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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.

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