowns and other bad news this year. Neglecting my weblog, I’ll post in the coming days some of my better posts.

“Merced Reflections”, 16×8, oil on panel, plein air

Several years ago I started a series called “Vertical Water”. I add to the series occasionally with both studio and plein air works. This one was painted en plein air on Swinging Bridge in Yosemite Valley, Feb 2017. It was quite cold, so I touched it up and finished it in the studio. That year was a great trip as I visited my painting on display in the Yosemite Museum, saw the firefall, and executed some good paintings.
From the “Studio Börtön”, you can see more vertical water paintings here:
https://www.pinterest.com/next…/the-vertical-water-series/
You can read about the trip and enjoy a short video here:
http://www.donaldneff.com/blog/fire-water-and-ice/

Tenaya

Since April 2020 I have posted on Facebook a painting each day as a brief diversion from the lockdowns and other bad news this year. Neglecting my weblog, I’ll post in the coming days some of my better posts.

“Tenaya”, 9×12, oil on panel, plein air

What a magnificent scene! I still remember as a kid first visiting Tenaya Lake and over the decades regularly return to it both physically, and in my art doing plein air and studio paintings of the area.

One of the easily accessible alpine lakes in the high Sierra, Tenaya Lake is also one of the most spectacular. Named after Yosemite Ahwahneechee Chief Tenaya, it is nestled in a granite basin surrounded by soaring granite domes, peaks, and lodgepole forests. Along Hwy 120 (Tioga Pass Road), it is also a sports destination with hiking, swimming, and boating.

Yesterday I posted a plein air piece painted during a trip to Yosemite. From the “Studio Malliberejo” is another one from the same trip.

Yosemite Morning

Since April 2020 I have posted on Facebook a painting each day as a brief diversion from the lockdowns and other bad news this year. Neglecting my weblog, I’ll post in the coming days some of my better posts.

“Yosemite Morning”, 12×24, oil on canvas, plein air

September 13,2020  · Today a picture popped up on my Facebook memories page of the most liked photo of 2017. I’ll post it again in my ongoing daily painting as a virus diversion. This is a plein air piece I did during a trip to Yosemite in 2012. I think I still have the painting, but since most my works are still in boxes waiting for their new studio, can’t check for sure. You can read more about that trip and other paintings here–
http://www.donaldneff.com/blog/yosemite-high-country/

From the “Studio Zigorra”, 
“Yosemite Morning”, 12×24, oil on canvas, plein air

Asilomar Splash

“Asilomar Splash”, 8×16, oil on panel, plein air

The sea was wonderful.

The air was wonderful.

The sounds of crashing waves and seagulls drifting in the air was wonderful. The wonderful sky gradually went from morning overcast to nice and sunny.

The sun was wonderful.

Half the reason I paint is to just go out, sit, and ponder wonderful nature for a time. And I always bring back a remembrance of that moment.

Monterey Bay Plein Air Painters Association is a local group who, among other activities, holds a group paintout once a week, usually on Wednesdays. An art buddy, Al Shamble, picks the locations, and conducts the events. They met on Thursday this week at Asilomar State Beach in Pacific Grove, so I went and spent time with them.

Unusually, only about 5 or 6 of us showed up. I sat in my camping chair and for a couple wondrous hours did a little painting. Here’s a few pictures of the day.

Tee Time

Since April 2020 I have posted on Facebook a painting each day as a brief diversion from the lockdowns and other bad news this year. Neglecting my weblog, I’ll post in the coming days some of my better posts.

“Tee Time”, 15×30, oil on canvas

Today’s offering from the “Studio Up the River”, is for all the golfers. Some years ago I participated in a plein air festival at La Rinconada Golf Course in Los Gatos, CA. I did three paintings, two of which sold, but still have this one of the first fairway looking east towards the rising sun…just about time to tee off.

El Camino

Since April 2020 I have posted on Facebook a painting each day as a brief diversion from the lockdowns and other bad news this year. Neglecting my weblog, I’ll post in the coming days some of my better posts.

El Camino, 16×20, oil on board

Historic California is the subject for today’s offering from the studio stockade. This is a plein air painting I did of the Mission San Juan Bautista. You might recognize it if you ever watched the Hitchcock film ‘Vertigo.’ The path is El Camino Real, the road built by the early Spanish missionaries to connect their missions. It is one of the few places you can see the original dirt avenue. It also happens to be the San Andreas Fault Line!

LA QUETE


The quest started as a simple idea. I didn’t even know if I would, or even could finish it. After all, it was a commitment for a year.
I didn’t know if it would turn out worthwhile, or just a stack of sticky panels for the scrap heap. I didn’t know if anything would be interesting or worth looking at.

I didn’t know I would eventually paint ghost towns in Silicon Valley, or haunted springs, or wild beaver sign in a metropolitan city, or the worlds largest homeless camp, or the world’s first ‘plein air selfie’.

I didn’t know eventually strangers would walk up to me, give me a hug, and say I brought back their fond childhood memories of days gone by in the “Valley of Hearts Delight’.

Little did I know it would grow with a feature on NBCTV, and other TV spots, articles by major publications, multiple showings in various venues, and a book.

My painting with the prior day's sunset painting by the creek.

Seven years ago today, I started a year-long quest to paint a different “Creek and River of Silicon Valley” each week en plein air, or on location.
At the time, even finishing the year successfully was not known, but I ended up with 60 paintings of 43 different creeks all over the South San Francisco Bay area.

My bike with the painting equipment on the bench.

Discover about the quest, including a short documentary video, interactive map, and other information here–
http://www.donaldneff.com/creeks.html

The collection of 60 paintings is still intact and will be for the foreseeable future. I am still seeking venues both local, national, and international for showings, so ideas are welcome!

Published

Yours Truly
Yours Truly

The Open Space Authority of Santa Clara Valley recently published an article featuring my year long quest to paint and Preserve Coyote Valley. I didn’t know about several other like minded artists also featured, and we certainly need to get together!

You can read the article here…

http://news.openspaceauthority.org/blog/community-connections-coyote-valley-artists

May – Kalana Avenue

Kalana Avenue, 24×12, oil on canvas

Second in my yearlong Preserve Coyote Valley Series.

Coyote Valley, a large expanse of farmlands, orchards, and scattered homes has been the subject of a war between the developers and conservationists for years. I am spending a year painting at least once a month a scene in the valley, either en plein air (on location), or studio paintings. You can read about my first painting in this year long quest here, and a video here.

We have had an unusual number of storms coming through the San Francisco Bay area the last week or so. For the second Coyote Valley painting, I decided to make it as much about the sky as the valley.

The painting is a barn along Kalana Avenue, a short street just over a mile long in the valley. I started this piece en plein air (on location), but finished it in the studio…probably about 70-30. I took a little artists license and moved some trees around, shortened the barn, but overall it’s about what it looked like.

Below are a few shots of the day.


Stay tuned for more. I still have to report on the Carmel Art Festival with some great drone video along the California coast!