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Monday, October 30, 2006

studio work

"San Pablo Fog" 30x40", oil on canvas

Recently I've been wishing for more time in the day. I've been working in the studio on this large studio painting, based on a smaller study and some photographs I took on a walk at the San Pablo Bay wildlife refuge. This painting has taken on a life of its own, departing rather radically from my first ideas about where it should go, and I haven't found the time in the last week to do more small paintings. I'm not sure this one is quite done, but I'm also ready to have it off my easel for a while. Any comments are welcome.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

October Aspen Grove

"October Aspen Grove", oil on panel, 11x14"

I was working on a large plein air painting today. Large in this case means 18x36". It's a great size, but pretty much at the limit of what I can handle outside. I was hoping that I could finish it up with a second visit, but I ran out of light and will have to return. Funny - I keep forgetting to take a reference photo.

So I'm offering up one of the paintings from my Sierra trip earlier this month. I painted this in a meadow right off the highway, and throughout the day (I think I did two paintings at that location) there was a steady stream of folks piling out of their cars to take pictures of the foliage.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Todd Rd Barn - painting a day

"Todd Road Barn", 5x7", oil on canvas buy it now

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sod Farm - painting a day

"Sod Farm", 5x7", oil on canvas

I painted this at the Pacific Sod Farm in Sebastopol, mostly because the view of Mt. St. Helena was so striking. I'd like to go back with a larger canvas and be able to play more with the shadows cast by the trees across the expanse of very green sod.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Morning Shadow - painting a day

"Morning Shadow" 5x7", oil on canvas, buy it now

This is the same tree I painted in "Long Barn", but from a slightly different angle, and in the early morning. And now that we've had a little rain, it's amazing how quickly little patches of green are emerging.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Lyford House - painting a day

"Lyford House" oil on canvas, 5x7"

Painted at the Richardson Bay Audubon Center.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

recent woodcuts

"Tahoe Night" 19x17" on mulberry paper

I haven't been painting the last couple of days, but have managed to complete a couple of printmaking projects. "Tahoe Night" is a woodcut I've been working on for a couple of weeks. It's a rather large (18x14" image on 19x17" paper) version of an image I've been working with since a camping trip in July. It's for sale at my Etsy shop.

"Waxwing" 5x5" on Rives BFK

The second woodcut is inspired by a flock of waxwings that invaded my backyard last winter and camped out in the maple behind the house. There's a flock that spends the entire winter gorging on the berries in my neighborhood, but they're pretty shy, so I was thrilled to have an opportunity to whip out my camera and get some shots of them. I'm thinking about adding a border to the image, but I need to let it sit for a while.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Fog Study 3 - painting a day

"Fog Study 3" oil on canvas, 5x7"

This painting was a sort of "aha" moment for me. I was really interested in the very simple shapes of the long barns (this part of Sonoma county is dotted with these barns from when the area was a major poultry provider), and the way the fog flattened the space. I'm not sure it's any different from my other paintings, but painting it sort of turned something over in my mind and I was able to go home and finish a large studio painting that's been eluding me for months.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Painting under adverse conditions

"Thunderstorm at Donner" 8x10", oil on panel

Today's small painting was an unmitigated disaster, so I'm presenting one of the paintings from my Tahoe trip. I painted this the first night when I was all antsy to start painting. When we first arrived in Truckee, we were greeted with showers of hail, but I took advantage of a lull in the storm to scout out a site and paint. It was cold and windy, but at least it didn't dump on me. Midway through the painting as the clouds started to close in and thunder was rumbling I started questioning my sanity. But the light on the aspens along the pond was fantastic.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Solitary Poplar - painting a day

"Solitary Poplar" oil on canvas, 5x7 in.

I spent last weekend up at Tahoe chasing down the fall color (Thanks to Ed and Andy for suggesting good locations!). The contrast of the aspens, poplar and willows against the conifers was fantastic. I have several paintings I'm happy with, and some that need some adjustment, but none that I'm ready to chuck, so that's a good thing. I'll be posting them as they dry a bit more. I mostly painted 11x14 panels, but I did do this one little painting of a poplar along Blackwood canyon.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Suburban Sunset - painting a day

"Suburban Sunset" oil on canvas, 5x7in. SOLD

Monday, October 09, 2006

Cloud Study

"Cloud Study", oil on canvas, 5x7in. SOLD

The first storm of the rainy season blew through last week, and the clouds were fantastic. I painted this from a soccer field near my house at sunset, listening to the kids practice their moves on the wet field while trying to catch the clouds as they drifted by.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Bodega Head - painting a day

"Bodega Head" oil on canvas panel, 5x7in.

I drove out to Bodega Bay to pick up some invertebrates for the marine biology class, and stopped to paint the clouds breaking up over Bodega Head - the point of land that defines the bay. The San Andreas fault runs right through the bay, and Bodega Head is on the western side of the fault, riding the Pacific plate northwards.

I won't be posting for a few days - I'm off on a painting expedition and will have more to share next week.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Pumpkin Field - painting a day

"Pumpkin Field" oil on canvas, 5x7in. SOLD

It was a cloudy day when I painted this, and the pumpkins seemed to glow against the dark adobe clay soil at the local pumpkin patch. Seems like every little painting I do I'd like to go back and do more. I need more hours in the day!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Four Sheep - painting a day

"Four Sheep" oil on canvas, 5x7". SOLD

This is painting number 11 in my painting a day quest. I love painting the late afternoon light, but it changes so quickly that it's a real challenge. The sheep were the original focus of the painting, and I started with many more sheep, but kept simplifying the foreground until all I had left were the four little sheep in the distance. The rancher, who must have been in his 70's, came out to say hello and find out why I was parked in front of his field. After I explained what I was doing he told me that he used to do cartoons in high school, and invited me to go on into the field for a better view of the sheep. Perhaps next time I'll focus on the sheep instead of the trees and shadows.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Fog Study - painting a day

"Fog Study II" 5x7in, oil on canvas SOLD

This is painting number 10 in my painting a day personal challenge. I really labored over getting the colors of the distant trees and foreground hill correct, and I think the result is a bit overworked, and still not quite right. Chalk it up to another learning experience.