Saturday, November 27, 2010

Paint Outs and Parties!

Here is one of the plein air paintings I did during the '12th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational'.

'Long Lost Memories'.............oil on canvas panel...............8x10 inches (SOLD)

Greetings Gentle Bloggers,

Once again I must sit down and write about what a mysterious thing life is. Life is like a riddle, wrapped in an enigma, put in a bottle, and then lost in an airport baggage claim. At least my life feels like it is ;-) It has been a busy past few months, with a whirlwind trip to Paris, several awesome group shows I participated in and a week long paint out at the '12th Annual Laguna Plein Air Painting Invitational'. I don't know where to begin, so I'll blog from the end and work my way back to the beginning. Indeed, the Paris trip itself was so condensed with layers of visceral voyage visuals that it will in fact need it's own separate blog, written possibly in the year 2011 after enough time has passed for me to make some kind of linear explanation for my experience. That being said, let me tell you about the Laguna Invitational, which passed as quickly, smoothly, and pleasurably as prune juice through a goose. It was great to catch up with all my awesome artists friends, painting amongst the beautiful landscapes of Laguna. I found some new magical sites like Victoria Beach, with its single castle spire rising dramatically to the mansion above it, the strange circular footprint of an abandoned wading pool carved into the rock beneath it. Another mysteriously delightful discovery was the legendary Crystal Cove, a hidden beach I'd heard so much about and finally visited! Crystal Cove is peppered with adorable cottage rentals including a strange pthalo green beach house museum of fifties game boards like Sorry and Monopoly. Takes me back to my childhood in Canada's cottage country, all those hands of gin rummy! The other events were also cool, sold some paintings, had some drinks, ate some cake, and laughed at my own jokes. Thanks so much to all the folks at LPAPA (Laguna Plein Air Painters Association) who made it possible! There's some hard working people behind the scenes making it all run smooth and stay fun! Here's to doing it all again in 2011!

Here is a view looking the opposite way of 'Long Lost Memories'

'Melancholy Morning'............oil on canvas panel............8x10 inches

.... a few pics of the events and such. Enjoy!

Me painting an overcast scene at Crystal Cove, whilst being lulled and soothed by the rhythmic sounds of the ocean.

Kicking off the Invitational at Treasure Island Park for an early morning orientation and paint out. All artists were required to paint an 8x10 for a silent auction. Clear skies, mild temps, fresh ocean breeze and a plein air easel. Ahhhhh, what more could you ask for.

Finishing up my 'Quick Draw' painting at Heisler Park on a rainy and cold Saturday morning.

Sunday morning at the Laguna Museum.

One of my favorite painters, super talented Bryan Mark Taylor. Bryan was the recipient of the 'Collectors Choice Award' at the Saturday evening gala reception.

Carolyn Hesse -Low standing by her paintings. Carolyn is an absolute delight to paint with. A very gifted and generous soul indeed.

Victoria Beach and all it's splendor!

Crescent moon over Laguna Beach.

Ben enjoying an afternoon stroll on the beach.

The lovely Carol and Bill Hanke were generous enough to provide us a place to stay during the Invitational. This was the view from our guest bedroom window. Sweet!!!

Looks like somebody has a case of 'Farmer's Tan'!

Signing off with a group photo of the participating artists.
What a fantastic bunch!!!

For more pics of event and complete list of winners click here.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Autumn Adventures

Here is a new piece currently on display at the Abend Gallery's 'Four Person Show'. To see online exhibit click here. Show closes this weekend!

'Observatory Overhaul'............oil on canvas panel.............9x12 inches (SOLD)

Hello Bloggopheliacs!

A few months or so have passed and it's time to sit down and blog. For those who have consistently tuned in to read the latest bloggits and bloggellos of my bloggentuous blogsploits in the blig, blag blorld of the blarts, you have my sincerest bloggitude. To those just tuning in, welcome, you're in for a treat of the bloggest order. But enough of this bullbloggit, let's get on with the blog:

The high point of the past couple months surely was the Debra Huse Gallery's annual 'Just Plein Fun' event, which I was delighted and honored to participate in. Selected artists painted en plein air for five days on Balboa Island, the event culminating with the 'Brush Off' competition on the last day. I did not win the 'Brush Off' competition, but was surprised and pleased to receive 'First Place' for my painting 'Grand Canal Colors'! All in all, an excellent event and a great excuse for some stellar artists to come together and paint the lovely island colors. I have included a few pics from the event. Enjoy!

