Friday, August 28, 2015

Art-A-Fair Drawings 3

Sketchbook drawings
ballpoint pen, Sharpie markers bullet and fine point, Copic value markers, 2015
sketchbook 6" x 8" (15.24cm x 20.32cm)

Final week end for Art-A-Fair! The show closes this Sunday at 6:00pm. Still time to make it down there this weekend and enjoy the art and culture! Goooo... now!

These I was really just letting my imagination have at it.
Initially I was focusing more on laying down strong simple compositional shapes and not so much any actual subject in mind other than the possibility of using them for my Industrial Garden series over on my Avid Art 2 blog.
The only exception to that is the bottom one where, although still from my imagination and still focusing more on laying down strong simple compositional shapes, I was thinking of real world. I have done so many industrial paintings/drawings over the years that I wanted to test myself and see what I could come up with without drawing an actual site as I usually do.
I find we know more than we think if we trust our memory.

I have done a lot of experimenting with these drawings in technique, approach, looseness vs. tighter, etc.
All good exercises meant to keep the creative juices flowing.322,323,324,325,326

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Art-A-Fair Drawings 2

Sketchbook drawings
ballpoint pen, Sharpie markers bullet and fine point,
Copic marker, 2015
sketchbook 6" x 8" (15.24cm x 20.32cm)

More booth drawings from Art-A-Fair. The second down from the top I started using Copic markers. That one a warm gray 5. Other sketches where I used additional Copic value markers will soon follow in more posts. 318,319,320,321

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Art-A-Fair Huntington Beach 1

"Huntington Beach 1"
oil on panel, 2015
5" x 7" (12.7cm x 17.78cm)
Available at Art-A-Fair here

Here is a painting currently in my booth at Art-A-Fair and another from my Urban Seascape series. Late afternoon in Huntington Beach, which is south of the previous two Seal Beach from the series. If you look closely it shares the same background of the LA/Long Beach Harbor as the others, the reason I refer to them as urban seascapes.

This was one of those extremely windy days when the sand and ocean mist fills the air and the heavy surf is a continuous unrelenting roar as the waves pound the shore one after another, too much for swimming. It is those conditions that make for a great opportunity to paint the coastal atmosphere which really is the intended subject.
The figures provide the interest in what would otherwise be a simple and too-horizontal composition without them. It's the figures which link the horizontal bands together , a design device I learned from studying the work of Winslow Homer, one of the supreme seascape artists.

As a footnote I will say this is not the best photo and is not showing the warm/cool subtleties or saturation of color. The nearest figure is wearing a cad red coat which is not showing up well and should read with a bit more saturation and the upper left corner should be a cool pure white.317

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Art-A-Fair Drawings

Sketchbook drawings
ballpoint pen, marker, 2015
sketchbook 6" x 8" (15.24cm x 20.32cm)

While sitting in my booth at Art-A-Fair I am drawing in a small sketchbook to pass the time. Most are from my imagination or memory.
These are various combinations of ballpoint pen and a bullet and fine point Sharpie.
Initially I was drawing/painting with my iPad but the battery in it has neared the end of its re-charge life cycle and will hardly take a charge anymore.
Traditional media doe not require batteries.312,313,314,315,316

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Art-A-Fair 18th St. Nocturne

"18th St. Nocturne"
oil on panel, 2015
5" x 7" (12.7cm x 17.78cm)
Available at Art-A-Fair here

Here is another painting down at Art-A-Fair. I love the nocturne and that stillness of night.

We paint what we see. The view from my balcony, which I have painted several times. This one from early in the evening, lights still on in many of the homes. I love the linear quality of the lit power lines which break up the sky, make the composition more dynamic and gives the painting some energy.311

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Art-A-Fair SPIDER!

Yep, a tarantula visited one of the artists booths, a nice big scary one! The spider, not the booth. Gives new meaning to buyer beware, lol!
I won't mention his name (Bill!) because he is afraid of spiders and came (running) to me to "Get it!"
Which I did and a beauty he or she was. I released in back into the wild of course... ♪♪born free, as free as the wind blows, as free as the grass grows♪♪... well, you know.
Can't blame the spider I mean after all it was Free Entry night at Art-A-Fair and why not take it as a compliment considering all the other booths he/she could have visited. Must have been his shiny art that was so attractive.

