Thursday, August 6, 2015

Sage and Sun Summer

Hope Floats                                                     oil, 8x10 inches

Greetings and Happy Summer!

Seems like just yesterday, I was teaching plein air painting in Esalen and soaking in those fine hot tubs lining the cliff-side overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  No place on Earth like it! 
My students were amazing, hard working and extremely friendly, undoubtedly leaving Esalen feeling enlightened and inspired.  Ben and I were staying in the Fritz lodgings, located directly above the hot spring baths, with a breathtaking view of the the majestic ocean.  During his spare time Ben filmed some cool swallows that were flying outside our patio in the ocean mist using the slow-mo setting on his phone.  Reminds me how remarkable technology is these days, from smart phones to smart cars, it’s like the future we always dreamed of.  I can’t wait until artificial intelligence comes of age and relieves me of all decisions and responsibilities.  Hail to the Robot Overlords!!!  Anyway, until that day comes I guess I’ll keep painting in the pristine countryside of the California coast and beyond :-)
This September I’ll be painting in the Costa Brava region near Barcelona, Spain, and a year from then I’ll be in gorgeous South Africa for a double workshop on a farm and then at a winery.  Sweet!  
I wonder if it gets as hot there as it’s been here in Southern California this past year.  Drought’s still going strong unfortunately.  Good excuse to start a succulent garden I guess.  Going to plant some drought resistant shrubbery and herbs like sage and rosemary around the house too.  Aside from flexing my green thumb and teaching I’ve also been painting.  One of my new paintings will be on exhibit for  the 'Virtuosos of the OPA' hosted by the Salmagundi Club located in New York City. Yay! 
Below are some fun pics of my recent Esalen workshop.  Enjoy!                                                           

Students painting the beautiful Esalen gardens in 
the refreshing ocean mist

Discussing the importance of 'squinting' during morning demo

This cute, little bee nestled itself on my hat and 
remained there throughout the entire demo! 

A morning demo from the Art Barn

Relaxing in the oversized hanging swing for a much needed break.

 Esalen Class June 2015

U P C O M I N G   E X H I B I T I O N S
Virtuosos of the OPA

Prescription for the Blues                  oil, 16x20 inches

I am extremely delighted and honored to announce that my painting ‘Prescription for the Blues’ will be on exhibit at the 'Virtuosos of the OPA' show.  This exciting and prestigious group show will be hosted by the Salmagundi Club in New York City this September.  
The opening reception is on September 17th.  Show will be on display through October 1st so if you’re in the Big Apple around that time be sure and check it out! 
For more info and exhibition details click here.

 2 0 1 6   W O R K S H O P S   N O W   O N L I N E!

I’ve finally posted all of my 2016 workshops on my website.  In April I will be teaching in Ojai, in June I will be teaching in Big Sur at the Esalen Institute and in September I will be teaching for the first time in South Africa.  The South African trip consists of two different workshops, one at the Sunnyside Guest Farm in Free State close to Clarens and
the other workshop at the Saronsberg Vineyard Cottages close to Tulbagh.  
Please note that the Sunnyside Guest Farm workshop is SOLD OUT (with waiting list available).  
For more detailed information on all 2016 plein air workshops please click here.


Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  Remember to stay cool, keep courting the muse and check back in a couple months to see how things have shaped up for the Autumn.   
Me, I’m just trying to stay hydrated in this California drought.  I’m certain FEMA will be stepping in soon and airlifting the population of Los Angeles out, or at least maybe rescuing the avocado and almond industry of central California.  Save the avocados and almonds, somebody please!!  It’s a second dust bowl I tells you, a second dust bowl.  This never would have happened if we had artificial intelligence supervising global resources allotment.  
Hail to the Robot Overlords!!!

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.”
(Zen Shin)

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!