Sunday, September 13, 2009

Back In New Mexico

I woke up this morning and realized... Hey! It's been six months! Time for a new blog post! Yeah.

So we spent almost a year in California between Carmel and our time in the little coastal town of Mendocino. It was really a great experience for me as a painter to have access to some of the most beautiful coastline in the world every single day. However all good things (usually) must come to an end and a few months ago we hitched up the trailer and headed south back to New Mexico leaving California and all it's fresh food and beautiful scenery behind for awhile.

We really love Santa Fe and New Mexico in general. It's a great place to work as a painter... the landscape and light are unlike any other place on Earth. The culture here is unique and the FOOD! Oh, it's the best. So we are happy to be back here for awhile. We have put the Airstream in storage and we rented a little apartment right on Canyon Rd. Bethany is working in town as a chocolatier (making handmade fine gourmet chocolates) and I am of course painting every day as always.

This next weekend is the Art Expo at the new convention center and I am really looking forward to checking it out and loading up on supplies at wholesale prices. Oddly enough there are going to be live auditions for a PBS art program that has the same name as my blog (Brush With Life)... and is about traveling plein air painters. Hmmmm..... ? I guess I may as well audition since, well... for obvious reasons.

I'll let you know if I hit it big on PBS. ;)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

California Coast

Well.... at least I am consistent in my non posting, right? A post every six months or so is my max.

Anyway... we are in California on the North Coast in Mendocino currently. The photo above is a shot of the village of Mendocino as seen from The Headlands State Park. We spent 5 months or so down in Carmel and then went up to a friends ranch near Napa for a few months. We will be here in Mendo for the next six months. I am really looking forward to painting here. The possibilities are seemingly endless what with all the coastal views, windswept trees and the quaint old sea side villages.

My big news is that I was recently accepted into the Carmel Plein Air Artists Festival in May of this coming Spring. It is a competition involving 60 juried in artists. We will travel down with the Airstream for about a week for me to compete in the festival. There are some really great artists in the competition. It should be a really intense experience. I am very much looking forward to it. Mendocino will be a great place for me to get out and set up painting en plein air in the meanwhile to get myself primed for the festival.

I will post my newest works here in the days and weeks to come. I also plan to set up some really informal paintout workshop type days for local painters who are interested. I will post details here for those dates as well.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A ridiculously long lapse in posting!

Well internet! It has been almost a year since my last post! If you are interested in seeing what I have been up to the best and easiest way to get caught up is via Bethany's blog at Full Hook Ups.

That being said I will start fresh by saying that we are currently residing in Carmel, CA. I have been looking forward to painting the coastline out here for years. Originally we planned to settle in Big Sur for this coming winter but the damage done by this past summer's fires and the potential for flash flooding and landslides this season have pushed us north into the valley. Nothing to complain about. This is one of the most beautiful spots in the whole country and the gallery scene in Carmel is very impressive and inspiring.

I hope to set up a few painting workshops and get involved with the local arts scene over this winter and coming spring. Please feel free to email me through our website if you are interested in a workshop.

I have only just begun to work on coastal scenes but here is a quick shot of a recent piece featuring a view from near Garrapata State Park.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Revisiting Summer

I took a break from painting Texas hill country this week to complete a farm scene from our time in the Mid West this past year. This piece was a fun one to work through. I took my time with it and really concentrated on capturing the intensity of the full daytime sunlight. I used a light cadmium lemon throughout to achieve this. I think there is a nice rhythm in the way the stream leads your eye back in harmony with the trees. The hardest factors here were keeping the red barn in the distance (because red of course tends to come forward) and properly representing the reflected light in the water which is in total shadow. The end results are one of my favorite pieces I have done in the past month or so.

This piece has been listed in my store on eBay if you would like to see more info and/or detail.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Texas Hill Country

After months of letting this blog sit quietly waiting for a new post... here I am. I would like to apologize for the fact that I have not been more diligent in my posting! Here's to the future... it's the first day of the rest of my blog posting life.

