Saturday, May 9, 2015

Spring Flings

Here is a recent gouache study currently showing at
Waterhouse Gallery's 8x8 Small Gems show.

Curacao Cafe                                                                        gouache, 8x8 inches

 Greetings and Happy Spring!

Spring has finally sprung and summer is now almost upon us, some might say we’re in the middle of ‘Sprummer’ as the Earth slowly makes it’s way around the massive, magma spewing G2V class yellow dwarf star at the center of our solar system.
I recently returned from my Ojai plein air painting workshop and had an awesome time!  The folks who hosted our orientation at the Beatrice Woods Center for the Arts were delightful as always. If you go through Ojai make sure you see their fine collection of Beatrice Woods pottery at her historic house!
Ojai surprised me with one day of rain for the first time ever but fortunately we had lots of overhangs at the Krotona Institute to paint under so it worked out just fine.  We enjoyed a wonderful dinner and luscious vino at the newly revamped Ranch House.  The gourmet food is exquisite and they have the nicest manager ever!  Ask for Russ if you go and he’ll take good care of you.
The sprightly hummingbirds were out in full force up on Meher Mount, must have been over a dozen zipping around!  A truly magical place which boasts breathtaking vistas at Avatar Point.  We painted  at the Old Creek Ranch Winery and of course did a little wine tasting to loosen up for the afternoon painting exercise ;-)  I purchased a bottle of their 2012 Grenache, which tastes like “Tide-pool brine, cedar chest, dark cherry, cinnamon bears, strawberry Starburst and chocolate covered raisin.  Would pair well with duck and a cherry reduction sauce".  Nice!  And of course all of my students were wonderful!  I hope they enjoyed learning from me as much as I enjoyed teaching them!
But not all my life is spent teaching painting.  I also have a couple of awesome shows that I am currently participating in.  There’s the 24th OPA National Exhibition at Cutter and Cutter Gallery going on this month and Abend Gallery’s Contemporary Figuration group show, which opens in early June.
Here are few pictures from my Ojai workshop.  Enjoy!

 Morning demo at Meher Mount

Entrance to Old Creek Ranch Winery

Enchanting scenery at the winery

 Morning demo at winery 

Here is my winery demo in progress

Shirley painting the beautiful Happy Valley vista

U P C O M I N G  &  C U R R E N T   E X H I B I T I O N S
24th Annual National Exhibition

Dan's Canoe                                                  oil, 11x14 inches

I’m proud to announce that my painting ‘Dan’s Canoe’ has been juried into the 24th OPA Annual National Exhibition held at Cutter and Cutter Gallery.  
This exhibition is currently showing works by top notch talent from all across the nation! 
For more show info and to view works from participating artists click here.
 Contemporary Figuration

Layover                                 oil, 12x16 inches

I will also be participating in the Abend Gallery Contemporary Figuration group show which opens June 12th and runs until July 3rd.  My self-portrait ‘Layover’ will be amongst the wonderful collection of amazing artwork which will showcase renowned local and out of town artists. 
For more info and to view online exhibition click here.

2 0 1 5   P L E I N   A I R   W O R K S H O P S

Time marches on, and as fun as it was, my Ojai plein air painting workshop has come and gone.  
We can only look to the future and see, glimmering upon the horizon, my upcoming Esalen workshop in June and my Barcelona workshop in September.
The June 2015 Esalen workshop located in Big Sur is currently FULL (waiting list available).
To be placed on waiting list please email me at:

There are only 2 spots remaining for the September 2015 Spain workshop so if you’ve never been to Barcelona and you’ve always wanted to go now’s your chance to scratch that off your bucket list and take in a few extra Spanish attractions as well!
For more information and registration details for Spain workshop click here.

2016 Plein Air Workshops to be announced soon!

A R T I S T   S P O T L I G H T!

I was recently featured in a fun and informative online interview courtesy of FASO.
Click here to read full article. Enjoy!


Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  Tune in next season to find out if anything newer has occurred since now.  Which will be then instead of now by the time you read this.  Maybe newer news has already occurred between the time I write this and the time you read this.  Or maybe not.  Regardless, have a nice rest of the month until the next time I write the blog, or the next time you read it, depending on your perspective.  I guess it’s all relative, time may move faster or slower depending on how interesting the news is or how grave.  Yes, the gravity of the news does affect the time it takes to read it.  
That’s my theory of relativity......
Have a resplendent, revitalizing and relaxing Spring!

 "Spring is the time of plans and projects"
(Leo Tolstoy)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Curacao Colors

  Here is a little gouache study inspired by my recent sojourn to Curacao

 Windswept                                               gouache, 8x10 inches 

Greetings and Happy New Year!  

Hope 2015 is off to a great start for everyone.  I’m resolving to keep evolving my problem solving.  Yes!  Also hope to get to the gym regularly.  Anyway, about two month have passed since I last graced the internet with my ramblings.  So much has happened and I’d be remiss if I didn’t fill you in.  I traveled to the far off lands of Curacao, one of the famed ABC islands in the Caribbean Sea which is just forty miles off the coast of Venezuela.  There I was inspired by the beautiful, colorful, crumbling buildings and the fantastic underwater coral vistas teeming with fish of all shapes and sizes. 
At three of Curacao’s museums I was educated in the dark and tragic history of the largest port during the shameful slave trade.  The Kura Hulanda Museum had the most extensive collection of slave-related artifacts and replicas I’ve ever seen, anywhere.  I visited the oldest synagogue still in use in the Western Hemisphere which has sand floors to symbolize the forty years in the desert.  It is also a reminder of when sand was used to muffle the sounds of the secret prayer sessions held during the Spanish Inquisition. 
I walked on the floating Queen Emma pontoon bridge also known as 'The Swinging Lady' which opens up to let ships into the large natural port.  All this whilst dodging mosquitoes carrying the painful Chikungunya disease!  I got bit a few times but luckily no illness.  Wow!  I was there for only two and a half weeks and I still haven’t processed it all!  
In addition to these far off adventures I received an award from Plein Air Salon for the 2014 October/November bi-monthly competition and agreed to participate in an exciting Cityscapes Show in Massachusetts scheduled to open in February.  Great way to start 2015!
Below are a few pics of my Curacao adventures.  Enjoy!

(December 2014)

 Did a little bit of plein air painting despite the grueling heat

Enjoyed a serene morning at the Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue

Cool sculpture in courtyard of the haunting Kura Hulanda Museum 

Ben striking a pose in front of Willemstad's floating market

 The charming 'Swinging Lady' bridge in all her holiday glory!

We explored colorful coral and shipwrecks under the sea

 In between snorkeling and painting, I napped and worked on my tan at the beach

 These cool Iguanas were everywhere, some as big as my cat!

 The Curacao hermit crabs were quite fashionable, with their unique and colorful shells!

Took a day trip to Klein Curacao and explored the landmark lighthouse and cool shipwrecks

U P C O M I N G   E X H I B I T I O N
Cityscapes Group Show

Idling on P3                                           oil on canvas panel, 9x12 inches

I am pleased to announce that three of my paintings will be included in the ‘Cityscapes’ show at the Francesca Anderson Fine Art Gallery located in Lexington, MA.
This exciting show, which is scheduled to open in early February, will feature some remarkable ‘city themed' artwork from renowned local and out of state artists.
Click here for more info and exhibition details.

R E C E N T   A W A R D !
 October - November 2014

Versailles Launderette                    oil on panel, 8x8 inches

I was pleasantly surprised and delighted to get some fabulous news while traveling in Curacao. 
I was notified via email that I had received the ‘Best Building’ award for the PleinAir Salon October/November 2014 bi-monthly online competition juried by Joseph McGurl. Yay!
Click here to view roster of winners for the October-November 2014 contest.

