Friday, December 5, 2008

Looking Back at the Laguna Invitational...

'Hatch's Market'......oil on panel......14x19 inches (SOLD)
This painting was on exhibit at the Laguna Museum throughout the 10th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational.

Greetings everyone and Happy December! Here is a brief recap of the event.....

We kicked off the weekend with a jovial 'artists only' get together Friday night. Aaaaaah...the warm summer air, fragrant with flowers and salty ocean mist while eating enchiladas at the Strotkamps' yearly barbecue. Jay and Mary Strotkamp, delightful people with a fantastic collection of paintings by luminary painters such as Richard Schmid, Mian Situ, and Scott Burdick to name a few. Afterward, I sat by the pool at our hotel as Ben built an enormous fire in the outdoor fireplace. We lured the curious guests out of their rooms like moths to a...well to an enormous fire.

But it wasn't all just enchiladas and poolside fires. There was serious work to do, paintings to paint, people to meet. Early Saturday morning the participating painters met for breakfast at the Laguna Museum before staking out our 'quick draw' spots. I chose to perch precariously upon a cliff side surrounded by cacti, the colorfully dangerous painting spectators confined to stand upon stairs behind a sturdy metal rail. I felt very safe, like Briar Rabbit in the Briar Patch. No fooling with me. The air horn was sounded by a friendly Australian man in a wide brim hat and we were off and painting! We had a two hour time limit to complete our 'quick draw' paintings. OY! Time has always been my nemesis, and I felt its presence stronger and greater than ever before! I wrestled with it, pulling it's ears and poking it in the eyes with my thin "rigger" brush, used most often for fine details like telephone lines and thin branches but this time mostly for poking ‘Time’ in the eyes. It was fierce. Sweat was upon my brow. The cacti my only friends. I blacked out the last half hour, have no memory at all about it. Think it has something to do with a tangential universe which collapsed upon itself due to the paradox of ‘Time’ being momentarily blind. Not sure. Regardless, I came away with a satisfactory piece of art and it was back to the hotel to clean up and get dressed for the opening night gala, filled with fine art, fine wine and fine food!

And the people! The people I met! So many wonderful people, collectors and painters and fans who made two-hour drives just to meet and support me. Painters I have idolized for years I met and lunched with. All in all, it was an enriching, awesome and exhilarating event and look forward to participating again next year!

Here are a few pics of the fun-filled festivities. Enjoy!

Participating artists Kathryn Stats, Calvin Liang and moi at the yearly Strotkamp b.b.q party on Friday night

Ben working on his fifth enchilada...

Shhhhhhh... I'm concentrating......

Ma'am, please do not throw peanuts at me!!

....delicately perched on the 'cactus bed' ridge....

Okay, I've got 20 minutes left!Yikes!!!

Adding the final touches to my 'quick draw' painting

Mingling folk at the Saturday evening gala

Pictured here with artists Debra Huse and Larry Moore

Jennifer and fellow painter Jason Situ

Striking a pose with artist Clayton J. Beck III

This is where Ben and I hung out most of the evening. The food was exquisite!!!

Hanging out at the museum Sunday afternoon with Matt Smith...

...and award winner Michael Situ

Lookie loos admiring my paintings

Here are some of my favorites. There's more but too many too list!

Award winning painting by Randall Sexton

A very stunning piece by Ray Roberts

A gem of a painting by Kathryn Stats

And lastly, a beauty by Mark Kerckhoff

Signing off with a group shot of the participating artists.
Hope you enjoyed your visit!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Upcoming Fall Shows and Such...

Greetings everyone,
A few goings-on coming up……
I will be participating in the Tenth Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational this coming weekend. A ‘Quickdraw’ is scheduled for October 18th from 9am to 11am. Laguna Museum will be opened to the public on October 19th from 11am to 3pm to showcase the ‘Quickdraw’ paintings as well as some of the participating artists' personal favorites.
Click here for more info.

I will also be exhibiting alongside the Plein Air Painters of the West (PAPW) in our inaugural annual show and sale hosted by Segil Gallery in Monrovia, CA. Artist's reception is October 25th, 5 to 7 pm.
Click here for more info.


I am pleased to announce my painting ‘Making Our Way Across’ received Award of Excellence at the ‘OPA Western Regional Exhibition’ hosted by Devin Galleries.


Signing off with a little plein air demo I did for my students during my July 2008 workshop in Grants, New Mexico. More to come....

'Pink Casita'.......oil on canvas panel........7x9 inches (SOLD)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Feeling Fruity.....

'One Cantaloupe Left'........oil on panel.........12x16 inches (SOLD)

Holy s**t, is it August already?! My apologies for the extended blog absence. I’ve been busily exploring the majestic southwest and devouring tasty meals.
“One Cantaloupe Left”... the words inspire fear and awe in most, tinged with a loneliness that's hard to place. One, not two. One cantaloupe is all that's left. Odd for such a lousy tasting fruit, used mostly in cheap fruit salads. Only one. One cheap, lonely, bad tasting fruit. This is what I was contemplating as I painted this. I was also inspired by the dramatic compositional focus proffered by the white down jacket against the dark Manhattan brownstone. Bittersweet. Just like cantaloupe.
Bon Appetit!

