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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.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

"Looking North" Accepted into the 7th Annual Signature American Watermedia Exhibition by Juror John Salminen

"Looking North" 16 x 20, watercolor on paper, will be traveling to the Fallbrook Art Center outside San Diego CA for the 7th Annual Signature Watermedia Exhibition.

This national exhibit accepts entries from watermedia artists who have earned Signature membership in leading watercolor societies.

They use very accomplished jurors.
This year it is the wonderful John Salminen.
He selected just 90 paintings from 289 that were submitted.

Exhibition Dates:
Reception February 6th -5- 7 pm
Open and Closing Dates Feb 7 to March 20

Fallbrook Art Center
103 South Main
760 728 1414

Friday, December 11, 2015

"Peak Near The Eiger" and "Great Wall Ascending" Two Paintings in California Art Club Exhibition "Traversing the Globe"

Peak Near the Eiger, Switzerland 10 1/2 x 13 1/2
Watercolor on paper

Great Wall Ascending 12 x 12
Watercolor on Paper

It was a change to paint snow and architectural elements.

"Traversing the Globe"
Jan12 to May 15th
CAC Gallery at the Old Mill
San Marino CA

Monday, November 16, 2015

Curry Point Calm 12 x 22 Plein Air Watercolor

 Curry Point Calm, Plein Air 12 x 22

The drought has brought out a very understated landscape, the subtle taupey /lavenders and buff grays are way out of my painting habits.
There is no point in going out to see if I am not going to try to be true to what is out  there
I liked this subject because it was a still day with no wind and I could see across the Central Valley to the Sierras.

Still staring at it, I think it is done, if I want more saturated color I would do another painting vs glazing this one over. It helps to remember sometimes less is more.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

"Ridgetop"to be exhibited in Randy Higbee Gallery 6 x 6 Holiday Exhibition, Costa Mesa

Ridgetop 6 x 6 watercolor on paper

I liked the soft colors on this painting of a ridge in winter.

Details on the exhibit

Randy Higbee Gallery 6 x 6
102 Kalmus Dr
Costa Mesa

December 5, 6 to 9 pm Reception

Exhibit through January 2016

 Here is the companion piece (which I prefer) which is available from the artist

Ridgetop II

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Summer Morning Russian River, Evening Eucalyptus, and Chileno Valley Cow

Summer Morning, Russian River  17 x21

Evening Eucalyptus 11 x17

Chileno Valley Cow 11x 11

I am trying some new locations and subject matter with these.
The coastal bright haze was a challenge, evening light is something I need practice with and the one cow sat still long enough to be painted.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Award of Excellence in Watercolor at the 16th American Impressionist Society Exhibit at Trailside Galleries, Scottsdale

 After the Fire Vlll won the Award of Excellence for Watercolor at the 16th Annual Exhibit of the American Impressionist Society at Trailside Galleries.

I am beyond thrilled to have been awarded this from Juror Carolyn Anderson, one of the most masterful painters I know of.

These photos are thanks to Tonya Zenin and Ellen Howard since I was not able to be there. 

These Annual Impressionists Exhibits are simply amazing in terms of the quality of the paintings and the professionalism shown by the organization and I feel privileged to be a part of them.

Here's a few extra photos. What a great color ribbon and wall for this painting and frame!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Above Sonoma, 20 x 16 Studio version of plein air painting

Above Sonoma 20 x 16.

And here's the original piece:

Sonoma Valley Vertigo 17 x 14

Which do you prefer? I am still deciding.

Monday, October 5, 2015

"Summit From Curry Point" Juried into California Watercolor Association 46th National Exhibition

I am very pleased to announce that "Summit from Curry Point' 18 x 24 was accepted into the California Watercolor Association's 46th National Exhibition. The jurors were Craig Nelson and Chuck Pyle of the Academy of Art University. This is a difficult exhibit to get into, over 600 paintings were entered and 80 were chosen.

It will be exhibited at a new venue, the Cannery Galleries of the Academy of Art University, located in the Fisherman's wharf area of San Francisco.

The dates are January 4th to February 28th.

More information is available at the California Watercolor Association web site.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Gala and Sale Sonoma Plein Air Art Festival 2015

Sonoma Display from Saturday.
Tomales Drizzle and Hill at Spain Street sold on Saturday

Photo Courtesy Chuck Kovacic

Sonoma Valley Vertical 17 x 14 sold at the gala.