Just one of several critters I have seen around Art-A-Fair, the others being rabbits and raccoons coming out of the hills, all furry I might add! So much fun here! Excitement galore!
We had the fire a few weeks back, the heavy rains two weekends ago... all very eventful.

What next I wonder? Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Art-A-Fair Hopper Railcar Nocturne

"Hopper Railcar Nocturne"
oil on panel, 2015
5" x 7" (12.7cm x 17.78cm)
Available at Art-A-Fair here

Here is another new painting currently hanging in my booth at Art-A-Fair
A simple image and composition of a lone railcar. I was looking for that stillness of night, that absolute dead calm, not even the slightest of breeze.310

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Art-A-Fair Santa Ana River 6

"Santa Ana River 6"
oil on panel, 2015
16" x 9" (40.64cm x 22.86cm)
Available at Art-A-Fair here

While researching an illustration for a magazine I visited an arroyo at the northern rural end of the Santa Ana River in San Bernardino California.

This has expanded my Santa Ana River series to include more classic natural views in addition to the southern urban versions where the river meets the ocean. This one from the middle of the river as it passes through a shadow.309

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Art-A-Fair Tumbleweed Hill

"Tumbleweed Hill"
oil on panel, 2015
16" x 9" (40.64cm x 22.86cm)
Available at Art-A-Fair here

Here's another currently hanging in my booth at Art-A-Fair.
This landscape is more prickly than the others, a reflection of much of Southern California's desert and savanna flora. Dry climate brush.

I was drawn to the textural qualities of this landscape, the bristled tumbleweed orbs and their march up the hill, the leftward thrust of the foreground vegetation and path and the raking light of late afternoon.308

Art-A-Fair Auction Night

Sunday night was Art-A-Fair's Auction to benefit Laguna College of Art and Design student scholarships so it was a big night with a lot of people buying and talking art.
The patrons were real art enthusists so conversations were more in depth and I, and my neighboring artists, had a real good opportunity to talk about our art with collectors.
Those conversations are important for the artist as well as the collectors and art lovers.
We get the chance to talk about our influences and backgrounds and of course specifics about individual pieces. Collectors have the opportunity to meet the artists and ask questions and hear the stories behind our art.
Those are the best nights.

Here's a pic of my booth from Sunday with new art hanging.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Art-A-Fair Above the Hazy Arroyo

"Above the Hazy Arroyo"
oil on panel, 2015
16" x 9" (40.64cm x 22.86cm)
Available at Art-A-Fair here

New landscape(s), new format.
I have 3 new landscapes at Art-A-Fair right now and 2 others on the easel.
I am trying various palettes on these, from my usual palette to more earthy (like this one) to higher chroma and various combinations of those.

This atmospheric conditions provided a good excuse for high contrast between foreground and background, with the middle ground in between but closer in value to the background. Within the foreground and middle ground the value shifts are subtle and the color saturation turned up, especially in the foreground, for that deep rich tone. Fore and middle grounds having a mixture of warms and cools and set against the more neutral background so it's not so singular or flat in approach.

Thick air you can see.
Above the lush arroyo on a warm hazy October day.
A great view that opens up to the dry hills and distant mountains. The sun fighting through the haze to seep into and warm the landscape.307

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Art-A-Fair Landscape (Tree Trunk)

"Landscape (Tree Trunk)"
oil on panel, 2015
7.5" x 10" (19.05cm x 25.4cm)
Available at Art-A-Fair here

Here is another painting currently hanging in my booth at Art-A-Fair.

Lately I have been trying out a higher chroma palette (again). Over the years my palette has gone back and forth like most artists.

While researching an illustration for a magazine I visited an arroyo at the northern rural end of the Santa Ana River in San Bernardino California.

This landscape was at the outer edge of the arroyo just above the river.
What caught my eye was the lively configuration of the trees and the surrounding vegetation. Using a slightly more saturated palette than I usually do  added to its animated character.306

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Art-A-Fair Storage Yard Nocturne (Stars)

"Storage Yard Nocturne (Stars)"
oil on panel, 2015
5" x 7" (12.7cm x 17.78cm)
Available at Art-A-Fair here

Happy 4th of July!

I have no paintings of fireworks so the next closest thing was this one with shooting stars. ; )

I like storage yards as a subject and have done several in this series including nocturnes. Although technically some may not be a yard used only for storage, they may be some business, I use it as an all encompassing term for these industrial sites, usually seen from the outside the fence.
I added the shooting stars to offset the stillness of the night.305

Art-A-Fair July 3rd

July 3rd in Laguna was rather eventful when a fire broke out up on Laguna Canyon Road.

