California Workshop in February...

Crystal Cove 16x20sm

 

I just got home from California a week ago, but I’m already looking forward to when I can paint there again. This February I’m headed back for a workshop and solo show hosted by the Debra Huse Gallery on Balboa Island. Southern California is a great place to paint, with some amazing scenery. It should make for a fun place to host a workshop. If you want to learn more about the class feel free to contact me, or the gallery. The class will be February 3-6.

The painting above was done at Crystal Cove, a great beach with some charming buildings looking out over the water. The teal building is painted pretty frequently, but I liked making it the foreground of this scene. It’s a little busy, but he teal house feels like a nice resting place for the eye. Part of what drew me to the scene was the complexity of the background, and thinking about how I would be able to simplify it to simple brushstrokes.

 

Top of the World...

Top of the Worls Tree 18x24sm

 

I recently got home from a week in California participating in the Laguna Plein Air Invitational. It was so much fun to paint with my friends and to meet new people out there. It was also great to paint a new place. I really like the character of this tree and the valley behind it leading to Saddleback Mountain. While I was there, most mornings were overcast till 11am, so I used this scene as a morning subject.

Cast Shadows...

Barn 30x40sm

 

I’ve wanted to paint this barn for years, and never got up the nerve to ask permission till a few weeks ago, despite the fact that it’s owned by a friend’s mom. I finally did ask and got an enthusiastic invitation to paint there. I had never explored the property before so I spent some time looking around and choosing the scene I wanted to paint. Even after choosing the barn I had to do a lot of planning of the composition, and try to plan for the moving light. I really like painting a structure as the light is transitioning between shaded and fully lit. In this case I liked the long cast shadow from the roof, but had to capture that fleeting moment as fast as possible . The painting is 30×40″ so it takes a little more thought than a smaller sketch, but it can be a fun challenge to deal with.

Summer Yardscape...

Summer yardscape 20x16sm

 

I painted this one back in August. We picked up this fun little tricycle for Audrey and I loved the colors and lines on it. I spent a surprisingly long time moving it around the yard to try it with different light effects and backgrounds.

I just spent the last few weeks teaching workshops in Rockland, ME. It was fun but completely exhausting! One of the things I stress in my classes is the importance of simplifying a scene to it’s most important shapes and colors when we paint. still want my drawing to be correct, but I find it most important to get the values and color shifts put in with a painterly brushstroke. The tricycle was fun to paint, but I really like the simplicity of how the baby pool in the background was painted. It’s the subtle shifts in blue that give a sense of light and shadow that I like, and how those colors play off the rest of the composition’s colors. 

Harbor...

Backlit Camden 16x20sm

 

This was painted in Camden Harbor with tons of boats and beautiful scenery. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what t include in a painting. Instead of trying to squeeze the whole scene onto the canvas I looked for an opportunity to zoom in on a small grouping of boats. This series of white boats made for a fun study in observing the subtle color shifts that can happen as light bounces around.

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