Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Thomas Reynolds Gallery Exhibit

I learned last week that I am one of 21 Northern California California Art Club members who have been juried into an exhibit at the Thomas Reynolds Gallery in San Francisco. I am fortunate to have two pieces selected, North Anchorage, Golden Gate Bridge and Bartholomew Park Eucalyptus. The Artists' Reception is Sunday, January 9, from 3-5 PM. The show opens January 8, 2011 and runs through February 19.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Surprise Award

I was very surprised and flattered to learn that my painting, Lamayuru Chorten, earned the First Place award at the Triton Museum of Art Statewide Watercolor exhibition. I was also pleased that my friends Sue Johnston and Frank Ansley took Second and Third place and Chris Beck earned an Honorable Mention. It's a very good show and well worth a visit.

Friday, December 10, 2010

California Art Club 100th Annual Gold Medal Exhibition

I'm pleased to just learn that my painting, Fountain, Sonoma Plaza, has been selected for inclusion in the California Art Club's 100th Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition. The exhibit takes place from April 3-24 at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. This was my first year of eligibility, so I feel quite fortunate to have been accepted.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

North Tower Study

I got a request to see my pencil study for North Tower Nocturne, so here it is. I think you can see some of the compositional struggle here.

Friday, December 3, 2010

North Tower Nocturne.

Here is a slightly different approach to painting the Golden Gate bridge I did a couple of days ago.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

North Anchorage, Golden Gate Bridge

This is a painting I've been mulling over for several months. The Golden Gate Bridge is an icon, and has been depicted in many ways. I usually avoid subjects that are well known, unless I can find a new approach to them. This view from the hill at Vista Point has been done many times. I tried to differentiate it by a somewhat unusual composition, and most of all conveying atmosphere and mood.
22" x 11", watercolor on 140 lb. Arches cold press paper

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Triton Museum Statewide Watercolor Exhibit

Here is the e-announcement for the Triton show, and I'm honored that my painting of Lamayuru Chorten is featured. It promises to be a good show!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Triton Museum Statewide Watercolor Exhibit

I'm pleased to announce that two of my paintings were juried into the Triton Museum of Art's 2010 Statewide Watercolor Exhibition. The two are "Pont Notre-Dame" and "Lamayuru Chorten". I did both over the summer.
The opening reception is Friday December 10, from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. The show will be up until February 27, 2011. You can find out more information at www.tritonmuseum.org.
I also just found out that my painting, "Lamayuru Chorten" will be featured on the announcement postcard.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Civic Center, San Francisco

Here is a painting I completed last week. It's something of a departure for me. I hope you enjoy it. The painting is 22" x 14".

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Harrington Gallery Exhibit

The Harrington Gallery in the new Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton is featuring works by four signature members of the National Watercolor Society, Karen Frey, Carolyn Lord, Robin Purcell, and yours truly. The show runs concurrently with the 2009 traveling exhibit of the National Watercolor Society.
The show opens October 19th and runs through December 2nd. See their website, www.firehousearts.org for more information.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Elabana Falls

Here are two versions. One done on site at Elabana Falls in Queensland, Australia. The other is based on this initial sketch, but done much larger in my studio. The plein air version is about 5" x 10". The studio version is 9" x 18". This is a way I like to work, basing larger pieces on on-site sketches, not photographs.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Few More from the Archives

These are a few watercolors I did while in Thailand a while back. This was part of my "make the colors sing" efforts.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Some Oldies But Goodies

My day job has kept me from doing some new work. But I have been reorganizing some of my past work. I came across these paintings I did in Spain in 2002. It's sometimes interesting to see what I was doing in the recent past. These do bring back nice memories. The painting at the Museo Nacional in Barcelona was declared finished when the sprinklers turned on!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Three Paintings of Ladakh

Here are three paintings done over the past month of Ladakh. Ladakh is part of the Indian state of Kashmir, part of the skinny northern part of India between Tibet and Pakistan. My wife and I trekked there in 2004. These are based on photos I took while there, but all of the photos, especially the foregrounds have been altered for compositional reasons. The top image is a chorten at the Lamayuru Monastery. The middle is another view of Lamayuru. The third painting is a view of part of the Palace of Leh, the capital of Ladakh. Last week the Leh valley was devastated by floods, which is very unusual since Ladakh averages 1-3" of rain a year.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Watercolor West Exhibition

I'm pleased to announce that I just received my acceptance into the 42nd Annual Exhibition of Watercolor West for my painting entitled "Blue Mosque". Watercolor West distinguishes itself from other watercolor societies by mandating that all work must be in transparent watercolor and not in other water media.
The profile of this mosque in Istanbul was so strong that I limited my palette to mostly cobalt blue and permanent orange, two of my most often used colors. The mosque isn't really blue either:).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

