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Slopes of Ceanothus

Slopes of Ceanothus , 12 x 12,  plein air watercolor.  

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sonoma Vineyard Paintings from October

October Vines 14 x 14
October Vines Study 9 x 12
Vineyard Rythmns 14 x14
Three paintings of vineyards from October. I am working on getting comfortable painting smaller. I like the vineyards climbing up hills and you can see I am still using high horizons.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Reprinted from Michael Newberry's blog, Update 10/19 with video link

Bartholemew Park 12 x 16 watercolor on Arches

"Robin Purcell’s Style in Watercolor

Robin Purcell, Bartholomew Park, 2009, watercolor on arches, 12 x 16 inches

Robin Purcell has a unique style in which quilt-like patches of color overlap and flow across both the paper and the landscape. She varies the tone and hue of the colors, which encourages our eyes to move from one area to another; notice how this works with the four different patches of burnt orange (lower left to lower right of the image). More elaborately, she does the same thing with the variations of the greens, from the first three triangular shapes in the foreground to the many shapes changing in intensity as they recede back through the hills.

Purcell’s style has hints of early 20th-century children’s illustrated books, with the patchwork landscape of Southwest England, and Vermeer’s abstract patches of light and shadow.

This work along with a few other of Purcell’s watercolors will be on display in the group show, Landscape with a Modern Edge at the Newberry Gallery in Santa Monica.

Michael Newberry"

(Michael's Blog is at http://artistsvoice.wordpress.com/ if you would like to read more.)

Here's a video of the group Landscape painting exhibit I am in through November 21 at the Newberry Gallery, Santa Monica

Friday, September 25, 2009

"The High Horizon" featured artist Exhibit extended to November 23rd, Chosen for Critics Best Bets Calendar 11/15

From the Sunday San Ramon Valley Times Critics Best Bets Calendar ,November 15th.
October Canyon, painted on South Gate Road, Mount Diablo 21 x 14

“The High Horizon” featured Artist Exhibit at FastFrame Lafayette

Reception Sunday October 4th 12 to 4

Exhibit Now extended to November 23rd

3571 Mount Diablo Blvd

Here's the press release for the event. I hope you can come!

FastFrame of Lafayette welcomes the landscapes of Robin Purcell during the month of October. Robin’s one person exhibit of watercolors is inspired by her past decade of living in the foothills of the East Bay. “Driving around Danville, I am constantly looking at

Mount Diablo and the open ridges that surround me. The colors shapes and light are always changing and give me something new to paint. I am lucky to live in a town where the open spaces are valued and protected.” Robin said.

By concentrating on the subject of the “High Horizon” Robin has gained recognition from noted art experts such as Kevin MacPherson, Jean Stern and Michael Zakian and has earned Signature Member status in the National and California Watercolor Associations as well as admission to the historically significant California Art Club as an Artist Member.

“ Anthony Ruiz has supported many local artists with his willingness to give us an exhibit space in the heart of downtown Lafayette and his excellent skills as a craftsman with his custom framing.” Continued Purcell, “ Going to Fast Frame to pick up an order is a pleasure as I enjoy the collaboration of working with Anthony and Tony, they really care about what they do. And my paintings aren’t finished until they are properly presented.”

“I am happy to help give exposure to local artists. There is more talent here in the East Bay than most people are aware of. I hope you stop by to see the paintings and many framing options offered.” Stated Anthony Ruiz, Owner of FastFrame Lafayette.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Gallery Elite in Carmel

A Tangled Place 14 x 14 Watercolor on Arches
I am pleased to announce that I am now represented by Gallery Elite in Carmel. You can see my paintings on the website at: http://www.galleryelite.net/gallery/?fn=detail&act=list&catalog=artist&id=75. Or better yet, if you are in Carmel, the gallery is located on San Carlos between 5th and 6th in Carmel by the Sea.
Gallery Elite has a very wide selection of American and Internationl artists and what struck me the most was the lush and vibrant use of color. I particularly like the paintings by fellow Californians Robert Lewis and the pastels by Gil Dellinger.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Newberry Gallery Landscape with a Modern Edge

