Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sneak Peek Watercolor Artist Magazine June 2015 features plein air watercolor artists including my hill paintings

This minute and a half video shows highlights from the June 2015 issue of Watercolor Artist Magazine.
 They saved my paintings for last but feature a nice selection.

There is also a preview of the article online at the Artists Network

Monday, March 23, 2015

Plein Air in Kern County

Please click on the image for a larger view and see who I get to paint with!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Alamo Danville Artists Society Demonstration March 10th

I will get a better shot of this . It's raining so this was taken inside. I may tweak this over the next week or so ,but it's basically done.
Last night's demonstration was a real treat for me. This is one of the nicest, most knowledgeable groups around and full of helpful leading questions.
I chose to demonstrate from a painting from last year that was a breakthrough for me in terms of depicting evening light.

Here are some photos from last night.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Morgan Fire on Mount Diablo as Inspiration for the After the Fire Paintings. Special Exhibit Honoring our Firefighters Pleasanton Firehouse Arts Center

In September of 2013 ,the largest wildfire in decades began on the eastern part of Mount Diablo and crossed the mountain's South side, directly above where I live in Danville. Here is what I could see from my neighborhood that morning.

Driving around Danville as the day went on I could see the fire advance and the battle the firefighters were in.
This is a plane filled with pink fire retardent dropping it over the fire:

The fire burned all the way over to Summit Road. This shows a manzantia exploding in flames on the far left.

I live between the fire and the route the firefighters took to their camp in Dublin and saw many fire trucks traveling back and forth on the days they fought the fire. Their hard work was heroic and inspiring. I don't paint figures but if I did they would be a great subject.
 I am happy to be exhibiting my paintings of the aftermath of the fire along with Vincent Liu's  series "Courage" honoring our firefighters.

I went up to Mount Diablo to explore the burned area, it was like the moon, all charcoal grey and black standing charred trees. When the first rains came they revealed a changed panorama, including a lovely new band of terracotta pink , exposed chert soil. Chert Soil is fossilized tiny marine creatures. My interest in the geology of Mount Diablo led me to start a series of paintings documenting this exposed swatch and how it changed the mountain's appearance from a distance. These are the painting in the series about that.

As I visited the burn zone, I became interested in the way the vegetation was recovering. I don't know much about the plants and trees but it was wonderful to see how the plants are clearly adapted to fire, the root systems survive and the plants are regrowing faster than I would believe possible. The new growth is a lovely bright yellow green that creates a wonderful contrast with the soil.
Here are the paintings in the burn zone showing plants areas regrowing:

This is a border of the burnt area, showing a fire break created by the fire crews. 

Many of the After the Fire paintings are on Exhibit now at the Pleasanton Firehouse Arts Center, 4444 Railroad Ave. I am honored to be a part of this tribute to our Firefighters
There will be a reception on March 11, 7 to 9 PM. I would love to see you there.

Update March 12:

There was an article in the Contra Costa Times today about this exhibit

Some Photos  of the exhibit

Friday, February 20, 2015

Central California Coast Paintings

Foggy Firestone 10 1/2 x 13 1/2

Ballard Canyon  12 x 15

Above Morro Bay 15 x 13

Thatchers View II 11 x 14

Zaca View 10 x 14

I just put the finishing touches on these small paintings from a trip last fall to the central coast of California including Solvang, Morro Bay,and Paso Robles. They were a chance to experiment with painting fog and shadows. Foggy Firestone was the most interesting to paint, I had to memorize the values because the fog burned off so quickly.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Flower Fields ,Watercolor Demonstration at California Watercolor Association National Exhibit

 Getting started at the base of the barn

Establishing composition

Adding sky, refining shapes

Adding darks. Saturating color.

Flower Fields  demonstration 11 x 14

This may be done, or I may tweak it a bit  I was in the mood to paint a spring scene.
It was an honor to demonstrate at the California Watercolor National Exhibit. There are demonstrations most Saturdays during the exhibit at ther Harrington Gallery at the Firehouse Arts Center, Pleasanton.