National Watercolor Society 90th Annual Exhibition

I am very pleased to learn that my painting, Fountain, Sonoma Plaza, was accepted into the 90th Annual Exhibition of the National Watercolor Society. This is indeed an honor. The NWS show attracts submissions by some of the finest watercolorists in the country.
The show opens October 30 at the NWS headquarters in San Pedro, CA.
This painting is a studio painting based on a plein air painting I did during the Sonoma Plein Air event in 2009, which fortunately sold. I'm always attracted by fountains and water. The presence of these two elements plus the Ghirardelli Building looming in the background sold me.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Canale Grande

I was recently asked if the painting on the Epperson invitation was mine. In fact it is.
It's a painting I did a few months ago based on a photo I took from a vaporetto while leaving Venice. We were heading to the train station very early one morning and the light was magical.
I haven't worked from a photo in many, many years. So this was an experiment to see if I could ignore a lot of the extraneous information and make a painting that isn't too stiff, a common problem with painting from photos. One thing I did was I used a black and white print. This allowed me to create my own color palette and it was fuzzy enough that I couldn't rely on it for much information aside from some values.
So working from the photo was okay this time. Otherwise this image would never have been painted: the viewpoint is essentially impossible, since it was from a moving vaporetto, and the quality of light only lasted about another 15 minutes.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

5 Watercolorists Exhibit Extended

The 5 Watercolorists exhibit at the Epperson Gallery has been extended to August 15th. If you haven't had a chance to see it, you'll have another month.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Art vs. Oil Spill 2

After finishing the first painting for Art vs. Oil Spill, I had to go to a dental appointment. In an effort to ignore the whining saw sound in my mouth, I tried to think of other things. One of them was a different take on the previous painting of whooping cranes. Here it is. I like it a bit more. It captured the feel I wanted in the first place.
All of the information from the first post applies here as well. Please consider visiting Zazzle.com/artvsoilspill/ and helping the wildlife of the Gulf.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Art vs. Oil Spill

Paul Jackson has put together a store at Zazzle.com to raise money for wildlife hurt in the BP oil spill. This Zazzle store features a collection of artwork donated by artists from around the world to benefit wildlife rescue operations. It's rare that artists can use their work to benefit the greater world. Due to Paul's work, perhaps this will help. Click here for the art vs. oil spill site on Zazzle.
Proceeds from your purchase will benefit an organization that is all volunteer and they will use the funds where they can do the most good.
The name of the organization is Wildlife Rehabilitation & Nature Preservation Society, Inc., or WRANPS. They were formed in 1983 and are a 501 (c) 3. Their info can be verified on Guidestar, the website that monitors US Non-Profits. Their address is PO Box 209, Long Beach, MS 39560.
Please feel free to donate to them directly. Make checks payable to Wildlife Rehabilitation and Nature Preservation Society. In the note line of your check, please include art vs. oil spill.

(in the note/subject line of your check, please include "art vs oil spill") Attn: Jan Dubuisson
Thank you for all that you can do to help!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Speaking of Paris Bridges

Coincidentally, I was painting another Paris bridge when the Pont-au-Change sold. This one is the Pont Notre-Dame, which is one bridge east of the Pont-au-Change. This one has been on my "to paint" list for five years. I finally got to it. It's a very similar palette, but a different mood from the previous one.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I just learned that my painting, Pont-au-Change, was just purchased at the Epperson Gallery show. Some paintings I have no problems selling, but there are a few where I feel some regret. This painting is one of them.
It originated in 2005 while I was in Paris with the Gabriel Prize. I walked over this bridge countless times, since I lived nearby. Near the end of my stay, I decided to do a plein air sketch. This is the one on the right. The following summer, I did the studio version based on the sketch.
This painting has had quite a track record. It has appeared in Watercolor Magazine, Splash 10, and a Watercolor West exhibition.
The good news is not only that I sold a painting, but that it is going to one of my students. I'm honored to have it go to a good home.

Workshop Redux

I just wanted to post three of the paintings done during the last workshop. We were focusing on trees and their shapes. The painters are Geddes Ulinskas (bottom left), Larry Hatfield (right) and Stephen Schumm (left). After all, they do the bulk of the work in the workshops.

