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California Art Club 113th Gold Medal Exhibition

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Friday, December 7, 2012

"Arche at Point Lobos" selected for 4th Annual Signature American Watercolor Exhibition in Fallbrook

"Arche at Point Lobos" 13 x 18

I am pleased to announce that "Arche at Point Lobos" has been selected by juror, Cheng-Khee Chee, AWS, D.F., NWS, for the 2013 Signature American Watercolor Exhibition at the Fallbrook Art Center.

Opens: Feb 3, 2012 
 Closes: Mar 17, 2012 

Here is a link to the exhibit page for more information:


Friday, November 23, 2012

Curve of the Earth Selected as a semifinalist in the Second Annual Plein Air Salon Contest.

Juror's Comments

Robin Purcell
21 x 16, Watercolor, "Curve of the Earth"

"The imaginative use of a pattern of colors to render forms within the landscape is stimulating and boldly creative."
- Michael Zakian

Needless to say,THRILLED.
The Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Peppperdine  University in Malibu is one of my favorite Museums .

Here's the link to all the winners from September/October  http://pleinairsalon.com/RecentAwards.aspx

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Path to MCWA ...fond memories of Paintings and Jurors past

Eight years and six paintings later, I am still thrilled with the hills of northern California 
For my own  pleasure and review here are the paintings and jurors who made my up MCWA Signature Exhibitions.
 I blogged earlier about getting the CWA national exhibit bug after the early award from Charles Reid.  
But I don't want to forget the other five extraordinary artists who lent their talents to jurying these exhibits and including my paintings.

 It takes a special generosity to take the time and risk the disappointments of those not accepted.
I recently started jurying art exhibits and it was truly challenging.

 I think having a love for the landscape, especially Mount Diablo and the East Bay Hills led to the success of these paintings in exhibitions and with finding homes with collectors who love these hills as well. 

Here is a link to the California Watercolor Association  Master Signature Members http://www.californiawatercolor.org/signaturemembers.php

  2012 Juror Mike Bailey

Flag Hill Sunol 


2010 Juror - Christopher Schink

Curve of the Earth

 2009 Juror - John Salminen


Valley Vertigo  


2007 Signature Membership Earned Juror Carla O Connor

Day Of Emeralds

2006 Jerry Little Award

Juror of Selection - Mel Stabin

Juror of Awards - Christopher Schink
Jerry Little Award   -  $200
Robin Purcell
Danville, CA
Mt. Diablo Spring Morning
15 x 20

2004 Jade Fon Award Charles Reid Juror

Jade Fon Award  -  $150
Robin Purcell
Danville, CA
View From The South Gate 23 x 31

Monday, November 19, 2012

California Landscapes 2013 Calender

California Landscapes 2013 by Robin Purcell Calendars

Sadly ,Zazzle.com is having problems getting payments out to it's associates, I am not getting payed correctly Zazzle is  incorrectly holding back approximately 40% of what they owe me , I will update you to let you know if they resolve this in a timely fashion but for now I would have to say steer clear! I will look for an alternate source for calendars next year.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

43rd National Exhibition of the California Watercolor Association

Flag Hill Sunol 14 x 21

I am pleased to announce Flag Hill Sunol has been accepted to the 43rd National Exhibition of the California Watercolor Association.
This is my sixth acceptance and I have applied for my MCWA membership status which I hope to announce officially as soon as I hear from the CWA board of directors.
This goes back to 2004 when Charles Reid accepted a painting of mine in the CWA National and gave it an award.
 It was a complete shock and thrill and got me thinking about the value of entering National Exhibitions. It eventually led to AWS acceptences and Signature Membership in AWS. I don't know if I would have pursued this path without the early encouragement of Charles Reid.

The exhibition opens in Thursday, January 17, 2013, at the Harrington Gallery, Firehouse Art Center (firehousearts.org), 4444 Railroad Avenue, one block east of Main Street in downtown Pleasanton, California.  Please join me for the Artists’ and Award Reception, Saturday, January 19, 2013, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Malibu Canyon

I get to enjoy this painting a bit longer.
It is an intensely personal  abstract vision of a hill near Malibu Canyon Road .
 I entered it in a second museum exhibit ( it was previously exhibited at the Pepperdine Art Museum in Malibu) and it was not selected this time, but that won't stop me from entering it again. Sometimes I find the most original paintings take a while to find a buyer or a judge who shares the vision. How about you, do you believe in paintings and find that the ones you believe in most are eventually valued by curators or collectors?

