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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