Thursday, June 23, 2011

New Website Store

I've just added a store to my website,
It has many of paintings available as archival prints. Please check it out and tell me what you think.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sonoma Plein Air-Days 4-6

I woke Thursday early to a beautiful morning. I went over to one of my favorite views at Bartholomew Park. I had a fifteen year old frame in the long vertical format. I decided in advance that I would use it if I had the chance. Hence this long vertical view, perfect for a eucalyptus tree.
I headed back to the Plaza to find one more view. I made an effort not to drive around a lot, so the Plaza was always my place to go when I needed to find another view. So I tried another view of the fountain. Fountains have been on my mind recently, but I think I have now gotten over it for a while.
After this I went to our final lunch get together at the new Vadasz barn. It was quite good. I thought about trying another painting since the skies were so dramatic, but I was totally drained. So I headed back home, scanned the paintings, and slept very well. On Friday I framed the twelve paintings, and then got back on the road for the Gala on Friday night. It was a pleasant evening, as usual. My tall eucalyptus painting sold in the silent auction, which I thought was auspicious for Saturday's big show.
Although Saturday started very well with large crowds and many sales, the plein air gods weren't with us in the afternoon. The rain started around 1:30 and artists began to depart. I still did the watercolor demonstration at 2. But I finished pretty quickly and rescued the volunteer who was trying to protect my watercolors from the elements.
It was a tough way to end the week, but such is plein air. I did feel sorry for the event organizers and the artists who had traveled a long way to get there. Almost all of the funding for art programs in Sonoma come from the Plein Air Foundation. Losing an afternoon of sales might put a bit of a dent in their programs. Rumor has it that next year it will return to the fall, when the weather might be more auspicious.

Sonoma Plein Air-Day 3

Apres Mardi, le deluge! I woke up on Wednesday morning to the sound of rain on the roof. After spending many days painting in my car during the previous Plein Air events, I decided to find a nice cafe and check email. Finally around midday it let up a bit, so I headed over to two of my favorite barns in Lakeville. I stayed in the car, just to be safe and captured this misty view.
Last year I painted the barn at Vadasz vineyards. At that time the barn was barely standing, with lots of shrubs and trees inside and out. So I wanted to do it again. However, the barn was completely redone and the area re-landscaped. There was even an outbuilding blocking my previous view. A beautiful job, but it had lost the appeal of the previous version. So I walked down the hill to their pond, and did a small painting. The clearing skies were fantastic.

By this point on the third day, after ten paintings, my energy was flagging. So I headed over to the entrance to the Sebastiani mansion. There are a couple of Chinese lion statues that guard the entrance. I wasn't totally satisfied with last year's attempt (in the rain) so I decided to try again. I'm getting there. I should probably try it sooner in the week when I'm not so tired to see if I can do a better job. It was fun nonetheless.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sonoma Plein Air-Day 2

Tuesday dawned beautifully and I got going around 6:30. After driving around a while, I found this beautiful eucalyptus on a very quiet street. Many of the neighbors, including the owners of this tree, were very interested to see what I was up to. The only drawback was that the tree was completely lit by the sun. I do prefer backlit objects, but this couldn't be helped. It was a beautiful morning to paint.
We had lunch scheduled up Highway 12, so I headed over to the Pagani Barn, which was close to the lunch spot. The sun was now quite high overhead, so I had to use my umbrella for the first time. I was using pre-existing frame sizes this year, so I chose the largest of the group. This may have been a mistake. Due to the warmth and dryness the washes were drying very fast. Nonetheless I worked quickly and was fairly happy with the result.
I finished the barn with about an hour left before lunch. I overshot the driveway for lunch and turned around in the Kenwood Spa parking lot. I saw this wonderful vine covered building. After weighing the difficulty of painting in an hour, I decided to go for it. A nice little sketch.
After lunch I headed over to the Bartholomew Park winery, one of my favorite places. I scoped out the gazebo last year, so I headed over to it. The gazebo can be overwhelming, so I chose a piece of it, mostly featuring the beautiful trees and lawn around it. By this time, the fourth drawing of the day, I was getting a bit tired. At 5:30 the Quickdraw event started, so I headed home and shut my eyes for about fifteen minutes, before heading back to the Plaza for the Quickdraw.