Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Borrego Plein Air Invitational

My week in Anza Borrego Desert, in and around Borrego Springs, was as usual a wonderful experience.

I stayed at the home of a charming lady who volunteered to support the Art Institute by hosting an artist. I was that lucky artist. The weather was good, although there were occasional strong winds we had to work around. (Translation: dont paint in them). I was doing pretty well until I was signing a painting and one gust took everything down and then some. It was messy! I kept getting paint on everything, but most important, the painting survived!!

 One of the most  favorite places for tourists and locals alike to go for   panoramic views  is Font's Point.  Its also one of the most notable landmarks in the valley. At sunset it turns golden when bathed in sunlight.  Font's is  where I did my first two paintings. And what a view it was ! You can see all the way into Mexico. It was inspirational. I thought I'd take on a good challenge and attempt a close-up of the point. Afterwards, I turned around and did a view looking West, which
 I called that " Fonts's, the Other View!"

 There's a few churches on the road where I was staying  so I was looking forward to capturing one in the glow of the morning sun. This is a pastel on hardboard 11x14.

 Since I was in college Ive been going to Anza Borrego to camp and hike so I know it pretty well, yet everytime I go , this being my 4th year painting in the competition, I discover places I 've never seen before. It fascinates me and frustrates me that I cant go just anywhere with my van . That turned out to be a lucky dilemna as I got to meet other artists and paint with them for a ride.  We also had excursions this time and had a great time hiking in the Slot. What fun! We talked about light, form, color, nature, geology. It was great.

 The final day of the competition I painted at the school where my host works , which allowed the kids to come by and watch me paint. And once the work was all turned in, I took off with fellow painters and went exploring up Fish Creek. That was saturday, the day the storm was arriving. It happened to arrive while we were out too. We watched as a big sand storm decended on some of the artists who stayed to paint. We in turn got rained on. When I left early sunday moring, I drove through snow for 50 miles, just about the entire way to Pala. It was slow driving. I was very glad to get home safe.

What an awesome  week! 
My thanks go out to the Art Institute for putting on another terrifc event!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spring 2012 Art News

For the week of March 11th I'll be one  of 15 artists out painting the beautiful desert scenery in Anza Borrego State Park, in and  around Borrego Springs. With the recent rains, the wildflowers could be pretty good this year. Its a great time  to enjoy the weather and the scenery either way.
Drop by the Borrego Art Institute to see the fresh new paintings at 587 Palm Canyon Drive. Its new  location will be on Christmas Circle. We'll be working all week around the park, dropping off paintings as we finish them. To find us, well, If you find a nice scene or shade, we might be nearby.
Express Yourself in Oils "Painting Class" will start up for another 8 week session on March 22nd and go thru May 31st. It's offered through the SVUSC Recreation Dept. New and beginning students are welcome. We meet at Aliso Intermediate School, in Mission Viejo. To sign up go to

In May I'll exhibit in Torrey Pines during their Art in the Pines event May 5-6th. That's such a lovely location you'll enjoy an outing to this event. I'll also be one of the artists exhibiting in the Artist's Tour in San Clemente May 6th. (Yes, somehow Ill be in two places at the same time!)

Also on March 31st I'll be giving a workshop Saturday at Art Supply Warehouse in Westminster on Palette knife painting in oils.
Materials are provided The Cost is $45. You  just need to show up!! Bring a friend!  You can sign up at
(Just scroll down til you see my paintings and class description.)

In February I demonstrated for the Seal Beach Art League. This is the not yet finished pastel with an oil underpainting.

The Eastern Carribean Artcruise workshop.
What a lovely part of the atlantic to experience. The color of the water vared from prussian blue to turquoise with so many incredible nuances of blues transitioning to violets as the light shifted at the end of the day.
How often I have tried to convey water like this. How magical it was to be swimming in it or lying on the beach under the hot sun relaxing , if only for a little while.It was quite wonderful to slow down and just breath it all in. 
We worked during the seadays on the ship. I kept the students busy with projects and went through a number of steps focusing on light. I addressed the color and  temperature  changes of light based on times of day and also discussed shadows, along with front back or side lighting. There was plenty to digest . On port days students could explore or paint on their own. I also offered an opptional plein air painting opportunity on Eleuthera, which was the perfect place to paint. We stopped there first then went to St. Maarten, St Thomas and last was Grand Turk. As much as I wanted to dive, I opted to snorkel instead and wasnt dissapointed. The fish were colorful and plentiful.  A final walk at sunset along the water's edge was the perfect end to a wonderful cruise.