Follow Me on Pinterest

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Black Star Canyon Road

This painting is in the Cleveland National Forest.  I had been searching for out of the way places to paint that were near my house.  What I did was zero in on the area around my house using google maps.  I found this road that went up into the heart of the Cleveland National Forest that had easy public access.  So I got in the car and 20 minutes later I was hiking up Black Star Canyon Road.  The area had been surveyed in the 30's.  I found one of the national survey spikes while hiking.  It was really interesting to see that people were still living on this isolated road.  I could not see any signs of electrical power or running water.  There were a number of abondoned homes and vehicles in various states of decompostion.  There were also a number of cattle ranches along the road.  Some of the views were amazing.  You quickly got the feeling you were a lot further away from the suburbs than you actually were.  This painting was a success for me in 2 areas.  I thought I got the contrast right and I liked the outcome of the ariel perspective.  These have been a couple of areas of focus for me for the last couple of months.  Village Art Center Art Walk 11/9-2/10 & 11/10-3/11.  This painting also showed at the In the Light of Day show at the Brea Gallery from 8/6/11-9/16/11.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sycamores and Oaks

                                                                      This is my last in a series of Sycamore paintings for the time being.  This painting is from the Laguna Wilderness Park a couple of miles from the Pacific Ocean.  This painting was from an early Fall afternoon.  The hazy blue skies increased the aerial perspective in this piece.  The trees in the background are California Oaks.  My next series of paintings will be on Sunset Cliffs in San Diego.  I am going to continue my search for great Sycamore landscape compositions.  Another series of paintings I am considering is a focus on the Coyotee Hills.  This area is protected by the Chino Hills Park.  These hills still support drilling for oil in some areas.  These rolling hills are about 20 miles in length and at its widest point 5 miles.  They run into the Cleveland National Forest.  The shapes of the hills and the colors of the shadows at different times of day have caught my attention for some time.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Santiago Sycamore

This scene appealed to me because of the trees shape.  The Sycamore trees run along a creek through the Santiago Canyon.  My trip to the canyon was in the middle of summer.  The time of day was around noon.  All of the grasses had dried up months earlier.  The color of the grass against the color of the tree captured my interest.  This painting is done on pastel card with a dry underpainting of pastel.  In the collection of John and Gloria Jones

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Santiago Canyon Sycamore

This painting measures 19"x 25" and is done La Carte Pastel Card.  Running through the Canyon is a creek and along the creek are hundreds of Sycamores.  The canyon runs from the edge of the Cleveland National Forest towards the Pacific and ends in the El Torro / Laguna Beach area.  The area was a cattle ranch owned by the Irvine family.  What really interested me was the contrast of the dry grasses and the greeness of the foliage around the creek.  I also found the cast shadows of the tree onto the dry grasses grabbing my attention.  As I constantly try to improve I set many goals for myself.  These are not enormous unattainable things but simple ones that come from seeing art work that I admire and self criticism.  One of these goals is to portray shadows in a more lively fashion.  Seeing the color of the object as a combination of the value change created by the shadow but maintaining it's own identity and proper color relationship to the object casting the shadow and itself has been a recent focus.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

San Clemente Canyon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   This painting was inspired by a quick hike in San Diego.  I saw this site from the freeway when on a soccer trip with the family.  My wife and son waited in the car while I quickly explored the canyon.  I took my camera and quickly snapped off about 60 pictures of the area.  In the midst of the suburbs is this cantyon with a creek running to the ocean with Sycamore trees that have been there for some time.  I was only able to get about a half mile into the canyon before the message was relayed to me that I had to get back to the car and go.  I will try to get back when I have more time.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Summer Sycamores

This painting is the third in the series from the Laguna Canyon Wilderness Area.  As with the others it is done on Wallis paper with a water color underpainting.  This series of paintings represents some growth for me as an artist.  After studying some of Kim Lordiers paintings at the Huse gallery on Balboa island and reading an article by Kim on her mark making, I decided I needed to work on my mark making.  The two biggest influences as artists for me are Van Gogh and Monet.  In  my opinion they both had amazing mark making technique.  The challenge for me as a pastel artist is to not over work a painting and to get it right the first time and step away from it.  I work with soft pastels exclusively.  They tend to fill the tooth of the paper quicker than harder pastels.  The use of the water color underpainting has freed up my mark making in that I do not have to worry about covering the surface of the painting with pastel.  This has allowed me to be more expressive with my mark making and sped up my overall time working on the painting.  It makes it harder for me to overwork the surface.  In the collection of Bob and Mary Jane Major

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Laguna Canyon Afternoon

When I have found an area rich with subject matter it seems natural for me to work a series of paintings.  For about a year I have been interested in sycamore trees.  They each seem to have their own personality.  I love the way they twist and turn.  I find the color of the bark and the contrast of the changing leaf colors amazing.  Although we don't really have seasons in Southern California the sycamore trees are on their own program.  I am looking for old, untouched trees in settings as untouched by man as possible.  The thing I like about this painting is the cast shadow from the trees.  It is something I have been working on.  For me the shadow pulls the painting together.  This painting is from the Laguna Wilderness Area.  It is done on Wallis paper with a water color underpainting.  As with all posts, if you click the image it will enlarge
Village Art Center 3/10-9/10

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Laguna Canyon Sycamore

Hello, I have been away for quite a while.  After a year and a half of painting and not working I had to go back to what I know.  I am back to managing big box retailing.  The biggest obstacle is the lack of time I can devote to some of the things I love.  After a nine month layoff from blogging I am back.  I did not stop painting but it did slow way down.  I am now at a point where I can get more focused on my painting.   Because my time is limited I am going to work harder with the time I have.  The rules have changed but my goals remain the same.  I am going to have to achieve them by doing some things differently.  This painting comes from a field trip I took last October to the Laguna Wilderness Area.  One of my goals is to spend more time painting from life.  The only draw back is the amount of time it takes to paint outside.  I live in Orange County California.  It is an amazing area with many beautiful places to paint.  It is almost impossible to find landscapes not touched by "progress".  One of the main themes of my work is trying to capture landscapes that have not been ruined by the development of Southern California.  I do not have the luxury of visiting the same spot day after day to capture the images in my landscapes.  When I am driving I am always looking for that spot off the beaten path-the road less taken as it were.  The other way I find places to paint is by using google maps.  I find a general area that I want to explore and then I move over the map until I find an area that looks good.  I then plan my field trip for a day off.  I usually start early to get the right shadows and I am off with my digital camera.  I compose the picture in the view finder and snap hundreds of pictures a visit.  I do not stop in one area or another but keep walking and letting my instinct guide the camera.  I go until I run out of time.  I come back download the photos and work with photo shop to generate the same saturation, hue, and contrast that I remember from my trip.  Laguna Canyon Wilderness is a pastel painting on Kelly Wallis sanded paper.  This painting is done with a variety of soft pastels over a underpainting of water color.  The size of the painting is approximately 23"HX35"W.  It is going to be displayed at the gallery I show at Village Art Center.  A Night in Fullerton Village Art Center 11/9-2/10 Village Center Art Walk 11/10-3/11

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Last Light at Sunset Cliffs

This painting is the last of my Sunset Cliffs series for now.  I feel like there is much more that I have not yet captured.  The glow of the light on the cliffs is what interested me in these landscapes.  I plan on visiting again this summer and getting more reference photos from Torrey Pines and La Jolla cliffs.