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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Work 'til you can't stand no more

That's when I have to drop everything and stop painting for awhile. I ran myself ragged last week completing three new plein air paintings. I've been resting a bit lately. I got into one of those frenzied creative states, pursuing the perfect painting. Friday, November 14th I painted at the San Clemente Pier. Steve Kell was demonstrating down there. I took one look and decided to find myself a spot to paint instead before the perfect morning light passed me by. I was mesmerized by the tide coming in by the pier under the heavy posts. Many designs and colors just cried out to be captured. I love water and even love painting it more. So here is "San Clemente Pier-Incoming Tide" 8X10, oil on linen. It is on eBay right now, I will add a link later.

I kept pretty busy at home doing housework during that week also. It hadn't been done in a moon or two. I do my housework in big stunts, like taking apart the whole place and re-arranging everything once it is cleaned. I think that caused the ultimate collapse, the old gray mare just ain't what she used to be. I still didn't fall down yet. I discovered a book by Rex Brandt that I had hiding under some magazines. It is hand signed by him, it is called "The Composition of Landscape Painting." 1959 and it is a fantastic instruction book by this genius of a man. I have been reading it off and on. I am inspired to try out new theories as stated by Rex Brandt on how to arrange the shapes and colors to direct attention in the painting. On November 16th, I went hiking down the canyon to the old orange groves I love so much. Seems the pomegranates were ripening. My husband & I picked bag fulls. I discovered many new fall landscapes to paint on that hike. I made a mental note to come back with sketch book. But I got happens.

On Thursday, November 20th, I met with Jeff Horn and other's from LPAPA at Balboa Island to paint. I saw this pair of boats and the little one, actually called a dinghy had this algae growing on it's top. It glowed in the foggy mist. Then the sun tried to come out and glistened all over the water. The shadow behind this dinghy and the zig-zag reflection of the sail boat mast really cinched the composition. I had to capture that effect. Here is "Take Me On the Water-Balboa", 8X10, oil on linen.

On Friday November 21st, it was another plein air day at Crystal Cove State Park, Pelican Point. I got there fairly early and found a bluff that had a standing area perched right on the edge of a wonderful southern view of the cottages tucked into the bay and the bluffs cascading down the shore. PCH was a line with light dots for cars. The sun was coming over the far hillside and there was smoke along the horizon making the sky a buttery yellow. There was a haze cast over everything, it just looked so soft and dreamy. This was a hard one to paint. I took out a 14X14 gallery thick canvas for lack of another ready canvas. I had a lot to decide upon in placing the composition on the canvas. I think it worked out well. Here is "Crystal Cove Cliffs-Morning Haze" Oil on canvas. Man, do I like this painting, it doesn't show up as well as it looks in real life.
The next day, I went to the Randy Higbee Gallery Auction to see how my fellow artists works were selling. It was a nice crowd but sales were down, still they bid for the works. I almost got into this auction but was too late to drop off my best pieces. The wine was good though and my artist friends were all too funny. We went to Jeff Horn's annual studio sale next. Jeff is so talented, I really like his style. I had more wine and some delicious cake!
So, it was finally time for my body to throw in the white towel. On Sunday, November 23rd, I was a limp noodle. I could not lift my head for very long, my body felt drained of all it's powers. The timing seemed alright to me, I feel that my painting techniques took on a new height, I climbed the mountains and deserved to collapse. There are times when an artist feels they hit upon something big, it is unexplainable. The subconscious knows and the artist feels this newness through the hands onto the canvas. Maybe that's why I was running all over the place, I felt I was going to find something, like a treasure map with the gold at the end. Now I am going to apply the concepts of composition and color and values, lines and texture in a whole new way. Or maybe just a little different than before. Watch my work over the next months, you'll see. Happy Thanksgiving!

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