Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Napa Valley

This morning I got up with my Dad and caught the early morning light. We took a long drive in Napa valley, I took over 150 photos...Yay!! Then we found a spot for me to paint before it got too hot.

"Mt. St. Helena Morning" oil on canvas 12x12
This piece is available on Daily Paint Works, X

Check it out! Happy Painting. I sure am!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Painting in the California wine country!

I'm on a little painting vacation, so I'll be posting some pictures and some paintings along the way. It's a trip with many layers of goodies and layers of more depth. I'll be visiting some family, making connections with new friends and dropping work at my gallery in Pleaston; Studio Seven Fine Arts.

I have to get going early, since it's HOT, HOT, HOT. I already had a glitch in the packing plan and forgot brushes, of all things! A quick trip to Santa Rosa remedied that situation. They have a great art supply store called Rileystreet. They were super equipped and super nice. I'm getting to experience some crazy winding roads on they way! I'd forgotten what they were like. Driving from Middleton to Calistoga took me on one of them. Yikes! When I checked into my hotel last night, the guy at the front desk told me he commutes every day from there! He said 37 curves in 15 minutes. It felt more like 100 to me! I have to go back that way today to visit my dad. Hope it's easier the other way! Maybe I'll get used to it.

But before that, I'll scout out some locations, perhaps paint, but definitely take more pictures. Painting for sure this evening. Middle of the day is out. Too hot! I'll be posting some results on Daily Paint Works and of course share here on this blog! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Places to Paint

Why do we choose to paint certain scenes and not others? What are attracted to? I know that I'm interested in capturing more intimate views of the landscape; the band of light across a path or the tuft of grass silhouetted by a dark shape behind it. I'm enchanted by the dance of leaves in the fall or the warm earth poking through some grass. I'm not likely to paint the grand mountain reflecting in a lake.

I also know that a place needs to sink in for me to want to paint it. That's why going on trips to paint unfamiliar scenes is interesting to me, but often doesn't yield my best work. My best work is of places that have weight and meaning to me beyond the initial beauty of a landscape. Places that I visit often and get to experience in different seasons and at different times of day have the most impact on my work. These become sacred places that I am drawn to over and over again. They sink in. They seep in. These places have mystery and meaning to me.

I'm getting ready to start a small series of pieces of a local spot called Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. It's a place where I've been spending some time recently and have gathered reference both photographic and in memories. Whether or not they are of merit to sell has little interest to me.
If they capture some of the impact that the place has on me is what will be important.

One of the reasons that I find doing commission work from a clients photo so difficult is because of just this issue of a place needing to have meaning in order to do ones best work. I need to feel a connection with the place to really have magic happen. I just can't do it from a clients image. Whereas a place that I am connected with will have a profound impact on the work.

I'd love to hear how you decide on places to paint!