Thursday, October 28, 2010

Autumn Trail

"Autumn Trail"
6" X 8" Oil on Panel
We've had rains, chilly weather and leaves blowing everywhere so summer has passed and we're headed for the winter holidays. Southern California, not being noted for snow, will have this look in many places...brown grasses slowly turning green as winter passes.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Hazard

"New Hazard"
12" X 16" Oil on Canvas
This is one of the fishing boats down at Santa Barbara harbor that I see a lot on my visits there. A great looking older boat with lots of character. Here she is seen tied close to the fuel dock across from the Coast Guard cutter USCGC Blackfin.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Farming Corn Off 99

"Farming Corn Off 99"
12" X 16" Oil on Canvas
This is a painting I recently decided to touch up. I wasn't satisfied with my foreground so I decided to add more detail there. I also did some additional work to the trees and the barn so I'm pretty happy with it at this point.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Portuguese Bend

"Portuguese Bend"
6" X 8" Oil on Panel
I was painting the wild mustard down in Portuguese Bend a few years ago. Portuguese Bend is located near Long Beach and has some great painting spots. I painted just off of this road which was lined with lots of wild mustard...a fun day.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Summer Eve

"Summer Eve"
6" X 8" Oil on Panel
Fall is here and the warm summer grasses will soon be replaced by green grasses. I'll miss the warm tones of summer which I love to paint. Weather-wise I look forward to cooler temps and the smells of winter. Fireplaces will be burning and the night air has it's chill...I love it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Morning Near Santa Ynez

"Morning Near Santa Ynez"
5" X 7" Oil on Panel
This is a typical scene of a hiking trail you can find near Santa Ynez in spring. I've hiked above Lake Cachuma and seen the wildflowers in bloom and it can be quite a sight. I always love seeing the California poppies in spring and summer. We have them sprout up here in our yard and they will line both highways heading down to Santa Barbara.

Monday, October 18, 2010

"Lupine Afternoon"
18" X 36" Oil on Canvas
Worked on this large one over the weekend. Good idea too since it rained this weekend and not much was going to get done in the way of yardwork. The Fall leaves are everywhere and I need to mulch! I kept the lighting low trying to promote the highlights at the tops of the trees as they caught the late afternoon sun. This was a very nice painting to work on.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


"Evening Serenity Thumbnail Sketch"

pencil on scratch paper about 2, 1/2 inches high.

This painting, like a lot of my paintings, started out with this small thumbnail sketch in pencil on a piece of scratch paper. I took a look at it a second ago and the drawing is about a little less than 3 inches high. Nothing fancy, no values or detail...just the "map" of what I wanted in my painting. Most of the details are in my head. Some of the details are left vague on purpose so I can make changes and fit in what works for the painting as I go along....sometimes it is nice to be surprised at what the painting creates for the artist. Too much planning can take out a lot of the enjoyment of painting and make it more of a chore so I let some things come as the paintings feel or mood dictate.
Here is the finished painting. I'm pretty happy with it and even though it isn't a small painting it is more what I work on in my normal painting day. Some of the idea for this painting came from the small studies, sketches and works that are on this blog. The small paintings are very important in trying things out, working out ideas and then commiting to larger works.

"Evening Serenity" 24" X 36" Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas

Monday, October 11, 2010

On The Easel 10.11.20

"Evening Serenity"
24" X 36" Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas
To date this has to be my largest painting with eucalyptus trees. This was so fun to paint it isn't funny. I went with a different sky color approach using a mix of Cerulean Blue, Titanium White and just a bit of Cadmium Yellow Light. This combination gives the sky a greenish/blue color. Too much cad yellow and you get a green sky so when I say "a bit" of cad yellow it is a bit. While letting this one sit for a day or two I did a couple of small ones on my pochade easel. Came back to this one and did a few touch ups and I'll let it sit for another day before calling it finished.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

In The Fall

"In The Fall"
5" X 7" Oil on panel
Fall is here and the leaves are falling like crazy now. The mulching begins, hahaha. Decided to just go with the season here and show some color. Painted alla prima this evening.

Friday, October 8, 2010

California Poppies

"Spring Poppies"
5" X 7" Oil on Panel
There is a field just outside of town that at one time was owned by Ray Kroc of McDonalds fame I believe. I pass by this field a lot. It has been used to grow flowers, alfalfa and other farm crops. They used to have a small barn type building that was used as a store to sell locally grown produce but it was torn down a couple off years ago. In between crops wildflowers will pop up and I've seen poppies growing in there. I painted this scene looking west in that field and added more poppies than are most likely there but it looks good to me.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Tall Eucalyptus Tree

16" X 20" Oil on Canvas

Painted this one up to show at my upcoming Studio Tour. I like the vertical format with the eucalyptus tree running off the canvas. I also like the nice contrast between foreground tree and eucalyptus trees back in the distant haze...I like that effect. I also painted this one to gear up for a very large one I want to do that I was talking to my friend and talented artist Christine Brallier about....I've still tinkering with that idea in the back of my mind.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Rocks Study

Rocks Study
6" X 8" Oil on Panel
I worked on this little study early this morning to gain more confidence painting larger rock formations. To me, rocks are really hard to paint. Not the small boulder type rocks but large formations such as this to me seem daunting to paint. I've decided to work out how to paint them on the smaller panels before moving to a larger canvas. Initially I blocked in the darker shadow value and then added the highlight. After that I began painting in the craks and crevices with a liner brush. What was interesting is that the rocks looked horrible once I was in the process of adding the details with the liner brush. I was so frustrated at one point that I decided it was going to get wiped off. Once I made that decision I felt more relaxed to continue on adding detail until it was too painful to waste time putting off dragging my rag over the whole mess. Then a strange thing started to fall resemble sunlit rocks with strong morning shadows. Whew!
This is on textured masonite which accounts for all of the texture lines but that was ok since this is only a study for a larger painting with some large rock mass in it. The rocks aren't the best here nor were they meant to be. This is only a study on a very small panel. Still, to me they resemble rocks the way I'd like them to look. What I got out of this painting is the confidence to attempt a larger painting with rocks. That was more important than a finished painting here.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Summer Moonrise

"Summer Moonrise"
5" X 7" Oil on Panel
Using the same mixed palette from the previous painting below I did a quick painting of the same theme. This time adding the trail and altering other elements of the scene. I like the variation between the two paintings and I like the higher background on the panel. I also like the addition of the rocks placed randomly on the foreground. The mountains around Santa Ynez seem to grow rocks so this is actually a more fitting view of the Santa Ynez Valley floor along the foothills.

Evening Moonrise

"Evening Moonrise"
5" X 7" Oil on Panel
This painting was done last night as a 1 hour sketch. It stretched a bit longer than that because I was creating the scene fro my head composing along the way. I see changes I'll make on another piece today. Our summer is practically over soon so the warm ochre tones will give way to grey skies and eventually green grasses. California will get that Ireland look here in the valley come spring. I'll miss the ochres.