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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Montage Resort Viewpoint

On Friday, October 17th, I painted on a bluff at the Montage Resort Hotel property. There were several other Southern California Plein Air Painters (SOCALPAPA) on a paint-out there. I am a member of that association. I got there early and stayed by myself to concentrate. I found the third bluff to be a great viewpoint looking southeast. I could see a strong composition in the close bougainvilleas, jade plants and other plants that lead into the ocean cliffs and waves, then the distant shoreline and South Laguna hillside. The amount of diffusion in color and value from the foreground to background was complicated and I felt a need to simplify it poetically. I placed warm and strong colors on the garden plants and carried the warmth into the next bluff that was lit by the sunlight. Onward to the second bluff, it was in shadow and cool, such a beautiful contrast that was a joy to represent by grays, muted greens and blues. The Montage buildings were nestled on the cliff which I noted very basically to not draw attention but give a sense of place. Off to the right on the bluff was the bright sunlight dancing on the waves and shoreline. A cool morning marine layer lingered up the Coast Royale neighborhood up in the hills. The palms are a nice added detail that also represent the actual landscaping. It was a very clear day and warm, I spent most of my time preparing the colors I saw on my palette after I painted in a very warm-red-orange under layer. I sculpted out the composition into this base sketch so I could capture the morning shadows and lights in their specific design. Once I made all my piles of colors and various hues and values, I packed up and left. That wasn't how I wanted to do it, but with kids in school, I had to go. So, later in the evening at my home studio, all I had to do is download my digital images on my laptop and pour a glass of chardonnay, turn on the classical music and paint for three straight hours. The painting process flowed so well because I had focused so well on the scene earlier, made up the color puddles that I saw while on location and had a tight preliminary drawing of shadows and lights ready to guide me. The digital image on my laptop served as a reference, but my artist spirit and wisdom did the rest. I am very happy how this painting turned out as it really takes you into to the canvas and carries you along the cliffs to the shore and off to the sky. There is a melody to the seascape, maybe it was the music, I love Classical music. It places my emotions at ease and enables me to relax my body. I stroke the brush to the rhythms of the music sometimes like a conductor, it is so liberating. Just as music is full of many notes and changes in tempo, a painting's brushstrokes are also just as diverse. Both are art and one enriches the other. I will always play music to help me be more expressive in my art. I show two images, the first is the seascape on location with my fire red looking sketch. That color really helped the painting as it shows through in little tidbits of the finished piece to truly warm it up. This is a 12" X 12" gallery canvas, 1-1/2" thick sides, I painted them a blue-green. It does not need a frame. The title is "A Montage Viewpoint" and it is available. email me if interested. Price is $250.00 and is hung at the San Clemente Art Gallery until either sold or by January 9th 2009. Just an added note: This painting received an honorable mention in this Winter Judged show at the San Clemente Art Gallery!

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