I made my annual trek to the Napa Country Iris Garden a couple of weeks ago. Just gorgeous there, as usual. I thought these photos would be nice to share on Mothers’ Day.
Painting at the Napa Country Iris Garden
Amethyst Irises 18×14 oil on canvas
Van Gogh came to mind as I painted in this lovely garden on a hot, sunny day. I could not help but recall his beautiful iris paintings. I decided I wanted my irises to really stand out, and not get lost in a sea of green. I decided to go for Van Gogh, and I surrounded them with gold and yellow. I am pleased with the results.
El Nino has been providing the Bay Area with some much needed rain lately. To a plein air painter, this means more time in the studio and less time outdoors. This coupled with my own need to shake things up on a creative level has inspired me to go back to the figure and take Life Drawing again. Most art students take Life Drawing at one point or another during there art education. It’s not always easy to keep up with it once you are out of school. Recently, I was lucky enough to have found a drop in Figure Workshop at an art center not too far away. It had been a few years since the last time I painted from a nude model. Here are some of the results.
For me, painting from life carries the same immediacy as plein air painting. When you have only two, five, ten, or twenty minutes to get down a pose, you don’t have time to think. Well, at least I don’t. I just react and respond to what I see. This spontaneity gives energy, excitement, and emotion to a painting. That is my goal, to capture and express the unique gesture of the figure.
I wanted to to start the New Year doing what I love, painting outside. On New Year’s Day, I headed to Yosemite to see the Winter Wonderland that it becomes in the snow. I was able to paint this “quick one” while my family played. I was dazzled by the brilliant light on the snow, contrasted against the cool shadows.
The was so much more to paint there, but the days are short and the light fades quickly. If only I had my time to spend there.
I love the golden glow of autumn light. That is exactly what moved me to paint this scene. The light beyond the dark and shaded trees seemed to set the distant foliage aglow. I think this pleasant scene captures the feel of the season.
I painted this in plein air behind the Firehouse Arts Center. It will be on view there, along with other paintings done in and around the Firehouse, from November 12th through December 16th.
I think that this one is my favorite in the series, so far. Not only are there all kinds of lively colors at the Farmer’s Market, there are also all kinds of lively characters there too. This man was tirelessly giving away samples on a hot, dry, California day. Not only do I like the subject matter of this painting, I also like the way the shapes and values balance within the composition.
Farmer’s Markets provide endless inspiration. In this scene a lovely lady has purchased a beautiful bunch of fresh flowers. As an artist, I find the farmer’s truck just as interesting and beautiful as the lady and the flowers.
This is another from my series of Farmer’s Market scenes. In this series I am exploring figures, colors, and shapes. I am simplifying the figures so that they appear more abstract. I’ve also simplified the produce into simple colors and shapes. In this scene a young hippie type of guy is stocking up on his vegetables. You might say he is “vegging out”.
Day two of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge. I have started working on a series of small paintings of scenes from local Farmer’s Markets. In this scene the young man tending the booth is surrounded by buckets full of fresh cut flowers. Such a colorful sight!
…but I decide to attempt the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge again! We will see how far I get before life gets in the way. Considering that the goal of the challenge is to paint more frequently, it can’t hurt to try. This time around I have decided to paint small. Let’s see if that helps.
So far painting smaller didn’t help! For my first painting I decided to try my hand at the Daily Paintworks Crowd of People Challenge. This was fun, but the complicated subject matter was difficult to execute on a small scale. I decided the best thing to do was to simplify. I like the way simplified figures lean toward abstraction.
The way the central figure came out reminds me of vintage mod fashion art. That is why I decided to call it The Mod Squad.
Hello again! I know it has been awhile since my last post. I was busy painting larger canvases for an exhibit that opened last week at the Harrington Gallery at the Firehouse Arts Center. The exhibit is called Inside & Out: Plein Air and Studio Works. The exhibit contains plein air and studio paintings by me and six other painters, collectively know as the Joules. This painting is one of my larger pieces in the exhibit.
Sunlight reflects off of the foliage. An iridescence reflects on the girl. I wonder what she is reflecting on?