Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Artsy Autumn Adventures!

 Harding Lane Dr.                                         oil on panel,  8x10 inches Autumn
(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.......

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy New Year!

Wilma and John's Beach House                           gouache, 8x10 inches

Happy New Year dear friends and art lovers!  If you haven't done so yet, sharpen your pencils and prepare to make some wildly optimistic New Years resolutions! Or be like Ben and use the power of reverse psychology by resolving to gain weight along with a bevy of equally bad habits for the New Year. Haha! I’ve made lots of resolutions to be more vigilant towards keeping resolutions that somehow were unkempt in 2013; dirty, unkempt resolutions.
Recently returned from a dreamy three week stay in Turks and Caicos this past December. This gorgeous place is scattered with wonderful beaches of fine coral sand and emerald colored waters. Did a bunch of snorkeling and watched as colorful parrot fish crunched noisily on corals with their  bucked teeth and gazed at turtles gliding dreamily into the depths of the refreshing ocean.
Below is pic of me plein air painting at Bight Reef. Good times!

Turks and Caicos, December 2013

R E C E N T   A W A R D ! 

While away on vacation I was surprised and equally delighted to find out I received 'Best of Show' for the November 2013 Raymar Art Competition judged by the very talented Gabor Svagrik. Yay!
To view November 2013 finalists click here 

Best of Show - Raymar Art Competition

The Story Teller                      oil, 14x17 inches

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


For anyone out there on the East Coast who’s resolved to take a Jennifer McChristian plein air painting workshop you will be heartened by the introduction of my first ever Wellfleet workshop in September 2014! Wellfleet is an adorable town about half way up Cape Cod in Massachussetts, so all you New Englanders come have some clam chowder and crumbly saltines with me after a rewarding day of painting.
 Hope to see you there! It’s going to be a fun workshop.
If it’s too far to travel for the West Coast don’t despair, the Esalen and Ojai workshop dates have been finalized.
Click here for registration info and to view complete 2014 workshop schedule!


Well that’s all for now folks. Cheers to a fabulous 2014 and don’t drive drunk again! May the odds be ever in your favor! And while I’m resolving to be evolving, I’m willing to keep chilling.
To the Chinese I say goodbye Year of the Snake and hello Year of the Horse. Out with the tumultuous change and in with the industrious accomplishments.

In the vein of the Great Cleansing of 2013 Bad Habits I present this self portrait of the removal of dead Autumn leaves. And yes, I love doing housework in heels ;-)
In the words of Lars Von Triers: "Is it symbolic? Maaybeee"......

Autumn's Purging                      oil, 12x12 inches

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Alluring Autumn Affairs

'The StoryTeller'                                    oil, 14x17 inches


We’re almost to Halloween and then just a stone’s throw to Thanksgiving! Look out pumpkins and turkeys, I’m a comin’ to get you! The cinnamon brooms are already making the studio smell extra spicy and full of imaginary home pie-baking. Speaking of Autumn awesomeness, I just got back from teaching a workshop at Esalen and what an experience! Big Sur in October is overwhelmingly magical. The beauty of the place hit us like a hammer built from ten thousand Hallmark cards. The weather was the most perfect I have experienced there, ranging between mid 70‘s to low 80’s. There is an annual Monarch butterfly migration which passes through Big Sur in October, and it seemed like a veritable infestation of little orange faeries gliding through a world of over-sized flowers. Then compound the daylight beauty by having an unbelievably red sun slowly descending into the Pacific followed by a pale full moon. Sublime! But teaching plein air painting workshops in exotic and stimulating surroundings isn’t all that I do!  I’m also currently showing at the Abend Gallery’s American Industry group show as well as the Howard Mandville Gallery’s 23rd Annual Small Works group show. Additionally my painting ‘The Oracle’ placed as finalist for the Raymar August 2013 art competition. Woo Hoo! Below is a detailed recap of this month's heavenly happenings, but first take a peek-a-Boo at these delightful pics of my recent workshop at Esalen. Enjoy!

P L E I N   A I R   W O R K S H O P 
(B I G   S U R  -  O C T O B E R   2 0 1 3)

Demoing by the coast

 Gorgeous Monarchs fluttering around 
the Esalen gardens

An almost full moon rising above the horizon

We were rewarded with breathtaking sunsets 
throughout the week

My sensational students!
From left to right: Ramon, Alix, Ben (assistant), Nelly, Jennifer, Rachel, Bob, 
Jennifer (instructor), Judy, Eileen and Waltraud
(Judy, Amy and Marie missing from pic)

C U R R E N T   E X H I B I T I O N S

American Industry

'Closing the Tab'                           oil, 18x24 inches

Three of my new paintings are currently on display at Abend Gallery’s group show American Industry. Show runs through November 23, 2013. 
For additional information and to view online exhibition click here.

23rd Annual Invitational Small Works Show


'Cue Ball'               oil, 8x8 inches

In addition, I am currently participating in the exciting 23rd Annual Invitational Small Works Show 
hosted by the Howard/Mandville Gallery. 
Click here to check out some awesome small gems!

R E C E N T   A W A R D

 Raymar Art Competition

'The Oracle'        oil, 11x24 inches

My painting ‘The Oracle’ placed as finalist for the August 2013
Raymar Art Competition judged by Qiang Huang
To view all August finalists click here.

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

I am delighted to announce that my 2014 plein air painting workshop dates have been posted!
I am excited to be returning to Ojai and Big Sur next year for more fun-filled, inspiring and exhilarating workshop experiences!
To see complete schedule and for more info / registration details click here


Well, that’s all for Fall y'all. Have a spooky Halloween and a thankful Thanksgiving!  
Be sure and look both ways before crossing the street and remember to wear bright orange clothes if you’re going hunting with clumsy (or drunken) friends!