In it's thirteenth year ,the Sonoma Plein Air Foundation has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to art education. One of the highlights for me is the volunteers(frequently art teachers) on Saturday, who share the very real difference this event makes in the lives of their students.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sonoma Plein Air 2015 Tuesday Paintings

"Above the Valley" 14 x 18
 Painted first thing Tuesday Morning

"Ridge Top Oaks" 10 x 12
 Afternoon painting Tuesday

Hill at Spain Street 6 x 6
Quick Draw Tuesday late afternoon

Sonoma Plein Air 2015 Monday Paintings

"Sonoma Valley Vertigo" 17 x 14
Very first painting on Monday morning.
 A poor shot with a shadow from my easel.

"Nestled In" 14 x 11
Second painting in the afternoon in the rain.
I hadn't noticed how many poplars are in Sonoma until
I saw them glowing under the gray clouds.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Las Juntas Art Association Demonstration August

Last week I gave a demonstration for an enthusiastic and knowledgeable group in Pleasant Hill California.
As usually is the case I demonstrated my underpainting/ mid value mess and finished the painting up by glazing over to get the darker values once the painting sat overnight. I chose this painting because the earlier version had too simple a color palette for my taste, I wanted to add more red and green to a yellow and blue green only painting.

Here is what the painting looked like at the end of the night. I has established the major shapes, and the foreground gold was the color I wanted. I needed to adjust the rest of the painting to be consistent with that bright gold.

I glazed over the gold in the hills using a small amount of quinacridone gold.

Glazed over the foreground trees to make the intensity consistent with the gold on the hill
using the strong staining colors of quinacridone gold, thalo blue and thalo green.

Adjusted the values of the distant hills, making the pink hill darker by glazing over it with more of the same color and adjusted the blue green hill by lifting there color and glazing over with cobalt blue.

Here is the original painting. Where they ride horses. 16 x 12

Thank you to Las Juntas I enjoyed meeting you all!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Sonoma Paintings, Sonoma Valley Overlook and Sunny Day Petaluma

Sonoma Valley Overlook 16 x 20

Sunny Day Petaluma 12 x 12

I hardly ever paint buildings, I turned my head and this was composed for me.
 First time painting a tractor.
I tried to paint the light hitting these barns and bouncing off the ground.

I thought you might be interested in seeing my plein air set up.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Travel Paintings: Still Water Pacific Grove and Double Point Garrapata

Still Water Pacific Grove
91/2 x 16 1/2
Double Point Garapata
11 x 15

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Two new Poppy Paintings


Poppy Path 14 x 18 Available FairmontGallery

Poppy Panic 12 x 12 sold Fairmont  Gallery

These are fun to paint and remind me of embroidery. Started plein air, finished in the studio .

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Visit Tri Valley used "Spring Tapestry "as the cover for the Inspiration Guide 2015 and added the painting to their collection.

It was an honor to have my painting on the cover of the Guide.
Visit Tri Valley then did me the honor of purchasing the painting for their collection.
 I recently visited their offices to see how they had framed it. And I have to say I love it.
Thank you to  Barbara Steinfeld, President and Emmy Kasten, VP of Marketing for supporting local and original art.  The Tri Valley includes the cities of Pleasanton, San Ramon, Livermore, Dublin, and Danville where I live.
I have lived in Danville 20 years and found new places in the guide. I particularly liked the article about the trails on page 56 of the guide, it has gorgeous photographs that remind me why I can't stop painting our hills.

The guides are at businesses all over the towns and I recommend you pick one up and use it.

For more information about the visitors bureau:  visittrivalley.com

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

After the Fire Vlll Juried into 16th Annual National Exhibition of the American Impressionists Society

After the FireVlll

16th Annual AIS National Juried Exhibition
October 1 - 29, 2015, Trailside Galleries, Scottsdale Arizona
Opening Reception/Awards Presentation

Thursday, October 15th

I am deeply honored and humbled that this painting was accepted into the AIS 16th Annual exhibition. Thank you members of the jury and congratulations to all artists accepted into the show! It means a lot when I get to share this place I love. Mount Diablo, one of the After the Fire Series

Update October 15th.
I am thrilled to report that After the Fire Vlll won the Award of Excellence for Watercolor at the opening reception.
Thank you to Juror Carolyn Anderson.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

"Where the River Meets the Sea" selected for California Art Club Point Lobos and Beyond Exhibit, Camel Visual Arts, Opening July 18th