Malibu Canyon 20 x 30

Monday, September 24, 2012

Across the Valley ,more accurate colors

 Across the Valley 22 x 22

The electirc colors of the one on bottom were bothering me as I compared my image with the one in Plein Air magazine. The upper image is closer to the painting in color temperature and saturation.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Morning Walk, Painting of Carmel Meadows

A Morning Walk 13 x 161/2

Just South of Carmel there is a neighborhood with access to a lovely bluff path .
 This is one of my favorite places to walk in Carmel.
To the other direction there is a great view of Point  Lobos.
 This was great fun to paint in the studio from photos and memory
as it has been in the triple digits here for most of August.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

"Summer Oak"

Summer Oak 10 x 12
Painted at high noon, on a hot day this summer, the overhead light created a shimmer of deep red orange against the dark greens. This is what I love about plein air, these are color choices I never would have made if I weren't outside. Usually midday light is harsh, but I like it here. Sold to an arborist, perfect!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Wild at Heart , A California Hill Painting

Wild At Heart, 14 x 14

I've been tweaking this in the studio after starting it in late spring on Mount Diablo.
It is a meadow from what I consider the heart of Mount Diablo.
Up past Curry Point and the outer ridges, there were some  rare and late wildflowers from this past spring with it's late and sparse rains. I like the soft purple brown colors on the oaks as they were leafing out and how that worked with the greens and oranges in the meadow.

Friday, July 20, 2012

"Across the Valley", Mount Diablo Plein Air Watercolor

Across the Valley 22 x 22

This was started last fall and finished after a long winter of work this spring.
It has been very difficult to get a good image because of the value shifts in transparent and opaque passages of color. The blue green in the top part and blue violets in the lower section are transparent and the deep crimsons and burnt oranges are relatively opaque. In person, this painting looks great ,but every time I take a photo the light bounces back through the paper and shifts  the value on the transparent passages. This was printed in Plein Air magazine and it is much truer to the painting in the magazine than it is here. I don't want  to change the painting for the sake of a photo. The cool and warm balance here works very well for me and it's always fun taking a red and green scene and making it not look like a Christmas Tree.

PleinAir Magazine - Jun-Jul-12 - Page 65

Plein Air Magazine thumbnail

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Spaces and Places Juried Exhibit in Danville Ca June 29th to August 10

Zuma Canyon 14 x 21 Plein Air Watercolor

This painting of a ridge in Malibu was selected by Juror Dewitt Cheng( he is a San Francisco-based artist, writer and curator) for the "Spaces and Places" exhibit at the town-sponsored art space right here is Danville.

The ridges in Southern California have less vegetation and their lovely fractured geometry makes the tectonic forces used in their creation almost completely visible.
This painting is getting quite the exhibition profile: It was selected by Michael Zakian ( Curator of the Wiesman) for the "On Location in Malibu" exhibit at the Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University and by Phillip Linares, Curator of the Oakland Museum of Art for the "Imagine California" Statewide Exhibit.

  Artwork that was considered for this exhibition depicted either a real, invented or a psychological space or place to fit within the theme, Spaces and Places. The juror for this exhibition, DeWitt Cheng, a San Francisco-based art critic and writer for various art publications and web media, selected 48
pieces of artwork from 41 artists.

Opening Reception

Friday, June 29 from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Village Theater Gallery, Front Street Danville

"Zuma Canyon" also appears in the June/ July Issue of Plein Air Magazine

PleinAir Magazine - Jun-Jul-12 - Page 67

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

June/July Plein Air Magazine Article: Use Inside Arrow for Preview

 I am thrilled with the article by
Steve Doherty. It's nice when the writer is a painter
 and can help you put your thoughts into  an organized
article. Here are thumbnail previews of the five pages:

PleinAir Magazine - Jun-Jul-12 - Page 63

PleinAir Magazine - Jun-Jul-12 - Page 67
PleinAir Magazine - Jun-Jul-12 - Page 66

PleinAir Magazine - Jun-Jul-12 - Page 65
PleinAir Magazine - Jun-Jul-12 - Page 64

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Plein Air from April in Carmel

I got to take a last minute overnight to Carmel in April and was in such a rush to repack up for the Carmel Plein Air Event,  my two paintings from April were overlooked. Luck was with me,each was painted in an hour in between the rain. I am going back to my tree painting theme here. And painting in foggy cold weather. "Point Lobos April' is finished ,but I may do some more work on 'Eucalyptus at Ocean." Whales swam by as I painted on Point Lobos. They were very close to shore and I went up to whalers cove to see if they were hiding there.

