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California Art Club 113th Gold Medal Exhibition

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Friday, December 21, 2007

In the Gallery: Selected Watercolor Paintings at the Garden Gallery

Bernardus View 14 x 14
This was painted plein air near Bernardus Lodge in Carmel Valley. It was late spring and the Santa Lucia Mountains were like an undulating piece of embroidery.

Ridge at the Mouth 12 x 16

Painted at the entrance to Carmel Valley, one of my first paintings I like painted under cloudy conditions. The paint takes longer to dry, so I work smaller and use a smaller brush that holds less water. Summit from SouthGate 21x 14
A beautiful day on Mount Diablo. This view shows the summit and a dramatic canyon at the same time, two of my favorite things to paint.

The Garden Gallery is located at 530 Main Street, Half Moon Bay. The web site is http://artonmain.com/. I am thrilled to be showing work there along with master painters like Kevin Courter and Brian Blood

Thursday, December 20, 2007

In the Gallery: Selected Watercolor Paintings

Rare Sight 14 x 21
Painted plein air last winter when the snow was on Diablo at the same time the mustard was blooming. This was painted in a church parking lot on Old Blackhawk Road near my house. I loved doing it because it was a monday morning and Safeway and laundry piles were waiting. Instead I said to myself got to paint before it melts or the sky clouds over, it's rare that we have snow on Diablo AND can see it here in the valley.

Five O' Clock Shadow 14 x 14 image
This was painted in Carmel Valley at 5 O clock in the afternoon. It is near what was supposed to be an airport. There were very gusty winds so I had to hang onto the easel. I mixed the paint up in two batches and painted this in one 45 minute session, yellow first, into the car to dry ,then the blue, truely a la prima, with very little touching up after the fact. I love it when that happens!

Ridge at Sonoma 12 x 16 image
From the Sonoma Plein Air Event

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Two new Mount Diablo Watercolor Paintings

October Afternoon, 14 x 21
Zig Zag, 21 X14
We've had lovely sunny weather, but not much rain. The fall colors are more muted this year. October Afternoon was painted at the top of Sunhaven in Magee Ranch. Zig Zag was painted on Diablo on Southgate Road looking at a Ravine about 2 miles up.

ADAS Demo Images

ADAS Demo Stage 2 (12 x 16, Hill at Carmel Valley 2)
ADAS Demo Stage 1
I fine tuned the demo painting, mostly by glazing over the trees and deepening the foreground. I may fine tune a couple of things as I stare at the painting over the next week or so, but I would say it is 95% done.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

ADAS 11/13 Demonstration Notes

Last night I got to demonstrate in front of my "home" art organization, the Alamo Danville Artists' Society. I can't say enough about how much I've learned at these meetings, because the caliber of Artists is generally so high. I got much further in my demo than I expected, covering the whole sheet. My mouth,brain and hand only coordinate for about an hour, but I have to say my friends in the audience really helped by asking brilliant questions. Here is a copy of the notes I passed out. I remembered to mention about 3/4 of these talking points , not too bad. Email me for clarification if anything in the notes is too cryptic. I tried to stay on the how and what of painting because the why is so nebulous.
ADAS Notes 11/13/2007

Pigments: Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ocher, Jaune Brilliant (holbein) Winsor Yellow, Cad yellow pale, winsor red, winsor bright red, perm allizarin crimson,perm. rose,winsor green (red shade) cobalt turquoise, manganese blue hue, winsor blue, french ultramarine,cobalt. I am trying out quinacredone gold and Q burnt orange. All pigments winsor newton or daniel smith

Paper: Arches,300lb,bright white, hot press

Brushes : Cheap Joe's Naturals (squirrel hair) Rounds, 6 through 12

Palette: Robert E Wood

Words of Wisdom( Things I 've learned, mostly from ADAS demos)

*Paint the darks to showcase the lights-Dale Laitenan
*Accuracy of values separates the professional from the amateur-Bill Ternes
*Values(especially darks) exist on the whole 360 degrees of the color wheel. Try to use them - Jane Hofstetter
*Look for Verticals and Diagonals because so many landscapes are full of horizontals-Randall Stauss?
*When Simplifying,look for the telling silhouette that defines the subject- Carolyn Lord
*Color came from within him ,Pam Della re Jade Fon

These statements though simple, have so many ways for me to use them that they keep me thinking and working for months.

