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.

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.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Walnut Creek ,construction banner at 1500 Mount Diablo Blvd

Thanks to the city of Walnut Creek for this fun public art project, I appreciate the chance to see this large!
The original painting is Wild at Heart, 14 x 14 propped in front of the banner.


Here I am next to it to give you an idea of scale

Saturday, January 3, 2015

California Watercolor Assoc. Article in Bay Area News Group Papers

Thank you to the California Watercolor Association and the Bay Area News Group for featuring me and my painting in the article that ran on New Year's Day. A pretty nice way to start the year!







A link to read the article online is here: 



The reception for this exhibit is January 15th6 to 8 pm  at the Harrington Gallery in Pleasanton. I will be at the reception and also will be demonstrating at the exhibit space on January 24th.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

MAKING A MARK: Ten Facebook Pages about Art in 2014

Thank you Katherine!  Making a Mark is one of the most helpful, intelligently written blogs about art that I follow, of course I think she has amazing taste for selecting my facebook page as one of HER top ten


MAKING A MARK: Ten Facebook Pages about Art in 2014



My facebook page is at http://www.facebook.com/robinpurcellpaints and it is public so you don't need to join FB to view it.