 2 0 1 5   P L E I N   A I R   W O R K S H O P S
I hope one of your New Year’s Resolutions includes joining me this September for my eight day plein air painting workshop in Spain.  It’s going to be awesome!  But I understand if your Resolution is to simply join my fantastic five day plein air painting workshop in Ojai, CA in April.  That also counts as awesome!  Ojai is conveniently located within an hour and half drive of Los Angeles and is  overflowing with lush pastures, curly old oak trees and a rich variety of wild British celebrities.  
If you resolve to come to my Esalen workshop in June, I would also count that as a very awesome New Year’s Resolution.  Treat yourself, don’t cheat yourself!  
Most awesome Resolution of all contains some combination of all three workshops :-)
Click here to view all 2015 workshops.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  Hope you enjoyed the pictures and learned something new about Curacao.  It’s not just a blue colored orange liqueur used to make AMF’s, it actually is a place in the Caribbean where you can buy AMF’s should you so desire ;-)  
Here’s to a shiny and happy 2015 and may all your resolutions remain resolute and may all your painting dreams come true!


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Holiday Happenings

 Barlow Bygone                                       oil on panel, 8x10 inches

 Greetings art enthusiasts!

Recently returned from teaching a plein air workshop at Esalen and had another awesome time there!  The weather was perfect and the glorious monarch butterflies were migrating once again.  I also had a wonderful group of students, as usual.  Looking forward to returning next June!  The only drawback was eating  waaaaay too many carb-laden meals.  Rice, grits and quinona, oh my!  I’ve been on the Atkins diet since I got back and feel fantastic yet bestial at the same time (if that makes any kind of  sense).
Ben wants to bring a taco truck there next time and sell ribs and burgers to other protein driven urbanites like us, but I have a feeling Esalen won’t go for that.  We’re definitely looking forward to Turkey Day, that goes without saying ;-)
Don’t know about you but I am completely astounded at how quickly the year flew by!  Only a month and a half  left of 2014. Yikes!   My last group show for 2014 will be at the Abend Gallery for their 24th Annual Holiday Miniatures Show.  After that, I’m off to seek some fun in the sun whilst avoiding another brisk polar vortex.  Before I fill you in about my winter 2014 updates, take a quick gander at some fun pics from my recent Esalen workshop.  Enjoy!

E S A L E N   P L E I N   A I R   W O R K S H O P
(Big Sur, CA - October 2014)

Students enjoying a relaxing morning demo

The gorgeous Monarchs were fluttering throughout the grounds

Having a blast during the 'Paint Along' exercise in the gardens

View of the stunning Esalen gardens

On the way back home, we stopped to check out the Elephant seals 
sunning themselves

And of course we made a pit stop to the breathtaking Pfeiffer Beach

U P C O M I N G   E X H I B I T I O N
24th Annual Holiday Miniatures Show

Fedora                                oil on panel, 8x8 inches

I am delighted to be participating in the 24th Annual Holiday Miniatures Show hosted by the Abend Gallery.  Three of my paintings will be included in this wonderful group show scheduled to open on Friday, December 5th, from 5 to 8pm.
For more info and exhibition details click here.  

2 0 1 5   P L E I N   A I R   W O R K S H O P S

My next plein air painting workshop won’t be until April 2015 in Ojai, CA.  There’s still time to make your travel plans and sign up for some painting time in the Southern California sunshine.  
After that I’ll be back in Big Sur for my June 2015 workshop.  Esalen's a perfect place to meditate on your painting goals and also a great spot to soak in hot tubs lining the ocean cliffs (strangely I find their sugary cookies and cakes far more dangerous than the rocky cliffs)
To view all 2015 workshops click here.

In September 2015 I’ll be traveling to Spain to teach an 8 day painting workshop in Barcelona and the surrounding Costa Brava area!  If you have already decided to go I strongly recommend that you sign up by November 30th to catch the early bird special and save $200 off the full price!  There’s also a discount for your spouse or partner if they decide to come along and just hang out and take the tours without any painting class.  It’d be nice if Ben wasn’t the only husband napping on the beach while I struggle to catch the perfect composition ;-)
It’s going to be an awesome excursion and spaces are filling up really fast!
Click here for more details. 


