Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Virtual Paintout and The Big Mistake!!

The Old Place in Antibes
8" x 10"   oil on canvas

This month The Virtual Paintout went to the Cote d'Azur, in southern France. The Virtual Paintout being a challenge to paint off a google map. The rules were simple, paint anywhere east of Saint Tropez to the Italian border, south of the A8 (a major highway).  Well, for what ever reason, I got turned around and started going west of Saint Tropez (on the google map) and sighted Arles ahead. Now anyone who knows art knows that Vincent van Gogh did a lot of painting in Arles, and me, being a die-hard van Gogh admirer, simply lost my head. Paint in van Gogh territory? How could I resist. So I painted this lovely little piece, not far from the Pont de Langlois, at a spot that van Gogh himself might have painted.  Here's my painting:

The Road to Arles
(Near the Old Pont de Langlois)
13" x 91/2", oil on board

Then I realized I was way off course! Oh, crap! Less than a week till the competition ends, and me with almost no painting time. So I wrote Bill Guffey, who hosts this site a quick note asking if Arles would be acceptable. Bill, who runs a tight ship and doesn't seem to suffer fools gladly, sent a equally quick reply. No, it would not be all right to stray over to Arles

Since I really enjoy this blog site and challenge, and didn't want to get left out, I had to paint like crazy in the right area. So I did. This is my submission, at the beginning of the post, I hope you like it.

If you'd like to see the google-map I painted from, click here.
You can see the site in Arles -for what it's worth - click here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Beautiful Day at Baylands

Baylands, Palo Alto
oil on canvas, 11" x 14"

The thing was, the colors were so brilliant you couldn't believe your eyes...  I wasn't sure I could do justice to that particular color of sky - the yellow of the flowers under the trees was stunning. I worked hard to get it all there, all right, quickly, before the light changed.

Also, I confess - there was no path to the water. It just seemed like it would make a better composition.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mid Spring at the Annex

Mid-Spring at the Annex
11" x 14"
oil on canvas

Spring is so slow and reluctant to arrive around here, that you would not believe it is midway through the season.. still, we were able to get out and paint last week, and I caught this tree in it's "lacy" stage of leafing out. With no actual rain, the grass in the field was quickly going dry, only green where the deep shadows were.  

This painting is also posted on my Plein Air Artists Page

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"Now Showing" at Hope Street Studios

oil on wrap-around canvas
24" x 24"

A few of my pictures are hanging at Hope Street Music Studios in Mountain View, through July.  Among them are some landscapes, garden paintings and this piece, called "Vanitas."  Traditionally, vanitas is a type of painting style with a "message" that expresses the transient nature of life, a way to remind us that our time here is short.  Usually they are still lifes, and often depict skulls, candles burning low, and things like that. 

And that's what this still life is - a reminder that life is transitory in nature, and to appreciate the here and now. This painting suggests that flowers, fruit, or the beauty of a summer's day won't last long, and like all of us, must be valued. It also has bigger suggestions in mind - that what's inside the frame may not be the best of what you see, that some of the most beautiful things (like those flowers) happen outside the frame (read: box). The frame itself, painted on in the trompe l'oeil manner - literally meaning to trick the eye - is a reminder that things are not always what they seem. The painting itself is an invitation to look below the surface and see the deeper meaning of things.

To purchase this painting please click on the Paypal link on your left, or contact me at my email address above. Thank you. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Oak Tree at Cuesta Annex

Old Oak at Cuesta Park Annex
14" x 18"  oil on canvas

Massive, majestic but endangered ! This beautiful old oak sprawls over a large area at the Annex - a lovely undeveloped part of a big, local park. 

Parts of this large oak are in a sad state of decay, yet many limbs are new and vigorous... It's been here for such a long time, but the city wants to build here. No guarantee this magnificent oak, or others near it will get to stay. This tree should be treasured and protected, as should the whole Annex itself.

To learn more about the Annex and the efforts of local citizens to save it, click here