Favorite local places to Paint

* Pescadaro Court , off Matadera Way
* Tao House
*South Gate Road on Mt Diablo
Fossil ridge and near devil's slide,near the rangers station
*Curry Point on Mt Diablo
*Fire trail off of Belleterre Drive
*Anywhere in Magee Ranch
*Finley Road (east of Blackhawk)

I didn't talk about where I look at art on the web at all, so I'll just add that for representational art, you can't do any better than the California Art Club Web Site.

For next time, I would bring a hair dryer so I could get the "underpainting" drier and put more glazes over it. The demonstration's colors looked weird under the fluorescent lights but I was pleasantly surprised this morning . I might bring a balanced light another time/ I would finish the demo up today, but miscalculated my caffeine intake to function after 8 last night and was up all night!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mount Diablo Summer Evening

Diablo Summer Evening 14 X14
Painted from the westside of Danville at the top of Love Lane. The light is fun to play with at this time of day, with lots of opportunities to push the darks and emphasize and simplify the lovely irregular shapes . Diablo always reminds me of calligraphy and supplies plenty of light/dark contrast and movement. I used a lot of alizarin crimson and pthalo blue on the dark green areas.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Plein Air Painters of America Paintout in Stockton

I was lucky enough to attend part of the opening weekend at the PAPA exhibit at the Haggin Museum Exhibit in Stockton. My daughter actually had a sporting event just down the road. I went to the Saturday morning paint out at a winery called Jessie's Grove in Lodi. I didn't even bring my painting gear, so I was able to just be a sponge. The painters showed their skill and experience. It was pretty flat, so most did architectural/ farm machines or close ups of the vineyard and paths around the property. The paintings were dazzling in their technique. I emotionally connected with a pastel by Glenna Hartmann. It was a luminous corner of the vineyard with a deep red rose bush and two morning haze trees in the distance. It makes me feel as if I am on a wonderful vacation in the wine country even now, a week later. Glenna's web site is http://www.glennahartmann.com/

The other painters I remember were the ones who produced lovely paintings while giving a lecture at the same time. Don Demers was practically a stand-up comedian. Gil Dellinger
was very generous with sharing his techniques. Kevin Mc Pherson had a large crowd around him the whole time for the same reason. I finally ordered his landscape painting book when I got home.

I also spoke briefly with Jean Stern, Executive Director of the Irvine Museum. I had "California Impressionism" with me in the car, which, by the way he has an essay in. I also met Ivan Moore, a reporter with the Stockton Record and told him why I loved Glenna's painting.

The only disappointment was that Raleigh Kinney, the only watercolor artist in the exhibit was not at the paintout. He does watercolors that don't need plexiglass in the framing process and I really wanted to see him at work. Raleigh was gracious to respond to my email about this event. He was in Sedona at the 3rd Annual Sedona Plein Air Festival, held at the same time, where he won the Sponsor's Award!...sometimes I think there are way too many plein air events out there!

Sunday, we got to the brunch and sale late. I had on more of a business hat. There were many paintings sold before I got there, but I walked around checking framing, prices and signature styles.

