Friday, April 29, 2011

Unlikely Places

One beautiful Saturday morning I headed north of Santa Barbara to paint these barns which I have admired for years. I don't know who owns the barns or what their purpose is. I just like how the light hits their surfaces and that they sit on a remarkable piece of property overlooking the ocean.
Thanks Rita, for joining me on this adventure. And being brave enough to park and paint on the 101! Not for the faint of heart.
This piece has been selected to be part of the "Local Color" show at Tennis Club of Santa Barbara, May 13 - June 6. Please join Chris Chapman, Tom Henderson, John Iwerks and me on Friday May 13th for the Artist Reception, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm.
Tennis Club of Santa Barbara, 2375 Foothill Road, Santa Barbara.

Barns with a View, 12 x 16 inches, oil on linen panel

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monet Moment

Two weeks ago I boldly asked a friend vie Facebook if I could paint on her family ranch located north of Santa Barbara. She immediately agreed. Never mind that she is currently living in Europe (wish I was there!). I hadn't spoken to her in years. And, that the ranch is busy and doesn't need me snooping around. How generous she is, and how extremely kind and welcoming the folks at the ranch are. Thanks to all!

I picked a blustery day to paint the gorgeous coastline from the bluffs. As I climbed out of my car, the door immediately shut on me and pinned me against my car. It was freakin' windy!

Undaunted, I bundled up in multiple layers of clothing and set up my painting gear with several large rocks anchoring down everything. My 12 x 24 inch canvas board was literally flapping in the wind.

Still undaunted, I thought of an antidote I read about Monet painting on the beach. He was so completely focused on his work, he didn't notice the rising tide, nor the wave that toppled him and swept his gear out to sea. I don't know if that story is true, but I like to think of Monet out there on the French coast battling all kinds of weather and conditions to paint outdoors. So I stayed inspired and nearly completed this painting on site. After three hours I had to give up, declare the wind the victor, and head home to finish the painting indoors. With a cup of tea.

I don't claim to have much in common with Monet, other than having great artist friends to paint with as he did. I look forward to more adventures out there with my painting buddies.

Flight Perch, 12 x 24

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Painting 101

This Friday past I decided to take advantage of the beautiful day and head north of Santa Barbara to paint a scene that has caught my attention over the years. These two statuesque eucalyptus trees stand watch over Highway 101 just south of El Capitan Ranch. I pulled over to a favorite spot and set up to paint. I usually paint in pleasant locations affording me great views, a little social interaction, and lots of peace. This location, not so much. I had the 101 at my back. Truckers and drivers cat-calling and honking. Motorcycles revving engines. I had to hold on to my easel when the semis came roaring by. Surprisingly, occasional visitors  pulled over to see what I was up to. I had the privilege to meet Cory Rubright who was returning home from a photography adventure up in Santa Maria. He came by to swap stories and business cards. Check out his work from the Betteravia Sugar Beet Factory. I like the haunting way he captured a historical spot frozen in time. His photos are beautiful and evocative. You never know what you are going to find on the 101.

This painting, Grand Indifference, 11 x 17, is a quick sketch that I am planning on finishing in the studio.