Well that’s all for the end of the year update and thank you for taking the time to read my blog.
Remember, don’t drive drunk again, watch those sneaky carbs and please don’t get stampeded in any Black Friday shopping sales (that new half-off flat screen TV isn’t worth a twisted ankle)  
Be safe and have a festive and cozy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Artsy Autumn Adventures!

 Harding Lane Dr.                                         oil on panel,  8x10 inches
(Here is a little plein air sketch I did while in Wellfleet, MA)

Greetings and Happy Autumn!

October: The very word invokes shivers and scarifying thoughts.  Curly old creaky trees and such.  Ghosts and goblins and spiders, oh my!  But it also makes me think of candy.  I suppose a Sugar Skull sums up everything in the most tidy iconic way.  Death and sugar, it’s like, so true and honest.  Hemingway must have eaten Sugar Skull candies while smoking his Cuban cigars and writing about Spanish bullfights, no doubt about it  ;-)
Just returned from an awesome plein air painting workshop I taught in Wellfleet, a small town halfway up Cape Cod in Massachusetts.  What a trip!  We planned it perfectly, just after Labor Day when all the crowds left but still before the weather turned cold and rainy.  Had some trepidation about leading a workshop in the Northeast, the weather can be unpredictable at times.  But lo and behold, the weather held out just fine and it was smooth sailing to use a nautical metaphor.  Had some awesome students, the beaches were fresh and salty and ate lots of fresh fish and crispy fried clam strips galore!
Below are a few pics from my recent workshop.  Enjoy!

P L E I N  A I R  W O R K S H O P
(Wellfleet, MA - September 2014)

Morning demo at Mayo Beach

Katrina finishing up afternoon painting exercise

Charming views at Uncle Tim's Bridge

Morning demo at the creek

 Had to paint fast due to rising tide quickly approaching
 Snapped this pic right at the perfect moment!

After a long day of teaching,  I returned to the cottage and was greeted by this adorable fox. 
That was quite a treat :-)

And last but not least, my awesome class!

U P C O M I N G   E X H I B I T I O N S
Contemporary Masters, Artistic Eden IV

 Antique Mirror                      oil on panel,  24x28 inches

I am extremely honored and delighted to have been invited to participate in the prestigious Contemporary Master, Artistic Eden IV exhibition held at the Pasadena Museum of History.  My new painting 'Antique Mirror' will be included in this exciting show.  Contemporary Masters, Artistic Eden IV is the fourth biennial fine art exhibition featuring paintings by nationally recognized representational artists. 
Show opens to the public on October 1st, 2014.
For more info and exhibition details click here.
Urban Aspect

Roman Alleyway                        oil on panel, 8x15 inches

My painting 'Roman Alleyway' was juried into the Urban Aspect show hosted by Principle Gallery located in Alexandria, VA.  This highly anticipated show will feature stunning city-scape themed paintings by established artists. 
Show opens October 10th, 2014.
For more info and exhibition details click here.

2 0 1 5   P L E I N   A I R   W O R K S H O P S

2015 Workshops Now Posted!

My 2015 plein air workshops are now online!  To view all 2015 workshops click here
I’m excited to be returning to the beautiful Esalen grounds next summer.  I’ll also be conducting a 5 day workshop in Ojai, CA in April.  Should be an excellent time for mild weather, steady sunshine and spring blossoms!
You can also join me in Spain next September when I teach an 8 day plein air painting workshop in Barcelona and the Costa Brava area.  Part of this exciting itinerary will include a tour to the Dali Theatre-Museu as well as plein air painting excursions in a charming fishing village, a preserved Medieval town, lush botanical gardens and much more!  All the details can be found here.  
If you decide to embark on this wonderful painting tour I recommend signing up before November 31st in order to receive an 'early bird' discount.  Olé!


Well that’s all for now.  Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  
Have a fun, sugar-filled (or sugar-free) Halloween!  
Be safe, and don’t partake in any bullfights unless you’re wearing really fancy and tight pants.

Rising Tide at Duck Creek                         oil on panel, 8x10 inches
(Here is one of my morning demos from recent Wellfleet plein air workshop)