The painters also have a companion exhibit at the Haggin Museum through January 6. I hope to get back to see the exhibit. The museum's web site is http://www.hagginmuseum.org/ The PAPAs are at http://www.p-a-p-a.com/ The Sedona site is http://www.sedonapleinairfestival.com/

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sonoma plein air, last paintings

Sonoma Evening 11X 14
Petaluma Drizzle 11 X 14
I had two paintings I started but did not finish at the Sonoma Plein Air event in September. Both are better than they were, but not anything special. I usually wouldn't paint in a drizzle, but I was trying to do what was suggested and paint in Petaluma on a gray day. I may go back and darken the middle ridge so that the farthest ridge feels more distant. Sonoma Evening is more successful, it has more sparkle, but I usually don't paint in the evenings , so some of the values look off. I am glad I tried different things and am glad I had a better painting day on thursday, these are both from the wednesday when I felt stressed because the weather was bad.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Watercolor Magic Magazine, "Ones to Watch" Feature

October Canyon, 21 X 14 For purchase inquiries, contact the Garden Gallery, Half Moon Bay at http://artonmain.com
Below is the entry from Watercolor Magics Blog about the article they just published highlighting 10 emerging artists nationally. It is the December Issue and should be available now.

Having just received a phone call from one of the artists featured in our December issue—a “One to Watch,” no less—I’m reminded that we haven’t yet announced the artists here. As in the past, we asked the country’s most popular watercolor instructors and competition jurors (back in March) to nominate those artists whose work was turning heads. We then contacted the nominees, asking them to submit images for consideration in the piece, and a month or so later we spent an entire day poring over the submissions. The WCM staff picked our 10 favorites, and voilĂ : the Ones to Watch.
Congratulations to the 2007 artists:Sally H. LambrechtPeggy Morgan StenmarkSuzann MarchinJoyce “Kate” Stratton Nancy Crawford Jaimie Cordero Robin Purcell (her painting, October Canyon (watercolor on paper, 21x14), is pictured)Zhong-Sheng Hao Al Albrektson Carol Frye
Learn what caught the nominating instructors and competition jurors’ eye by clicking here. (The December issue is now on its way out to subscribers, and will be on newsstands in mid-October; non-subscribers can order by clicking here.)
I copied the entry, so I don't know if the links work. A link is at http://www.watercolormagic.com/blog/
Here are the comments by the Artist who nominated me.
Carolyn Lord is one of my favorite artists. Her paintings have wonderful design and they inspire me, so I am thrilled she likes my work.
Robin Purcell (Danville, California) “What impresses me about Robin’s work is that within the narrow scope of her chosen subject she develops the full range of compositional possibilities. She’s able to express the quality of light and the colors of the seasonal landscape into her seemingly casual puddles of color.” —Carolyn Lord

Saturday, September 22, 2007

One Person Exhibit at Wente

East of Yountville 12 X 16
My one person show of watercolors is coming up in October. The reception is Sunday, October 7 from 1 to 3 at the Wente Estate Tasting Room at 5565 Tesla Rd, Livermore. The show runs from October 1 to 30 and is open 11 to 4:30 daily. I have all the paintings finished as of yesterday! and will have new ones from the Sonoma Plein Air event last week as well. Email me if you want directions or have questions. There should be from 20 to 25 paintings, you never know until you hang them.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sonoma Plein Air 2007 Part 2

Descending Oaks 14 x 14
Hill at Kunde 12 x 16
Ridge at Sonoma 12 x 16

On Monday morning we signed in, had our paper stamped and went out to paint. I was on my way to Jack London State park, when the road to Valley of the Moon Winery caught my eye. So I painted in the shade of a tree in the driveway of the tasting room . Went to my hosts, unpacked and started out to the State park again, but on a whim decided to go up to the top of Moon Mountain Rd to see what was there. The light on the Valley was incredible , so I painted there starting at 3 :30.
On Tuesday, we were invited to paint at the Bouverie nature preserve, in Kenwood, I think. I painted Ridge at the Preserve on Tuesday morning there, then drove down the road and painted Hill at Kunde Tuesday afternoon.
Wednesday I tried to paint in Petaluma but it was cloudy and it was an unfinished painting. In the afternoon I went far down HWY 121, and painted Descending Oaks in partly sunny, windy conditions. I saw my first clydesdale while painting (I keep track of wildlife I see while painting but this was a first!) That evening I went into town and painted behind Sebastiani. It is also an unfinished painting.
Thursday morning I stared at my paintings and made adjustments to finish them. Thursday afternoon, I was feeling good about my progess and I drove back to Kunde where Early Autumn Colors Sonoma just about painted itself. It was my personal favorite of the week and I brought it to the gala friday night where it got bid up above retail for the foundation. The purpose behind the event is Art education funding in Sonoma County, a very worthy cause and one that inspires me.