Monday, June 14, 2010


I just finished my third monthly workshop of 2010 this past weekend. This time we focused on using various greens to create lively tree shapes. Saturday was a bit tough due to the 90 degree temperatures and the 28% humidity made washes very challenging. Sunday however was superb.
The painting to the left was my 5" x 8" demonstration of the "garden shed" at the Oakland Rose Garden. I chose the view primarily for the variety of tree shapes and shades of green. The photo on the left shows me in the process of demonstrating (thanks Stephen Schumm for the photo).
The most gratifying aspect of these workshops is to see how much the students progress in just two days. At all my workshops there are breakthroughs on Sunday after struggles on Saturdays. My green recipes require some mental adjustments. (You really use red to make greens?)
Next month, July 17-18, we will do "The Dark Side" and work on creating rich, dark darks.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Epperson Gallery

The Epperson Gallery is hosting a show by 5 watercolorists, including me. I had a quick preview of the show and it looks pretty exciting. It opens June 5th, with a reception from 5:00-7:00. It will be up through July 11th.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sonoma Plein Air 2010-Day 4

Day 4 was a glorious sunny day. I lucked out and the gates of the Bartholomew Park winery were open at 9:30 instead of 11. The winery was still in shadow at that hour, so I did a small painting of a eucalyptus and vineyard that was adjacent, a quintessential Sonoma scene. At 11 the winery was in sun, so I did a reprise of a view I did last year, since I loved the composition. After another wonderful lunch by Teri Hicks at the Anderson Ranch, I went up the hill on their ranch and saw this funny sculpture. So I did a quick one and called it a painting week.
Thursday night I drove home to Oakland so I could get a quick start on framing Friday morning. Went to the gala banquet Friday night, and manned my booth all day Saturday. Came home exhausted and had painting dreams all week.
I'd like to thank my hosts, Jim and Gail Stroupe for their great hospitality. If you're interested, please check out the blogs of Robin Purcell, Bill Cone, and Terry Miura for their own unique perpectives on their experiences of Sonoma Plein Air 2010.

Sonoma Plein Air 2010-Day 3

The third day was again weather plagued. I did get the Vadasz Winery Barn done before the deluge though (see first post for painting). I went from there over to the funky Marina off the Lakeville Highway at the suggestion of another painter. There was this funny pile of various boats in disrepair that caught my eye. The rain made it another Honda Fit special. I started to think of pleine voiture instead of Plein Air. On my way back, I saw this open field filled with sheep. Although this one started in the car, I was able to finish it outside when the rain let up. I then headed back to town, made a wrong turn and saw these incongruous Chinese lion guardian statues at the entrance to an estate. I later learned that it is the family home of the Sebastianis. This painting started outside, but I was back in the car after I finished the line work.

Sonoma Plein Air 2010-Day 2

The morning was beautiful, so I got a very early start and headed to the Plaza. Last year I did a painting and knew that the Sebastiani Theatre and Plaza fountain were back lit at this hour. So I did a reprise of the Sonoma Plaza view of last year. The sun was still out so I went around the fountain and did a close up view, emphasizing the mistiness of the day. After a great lunch provided by Teri Wicks at the Quarryhill Botanical Gardens, I went up the Sonoma Highway a couple of miles and did the Pagani Barn. Last year I did it too but it was a disaster (in the rain). I tried a different angle this time and thought it was much more successful. That evening we did a Paint Out, doing a painting in 1 1/2 hours. I did a different view of the fountain, but don't have a scan of it. A total of four paintings in one day!

Sonoma Plein Air 2010-Day 1

I got an early start, driving up to Sonoma for check in at 9:00 AM. Because of the challenging weather forecast I wanted to get going early. Nonethless, the rain had already begun. I headed over to the Lakeville Highway, knowing a couple of locations that might work. The first and second paintings, the Lakeville Tanks, were done in my Honda Fit. The county sheriff came by wondering what I was doing. I'm 6'-1, so painting in the Fit was a bit cramped. I did a quick third one, the Bartholomew Park Fountain, sitting under a balcony at the winery.

Sonoma Plein Air 2010

Last week I spent a week painting at the 2010 Sonoma Plein Air event. This was my second year. 37 painters are selected each year to participate. Sales go to support art programs in the Sonoma schools.
Like last year the weather was challenging. Rain, wind, fog, and haze affected all of the work. Thursday was the only sunny day.
I did fourteen paintings, in spite of the weather. Sales were good on Saturday, so no complaints there. It was quite exhausting, but in a good way.
Following posts are day-by-day, with comments and observations.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Craftsman Home

The Craftsman Home in Berkeley has agreed to carry many of the "tonalist" watercolors that I have produced over the past year. These are all imagined landscapes with some strong California influence. Coincidentally, the color scheme is the same that the Craftsman Home uses when designing the interiors of the homes of many of their clients. These three sold in the first week!