Point Lobos April 9 x 12

Eucalyptus at Ocean 9 x 12

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

19th Carmel Art Festival Narrative

The festival began on Wednesday night with check in and paper stamping at the Carmel Art Association. When they check you in the paper gets a Carmel Art Festival Stamp and date. I have to be careful not to get the fresh ink on the front of the paper.
This year a reception for the artists was added on Wednesday night. I was too anxious to get started, so I left the coast about 5:30 and drove out to Carmel Valley where it remained sunny until 7:15pm.
I painted "Carmel Valley Shadows"  Wednesday night.
 Thursday I started painting at 8:30 am on a ridge top in Carmel Valley. It takes until then for the wind and morning fog to die down. I painted " Valley Vertigo" in the morning, stopped for a quick lunch, then drove inland further and found some shade near a ranch in the Upper Valley. At about the 17 to 19 mile markers the Valley opens up into lovely rolling hills and Valley Oaks.  You can tell I painted "Upper Valley View" in the midday light. It had that mid day effect of the sky value being darker than than the hills.
 I  then drove all the way into the junction of Carmel Valley Rd and Tassajara Rd. I took Tassajara Rd down to Jamesburg which was in a ravine and pretty creepy feeling, but was my adventure for the week. 
There was a hill I have been searching for for three years that I finally saw on the right while driving back at about the 25 mile marker.( It was a painting by Arthur Hill Gilbert that I saw years ago at the Rieser Gallery that has stayed with me as a beautiful hill image). I need to get back to paint it .
 I had had enough of the inland by then ,so I went to the Coast next. Just across from Garrapata State Park there were lovely hills covered with coastal chaparral. Since this is my preferred subject on Mt Diablo I thought it would be fun to try it in the cool coastal light."Coastal Hills " was my final painting for the event.

We had until 8 pm on Friday to enter two paintings in the competition. It is very hard to choose which ones .I probably should have entered "Valley Vertigo" and "Carmel Valley Shadows" but was worried they were too similar. No award this time but two sales (Valley Vertigo and  Carmel Valley Shadows) were reward enough.

We got to replace sold paintings on Sunday and I hung all three remaining paintings, watched the quick draw auction and rewarded myself with 2 hours of driving and walking along the coast from Garrapata to almost Rocky Point.
While I was there, the volunteers sold the second painting for me. The weather cooperated, making this one of the most beautiful settings for a plein air event. The quality of the paintings was very high and I am always in awe of what the other artists paint. There were a lot of new faces this year and some artists from all across the country.

Next year will be the 20th year of the festival and I hope to participate.
 The paintings mentioned in this post are in the next post down.
 Here are the various configurations of my display at the festival:

 Friday night and Saturday

 Sunday Morning

Sunday late afternoon

Monday, May 21, 2012

19th Carmel Art Festival 2012 Paintings

I just got back last night from a great experience at the Carmel Art Festival. The weather was sunny, not too warm, no wind,( and no rain!) so it was like painting in my home location of Mount Diablo.

Valley Vertigo 14 x 11 sold

Carmel Valley Shadows 12 x 12 sold

Upper Valley View 11 x 14

Coastal Hills 12 x 12 ( with a shadow from the easel in the sky) Available Fairmont Gallery Sonoma

I'll give more details on the festival events on Saturday and Sunday, but wanted to share what I painted during the festival for now.

Friday, May 11, 2012

"Hill at Thomas Home Ranch" Save Mount Diablo Donation Painting for Celebration and Art Sale

"Hill at Thomas Home Ranch" watercolor 11 x 16 . My donation to the Save Mount Diablo Celebration and Fund Raiser for the newly acquired Thomas Home Ranch Parcel, on the east side of Mount Diablo where I hardly ever paint. There was a lovely hill next to the ranch and it was one of those days when you could see the hills colors changing from spring to summer as you painted. Here is a link to the web site for more information:

Update 6/2 SOLD at the Celebration

Friday, April 20, 2012

On Location in Malibu 2012, California Art Club Exhibit at the Frederick R Weisman Museum of Art May 19 – August 4, 2012

Malibu Canyon, 21 x 29. You can click on the  painting  for a larger image.