Sonoma Plein Air 2007 part 1

Early Autumn Colors Sonoma 11 X 14
At the Top of Moon Mountain 11 x 14

At the Valley of the Moon 14 X14
I just got back from the Sonoma Plein Air Paint Out on Saturday night! It was a wonderful experience to spend 4 1/2 days doing nothing but paint in a beautiful setting. I met some wonderful people, the artists, volunteers, my hosts, and the art collectors were all great.
I had a personal step forward, in my quest to get more versatile, I have been trying to get more comfortable with smaller sizes. I love to work in half sheets and have been getting slightly smaller. At this event I was very comfortable working in smaller sizes and happy with how they turned out.
I painted 9 paintings, 6 that were finished, 2 that have issues I am still working on. And only one that is not worth trying to finish. So I am pretty happy. And I sold 2, in a venue where I am new to collectors. More paintings from Sonoma next post. The web site is http://www.sonomapleinair.com

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Red Devil Summer

During my open studios my demo did not get very far. Here is the very abstract version of an earlier painting I finished during our heat waves this summer. It is what happens when I paint in the studio. It reminds me of art nouveau and Peter Max. I need something with red in it for over my fireplace and I think this looks like flame stitched fabric.

Red Devil Summer

Watercolors I did in Tucson

Tucson 2
Tucson 1
We went to Tucson in July and it was a completely different place to paint. The mountains have their "bones" exposed, shear rock with very little soil or vegetation. The colors are completely different. Here are two I did looking up at Pusch Ridge.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Signature Membership National Watercolor Society

I am thrilled to announce my application for Signature Membership in the National Watercolor Society was approved in August and I will receive the Award in October of this year. It is an interesting process. I was juried into this year's national exhibit, one of 100 paintings accepted from aproximately 1200. Once you are accepted into the show, they invite you to submit three more matted works and ship them to Southern California for a separate jurying. It was tough choosing which three to send, but evidently I did OK! Here is the link for details on the organization and exhibit http://www.nws-online.org/

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Valona Paint Out


Canyon at the Reservoir

Eucalyptus Hill

The paint out took place the first week of August in Crockett and was exhibited on Saturday and Sunday August 4 and 5 at the Epperson Gallery. There were so many artists, it was a good thing they asked us to paint small. I am still working on getting comfortable working in smaller sizes.

Atmosphere was 9 X 11. I just couldn't make myself do anything smaller. The other two are 10.5 X 13.5. I found a great place to paint about 2 miles out Carquinez Scenic at a reservoir . There was an egret I could watch while waiting for paint to dry. Atmosphere was done at the top of DUPERU . It was a challenge because the wind was strong , but it was fun to see Mt Diablo in the distance thru the coastal haze.

Many artists stayed in town and took advantage of the hills to paint rooftops, the bridge from below, nocturnes of the neon, and the old cars. And even though the show was only up a day or so, I sold Atmosphere and got some practice for the Sonoma Plein Air Event coming up in September. There were so many good paintings , it would be hard to pick favorites or even drop names. .....here is the web site for the paint out.