Fortunately for all it was knocked down quickly before having a chance to spread thanks to an aggressive response from the Laguna Fire Department, Orange County Fire Authority and Cal Fire aircraft and hand crews.
Thank You!
The video shows one of Cal Fire's smaller fixed wing aircraft swooping over the fire dropping fire retardent. There were also two helicopters and another large fixed wing jet working the fire.

My video is a little shaky because it was shot hand held. The original is clearer than uploaded here, sorry! I don't know enough about how to do that. I tried the original but it was too large a file to load here.
Update: I reposted a better video above by uploading it first through YouTube.

No rain this year and all our dry brush and it could have been devastating, especially since this is the beginning of the festival season and there was a lot of people in the canyon.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Art-A-Fair Arroyo Landscape

"Arroyo Landscape"
oil on panel, 2015
6" x 8" (15.24cm x 20.32cm)
Available at Art-A-Fair here

Art-A-Fair is underway now with this being the first weekend. The grounds look spectacular thanks to the volunteer staff that put a lot of work into every detail. There are countless other jobs we don't see, like promotion and administrative, done by the volunteers that go back months, long before we exhibiting artists show up.
So thanks to all!

Here is one of my new paintings currently hanging on my wall.

While researching an illustration for a magazine I visited this arroyo at the northern rural end of the Santa Ana River in San Bernardino California. Down in the arroyo it is like being in another place.
In our otherwise dry savanna climate it feels like an oasis teaming with a variety of lush green trees, vegetation and wildlife year round.304

Friday, June 26, 2015

Art-A-Fair Premiere Night

Wednesday was Art-A-Fair's Premiere Night. There were a lot of people in attendance and excitement in the air.
Several friends stopped by my booth to say hello, see my work and give me their best wishes.
One of them was Terry DiLisi pictured here with me and talking with my sister Jennifer.
Two of my paintings sold to another friend, artist Wendy Wirth and her husband. Thank you Wendy and Scott!
Wendy is one of the featured artists across the street at Festival of the Arts. My best wishes for many sales go out to Wendy!

Today is the grand Public Opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10:00 am.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Art-A-Fair Ready

Here is the final hang for my booth at Art-A-fair.

Tonight we enjoyed a delicious Artists Appreciation Dinner compliments of the generous owner June Neptune of Tivoli Too restaurant.

Thank you June!

Tivoli Too is on the Art-A-Fair grounds so after dinner we artists got to walk around, get to know each other, visit booths and talk art without any crowds. Very pleasurable relaxing night and with this being my first year I was happy to meet many of the other artists.

Ready for opening!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Art-A-Fair Hanging and More Hustle and Bustle

It was another busy day at Art-A-Fair. Everyone was rushing around like ants after a good rain installing art and finishing their booths.

Here are some pics as we were hanging my paintings, a job that always takes longer than planned doesn't it?
Second photo down is my sister Jennifer who is an Interior Designer and brings her own expertise to the hanging, the layout and colors here, the framing, and too many other tasks to mention. The ones we artists don't like doing! She will also be sitting in my booth for much of the fair when I am not there.
Jennifer also designed my Avid Art logo, my promotional material, new business cards, postcards, letterhead etc. Without her I would not have the high level of professionalism in everything beyond the  paintings.
So a big thank you Jennifer!

The third photo down you can see Amanda Fish in the background. She is the friend who encouraged me to enter this years Art-A-Fair after visiting her booth in 2014.
We have our booth's just around the corner from each other which is really cool.

There are a couple of new landscape paintings to hang in the lower right after I pick them up from the framer in the morning. We still have to hang the title/price labels and have just a couple little details to do but other than that my booth is ready for the opening!
Whew! So much work! But really satisfying as we near the grand opening!
Then... maybe I will have, no... schedule, some time for sleep!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Art-A-Fair Booth Final Touches

Today Art-A-Fair was a beehive of activity. I think everyone was there, with their helpers, finalizing their booths, installing art now that there is 24 hour security on site. This was after our final training meetings.

Here are a couple more pics from yesterday of the type logo going up and 2 from today after adding lights and a baseboard.
Back tomorrow to hang paintings! Still seems like there are a ton of little details to take care of! Because  there is!
Gotta go, back to the easel! Still have some paintings in progress!