Zuma Canyon 14 x 21 Watercolor on Arches
I love the concept of this exhibit coming up in October in Santa Monica. I have been following Michael Newberry's gallery since it opened in March and I have to say he is a wonderful painter so the fact he has included me in this exhibit is thrilling!
The group show includes Melissa Hefferlin, David Akhrier, Michael Newberry ,Cathy Cadieux and William Wray and me.
The particulars: Newberry Gallery 1549 11th St #100
Opening Reception: Saturday October 17th, 7 to 10 pm

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Danville Weekly Artist Profile

Old Blackhawk View 14 x 21 Private Collection
This is the view of Mount Diablo from the fire trail behind my neighborhood. It is the first view I painted of Mount Diablo (I've painted it a half dozen times)and I still want to paint it again!

The Danville paper has a regular column profiling artists which I hope will raise awareness of how many great artists live and work locally. We seem to have trouble keeping galleries in business in our town. Of course, in this economy it is happening all over.
The setting around the town of Danville appealed to me years ago when I moved here , because there is a ridge line development ordinance intended to preserve the visual integrity of the open space in the hills around town.
I find it wonderful to be able to look up and see open space wherever I go in town.
This article focuses on my philosophy of creating an original style or voice.
For years I did very tightly realistic still lives of flowers which were satisfying as observational and technical exercises but ultimately ran out of steam.
It wasn't until I found the early California Impressionists works that the engine of creativity fueled a body of work, starting with Mount Diablo and moving outward.

Here is the link to the article:


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Three new Carmel Valley Paintings

Emerald Necklace 14 x 14
Top of the World 14 x 21
Last Light Carmel Valley 12 x 16

Here are three newly finished landscapes all from late spring in Carmel Valley. They were painted from Laureles Grade in the mid day( Emerald Necklace), in the early morning on El Caminito(Top of the World) and late evening near Holman Ranch( Last Light, Carmel Valley). One thing I really enjoy about traveling to paint is the opportunity to explore the lighting conditions pretty much from sunrise to sunset, something that rarely happens at home.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Honorable Mention at the Carmel Art Festival and Plein Air Painting Competition

My Quick Draw Painting from Sunday morning 6" x 8" Hill at Carmel River Lagoon. sold
I don't have a great photo of this because it was painted and framed in 2 hours ,but this gives you the idea. It is still on the easel, wet with an awkward shadow on it. I went to Carmel River Lagoon because I like the hills and open space so close to downtown. And you need to limit driving time with a time limit like this.
H0norable mention Carmel Art Festival Top of the World Carmel Valley 12 x 16 sold

The second plein air event in May was the Carmel Art Festival. The best things about this event are the location, the other artists and the artwork one gets to see in the galleries in Carmel. This is my fourth year participating in this event and my third time of being lucky enough to get an award. I painted up in Carmel Valley where the hills and sunshine lend themselves to my technique.
I don't know if I am just exceptionally lucky in my section of the alphabet but the artists around me are really accomplished and are fun to hang out with as the sale progresses ....Larry Moore, Donald Neff ,Michael Obermeyer, Robert Sandidge, Julia Seelos....and that's just M through S! Other favorites at this festival include Cornelia Emory, Larry Cannon, Mary Lou Correia, Kim Lordier, Terri Ford, Paul Kratter and Kevin Courter. There were 60 artists at the festival, so I won't list them all!
After the paintings were hung on Friday night, it was a pleasure to check out the galleries in town. The highlights for me were the William Hook show at Portnoy Galleries, Lesley Rich and Paul Kratter at the Nancy Dodds Gallery, Kevin Courter had a nice selection of work at New Masters and the highlight has to be Kim Lordier's one person exhibit at the Reiser Gallery.
We had great weather all week and I enjoyed the quick draw this year as I tried a smaller format that worked for me as a nicely realized abstract painting versus a sketch.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sonoma Plein Air Event 2009