Friday, July 20, 2007

Pacific Wildlife Gallery

I've driven by this gallery in Lafayette dozens of times. I went to see the Robert Bateman exhibit at the Pacific Wild Life Gallery in Lafayette today. Realist art usually isn't my thing, but it was an interesting application of highly skilled photorealism. I was knocked out by one piece where Robert Bateman cropped the silhouette of a polar bear's head and neck. It worked as an abstract, but what knocked my socks off was the luminosity he got in the animal's fur...it glowed with life and the fact that it was also painted in a contemporary style where the brush strokes were simple direct and apparent yet also the exact shapes needed for the subject. I've got to get out and see more art, and this was worth stopping for...world class....who knew? here are the details on the gallery

Pacific Wildlife Galleries
3420 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, CA 94549 • (925) 283-2977
Gallery Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10AM to 5PM and Sunday from Noon to 4PM


Robert Bateman's web site is http://www.robertbateman.ca/ and the painting of a polar bear I love is on his home page

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Two National Exhibitions

I am pleased to announce acceptance into the California Watercolor Society's Annual National Exhibition and The National Watercolor Society Annual Exhibit. The paintings accepted are "Crimson Diablo" (above ) and Day of Emeralds,posted previously on May 25.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Garden Gallery, Annual Landscape Exhibit

The Garden Gallery , Half Moon Bay ,Annual Landscape Exhibit. I visited the Garden Gallery today. Otherwise known as "Artonmain.com". Many of the painters I admire are in this show and although relatively small in size, the amount of great visual stuff to see was overwhelming and inspiring. I didn't take notes,so I am leaving a criminal amount out but as I am at home, I remember a triptych by Kevin Courter of three trees at sunset, with that wonderful evening light. Also by Kevin an evening seascape that nailed the values while striking exactly the right color and atmosphere. Kevin takes the quiet feeling of evening from tonalism and brings a new richness of color to it.Two paintings by Brian Blood will haunt me for a while, one of Elk Horn Slough in the evening and one of a large dark oak that was beautifully painted. I would like to be able to see how he sees. I will check the web site to see if I can get the titles. The show runs through the end of August and is definitely worth the trip.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Quick Draw Painting from Carmel Festival

The response has been great as I sent out my blog address to my whole address book today. Several of you asked me to post my 3rd painting from the Carmel Art Festival Quick Draw. So here it is .

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Scott Shields Part 2

He prefaced his remarks on individual paintings with general ideas on contemporary plein air painting. He likes paintings that are romantic in a good way vs nostalgic in a (My word)corny way i.e . period costumes on people. He likes it when you can tell paintings are painted today and have a style that makes them contemporary vs reproducing the past.

For instance, in oil paintings where scrubbed out areas are used to create light areas. Where the bold brush work or economy of brushwork is used so that brush strokes become the thing they are depicting. And are simplified so that a blob of paint has an almost magical amount of information or emotion to express. Or areas that work on their own as abstract paintings .(His phrasing was much better than this. ) It is clear he loves art and thinks clearly about why he enjoys a particular piece and can express himself. It is too bad they don't do a critique with him at Carmel.

He actually spoke about my painting ...that in watercolors, I paint an old subject in a new way and he hadn't seen anyone else paint like this. ( breaking the subject into shapes)

It was gratifying that he liked my painting and remembered me from the Carmel Art festival ..see May's posting about the Carmel Art Festival.

It was a small crowd, so everyone got to speak to Scott or Ira if they wanted. A few red dots on the walls from sales, not as many as I would have liked, it makes me feel good about selling all my paintings at the Carmel Art Festival.

Scott Shields lecture 6/10 I WOLK gallery Part 1

I enjoyed meeting Scott Shields. He is an engaging speaker. Scotts' Lecture was very good. I took notes and it reminded me of my art history classes and how much I loved them. The first half summarized his work in his new book . "Artists at Continent's End. The Monterey Peninsula Art Coloney 1875-1907 " Here's what I learned:

Plein Air actually started in Northern California not South
Started earlier, in Monterey, not in Carmel after earthquake
1875 a french artist Tavernier.