Opening reception: Saturday, May 19, 5–7 PM

 Sometimes I paint large in the studio, because a large piece of watercolor paper taped to masonite board is just like a very large and heavy sail. 
Malibu Canyon was painted from a photo that I took along Malibu Canyon Drive. It shows my fondness for shapes and colors applied in flat areas and arranged to create volume. In Southern California the hills show their structure because there is not as much vegetation covering them.
 The color in this is largely from memory since the photo greys everything out. This is my fantasy of a view I would like to have from a window some day. Another influence here is a magical phrase from a fairy tale that a princess's dress was skybluepink. I remember puzzling over this phrase as a child and trying to imagine what that would be, this looked like a skybluepink hill to me.
I am thrilled to be exhibiting in On Location in Malibu for the second time. The Juror was Museum Director Michael Zakian. 
The roster of artists(!) my painting gets to hang out with:

Peter Adams, Lisa Bloomingdale Bell, Gerald Brommer, John Brunnick, Marcia Burtt, Cathey Cadieux, John Cosby, Jose De Juan, Karl Dempwolf, Esther Engelman, Mark Fehlman, David Gallup, Lynn Gertenbach, Adrian Gottlieb, Robin Hall, Carolyn Hesse-Low, Keewon Hong, Jeffrey Horn, Virginia Johnstone, Sharon Burkett Kaiser, Laurie Kersey, Chuck Kovacic, Peggi Kroll-Roberts, Frank Lennartz, Calvin Liang, Jeremy Lipking, Bobbie Moline-Kramer, Taylor Montague, Jennifer Moses, Michael Obermeyer, Barron Postmus, Scott W. Prior, Tony Pro, Richard Probert, Robin Purcell, Gerald Rahm, Jeff Richards, Vic Riesau, Rodolfo Rivademar, Ray Roberts, Junn Roca, Gayle Roski, Frank Serrano, Herb Seymour, Liliana Simanton, Michael Situ, Christopher Slatoff, Tim Solliday, Alexey Steele, Yisun Wei, Ryan Wurmser, Jeff Yeomans, Joan Horsfall Young, Dennis Ziemienski, and Charles Zlatkoff.  

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mount Diablo Springtime

Diablo Springtime 14 x 14

This started out a while ago as a class demo and I missed posting it at the time. Since we are finally getting some gorgeous greens, I thought it would be fun to post now. This was painted from a summer version of this same place in Lafayette called " Northern View. "

Friday, March 30, 2012

Plein Air Spring Training : two small ones on my easel now

 Wine Country Wind Break 9 x 12 Available Fairmont Gallery Sonoma

Spring Barn 11 x 14 Available Fairmont Gallery Sonoma

We've had some rain and the land is starting to green up. These paintings may be finished ,I am not quite sure.
It was great to get out of the studio and paint in the fresh air. The top " Wine Country Windbreak" was painted in a hidden valley on the way to the Livermore wine country. I was next to a horse pasture and got to watch the horses and bluebirds and hawks perched in the trees. "Spring Barn" attracted me because of the quality of the reflected light on the barn. These aren't great photos and I will try to get better ones.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Paintings at the California Art Club 101st Gold Medal Exhibition

Morning Has Broken 9 x12

Sacred Grove 13 x 17

I 'll be at the artists' gala reception!

April 1 – 22, 2012
Artists’ Gala Reception: March 31, 2012

Held at the Autry National Center
4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA 90027-1462
323/667-2000  |  www.theautry.org
Map to the Autry

The entire exhibit is now online and it is fantastic!


Here is how mine look on exhibit at the Autry Museum. So glad I went to this world class event at a spectacular museum. Context is everything! Both paintings sold. The California Art Club promotes this exhibit to collectors and it makes a huge difference, many red dots at the reception.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"Rare Sight" to be exhibited at California Art Club "Saving Paradise" Exhibit March 8 to May 6

Rare Sight (Mt Diablo) 14 x 21 watercolor on paper

SAVING PARADISE: The Symbiosis of Landscape Painting and Environmental Awareness
Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, March 8 – May 6, 2012

 The "Saving Paradise" exhibit is all about artists working with environmental and land preservation groups to preserve open spaces. I don't know what I would do without Mt Diablo being so beautiful and so close. It dominates the skyline here in Danville and literally nags me to go out painting because I can not miss it as I drive or walk around town. SaveMount Diablo.org is to be congratulated for all they do to preserve and protect the critical habitats on and around Mount Diablo.

