Working on a number of new paintings for my solo show that will open at Maxwell Alexander Gallery in Los Angeles, CA. This "study" above was done in preparation for a larger 24x30 canvas which is now complete but not yet photographed...
Several more canvases are finished with more in the works: Mexican soldiers, peasant farmers, bandits, smugglers and some western landscapes.
I just returned from spending a few days in the Anza Borrego Desert in Southern California. Thanks to some friends who lent me their vacation home and SUV, I was able to get to places a two-wheel drive car couldn't, and the weather was perfect; sunshine and 85 degrees!
"Desert Rock Design" (8x10)
Ever since I was a little kid when my grandparents kept a trailer out in Palm Springs, I have had an affinity for the desert; from the sunshine and sand to the colour and expanse. It was not just a trip to collect reference sketches for paintings, but to recharge myself after a long, grey Northwest winter and reconnect with my past...
"Coyote Mountain Sunset" (8x10)
Studying your subject from life is essential, especially when one lives so far from it. I never paint landscapes from photographs, but from life (or from my field studies done from life). It's the only true and accurate way to capture colour, value, perspective and the other sensual aspects of temperature, sound and the whole experience of being there...
"Desert Mountain Colour" (8x10)
The colour of the desert is the most appealing aspect of painting there -- it is so intense on the mountains at sunrise and sunset, and when coupled with the silence and warmth, it really has an impressing effect!
"Fish Creek Passage" (8x10)
I hope to get back there before too long where I can relax from the stress of everyday life and appreciate the beauty of this wonderful & mysterious place!
To quote Thomas Wolfe & Ella Winter (or, The Shangri-La's)
"You can never go home again" is apropos to where my mind is at these
days. 'Middle-age' is (for me) a time of living in two camps; the here and
now & the fond memories of my past... I know not everyone has fond
memories of their adolescence, but I sure do...
"The Land of My Nativity" (24x30) oil on canvas
I grew up in southern Orange County, California when it still had an abundance of citrus groves -- now there are but a scant few. In fact, the neighborhood where we lived in the 70's was built in an orange grove. Today the grove is long gone (as is the bareness of the hills that surrounded that small valley in San Juan Capistrano) but the memories remain; hide n' seek in the grove, building forts in the eucalyptus trees and coming home with our clothes wreaking of orange juice.
"The Scarlet Conclusion" (9x12) oil on linen SOLD
In recent years when I've gone back to visit as a painter, the anticipation in my mind's eye never matches up with the reality that exists there now. The barren hills & vistas of the early California Impressionists (or even of my youth) have long since been plowed under in the name of urban sprawl. Those images of undeveloped Southern California are only to be found in history books now, or among the paintings of William Wendt, Edgar Payne and Hanson Puthuff from a century ago... So although 'I can never go home again' literally, I can still revisit those idyllic places of my youth in my minds eye, and on canvas... AND (as the Shangri-La's would sing) that's called, "Glad" ~