So we are in Texas, in hill country for a few months. This is our first time here and let me tell you if you have not spent any time in Texas it really is big. Bigger even than you may think it is. We are continually wowed by just how vast it is. We arrived in state a little over a month ago and have seen the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Austin and San Antonio as well as many of the small ranch towns that dot hill country. Currently we are outside of Kerrville near Fredericksburg. I have been painting the Texas landscape for a month now and have found a few challenges here.

The first being the harsh sunlight. The second being the density of the foliage (I am always searching for that one singled out interesting tree with a great unobstructed view of a hilly background) and the third being the barbed wire fences which deny my access to many a perfect view for a painting! Each locale we have traveled through has presented it's challenges whether it was clouds of biting insects, lurking alligators or here, the worry of being nailed by a deer hunter in white tail season while scouting for a scene to paint. But you learn to work around them all eventually!

My latest piece I have completed here is a view of the Guadalupe River which flows just out back of where we are camping. It's late morning light on a relatively clear day. I strove to capture the rich hues of the foliage and the distinct blues and reflective qualities of the river itself.

I was thinking of George Inness while working through this piece... Fall colors, contrasting orange hues with the blues. I simplified the hills in the distance in order to bring the eye to the trees as a focal point. This river is lined with really great trees. Some of them are a real challenge to capture because of their enormity.

I hope to travel down to Bandera over the next week or so to work and also to complete another piece or two from the river banks where we are here. I will also be visiting the museum for The Cowboy Artists of America. There are several artists I am interested in which are members of this group. If anyone reading has any recommendations for this area fire away!

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Maine Landscape

I have been looking forward to painting in Maine again. Now that we are here it certainly does not disappoint. It's been over two years since we have been up this way and even longer than that since I really focused on painting this area. We spent our first eleven days just south of Portland in the Scarborough Marsh. This is a fantastic place to paint. The marsh is ever changing with the tides and the weather. It is most beautiful at sundown or early in the morning with fog hanging over the area. The above piece was done in late afternoon on a really wet, overcast day when the tide was going out...hence the muddy shoreline. The marshland grasses are really lush and there are abundant species of wildflowers along the trail and waters edge. I tried to convey the rich, green quality of the landscape in this work along with the softened atmosphere due to the moisture hanging in the air. The muddy shoreline was the most challenging aspect of the work... but I finally settled on it as you see it here and I am content with results I achieved.

We are now up in Camden, ME where the mosquitoes are the size of hummingbirds and hang outside the screen door with intense almost ferocious attitude and intent....waiting for you to open the door a quarter of an inch so they can sneak in and assault you. If I survive the bugs I plan to do a few pieces featuring the Camden Harbor and need to get out to pin down a few more locations to paint while here too. Anybody out there know the area and have a few suggestions? I love to get off the beaten path.

For anyone visiting this area don't miss the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland. They have a nice collection of Andrew Wyeth's work.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

I'm Back!

Wow...sorry for the looong lag in posts there. Things have been crazy for the past few weeks. We brought home a new puppy and a few days later left to go out to Martha's Vineyard for a week. We have since returned and are now settled in to a new campsite up in Southern Maine. I have not been painting as much for the past few weeks due to all the activity and moving around...and Rudy (the puppy) has demanded a ton of attention as well.

I did get tons of great photographs during our stay on the island and while I prefer to paint from life I will use the pics over the next few months to do a few works from the Vineyard. I did paint out with my Father and his best friend Allen Whiting a few times. Allen has a sheep farm in West Tisbury which has been in his family for several generations. It is a wonderful place to paint with old barns, pastures, woods and of course...sheep. Allen is also a painter and it is always a pleasure to hang out with he and my Dad and put paint to canvas.

The above shot is an old truck overgrown with foliage and over taken by rust out back on the farm. My Father has painted it a few times... it's a great nostalgic and sentimental image for me. You can click on the photo to see a larger version of it. I do have a Whiting farm scene on eBay right now which can be seen by clicking HERE.

I'll post my new work from Maine over the next week or so. We spent the day yesterday out on Cape Elizabeth and I am finishing up a coastal piece. Maine is one of my favorite places to paint so this Summer should bring some great paintings.