*** THIS JUST IN! ***

I am pleased to announce my painting ‘Making Our Way Across’ has been accepted into the Oil Painters of America (OPA) 2008 Western Regional Juried Exhibition which will be held at Devin Galleries in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, beginning Friday, September 12, 2008, through Saturday, October 11, 2008.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Another Little Slice of New York Life...

Greetings fine art aficionados, it's been a long time coming, but here's a taste of one of my latest fruit stand series. This was inspired by my trip to Manhattan's Chinatown, where the fragrant smells and vibrant colors cried out to be captured on canvas. I also liked the patterns in the Chinese grill fence behind this unassuming, neon-orange clad, fruit-feeling fellow. Enjoy!
'Chinatown Bargain'........oil on panel........8x15inches


My painting ‘Old Hospital Bunker’ recently received an ‘Award of Excellence’ at the OPA 17th National Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils hosted by Dana Gallery in Missoula, MT.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

East Coast Excursion and Show

'Letting Off Steam'.........oil on canvas panel..........12x16 inches (SOLD)

Greetings everyone. This past month I’ve been busily painting for my two-person show at the Greenwich Workshop Gallery in Connecticut (see show invite below). I will be exhibiting new works inspired by a recent trip to New York and Connecticut. Pictured above is one of the pieces which will be on display. Cindy Baron, a truly accomplished and talented painter, will be showing with me.
Preparing for this show was extremely intense due to the short preparation time provided. Those New Yorkers! Always rushing this way and that, short deadlines and GO! GO! GO! Thank God for coffee!!! On top of that, my preparation time was cut even shorter by the necessary week-long visit to Manhattan to acquire reference material. It was non-stop from the moment we landed at JFK to the time we returned to LAX. I like that, because when I re-turn to LAX , I re-LAX ;-) New York was very busy and fast paced is all I'm saying. We covered every inch of Manhattan, from Washington Heights where Ben and I were staying (yes, we went to the Cloisters) to walking along the Brooklyn Bridge and seeing the World Trade Center Memorial Site (extremely powerful and moving, everyone should go to pay their respects). Hit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, went to Barney Greengrass Deli, visited Times Square three nights in a row, walked through Chelsea, Tribeca, China Town, Little Italy, SoHo, Greenwich Village, East Village, Lower East Village, Central Park and ventured off the island briefly to Queens for Russian-Jewish shish kebob.
Click here to view online exhibition. Enjoy!

~I n M e m o r i a m~

Cindy Fancher

This trip was bittersweet for me, however, as it brought home the recent untimely passing of a very near and dear friend.
Cynthia Fancher, my late ballet teacher, was a true New Yorker and will be greatly missed.
I am dedicating this show to her.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Workshop and Show....

Hello bloggaboos and dwellers of the nether regions of the Ethernet.
This summer, I will be teaching a 5 day plein air workshop scheduled for July 21st through July 25th. The workshop, coordinated by Michael Lewis of PAPW, will take place in scenic Grants, New Mexico. PAPW (an acronym for ‘Plein Air Painters of the West), consists of high quality painters who have each established themselves as top notch artists in their own right. To find out more about these groovy fellow painters, click here.

PS - If you're in that neck of the woods during the summer make sure you drop by!


I am very pleased to announce my painting ‘Old Hospital Bunker’ (see December 20th post to view painting) has been accepted into the Oil Painters of America (OPA) ‘17th National Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils'.
The exhibition is scheduled to open May 02, 2008.

Signing off with a little still life.........

'Baileys and Tea Pot'.........oil on canvas panel..........11x14 inches
I painted this still life as a demo for my students in my Tuesday night painting class. Took me approximately two hours to complete (and yes, I did indulge in the Baileys afterward...yummmm ;-)

Monday, February 11, 2008

'Devil's Gate Dam' and Show

'Devil's Gate Dam'.......oil on canvas panel.......7x9 inches (SOLD)

Wow! Is it already February!?
Hello bloggers and draft dodgers! Lend me your ear for the new year! Hope everyone’s year is off to a rambunctious start! Started off the new year with an impromptu visit to Jumbo’s Clown Room and received a complementary birthday lap dance, much to the delight of the lascivious voyeurs who make up our Wednesday night painting workshops. Thanks for making me feel special guys ;-)
It's all just a blurred memory now except for the nasty head cold I caught and the harrowing 15 hour hang over I endured the day following my 40th birthday soiree. Sworn off drinking AGAIN! Hope to find the meaning of life by February 17th, 2008. No particular reason for that date, but it's important to have deadlines and stick to them.
Pictured above is a painting I did over the holidays at the Devil’s Gate Dam alongside my painting comrade Jose.

I'm extremely pleased to announce my painting 'Chapter Four' (pictured below) has been accepted into the ‘Salon International 2008’ juried exhibition. This juried exhibition is a project of the International Museum of Contemporary Masters and will be hosted by Greenhouse Gallery of Fine Art in San Antonio, Texas. Exhibition opens in gallery and on web site on April 12th, 2008.

'Chapter Four'.......oil on panel........16x20 inches
The lovely young lady is Ben’s cousin, Nova. I attempted to capture her quiet intensity as well as the soft, glowing light that illuminated her as dusk was quickly approaching.