'Grand Canal Colors'.............oil on canvas panel.............8x10 inches (SOLD)
(received 'First Place' award)

a few pics from event.......

Diligently working on my 'Grand Canal Colors' painting

Saturday afternoon 'Brush Off' event. The guy in the background wearing the straw hat is the talented Terry Masters

Artists' opening reception and awards ceremony

Posing with the honorable Jean Stern

Yes, yes, you say, the past sounds cool, but what of the present and future? Fret not, I say!
More cool news coming right up.....

'Bill's Pick Up'.........oil on canvas panel..........7x9 inches

My painting 'Bill's Pick Up' was juried into the OPA's (Oil Painters of America) 'Western Regional Exhibition' . Opening reception and awards ceremony will be held at the Mountain Trails Gallery in Jackson Hole, WY this coming fall. Show opens October 9th and runs through November 10th, 2010.
For more details click here.

I have recently been invited to participate in the '12th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational'. I am delighted to be participating in this week long celebration of plein air painting in beautiful Laguna Beach and surrounding areas. For more info click here.

S a v e T h e D a t e !

Finally, October will yield a full harvest of traditionalist paintings with Silvana Gallery's first ever annual 'Great Impressions - Masters of Fine Art' exhibition opening on October 23rd from 5 to 10 pm and running until December 11th. Not to be missed! I have some inside information that a few celebrity guest artists will be showing, I can hardly wait! More info (and art) coming soon!

And that's it for now. I'll fill you in on more cool things as the gears of time slowly and unflinchingly turn, bringing us persistently closer to a fabulous and fruitful Autumn!

Friday, July 9, 2010

My Exquisitely Ecstatic Esalen Workshop

Here is one of the demos from my Esalen workshop

'Love Yurts'.............oil on canvas panel................7x9 inches

Greetings Bloggophiles,

It’s been a busy summer to say the least, and hot on the heels of my fantastic high-desert experience of my Sedona workshop came the misty, ocean world of my Esalen workshop in Big Sur, California. If Sedona had the mystical discipline energy of Mars, with it’s desert red rock and powerful dry heat, then Esalen had the mystical emotional energy of Venus, with it’s lush green vegetation, vast blue Pacific Ocean horizon, and cliff side hot tubs. We felt thoroughly pampered with all the amenities one could possibly want near at hand. The large, spacious cafeteria provided a wide choice of meals using vegetables grown organically on the property.

The gardens not only provided fresh sustenance, but held a potpourri of visual stimuli in their gorgeous array of blooming flowers! Massage therapists were professional, caring and readily at hand to thwart any stress related muscular knots created by a long day painting. A small, circular meditation room overlooked a waterfall cascading down into the ocean, we meditated there until I was up to my eyeballs in inner peace. And the highlight, aside from the delightful company of my terrific students, had to be the hot tubs of natural sulphuric mineral spring water. The hot tubs are located right along the cliff’s face, the crashing waves hypnotically breaking over the stony beach below, and at night there exist no glare from the city lights to chase away the constellations above, and the not-so-rare shooting star can be seen burning out across the sky. In the mornings a white mist rolls in off the ocean, blanketing the gardens and edifices in a undulating fog, pulling nearby objects into sharp silhouette against the pale background scenery. Cinematic, painterly, the ghost of Sam Hyde Harris is doubtlessly haunting this small piece of paradise, trying to get his phantom painting just right. Below are some pics of this truly awesome workshop at Esalen. Enjoy!

Conducting demo on the lovely Esalen grounds

Attempting to capture the ethereal early morning ocean mist

Another demo from the workshop

'Path to Yurt'.............oil on canvas panel...............7x9 inches

View of the garden

Taking a breather to answer some questions

Giving Sharon some pointers on values

So much for the candid shot ;-) Love Julie's cute little side glance

~ Here are a few pics of Esalen and it's many splendors! ~

The cliff side hot springs

The lush gardens of delight (these were poppies on steroids!!)

