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.  OlĂ©!


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)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sun-sational Summer Scene!

 Sunlit Gorge                                         oil, 9x7 inches

Greetings and Happy Summer!

It is with a light heart and a spring in my step that I write this blog.  Having just successfully completed my sold-out Esalen workshop in Big Sur, I returned to Los Angeles to the sounds of cheers and applause. This I soon discovered had something to do with a televised game where grown men fight to kick a small checkered ball about a field or something.  Conversely, at Esalen grown men swim naked out into the Pacific Ocean, climb onto slippery reefs using kelp rope to steady themselves and blow through large hollowed-out animal horns.  Pagan ritual thanking the sea gods or primal gestalt therapy, I’m not sure.  However, I’ve included a picture to prove it!
In other McChristian news, I’m pleased to announce that my new painting ‘Dust Storm’ was juried into the OPA Western Regional Show and will be on display at the Mountainsong Gallery in Carmel in August 2014.  Finally, I am super excited to announce that I’ve been invited to teach a plein air painting workshop in Spain in September 2015!  Below are some fun pics from my recent plein air workshop at Esalen. Enjoy!

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

Morning demo in the gardens

Plenty of painting fodder here....

Student Matthias (who came all the way from Switzerland) 
was intrigued by the succulents

We enjoyed 3 scrumptious organic meals a day 
in the cozy Esalen cafeteria

One of the many perks of teaching at Esalen:
I get to be serenaded by a strapping young 
merman at the end of the day!

 Some vibrant Esalen poppies to delight the senses

 And then there are the cliff side sulfur baths to soothe your weary body 
after a long day of painting.......ahhhhhhhhhh

My fabulous and fun class!
Left to right (top row) Morgan, Birgit, Julie, Renate, Susanne, Greta,
Vanessa, Kat
Left to right (bottom row) Donald, Frank, Jennifer (instructor), Ben (assistant) and Matthias.
(Cecille missing from pic)

U P C O M I N G  E X H I B I T I O N S 

 2014 OPA Western Regional Exhibition

 Dust Storm                                              oil, 12x16 inches 

My new painting ‘Dust Storm’ (inspired by a precarious drive from San Francisco to LA) was juried into the 2014 OPA Western Regional Exhibition
This exciting and prestigious group exhibition will be hosted by the Mountainsong Gallery located in the scenic town of Carmel, CA.
Opening reception is on August 30, 2014 from 5 to 8pm.
For more info and show details click here.

 2 0 1 4   P L E I N   A I R   W O R K S H O P S

My upcoming Wellfleet plein air painting workshop this September is currently full.  Please contact me if you’d like to be added to the waiting list.  Keep in mind that there are no guarantees that a space will become available.  That being said, I will be returning to Big Sur for another plein air workshop at Esalen in October.  There are still a few spaces available so I recommend signing up soon as it tends to fill up relatively quickly.  For Esalen registration details click here.
Finally, the last of my 2014 workshops will be in Ojai, CA this November.

For more info on my Ojai workshop click here.

New 2015 Spain Workshop Added!

I am thrilled to have been invited to teach an 8 day plein air painting workshop in Spain in September 2015!
  The workshop will take place in and around Barcelona and the Costa Brava areas, with small day trips and tours of local sites like the Dali Museum and the Gaudi buildings thrown in to the mix. 
 There’s an early-bird special and if you sign up before November 30th you’ll save $200.00!  
Time to brush up on your Spanish and get ready to chow down on authentic Tapas while watching Flamenco dancers who are actually Spanish.  Ole baby, ole! 
For more info on 2015 Spain workshop itinerary click here
For early registration and reservation info click here.
Well that’s all for my sizzzzzzzling summertime news.  May your summertime skies be filled with summertime blues, but in a nice happy kind of way, not a “I woke up on Bourbon Street with no money and a broken harmonica” kind of way. Yipeeeee!  It’s that time again for boisterous backyard barbecues and feisty fireworks. 
Wishing everyone a safe and sassy 4th of July Holiday!

Cliff Side View                                     oil, 8x10 inches
(Morning demo from recent plein air painting workshop in Big Sur)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Springtacular Splendors!

 Layover                                   oil, 12x16 inches
(This painting was selected for the 23rd OPA National Juried Exhibition)

 Greetings and Happy Spring!

It’s been a busy spring here in California. Recently taught a fun 5 day plein air workshop in Ojai. The students were great, the weather was sublime and the locations were beauteous! However, the pollen from the oak trees caught me by surprise and left me in a constant state of sneezing. That being said, the arctic polar vortex crap seemed to have missed Ojai, let me tell you it was HOT! Lizards galore doing pushups on the sun warmed rocks, rattlesnakes coming out of their burrows and lazily sliding through the grass, blooming flowers and blooming oaks. Ojai was awesome but already I’m sooooo looking forward to the beauty of the Big Sur coast and that magical world of the Esalen tribe. Can’t wait to soak in the natural sulfur hot springs that pour into the stone tubs along the cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Oh, and looking forward to teaching painting too of course. Add to that, I will be participating in two exciting group exhibitions scheduled to open in late spring. Hop on little Easter bunny, hop on!
Below are some fun Ojai workshop pics I am delighted to share. Enjoy :-)

P L E I N  A I R  W O R K S H O P
(O J A I - A P R I L  2 0 1 4)

Morning demo at Lake Casitas

Students painting Ojai countryside

Springtime blossoms in Ojai

Donelle painting at the Besant Center

Avatar Point at Meher Mount

Some Ojai eye candy :-)

My fabulous students!
Clockwise from upper left: Joan, Alane, Jennifer, Ben, Donelle, 
Kourtney, Nanette, Sarah, Claire and John
(Rachel and Sophia missing from pic)

U P C O M I N G   E X H I B I T I O N S

National Artists Invitational Exhibition

Roman Alleyway               oil, 8x15 inches

I’m delighted to announce that two of my paintings will be on display for the  
National Artists Invitational Exhibition at 717 Gallery in Easton, Maryland.
Show opens May 2nd, 2014.
For more info click here

23rd Annual Juried Exhibition

My new painting Layover (scroll to top to view image) has been selected for the prestigious  
OPA 23rd Annual Juried Exhibition hosted by the Bennington Arts Center located in
Bennington, Vermont.
Show opens June 7th, 2014.
For more info click here

 2 0 1 4   P L E I N   A I R   W O R K S H O P S

As I mentioned above, the June 2014 Esalen workshop in Big Sur is a little over a month away! There are still spots available, so if you try and sign up and they tell you otherwise please contact me directly (sometimes the elves that run the place get a little spacey from all that fresh air and deep meditation).
I am also conducting a Wellfleet workshop in September which has only one spot left, so if you’re on the East Coast and you want to participate do not wait to the last minute to sign up! After that I’ll be teaching again in Esalen in October and Ojai in November 2014.
Click here for registration info and to view complete 2014 workshop schedule.


Well that’s it for the McChristian news, have to get back to my painting regime. Already took up lots of time last week staring at the mystical lunar eclipse through my telescope and battling with pesky springtime allergies. The eclipse resembled a Frazetta-esque, sci-fi looking scene that simply needed an eight legged bobcat to slink along the neighbor’s fence to complete it  :-)
Have a sensational and sassy summer and fight the good fight, digest those candy eggs, avoid eating too many leftover peeps and keep on creating and appreciating!

 Bamboo eagerly anticipating summer.......