Tuesday, October 30, 2012

So Cal Sketching

Autumn Sycamore

A couple of weeks ago we went down to Southern California for some vacation time, and to celebrate our daughters birthday. I have several family members in the area so it was a kind of reunion time too, and we were also able to spend a few days over the border in Mexico where my folks now live.

Painting at Moss Point in Laguna 
 (photo courtesy Thomas Kitts)

As it turned out, our daughters birthday fell right in the middle of the Laguna Plein Air Invitational (I knew this ahead of time) so I took the opportunity to bring along my paints and with my family's permission, was able to slip away on several occasions to sketch in Laguna Beach and the Pasadena area where I was born... In fact, I was able to spend time with several artists who were in town for the show, but since I was mainly there for family time, I only brought along a little pochade box and kept my sketches to a small 8x10" size.

Quick Colour Sketch

On Thursday, the LPAPA artists all congregated at Crystal Cove to paint the historic cottages there. I figured it was alright to party crash the event since I knew many of the participants (besides it's a public beach anyway) and it was fun to see everyone and the great work they created there.

Moss Point PM

Moss Point Morning

Trabucco Cloud Patterns

I also went to O'Neil Park -- one of the few remaining places in OC where you can pretend to paint like Hanson Puthuff or Maurice Braun (when no ones looking). Unfortunately, I had just missed the Edgar Payne retrospective show in Pasadena by 2 days, but getting out here gave me plenty of inspiration anyway...

San Gabriel Mountains

The day before we flew home, I painted with my friend, Tim Solliday -- I credit him with getting me interested in plein air painting when we first met a number of years ago. Tim is a real inspiration and a dedicated painter of the old school style, working directly from life whenever possible.  He's the one who told me to do a lot of 'starts' and don't worry about the finishes, they'll come along in time...one of the best pieces of advice on painting I ever received.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Winner in Sonoma!

   Artists Choice Award: "Valle De La Luna" (16x20) o/c

I've just returned from a week of painting in California, at the 10th Annual Sonoma Plein Air where I was fortunate to win their top honor of Artists Choice Award.  Each artist brought their best piece of the week to the Friday night gala held in the newly constructed "train barn" on John Lasseter's estate, the founder of Pixar Animation.  There were many excellent paintings on display and mine could have been easily passed over for many of them, but it was sure nice to be awarded validation from my peers...

 Silent Night, Sonoma (8x10)

The weather was warm in the mid-90's the first half of the week, but this years event also landed on the full moon, so the clear skies made an excellent opportunity for nocturnes (which many took advantage of).  

Saturday's show day was beautiful too, and sales were quite good considering the lingering economic slump.  Thanks again to my third time hosts, Bill & Bev Raaka, I had a wonderful stay and great time with artist friends painting in the beautiful wine country of central California.