Rare Sight was painted when the cloud cover lifted and the snow was still visible, which rarely happens because the snow usually melts. I like the contrast of the snowy summit and the green grass and  yellow spring mustard. The juror for this exhibit is Jean Stern.
Here is the link to the online version of this exhibit :


If you would like to read more, here is write up on the exhibit ( with a nod towards Mount Diablo)

The California Art Club exhibition Saving Paradise: The Symbiosis of Landscape Painting and Environmental Awareness will feature approximately 50 landscape paintings that spotlight the relationships that artists have with the land that they depict in their works on canvas.
Many of the works have been rendered in the California Impressionistic style that early California Art Club artists influenced more than a century ago as they painted “en plein air” (“in the open air”).
“Representational art forms that employ time-honored techniques are ideal for documenting history,” said American artist Peter Adams, who has served as the president of the Club since 1993.  “As California Art Club artists continually travel throughout the state to paint scenic vistas that they most covet, we strive to preserve these images for generations to come and chronicle how these areas are evolving with the passage of time,” he added.
Jean Stern, Executive Director of The Irvine Museum and one of the most respected authorities on California Impressionism, curated the exhibition that includes imagery of many of California’s most beloved sites, from Mount Diablo, Emerald Bay and the American River in the north to the Santa Ynez hills, Catalina Island, and Torrey Pines State Park in the south.
The exhibition also underscores the extensive efforts of artists to create paintings of specific areas of the state in order to call attention to both their awe-inspiring natural beauty and current efforts to preserve and protect these regions.  The exhibiting artists are involved with the preservations efforts of more than 50 different organizations, including the Aquarium of the Pacific, Catalina Island Conservatory, Friends of the Los Angeles River, Heal the Bay, National Park Service, the Land Conservatory of San Luis Obispo County, Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, Sierra Club, and Tejon Ranch Conservatory.
Most of the works on exhibit will be available for acquisition, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the preservation group designated by each of the artists.
The Saving Paradise exhibition marks the Club’s return to Barnsdall Park, where it was headquartered in the famed Hollyhock House from 1927 to 1942.  Paying homage to those very active years in the organization’s history, during which it sponsored a multitude of art and cultural events, the Club and the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery will host a number of educational programs during the two-month display, including artist’s talks and demonstrations.
Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery is a facility of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs located in Barnsdall Park.
For more information on Saving Paradise, visit www.californiaartclub.org.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Reflecting on last year's favorite paintings and goals for 2012

Reviewing  posts from last year and my goals, it was gratifying to see some progress has been made.
I perpetually want to paint more water, trees and clouds because they are a part of the landscape I love and panoramas aren't always accessible.

Water paintings were mostly of the Pacific Ocean near Point Lobos.
The contrast of water and rocks is what excited me about these paintings.

Point Lobos Arche

Painting smaller was something I worked hard at last year. Painting large is comfortable for me and I usually have trouble caring enough about small paintings. Small complete paintings vs studies or sketches are the goal here. Thanks to two small painting exhibits, I got lots of practice and came up with two of my favorite paintings of the year.

Dark Curl One 6x 6

Windbreak at Dusk 6 x 6
I loved the subtle and limited colors on this piece.

Not a Mount Diablo in the bunch this year!
I still love the ridges in California.
" Flag Hill Sunol" was a favorite because of the camaraderie of the group I was painting with and the kinship I felt with whoever had the imagination to stand where I was and see a flag when they looked up at this ridge.

Flag Hill Sunol

This fall I painted a series of oak trees here in the east bay.
Oak Trees are the trees I see most often which helps me find graceful ones to paint.

 Golden Oak

For this year, I would  like to try painting a nocturne. The quiet and limited palette of  "Windbeak at Dusk"
 is leaning in that direction.
And I want to do at least one sky/ cloud painting.
My habit is to go out and paint when the weather is nice so getting out during the shifting colors and patterns of a partly cloudy day should be interesting and challenging.
I want to continue the Oak trees series and have been out scouting.

Thank you for stopping by my blog during this past year,
I appreciate you comments and hope you enjoy seeing my new works this year. Best ,Robin