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

Hollister

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.

“Hollister”, 30×40, oil on canvas

July 29,2020  Sweeping vistas, sweeping empty roads, scattered ranches, vineyards, farms, cows, rivers, coyotes, biking legends: Highway 25 south of Hollister, CA is one of our ‘go-to’ motorcycle rides. We ride it several times a year, and it is always a blast.

Most think of California as full of cities, traffic, homeless, hippies, fruits and nuts, but it doesn’t take much to get out into the ‘middle of nowhere’ where you can ride as free and as fast as you want. Such is Highway 25.

Today’s virus diversion painting from the ‘Studio Gaolbird”, is a piece from studies taken along the way over the years. I normally avoid painting old barns as I think they are a little cliche, but they are also good sellers, so here we go.

BTW, you can see a video of some of these rides here —

Land of Legends

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.

“Land of Legends”, 28×22, acrylic on board

Continuing yesterday’s American Indian lore theme from the “Studio Quarantine”…

Spider Rock stands with awesome dignity and beauty over 800 feet high in Arizona’s colorful Canyon de Chelly National Park (pronounced da Shay). According to Navajo legend, the magnificent spire is named after Spider Woman who lives at Spider Rock in Canyon De Chelly. She was first to weave the web of the universe. She taught…well, you read the rest of the story here…  https://www.navajorug.com/…/spider-rock-center-of-the…

In the early 80’s I took off in a little RV for a 6 month journey all over the southwest United States, It was also during one of the most severe winters they had in quite some time, so got to see the region much differently than most. This acrylic painting is one of the products of that trip, and although my style has changed quite a bit, it’s still an old favorite as it brings back so many memories, and I still have the painting.

Takiyama Jiinn Sekihi

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.

“Takiyama Jiinn Sekihi”, 16×20, oil on canvas

I can usually predict about how many ‘likes’ I get on each painting I post. The more majestic, beautiful, familiar a scene is usually gets the most. I did this painting several years ago as part of my ongoing Japan series just because I thought it was an interesting thing to paint, and wonder what it means.

This is near a waterfall temple up a remote canyon near Maniwa-shi Japan that my son discovered while living in the area. I did a plein air of the temple on a cold drizzly day, but this stone marker and it’s setting made an interesting composition. To me it’s a mysterious story…how long has it been there? I can’t read Japanese, so what does it say? What is the purpose of the stone with it’s barely discernible carving?

Today’s offering from the “Studio Roundhouse” probably won’t get many ‘likes’, but I still like it.

“Takiyama Jiinn Sekihi”, 16×20, oil on canvas. Japanese for “mountain waterfall temple stone monument.”

Mentaki Water House

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.

“Mentaki Water House”, 15×30, oil on canvas

Back to Kobe, Japan for today’s offering from the Neff Studio ‘Pokey’. In the old sailing days, sailors from around the world loved docking in Kobe, drink the “Kobe Water”, and load it on the ships. The water was such good quality, it would not spoil even when crossing the equator. This scene is the Mentaki Waterfall, which has a small dam and intake house to supply water for Kobe, and is just a few minutes walk from the Shin-Kobe Shinkansen Station (bullet train station).

Cataratas do Iguacu

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.

“Cataratas do Iguacu”, 36×72, oil on canvas, diptych

Let’s go to South America!!

Today’s offering from the studio ‘calaboose’ is Iguassu Falls in South America. Considered one of the greatest natural wonders of the world, we visited the falls in 2012. I did several studies on site, and then came back to the studio to produce my largest painting ever done. An international art magazine wrote an article about the entire experience and development of the painting…

http://www.donaldneff.com/NeffPleinAirMagazine.pdf

Wild Hokkaido

Shimadomarigyo Harbor
Shimadomarigyo Harbor. 8×10, acrylic on canvas

Hokkaido is the northernmost, second largest, and least developed of Japan’s four main islands. The winters are harsh with lots of snowfall, below zero temperatures and frozen seas, while in summer it does not get as hot and humid as in the other parts of Japan.  With unspoiled nature, Hokkaido attracts many outdoor lovers, including skiers and snowboarders in the colder seasons. Hikers, cyclists, and campers come during summer and fall.  It is considered to have some of the best snow powder in the world.

I just returned from a couple weeks in Japan visiting my son, who recently moved to Sapporo, the capital and largest city in Hokkaido.  After 5 years living in SW rural Japan, he wanted a change of scenery so moved to northern Japan and one of the snowiest metropolis’s in the world. Sapporo hosted the first ever Olympics in Asia, the 1972 Winter games.  

