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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hotel San Clemente Oil Painting, San Clemente Plein Air Competition

Day 1 of the 9th Paint San Clemente Plein Air competition: After spending several hours visiting my artist friends on the community center lawn, I decided to load up my art wagon and head out to find the perfect painting spot downtown.  Wherever that may be.  I had an intuitive vision upon awakening this morning that I was going to find a historic building and paint it. That is my spirit, I get inner information, I follow it.  So I set out to find which downtown building sparked my senses the most.  San Clemente has many old structures built by Ole Hanson and I observed several in my walking around several blocks.  I took pictures, did the hand framing gesture that movie producers do when trying to gather what a scene looks like in a frame.  I zigzag a few back alleys and finally rested upon the vivid warm light hitting the east wall of a courtyard cafe inside the Hotel San Clemente.  This building is 90 years old and in the Spanish style with bright cafe blue umbrellas, terra cotta pots and shingles.  There was one palm tree casting it's shadow on the wall and I was driven to paint this scene. The one table that had the brightest umbrella was turning over a group of people every half hour.  They were the focal point under that umbrella and palm tree shadow in a medium violet hue.  I could not focus on one specific group, so in the end, I invented my people with dabs of colors in various values.  I had to shorten the palm tree itself a tad bit so it fit into the 8X10 format and it also molded into the structure which was good for the design of the composition.  This architectural composition was a challenge and I had to render the sketch first to get the proportions correct and distribution of the windows right in perspective.  Thank goodness for my college year in architectural construction.  Plus that book I bought over 40 years ago on perspective drawing, it came in handy.  It was an enjoyable paint-out with ideal results.  This will be available next Saturday, June 26 for $250 unframed or $300 framed.  The regulations are that we can not sell any of our paintings until the event closes.  I can take commissions from them or hold it for you.

Paint San Clemente Plein Air 2010

I will be signing in tomorrow morning at the registration area by the San Clemente Art Gallery.  I might paint by the pier tomorrow or Mimi's Cafe or the nursery called La Casa Verde de Granada at 130 Avenida Granada.  The quick draw starts at 12:30pm - 3:30pm on the lawn near the gallery.  I might watch some of it or attend the wine & cheese reception afterwards.  I get excited to see my peers paint and also inspired, there are so many beautiful quick paintings.  I am not registered for the quick draw, being under pressure to finish a painting in 3 hours is too much stress.  I have done it several times, but for a competition, I think my nerves will get the best of me.
I have prepared 8-9 canvases for this event, I will paint everyday and have extra paintings to sell at my 2 day art fair on the 26th-27th.  Go to the San Clemente Art Gallery link to find out directions and the timeline for the events around this competition.  This is like the Olympics to me, I jogged 5 miles down at Salt Creek Beach this week to get in top physical shape, at least cardiovascular conditioning.   I like to haul my 1950's Radio Flyer wagon to carry my art supplies and need strength all week.
Hope to see you around San Clemente!

Friday, June 11, 2010

On Her Toes, ballerina dancer in Degas style, oil painting

"On Her Toes" is 5"W x 7"H, oil on linen over panel.  I started this a few weeks ago and only sketched in the figure. In an afternoon, I painted the rest alla prima.  The model is Toni Czechorosky who posed during an open figure studio at Randy Higbee's Gallery.  She has become a good friend of mine and I will paint more of the ballet dancer poses.  It is a subject I have wanted to paint for many years and finally started.  This was sold in hours of posting it on Facebook to another artist friend I have met from Randy's Studio sessions.  You can see here the red oil wash sketch I began with. I find that if I paint in my subject this way, in diluted oil color, I can manipulate the drawing to suit my needs for focal point and accuracy of proportions, values and placement.  Once I am content or if I am not, I continue to wipe away and redo until I feel it is ready to add color.  The color painting process can alter the drawing, but nothing is set in stone.  I was very pleased with this in the final completion. 
One more bit of information, I spent a month studying Edgar Degas and how he painted the ballet dancer.  His paintings and statements inspired me.  Although I knew of Edgar Degas for decades and admired all of his works, I was sparked to paint this by the latest modeling session of the above model as she dressed in Degas style ballet attire.  This was an extra pose the model made while on a break and I shot the image.
I wanted to take up ballet as a young girl when I was spry.  My family could not afford lessons, so I would just dance around the livingroom on my tippy toes.  I think it stubbed my toe growth, I didn't wear the proper ballet shoes.  Now, I can experience the magic of ballet by painting the dancers.  More will be made!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

New Juried Exhibition with Esther J. Williams art, coming up reception, June 12, 2010

Two of my artworks have recently been accepted into the "Islands Show" at the SOCALPAPA gallery on the Newport Peninsula. This painting "Great White Egret - Back Bay" and also "Hurry Before It Closes" was juried in the exhibition.  The show is being juried by noted artist, Frank Serrano with the awards announced at the reception. Reception is June 12, 2010 from 4-6pm. Gallery is located within the compound of the Newport Nautical Museum at the "Fun Zone" on Newport Peninsula.  If you want to meet me, I will be at the reception.  Art will be framed and for sale.   Update:  "Hurry Before It Closes" is SOLD.

Join Me at the Ninth Annual Paint San Clemente Judged Fine Art Competition

Click on the above image to open it larger and be able to read the announcement. The Plein Air competition starts in 2 weeks!  My two day art sale is in 3 weeks!  It all takes place down in San Clemente, California.  The painting shown is for sale, it is called Blue Umbrellas, 6X8, oil on linen panel. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Laguna Memory, 8X10, oil on linen, Laguna Beach seascape oil painting

"Laguna Memory"  8X10, oil on stretched linen.  Painted on location at Heisler Park, Laguna Beach, CA.  I spent a special day here painting with other LPAPA artist members on Memorial Day weekend.  The weather could not have been better, the colors were high key this day.  I walked around trying to decide what to paint, everything was so gorgeous.  I saw this cypress tree reaching out over the ocean bluff, as if it was pointing to the jutting rocks below and the clear coastal waters.  I thought it might be nice to include part of the cypress to frame and add a design element to the painting.  The bluff was made very warm in color and the rocks below have an added cooler blue over the warms to separate the two.  I used Cerulean blue in the sea and faded it out towards the southern coastal waters.  There was little tide and waves, so I painted in the swirling white water as it gently moved past the rocks.  I purposely left out people and any buildings in the distant bluffs to give this a serenity.  Price is $250.    The second image is how it looked when I left with it on location.  It fell on the seat of my Jeep and I spent 3 more hours studio time correcting the mishap.  Luckily, the seat of the Jeep only smeared it and no dirt got into it.  I think the accident was a good thing as I improved upon the plein air work by painting from the images I took later that afternoon in the studio.  Life of an artist is not as easy as it looks.