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Spring Radiance

  Spring Radiance 12 x 12 watercolor on paper  Newest painting of the bright colors of a sunny Southern California spring day.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Favorite Paintings of the year and goal setting for 2011

I try to sit down and reflect on my paintings of the year and decide on my favorites as I set new goals for next year. I am happy to say that two of my goals were met for this year. I created tree paintings I liked and got much more comfortable working in smaller sizes.

Sacred Grove 12 x 16
I liked the gracefulness of the forms of the young oaks here, they looked like they were dancing to me. I was also pleased with the foreground. Learning to see trees was helped tremendously by the exhibit " Superbly Independent" at the Hearst Gallery at St Mary's College in Moraga, as each of these three women artists had a favorite tree she painted ( see  my blog entry from July 21st  for more information about the exhibit)

Poppy Hill 12 x 16

I was very pleased with the amount of rain we had last winter as the poppies were finally out in full force on South Gate Road on Mount Diablo after two years of  dormancy. I like the amount of abstraction in these wildflowers and the subtle pale coppers and mauves of the grasses framing them.

Corral de Tierra Afternoon 12 x 15
This was painted during the Carmel Art Festival in May 2010. The weather was so cold and wet on the coast  that I went inland and found the most beautiful hill to paint. I've noted before that the hills near the coast have straighter shapes than the older more curvey eroded hills near Diablo. This hill had such lovely pleats, looking freshly wrinkled. This was also a favorite because it was one of those fun places to paint, with horses and butterflies and dragon flies ( but not horse flies) around me .

Waterline Napa 14 x 21

After two years of drought, water use was on my mind as I painted the stark contrast between the naturally dry summer hills and the irrigated patches of vineyards on this hill in Napa near Oakville. This was a great painting session, with the cameraderie of fellow painters from the California Art Club.

Morning has Broken 9 x 12 ( Mount Diablo)

The most recent painting of the year, this is the only painting of Mount Diablo I've chosen this year. It took a subject matter I know almost too well to create a 9 x 12 I am perfectly happy with as a finished painting as opposed to my usual sketches at this size..

Goal Setting for 2011

My goals for next year are to paint both bigger more often ( I usually paint 2 to 3 full sheets a year, with the vast majority of my work as half sheets, so I am aiming for 5 or 6 in 2011) and smaller ( 9 x 12 and even try some 8 x 10)
I still have not painted a nocturne after promising myself I would try one for several years, so at least trying one is on the list again.
Painting more trees and clouds is also on the list. I need to do more looking at trees and more going out to paint on cloudy days ( where I live it is sunny 300 days a year so I usually prefer painting in the bright sunlight) There are subtlies in colors and values on cloudy or foggy days I want to explore.

Thank you for visiting and commenting on this blog during the year. Your encouragement means a great deal to me.
Happy Painting in the New Year!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nice Mention of the Statewide Competition and Exhibition at the Triton Museum of Art in the Danville Express

The Danville Express was kind enough to reproduce my painting in the Triton Museum of Art's Statewide Watercolor Competiton and Exhibition on today's digital front page along with a reminder that if your travels take you to Santa Clara this season, the exhibit is on display until the 27th of February . If you like watercolors, it is a comprehensive survey of current directions in the media with landscapes, portraits, still lives, florals, wildlife and abstract subject matters all well represented.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

San Luis Obispo Hill Paintings

Bishop's Spring 14 x 14( Bishop's Peak)

Bishop's Summer 14 x 21(Bishop's Peak)

 Graceful Hill, SLO,12 x 16

Over the past year I have been lucky enough to travel to the Moro Bay and San Luis Obispo area to paint more than once.
I'd like to live in the area some day because of the ocean and all the hills to paint.
I took my William Wendt book, looking for his famous painting of a hill from the area and finally found it but it was covered in fog both trips.( I am pretty sure it was Hollister Peak)
I found a quiet place to paint near the Poultry Science building that had a great view of Bishop's Peak. The plug of volcanic rock sticking out from the pedestal of  an oak-covered base was a different geology than what I'm used to.
There are gorgeous fields and marshes to paint near Los Osos and Montana D'Oro just to mention a few places I didn't get to.
Up in Cambria, there is a walk along the bluff with a sign that marks the exact southern limit of the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary . I'd like to go back and paint the view of the southern end and find the northern end  and paint that as well. I like painting Mt Diablo often, but painting in a new place with different hills sparks my love for painting all over again.

Friday, December 3, 2010

New small painting of Mount Diablo

"Morning Has Broken" 9 x 12 watercolor on paper.

If you follow this  blog you know I have been working for a while to get more comfortable with painting smaller. My smaller works tend to read as studies and not as finished works. This time I had a reason for working small, the rapidly changing light on Mount Diablo. As in most of my plein air pieces, the shapes and hues were observed on location and values  were altered to suit the painting's needs in the studio..