Sonoma Hillside Tapestry 14 x 14
Bartholemew Park 12 x 16

Vineyard Verde (Near El Verona) 11 x 14

Lovall Valley View 14 x 11 sold

New Vines Sonoma 14 x 14 sold

May was a very busy month with two plein air events. Here are five of the six paintings I displayed at the sale. The last one is on my easel being tweaked right now.
Despite the challenging weather ( rain through Wednesday afternoon) I feel good about the finished paintings . Bartholemew Park was done in the rain, with my painting under an umbrella and me under an oak and a rain hat. I did a lot of positive reinforcement on these, saying you've got all week, just take your time, because the rain slowed the drying time so dramatically.
Lovall Valley View was painted Wednesday late afternoon just as the clouds were finally lifted. It is the backyard view of the beautiful property where I stayed . I liked the light and dark shadow patterns on the hill and the grasslands half green half gold mixture.
Sonoma Hillside Tapestry and Near El Verona were both painted at Vadez Winery on the sunny day on Thursday and New Vines was painted up the hill from Anderson Ranche's lovely lunch.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Highlights from the 79th Statewide Landscape Exhibit at SCAL

The crowd at the reception near my painting "December Tapestry"

Patrick Woodman "Pelican Point" First Place Oils

Robin Purcell "October Afternoon" First Place Watercolor

Carolyn Lord "Holly's Fig" Best of Show

For those of you unable to get to the exhibit at the Santa Cruz Art League, I took photos of three of the paintings that got awards. I love both Carolyn and Patrick's paintings so I am thrilled be in their company. Coincidently, this is the 90th anniversary of the Santa Cruz Art league, so they had a birthday cake at the very well attended reception. There were 14 awards in all. The exhibit runs through June 28.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

First prize Watercolor at the Santa Cruz Art League 79th Annual Statewide Exhibit of Contemporary Landscape Painters juried by Kevin MacPherson

October Afternoon, watercolor on arches, 14 x 21
My Painting " October Afternoon" just won 1st Prize Watercolor at the Santa Cruz Art League this afternoon. Kevin Macpherson was the juror for this 79th Annual Statewide Exhibition of Contemporary Landscape Painters titled "Irreplaceable Places" and I am thrilled! MacPherson is one of the leading landscape painters in the country. His book "Landscape Inside and Out " is one of those books I study again and again. Kevin MacPherson one of the country’s leading plein air painters, is highly respected among collectors and fellow artists alike. Past President of the Plein Air Painters of America, Kevin is a popular instructor, guest lecturer, and art jurer throughout the country and abroad. His website: http://www.kevinmacpherson.com/.

October Afternoon was painted in Danville ,started plein air and finished by glazing over to create darks later. It is Mt Diablo as seen from near Blackhawk. This show is very balanced and overall has a very high level of quality and variety. I have a second painting in it as well and will blog more about the rest of the exhibit next post.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

On Location in Malibu : California Art Club at the Weisman Museum ,Pepperdine

My two paintings as displayed at the Frederick R. Weisman Museum ,Pepperdine University, On Location in Malibu

Corral Canyon watercolor on Arches 13 x 17

Zuma Canyon watercolor on Arches, 14 x 21

I have two paintings on exhibit at Pepperdine until August 9. The California Art Club web site has the entire exhibit online at http://californiaartclub.org/resources/malibu09.shtml I had two days to paint there, so I painted ridges since I am most comfortable painting them. There are 60 painters whose work is on exhibit , mostly oil paintings and landscapes as well as a few figurative works. The quality level is very high from what I see online and really speaks to the whole Malibu experience from the mountains to the beaches and the people. I saw and admired this exhibit in 2005 and I am thrilled to be a part of it this time.

I have not gone yet, but hope to this summer. Two of the exhibiting artists, Micheal Obermeyer and Larry Cannon were kind enough to send photos of my paintings hanging in the museum.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sacred Mountain: a Juried Exhibition at Saint Mary's Hearst Gallery

Mount Diablo Summer Sunset, 14 x 14 watercolor

Here is the information on the opening events this weekend:

Hearst Art Gallery, Saint Mary’s College, Moraga

May 2 - July 3, 2009
Featuring nearly 100 works of art, including paintings, woodblock prints, photographs, works on paper,textiles, and decorative objects, circa 1650 to 2009.