His book took 7 years to write and covers 40 artists from 1875 to 1907.

He pointed out artists who never let the facts get in the way of a good painting and who took nature beyond what was there in intepretting the landscape.

Lots of artists I had never heard of. Many are unknown because their work was destroyed in a fires(note to self, distribute work widely in coming years)

Artists to look up:
Julian Ricks
Elizabeth Strong
Peters- spooky nocturnals painted from memory
Arthur and Lucinda Matthews
Redmond- quiet tonalist works vs the poppies
Francis McComas - early wild and bold watercolors became conventional
Evelyn McCormick- Arizona gardens
Mary Brady- not well known, undervalued rare. (Wouldn't it be fun to find one)
Isabel Hunter-pastels able to flip between tonalist and impressionist styles.
Mary de Neale Morgan
William Ritchell- battle between land and sea
Armand Hanson

The second half of the lecture was a walk through the exhibit. Next post.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Nila Oakes Exhibit

I went to Pleasanton to see the Nila Oakes show. The paintings are exquisite, graceful sky scapes set near the coast, in Marin I think. She wrote that her oils become gummy in hot weather and that she prefers painting in the winter. The coolness came across....very refreshing during the 80 degree valley weather.
The paintings were mostly large and the balance between abstract and real was good with lots of movement in the rain clouds. I like her veils of color making the clouds luminous and her meandering lines in the narrow slices of land along the bottom. Every stormy sky had a lovely area where the sky was clearing. The subtle purples and lush greens knocked me out. I am glad I went as this is the first art I have seen in person since Carmel. It really makes a difference as the images online don't convey half of the appeal.

Friday, June 8, 2007

About O Keefe

Lately I ' ve been thinking about Georgia O'Keefe. I read that new biography recently. My theory on her is that until Steglietz got a hold of her and insisted she switch to oil painting, she was destined to become a great watercolor artist. At the end of her life, with macular degeneration, every artists' horror, she was depressed and said those first abstract watercolors done at the beginning of her career were some of the best things she'd ever done.
I have a collage I made of her floral paintings and altho they are oils, with their clean color and lots of white they look like watercolors. Every so often, I think about switching to oils but I think works on paper are my direction.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Open Studios Wrap up

September in Sunol

I had about 60 people over two days. Sales were Ok, but I will probably skip it next year. I got some interest in my workshop for the fall, and a lot of compliments, but no one wants to buy at gallery prices at one of these events. I was busy talking so my demo did not get very far. It was fun telling people about the Carmel Art Festival, and my other upcoming events. I loved saying "my art is in Carmel now at the Nancy Dodds Gallery" and in Napa at the Napa Valley Musueum in yountville until July 8. Since don't I have a demo to post, here is one of my paintings at Nancy's.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Day of Emeralds

This is my favorite painting from the spring. I want to crop it into a square and make it even more abstract as my demo for open studios. It is Mount Diablo from the neighborhood Magee Ranch. If the new version is a succes I will post it here.

Open Studios June 2 and 3, Nancy Dodds ,Carmel until 6/8

This is ALMOST SUMMER my favorite painting on display at the Nancy Dodds Gallery, Carmel , until June 8. As a Mom , summer means something completely different than summer vacation!
I am busily getting ready for open studios at my house on June 2 and 3, from 11 to 5 both days. I will be painting from paintings as my demos since I can not paint from photos and my garden is pretty bedraggled.. You can check out my plein air watercolors at picasaweb.google.com/robin.purcell . I hope to be able to post new work here as I paint it. You can email me for directions to my studio in Danville CA at robin.purcell@gmail.com

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Painting from the festival

Carmel Art Festival

I have just returned from the 2007 Carmel Art Festival and Plein Air Painting Competition. My painting "Hill at Carmel Valley" took an Honorable Mention Award and I sold all three paintings.