Sunday, January 30, 2011


The ugliest subjects can make for interesting paintings. Although I like to paint lovely scenes that I find moving, occasionally I find subjects that are begging to be painted, pretty or not. I run by the harbor area every so often and have watched the dredge in various light. I find the shapes, colors and textures interesting. So I picked a sunny afternoon, ignored the call of the typically beauteous scenes in and around the harbor and decided to paint the dredge.
There was a artistic movement in the early 20th century called the Ashcan School  that portrayed daily life in New York. This movement popularized everyday scenes as motifs. I suppose my Dredge would fall into that category. Probably the best know painter of this tradition is Edward Hopper, he himself may argue his inclusion with this group. He was not officially a member of the Ashcan School, but was a student of one of it's eight members, Robert Henri.
I enjoy this genre. It's exciting to find the beauty in light, no matter where I find it.

The Dredge, 11 x 14, oil on panel

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Beach Walk and Gallery Info

I am please to share with you that I am now represented by Chalk Gallery in Carpinteria. Owners Duane and Liz operate the gallery Friday - Monday from 11 - 4, or by appointment. For those of you from out of the Santa Barbara area, Carpinteria is a great town to stop for food or a beach stroll. Visit Chalk at 963 Linden Avenue, 805-220-6264. It is a small space with lots of wonderful art to see. There are also many cute shops nearby.
One of my new paintings, Fall Morning Beach Walk, is currently showing at the gallery. This painting was completed on location at Goleta beach. It is a favorite spot for local painters. It think it is a great location to paint because the slough is changeable depending on the tide, time of year, and weather conditions. Sometime it is serene and easy to wade ankle deep across the outlet and other times it can rush like a river making it treacherous. Just past the point, which is a knob of tar, the coastline continues unobstructed (at low tide) all the way to Hope Ranch beach. Its a beautiful place.

Fall Morning Beach Walk, 9 x 12 inches, oil on panel

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Members' Art Reception This Friday

Please join me and my fellow Tennis Club of Santa Barbara artists for the annual Members' Invitational reception this Friday night, January 14, from 5:30 - 7:30. This is the Tennis Club's "2nd Fridays Art @ TCSB" event for the month of January. They do a lovely party. Please come by for a glass of wine and enjoy the art of eight local artists. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Don't Miss These Shows

Two great art shows to see in Santa Barbara this month. Don't miss them, they'll be gone before you know it. 

Fall Color, Clyde Aspivig

Clyde Aspivig, is one of America's leading plein-air artists. The Santa Barbara Historical Museum, at the corner of Santa Barbara and De La Guerra Streets, is currently showing 25 of his breathtaking paintings. Most are large scale and full of atmospheric light. I've been to the exhibit several times and will likely go back for one more visit before the show closes on February 7. 
Last October I attended a demonstration by Clyde (Coordinated by Dorene White. Thanks, Dorene!!). Clyde was really terrific. A super nice guy and a great teacher. He challenged us to find the mistakes he was deliberately making in the sketch he was creating before us. It was an excellent lesson. He also demonstrated gorgeous color harmony and simplified shapes and composition. It was a great learning experience and a lot of fun. 
I urge you to visit the show before it is gone. It is awesome and a real treat to have such world class art here in our town.

Fiery Orange Moon, York Harbor, Maine, Lockwood de Forest

Another great show (up until April 3) just opened this past Thursday at the Sullivan Goss Gallery, 7 East Anapamu Street. I visited the show when the gallery was quiet last Thursday afternoon. It was a treat to be the only visitor at the time. In contrast to the grand scale of the large Aspivig paintings at the SBHM, this show is 40 small nocturne and 40 small daytime sketches by Lockwood de Forest (1850-1932). Several of the scenes he painted are from the Santa Barbara area. I have learned that it is quite possible the artist never intended for these wonderfully spontaneous sketches to be shown. de Forest was passionate about painting and had a special interest in the nocturne subject. I was struck by the subtle color harmony of each little paintings. The nocturnes are intriguing and evocative of the mystery I experience while painting out at night. Kudos to Sullivan Goss Gallery for a beautifully arranged show.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Shift in Point of View

I was recently reminded how art can be meaningful. 
My friend Leslie Turnbull asked if I could be commissioned to paint a scene that was dear to her husband. The view is from the Douglas Family Preserve overlooking Hendry's Beach, Santa Barbara. This was to be a surprise Christmas gift. I was thrilled to be asked. I enjoyed the process of creating a special gift for him. That was in the fall of 2009. He was presented with "Afternoon Shift" that Christmas. 
Fast forward to November 2010 - I received the following email from Leslie: "Over the weekend we took a walk down by Hendry's, and Paul told me just how much your beautiful painting of 'our' beach means to him. Whenever he's having a rough day back in the Valley, he goes in his office and looks at the picture and it makes him happy :)"
Wow. That email showed up in my inbox at the right moment, just when I could use a shot in the "painting" arm. That was a gift for me to get to know how "Afternoon Shift" was doing out in the world. And that it had meaning for Paul.
I wish everyone a happy and heathy new year filled with beauty. 
Thanks Leslie :)

Afternoon Shift, 18 x 24, oil on canvas board