Tuesday, February 10, 2015

 Hot Potato Rock (10x12) o/l

 This January I had the opportunity to go painting with my friend, Saim Caglayan (pronounced, "Shallion") in the Anza Borrego desert. This desert in Southern California is the largest national park in the United States full of colourful mountain vistas, winding slot canyons and sun-bleached dunes. While I was fortunate to stay at a friends vacation home in Borrego Springs, the small local town there, Saim and another artist from Laguna, Terry Thornsly camped in Glorietta Canyon (the area pictured in the painting above). 

 Indian Head Sunrise (10x12) o/c

Although a little chilly at night, the weather was consistent in the low-to-mid 70's with clear sunshine every day -- a welcomed retreat from the cold grey northwest winter!

 Smoke Tree in Ella Wash (10x12) o/l

 I have always had an affinity for the desert ever since I was very young when my grand parents kept a trailer in Palm Springs where we used to go in the 1960's and early 70's. There's a mystery about Borrego, especially when the population is scarce (unlike Palm Springs) and if you love the sunshine and open spaces, it's the perfect place to escape during winter months. Hiking, exploring and just enjoying the sun on my face was a treat in between paintings...

 Above Rose Canyon (10x12) o/l

 Back in Orange County (near Laguna Beach) where I stayed with my brother and his family, I was blessed with good weather after rains just the week before; I painted in and around O'Neil Park in the foothills of Saddleback Mountain and on the cliffs in Laguna Beach where I met with local 418 Gallery owner, Vaness Rothe. She invited me to show there with her small group of west coast artists and Russian painters, and I left behind several unframed studies for sale as well as a framed piece for the current "Winter Collection" show she is curating...

 Split Rock, Laguna (8x10) o/c

 Laguna Beach is also a special place I have an affinity for -- our family visited there often thru the years, starting in the early 1960's where my mother's best friend who passed recently had settled to raise her family. For several years I lived right next door in Dana Point, renting studio space in North Laguna when I was a graphic artist in the 1980's. Although it has changed and grown over the years, Laguna Beach still has the beautiful charm and atmosphere that hosted artists such as Edgar Payne and William Wendt a hundred years ago...

  Shady Mountain Trail (8x10) o/c

 At the end of my stay, I was able to spend time with my artist friend, Tim Solliday and see his new studio in the tower of an historic church in downtown Pasadena where we also caught the LA Art Show...Tim is big in the western art scene and was instrumental in opening my eyes to outdoor painting in the late 1990's.  

All in all it was a very productive and encouraging trip,  and now I am back in my northwest studio, energized and happy to be with my loving family and back at the easel!