"Where the River Meets the Sea"  11 x17 
Point Lobos and Beyond
California Art Club Exhibit at Carmel Visual Arts
7/18 to 8/23
Reception 7/18

Monday, June 22, 2015

Moondancer selected for National Watercolor Society /China Small Image Exchange

Moondancer 12 x 14
I am very pleased to share that ZHOU Tianya has juried this painting into the NWS/China Small Image Exchange. It  is one of 100 paintings that will be traveling for the next year between California and Shenzen China in conjunction with the Shenzen International Watercolor Biennial.
Exhibition is at the Shenzen Art Museum Dec 5 to Jan 10 and then NWS Gallery July 30 to  Aug 28 of 2016

From the NWS Web Site:

The National Watercolor Society presents the best of water media painting, representing a wide range of directions and technique, from experimental to traditional, and encourages support for watercolor as a vital, enduring and expressive medium. 

JUROR for NWS Member paintings: ZHOU Tianya, CAA, AWS, NWS. http://www.zhoutianya.com
Curator of Luohu Cultural Center,Shenzhen,China
Curator and Organizer of Shenzhen International Watercolor Biennial Exhibition http://www.ShenzhenBiennial.com

Friday, June 12, 2015

Where in the World is Plein Air Day 3 "Hillside Tapestry"

Hillside Tapestry 14 x 14

In the early morning light, the chapperal -covered hill has lovely  patterns of warm and cool color contrasts.  As I painted this the horses from the nearby stable were whinying . This was painted in the same valley as yesterday's painting. The three videos from this painting are at:

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Where in the World is Plein Air Day 2 Painting California Golden Place

California Golden Place 10 x 16

This was painted just east of Danville in a Valley near Morgan Territory .I got to watch jack rabbits feeding and listen to the redwing blackbirds while painting here. This is the closest rural area to my house and I'll proably be there tomorrow as well. http://www.whereintheworldispleinair.com/2015-artist/robin-purcell/ to see the videos for ths painting and 300+ others.

Where in the world is Plein Air Day 1 Painting, Park Place

Park Place 11 x 14 is an interpretation of the trees in my neighborhood. Every single one of them planted and arranged to provide  style atmosphere windbreaks or shade to the yards. I've been thinking about doing a series of the suburban forest because of the strange juxtapositions  sometimes created by this. Such as redwoods next to palm trees. You can see the videos showing how this was created at

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Adventures and Misadventures of a Plein Air Painter: A Helicopter Landing and a Red Ant Bite

We all have war stories from plein air events .
I recently encountered two instances of bizarre obstacles during plein air events, yet managed to overcome them because of my working methods based on years of experience in the field.

Bugs,wind, changing light, rain, and traffic are common challenges but a helicopter landing and a red ant bite?

The Helicopter Landing

During my first day of painting in the Kern County Plein Air Painting festival, I set up in the parking lot of a wild flower trail at Wind Wolves Preserve.
A relatively flat area out of the road and traffic, it had a great view of the hills with quickly moving shadows.
Thirty minutes into the painting, the ranger arrived to tell me a helicopter would be landing where I was standing and would take approximately an hour to ferry supplies to the mountain top.
Because it was a morning scene with fast moving light, I had generally indicated where the shadows on the hills should fall.
I spent the next twenty minutes carefully drawing all the shapes and analyzing them to make sure I was happy with them. Then I relocated about a tenth of a mile back, where I could still see the colors and values and used that view and my drawing to finish the painting successfully.

Understanding time limits  and how to work within them saved this painting.


 Hill at Wind Wolves 
The Red Ant Bite

During the second day of the Carmel Plein Air Event there was a downpour so intense my palette became a  lake of pale colors and the drying time was way too long.
I gathered up my gear and as I drove away something stung me hard on my leg. I shook out my pants and  a large red ant fell out, it had probably climbed up to get out of the rain. The welt was large and painful and growing fast so I took an antihistamine to stop the reaction and fell asleep .
The next morning I was still very drowsy but it was sunny so I dragged myself out to paint and told myself I'll just stay two hours and see what happens.
 I was so tired I was hanging on to the easel for support.
 And I simplified the scene as much as I dared.
This was the painting that won Best Watercolor.
It could never have been painted in the rain.
Waiting for the cloud bursts to end let me have enough endurance to paint in better conditions.

Where they ride Horses