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California Art Club 113th Gold Medal Exhibition

“Spring Radiance”  So honored and excited to receive this letter. We are delighted to inform you that your superb work, referenced above, ha...

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

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Article in Plein Air Collector:Carmel Art Festival Winners

Plein Air Collector's  online newsletter featured several of the winning artists and paintings this week, here is a link to the article. If you scroll down my piece "Where they Ride Horses" is shown (Best Watercolor Award)

An inspiring piece by Lu Yu won multiple awards and deservedly so.

"Sunset Light, Point Lobos," by Lu Yu, 2015, oil, 16 x 20 in. First Place; Mayor's Choice; PleinAir Magazine's Award of Excellence