Sapporo
Sapporo


I won’t turn this weblog entry into a travelogue (More photos can be found on my Facebook Page,) but I did have a chance to do some painting.  We spent a lot of time doing the normal tourist things, and it was a little rainy and cloudy off and on our entire visit.  I normally paint in oils while at home, but as usual, I brought my acrylic travel kit which is much easier to handle on international trips.  BTW, in case you missed it, some time ago, Plein Air Magazine published an article about my traveling with acrylic paints, you can see here.

Soon after we arrived, we realized it would be raining in a few days, so we took advantage of the sunshine, rented a car, and drove around the Hokkaido countryside for a couple days.  Our first daytrip was south of Sapporo where we enjoyed rural Hokkaido and visited a couple lakes.  The lakes in this area are all caldera lakes, that is, they are ancient volcanos. 

The first was Lake Shikotsu-ku  We spent some time at the visitors center (we were in a national park), and I did a quick 90 minute study, plus a drone flight.  The lake is very reminiscent of Lake Tahoe, except without all the boulders along the shore.  

We then went on to Lake Toya, which was just as pretty, but it was getting late in the day, so flew the drone, and then headed home.


The next day, Justin and I headed to the Shakotan coastal area.  What a spectacular coastline!   It is much like the coastal areas of California, but with little Japanese fishing villages scattered throughout.  We drove to the fishing village of Shakotan, had lunch, and then backtracked to a place I had spotted on our drive there to paint. 

Shimadomarigyo Harbor is a small fishing harbor along the coast with a view of Candle Rock, an unusual natural monolith.  It was a beautiful view, but the winds were around 20mph with gusts up to 40.  Even my tubes of paint were being blown away.  I moved to a boat shed to get out of the wind, but it was still too much to handle, so I made a quick study to finish the painting later.

The final painting is at the top of this weblog entry.  Here are a few shots of the area…

I was disappointed the strong winds prevented me from flying my drone and capturing this amazing place from above, so this area is definitely on my list for the next visit!


There doesn’t seem to be as many temples and shrines in Hokkaido as in other parts of Japan.  My assumption is this is because Hokkaido was the last area where the Japanese people populated.  Prior to that, the Ainu indigenous people inhabited the area. 

However, there was a little Buddhist shrine a few blocks from Justin’s apartment, called Nantoku Shrine, so I spent a few hours painting it.

The shrine in the painting looks a little askew, so will correct that when I have time.


One of the largest parks in Sapporo, Nakajima Park, is within walking distance of Justin’s apartment, and it was still Sakura (cherry blossom time), so I painted there twice.

The next day was still nice, so I went back to the same place and did another painting facing a different way.

 


Overall it was a wonderful journey and we saw new parts of Japan.  I was a little disappointed I wasn’t able to fly my drone more, but when we were at places where it is allowed, the weather didn’t cooperate. 

More photos can be found on my Facebook Page, and I’ll be making a short video in the next week or two, so stay tuned.

Up next week is the Carmel Art Festival, so stay double tuned!!

 

Adventures in Fairyland

2019YRHw


Watch this:


Once again, I was honored to have a painting in the Yosemite Renaissance Exhibition. This juried art show opens at the Yosemite Museum, and then travels around California for a year.  The show also starts around the time of year for the annual Firefall event in Yosemite Valley, and I don’t need much of an excuse to visit!

The opening reception was Friday, February 22 this year, so I arrived a day early, Thursday afternoon.  Lodging prices in Yosemite were quite high for winter season (possibly because the Firefall is getting ever more popular), so for the first time, I elected to stay outside the park in El Portal, which is right at the entrance. 

After checking into my motel, I headed into the park.  A series of recent snowstorms had hit the area, and it was like driving around in a winter fairyland.  I wouldn’t have much time to paint, so just drove around for a few pictures, then headed to the Firefall.  I won’t go into that experience  here, as I posted a weblog entry you can read here.  If you haven’t seen my short Firefall video, you should watch it:


I won’t go into detail on my visit, but it was very cold, barely getting above freezing most days, so my painting activities were a bit limited.  Plus, with all the recent heavy snow, many pullouts and parking lots were unavailable, and those available quickly taken up by the unusually large winter crowds.  


Here are a few pictures from the trip.  Click on the thumbnails to get a larger picture and description.

Yosemite Renaissance 34 will be on display at the Yosemite Museum from February 23rd through May 5th, 2019.  The Museum Gallery is open daily 10 am to Noon, and 1 pm to 4 pm. The 2019 Traveling Exhibit will be displayed at the following venues. We will confirm specific dates and times as they become available.

Kings Art Center, Hanford, CA. (June through July)

Carnegie Art Center, Turlock, CA. (August through October)

Gallery 5 at Gallery Row, Oakhurst, CA (October through November)