Opening Events -Sunday, May 3 ,2 – 3 pm Lectures

Preserving and Protecting Diablo: Ron Brown

Fuji and the Japanese People: Naoko Uehara

Soda Activity CenterEvent
Reception following -3:15 – 4:30 pm
Hearst Gallery & patio
It will be interesting to see this exhibit. I think of Japanese Art as being more on paper, such as woodcuts and watercolor ( or actually traditionally ink) paintings vs as using oil paints. When I delivered my painting, I was the only watercolor in the Diablo portion of the exhibit at the time. It will be interesting to see the different interpretations: we all have our own views of Diablo as our population is scattered around the entire base. I am somewhat focused on painting mountains and ridges and am interested in how Mt Fuji has inspired artists on the other side of the world. My painting Mt Diablo Summer Sunset was painted from the West Side of Danville.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pacific Swirls

Pacific Swirls 14 x 11 watercolor

If you are familiar with my work you know I gravitate towards painting panoramas , particularly mountains and canyons. I started this work last summer and probably should have documented it's tortured evolution. For a long time it just looked too blue. I finally got the color green of the water and I like the patterns in the water, but I need to do many more rock paintings before I feel good about them. They are tricky, they need to be solid, but simplified. I think simplifying foregrounds is one of the most difficult things for me to pull off as a painter.

Friday, March 27, 2009

142nd AWS Annual International and 40th CWA National Exhibition

A Tangled Place 14 x 14 the 142nd American Watercolor Society International Exhibition
Valley Vertigo 21 x 14 40th California Watercolor Association National Exhibition

The 142nd American Watercolor Society Annual International Exhibtion opens in four days at the Salmagundi Club in Manhattan. Across the country, here in San Francisco at the Presidio, the California Watercolor Association 40th National Exhibition is installed now. I am thrilled to be an exhibitor in both. Why go to all the expense of entering and shipping these paintings?
I was listening to Chuck Close on NPR the other night and he articulated it very well. Art that has lasting value is usually that which is well-regarded by other professional artists. My goal is to create something original of lasting importance, that shows I have something unique to say about my subjects. The jurors in the exhibits are professionals and their acceptance of works gives me some validation and important motivation to get out there and paint .
The AWS exhibit is a first acceptance. The California Watercolor Association makes the fourth acceptance out of the last five. So I am trying to develope a track record of national recognition that hopefully collectors and galleries will notice (I also have one NWS National under my belt, so that makes a grand total of six national acceptances )

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Two New Mount Diablo Paintings

Twisted Mountain(Mt Diablo) 14 x 21 watercolor Mount Diablo from Lafayette
Magee Ranch Tapestry(Mt Diablo) 14 x 21 watercolor Mount Diablo from the Magee Ranch Subdivision
This winter's drought yielded some paintings that look more like summer! These were painted in January before the rains. The cold air was clear, so the shapes on the mountain have a certain crispness I enjoy. Both were started outside and finished in the studio where I saturate the colors.

Twisted Mountain: SOLD Fairmont Gallery , Sonoma. Magee Ranch Tapestry:SOLD Portnoy Galleries, Carmel

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Exhibit at Thomas Moser Cabinetmakers until May 12

September in Sunol, watercolor 14 x 21
I just returned from installing a two person exhibit"Two Plein Air Colorists" at the gorgeous Thomas Moser showroom in San Francisco. The furniture has a wonderful aesthetic. Beautiful to look at and wonderful to feel. Thomas Moser has a tradition and commitment to showing the work of local plein air painters.
My partner in this exhibit is Mary Lou Correia. A versatile artist who works well in both oil and pastel. She and I have painted together several times and it is always interesting to see her vision. Our work complements each other's very well since I paint watercolors that can look more like oils than watercolors.
The showroom is located at 3395 Sacramento Street in the Laurel Heights district of San Francisco. (At the corner of Sacramento and Walnut) Open Mon thru Sat 10 to 6 and Sun 11 to 4.