More flora on steroids.....

Couldn't resist.......

Early morning meditation in circular meditation room

The 'Big House' where Ben and I were lulled to sleep every night by the soothing sounds of the ocean waves

That's me, contemplating whether to return to Esalen next year...

......hell yeah I'm coming back!

My awesome students!
From left to right top row:
Mary, Usana, Julie, Jan, Jodie, Catherine, Min and Naomi
From left to right bottom row:
Sharon, Jennifer and hubby Ben
(Paul not pictured)

To view additional Esalen pics click here!

Hope you enjoyed my post and thanks for stopping by!
Before I sign off, here is a quick recap of my 2011 upcoming plein air painting workshops:

Plein Air Painting in Maui
DATE: February 15 - 17, 2011 (3 days)
TUITION: $350.
(limited to 12 students)
For more info and registration click here

Small and Simple: Fundamentals of Plein Air Painting
DATE: March 21 - 25, 2011
LOCATION: Scottsdale, AZ
TUITION: $585.
(limited to 12 students)
For more info and registration click here

Plein Air Painting in Sedona
DATE: May 16 - 20, 2011
TUITION: $600.
(limited to 12 students)
For more info and registration click here

Plein Air Painting in Big Sur: Esalen Retreat
DATE: June 5 - 10, 2011 (NOTE: August 2011 workshop dates TBD)
(limited to 12 students)
More info coming soon!

Hope the rest of your summer is resplendent and enticing!
Until next post, Happy Blogging!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Sedulous Sedona Workshop.....

'Cathedral Rock'.........oil on canvas panel..........8x10 inches

My recent workshop in Sedona, AZ was just like my own personal bloggopia, filled with magic, wonder, and a whole lot of mystical vortexes. Sedona’s beauty is eternal, it never changes, but it changes you. From the undulating rock plateau below the red Cathedral Rock of Crescent Moon Park to the April blizzard in the mountain ghost town of Jerome, Sedona had surprises and challenges for the painter at every turn. This workshop was one of the most exciting, challenging and rewarding workshops I've taught so far. My wonderful students were a complete joy to be around. They were a delight to teach and the camaraderie amongst everyone was incredible. The Sedona Arts Center staff was extremely accommodating, friendly and professional! I look forward to my return in 2011!
Here are a few pictures from my Sedona workshop. Enjoy!

Monday afternoon demo at Schnebly Hill Vista.

Finishing up my value thumbnail comp.

Here is a sample of the small thumbnail sized (5x7) value/color comp exercises I had my students complete throughout the workshop.

Demo at Slide Rock State Park on Tuesday morning.

adding finishing touches.........

This 8x10 demo of Slide Rock State Park was extremely challenging! Had to deal with inconsistent weather conditions throughout the whole demo......sunny to cloudy, cloudy to sunny. Oy!!

Carol Marine and I chit chatted while taking a brief break. I was soooooo thrilled and honored to have Carol attend my workshop. She is truly one of the best painters out there! And an awesome person to boot!

Mid week we ventured out to Jerome, a very eccentric and mysterious ghost town/artist's colony. Pictured here is James Coulter getting some color mixing tips from me as Carol looks on.
By the way, James generously donated one of his fabulous plein air 'Coulter System' pochade boxes (shown in pic). They are extremely easy to set up, light and ridiculously affordable!

Jeff diligently painting away, completely unperturbed by the blistering cold winds of the raging blizzard that sprung upon us out of nowhere!!

While in Jerome, we took refuge from the freakish weather to warm up with soothing libations and hearty food!

Thursday's afternoon demo was held in the quaint and historical Tlaquepaque Village (it was very cold and just about to drizzle!)

Assisting student Debbie Eggleston with her painting.

Sherwin Abesamis was feeling very zen-like and decided to paint sitting on the ground in a cross-legged position.

June Safford painting at Red Rock State Park.

Cindy Munns painting Cathedral Rock.

Ben held up his dapper straw hat while I pulled out the name of the lucky student that won one of my demo paintings.
.....and the winner is...... Becky Joy!

And finally, a gorgeous pic of the gang.
What a terrific group!

Hope you enjoyed the post and thanks for dropping in.
Until next time, Happy Painting!