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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Another Fine Crystal Cove Oil Painting

This is "Crystal Cove - Cottage 12", oil on stretched 10X8 linen. It is from a trip I took there on November 6, 2008. I started it on location, got sidetracked by stunning weather that day and just picked it up in my home studio over a month later, then finished it right before Christmas. I took several digital images on site that day with my big DSLR Olympus camera, so I had perfect colors to paint from besides my memory of the place, which is very vivid. There was a single seagull sitting right on top of the cottage #12, so he is included in this painting. The colors in this are very, very vintage, earth toned and nostalgic. It is painted with a tribute to Rex Brandt and his ideas of using design motifs in landscape composition and staying true to values. I have been reading a 1959 book he wrote over and over again recently, it has taught me new ideas. I think it shows here.

Price is $145.00 in a wide gold plein air frame. It is presently hung at the San Clemente Art Gallery through February 13th.

By the way, you can now follow me on where I randomly make statements on what I am doing presently. It's a great internet social network that is fun!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tropical Crystal Cove

Here is the latest painting from my Crystal Cove trip last weekend. I think I am starting a series from this scene. I will call the series "Tropical Crystal Cove" This particular painting is titled, "Tropical Oasis - Crystal Cove" oil on linen, 16X12. SOLD. This day was a cool morning with a serious storm brewing far out at sea. The sun was still shining during the first half of the day through the low clouds. I got to thinking that Crystal Cove does look like a tropical oasis with the palm trees and lush plant and tree growth along the shore amongst the quaint, rustic cottages of yesteryear. For this painting, I decided to add a tropical slant to the palm trees, it directs the eye into the painting. Since the edges of the canvas act as straight lines, I did not want to make the interior landscape appear stiff or static with straight palm trees. The main character palm with the splashing white water became the center focal point. The cottages rested back into the cove with filtered sunlight hitting them gently. Just at the front of the painting along the bottom edge is the Beachcomber restaurant shadowed by a tall shrub on the hill I was standing on. You could not see the Burger Shack, the shrub hid it well. I added splashes of blue-green paint daubs between the branches and leaves to give a hint it was there. I was actually at the top of the stairs that lead up to the bluff cottages. I made sure I added the telephone/electric poles and the lines draping across, they also are tilted. There were many more lines than this, but I could not wreck the painting by adding them all. I wanted to draw the viewer from the bottom left corner or right corner so I made the sand light up along the paths and leading it along the path in front of the cottages to the ocean and big palm and out to sea. The clouds were truly banded across the sky with gray bottoms and fluffy white pillow tops, then a large shape of bright blue sky peeping through. There was so much detail to record in this scene that I had to edit out many frivolous things. You still get the picture and can fill in your own details, there are an incredible amount of colorful paint strokes in this painting. I think this scene should be painted much larger to capture more detail, like little fences, window trims, doors and people on the beach taking walks. This was quite a feat to capture the correct values and tints of color to make the scene readable and still look good even if it was transformed to black and white. Rex Brandt said if a painting doesn't look good in black and white, it is not going to look it's best in color. I was keep myself in balance in my color blends and all the while keeping cognisant of the true colors of the scenery. Crystal Cove's colors are unique and best recorded on location. This was started on sight and finished in my home studio. I have been painting here for five years now, so I use my memory, sketches, notes and digital images to paint from. I have kept some of my Crystal Cove paintings to hold dear in my heart the memories of a fabulous day or weekend trip. They also help me to be accurately mixing the unique colors of everything when I am painting at home. So, this painting is a true rendition of that beautiful place by the shore. This will be for sale. I will place it up for auction on eBay. Click on this link to go to the auction, starting bid is $175.00, It is now SOLD to a customer who wanted a Crystal Cove painting as a Christmas gift to his wife. Sweet! Enjoy this wonderful time of the year! Happy Holidays! Esther

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Crystal Cove paintings

I was painting here on Friday, December 12th and it was turning out to be a nice painting. I had to bring it home unfinished but I came back with it on Sunday December 14th to finish it on location. Well, someone stole it from the unloading spot where I left it while I took my wagon down to the Beachcomber. Whomever took it got an unfinished, wet oil painting that I hope stuck to their clothes and ruined them. I put several hours into that piece, it cost me money for a linen canvas and I had to start it all over again because I really loved this scene. So, Sunday afternoon, I began it again. It is not done yet, I got sidetracked. I show an image of it on location here. Actually, I like this one better, it taught me one thing, not to turn your back on your painting, but the next best thing it taught me, never throw in the towel, try again and you will do even better. I had everything in my head how to set up the composition and I even changed it for the betterment of the painting design. I am about to finish it today in my studio. I will add an image later. Well, my husband & I stayed overnight on Sunday in the cottage and partied a little too much. I was wiped out the next day and it was a day that went in my favor as it poured down rain. No painting allowed in that drenched situation. A couple we met took a picture of us on the deck and you can see in my red nose, I had already been hitting the champagne. Just look at that sunset, it was truly divine! Then during the night, the storm hit and I was not sleeping well with rain hitting on ocean front windows sideways. I felt seasick the next morning! I could not even look at the turbulent waves coming in, it made me very woozy and I love looking at the waves. The champagne and wine we drank was making it's own waves, I was so sorry I had that much. I took a picture right through the large kitchen window before we left and it shows the downpour conditions. I like that picture a lot though. I would love to paint that scene someday. So, I did not paint a lot like I had planned, but we met wonderful people and gained new friends.

Crystal Cove Stormy Weather Below