Friday, February 27, 2009

California Art Club: Celebrating the Golden State Juried Exhibition

Five O' Clock Shadow, 14 x 14 watercolor, lower right

The opening for this exhibit was last night and fellow CAC Artist member Larry Cannon was there and kind enough to send me these photos of the exhibit.( thanks Larry) The exhibit runs through June ( at the Old Mill, SanMarino) so I hope to get to see it sometime before it is over. It is an intimate space and the works are medium to small. I think the photo Larry sent shows an excellent job of installation.
Some artists don't like to be hung on the bottom of a double hanging, but I take it as a compliment! Having installed a fair number of shows myself, it is usually the strong paintings that can have enough presence to be below.
I was going for a bold approach with strong lighting. My piece is "5 O'Clock Shadow"(Lower right) and it was painted between 4:45 and 5:30 in beautiful Carmel Valley.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Golden Coast

"The Golden Coast " 12 x 16, watercolor on arches
Every once in a while, framing happens before I get a good photograph of a painting, so I am posting a framed painting to show what the final product usually looks like. I apologize for the glare, but that is the nature of point and shoot photography and plexiglass.
My framing uses a different way of matting. I like to use a white liner and a neutral tan or gray matt. It makes the paintings look fresher to me.
This was painted from another painting of the coast near Carmel. I wanted to explore gold and turquoise colors and see how far I could push them. I love the Pacific Coast, so this is a personal favorite, it reminds me of being on vacation.

Friday, January 9, 2009

California Art Club Artist Membership

Last October, the call for applications went out for Artist Membership in the California Art Club. I have been an associate artist member for a few years and I am pleased to announce that I have just been selected as one of approximately 20 new Artist Members out of hundreds who applied. Membership is limited to 350 Painters and Sculptors working in traditional art in California.
This means a lot to me because I have a strong attachment to the art of one of the founders : William Wendt . He was an amazing landscape painter whose way of seeing the landscape as shapes has really inspired me. Coincidentally, he and I share a birthday, February 20th! What are the odds?(Well actually 1 in 365!)
The academic side of being an artist has always been important to me, studying the past so I can learn from it. I have an east coast art and art history education, so when I discovered all the wonderful California landscape painters from the turn of the century , it led me to the contemporary practitioners of traditional painting.
A traveling exhibit from the Irvine Museum to the Oakland Museum was a revelation. On the east coast, just before moving to California, I began exhibiting at the Copley Society of Boston, which to me is the east coast equivalent of this Club.
My friend and artist I admire deeply Carolyn Lord is an Artist Member and has encouraged me to join this group. If you go to the California art club web site and look at the members' work , it is like an education of what realistic painting should be. Mature artists with distinct styles and compelling visions .

Here is the History on the club from the web site:
THE HISTORY OF THE CALIFORNIA ART CLUB The California Art Club (CAC) was established in 1909 by the early California Impressionists or Plein Air Painters, and was developed from the Painter's Club of Los Angeles, which was founded in 1906 as an informal group of male artists. A significant impetus that helped form the California Art Club was the objective to allow women artists to participate in group exhibitions and in fellowship. Instrumental in the founding of the CAC were the artists, Franz Bischoff (1864-1929), Carl Oscar Borg (1879-1947), Hanson Puthuff (1875-1972) and William Wendt (1865-1946) , whose wife Julia Bracken Wendt (1871-1942) was a sculptor of high merit.
William Wendt (1865 - 1946)2nd (1911-1914) and 4th (1917-1918) CAC President
Under the leadership of William Wendt, who served as president for six years, the California Art Club quickly became a powerful and prestigious institution that was recognized as a cultural authority on the west coast.
Here is the mission Statement(again courtesy of the web site)
The California Art Club's primary purposes are to promote the fine arts in the fields of painting, drawing and sculpture referred to as traditional and representational art, with a special emphasis placed on the academic traditions and craftsmanship established by the founders of the corporation; to produce and promote art exhibits that foster understanding and interpretation of the traditional art heritage; and to furnish educational opportunities in the fine arts. Additionally, the corporation may engage in any activities that are reasonably related to or in furtherance of its stated charitable and public purposes, or in any other charitable activities.

Here is an link to the Califorina Art Club web site: http://californiaartclub.org/

The press release regarding all the new members is here: http://californiaartclub.wordpress.com/2009/01/20/congratulations-to-the-new-cac-artist-members/