I'll post some pics of my finished booth tomorrow eve.

Friday, June 19, 2015

My Art-A-Fair Booth

Today I was down at Art-A-Fair painting and preparing my booth for next weeks opening night.
Here are some pics of me painting the wall and logo stripes and applying the logo type.

Although I have been frantically painting in the studio, sending paintings off to the framer and doing all the other countless tasks, excited about the summer festival, it now feels real. Seeing it all come together always makes the difference. Up to this point all the planning, meetings and talk has been on paper or in my mind.

Now I can see it in the flesh!
Stay tuned for more...

Art-A-Fair Sneak Peak PHL 67 First Rain

"PHL 67 First Rain"
oil on panel, 2015
5" x 7" (12.7cm x 17.78cm)
Available at Art-A-Fair here

It's nearly here!
As the curtain is about to be raised at Art-A-Fair I will be leaving San Pedro and rolling into Laguna Beach with a load of cargo... my paintings! ; )

Art-A-Fair opens in one week, opening night is Friday June 26th.
Here's a little sneak peak of one of my paintings in the show.

I do love to paint weather and despite another year of almost zero rain here in So Cal I show the 67 from my Pacific Harbor Line series with a rain cloud behind it rolling across the same street as this one here, but coming from the other direction.

If you follow my blog you know there has also been a drought of postings due to all the work it took to ready for this show (and other projects) Well, the drought is over so stay tuned as I will be posting more now that the show is beginning... 303

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Lone 2 - Dockside Red Shed

"Dockside Red Shed"
Watercolor on paper, 2015
15" x 20" (38.1cm x 50.8cm)

Here's a recent watercolor of an old shed in a marina in the LA Harbor. It is similar to this one in it's rendering, although it is a more tightly packed composition, and this one for the lone idea behind it.
I was drawn to not just the shed, I love corrugated buildings, but also the small palm and the two backlit plastic barrels for their luminosity.
Besides adding some shape variation to the composition they countered the predominant rectangular forms with cylindrical and radial (round or circular) forms. Just enough to break up a static composition.

The palm leaves fanning out in the lower left corner and the short retaining wall lead nicely to the barrels and shed, the power lines reinforcing the diagonal compositional thrust from lower left corner. Without that everything is horizontal and square and dull.

After those initial observations that first get my attention, when I sit down to paint I always realize the other artistic decisions that must be made before I put paint to paper. That for me is the real content, the design just aids in making it work.

I have to identify what I was seeing and decide how to portray those impressions through paint.
It's not always automatic.
What I was really seeing was not just the shed itself but how it sat by itself on the large dockside slab, isolated from the rest of the buildings.

The warm bright slightly overcast sky and simplified foreground communicated that idea of the isolated shed and also helped ease its busy liveliness. A nice clear blue sky or clouds would not have done that. Pretty blue skies generally say happy or pleasant, clouds say another depending on how they are portrayed, a dark sky says something else. But a bright nearly colorless sky doesn't draw attention to itself and in this case this reinforces the lone subject.

Since all the vibrancy takes place across the center in the shed itself its shadow needed to belong to it and differ from the barrels and palm shadows. So it starts green at left and after turning the corner is warm blue.

I also decided that since the shed had such a strong red color and aged patina showing the rippled surface of the corrugated metal was not necessary this time... it was busy enough.302

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

My Art-A-Fair Website Page

You can now visit my Art-A-Fair page on the website by clicking the link at the top of the right column at any time. It is exciting to see it all coming together. My booth is B20 and I will be near the friend who recommended I apply, oil painter Amanda Fish.
Also be sure to visit Art-A-Fair on Pinterest, Twitter and facebook.

Stay tuned for more updates as the show nears.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Accepted into "Splash 17 : Inspiring Subjects" !

"E 4th St, Bridge"

I just received the great news that my painting "E 4th St. Bridge", which I mentioned earlier here on my blog, has been accepted into "Splash 17: Inspiring Subjects", the annual watercolor book published by North Light Books.
As follower's of my blog already know I am always inspired by industrial subjects and my city of Los Angeles. All cities have their own great landmarks and little treasures and I love seeking out the ones in my own. I have seen paintings of the 4th St. Bridge before but I hope that by focusing on the section that splits to E 4th Place I caught a unique view that has not been painted too often. I loved this view for its dramatic composition.

Since I have been super busy preparing for this summer's Art-A-Fair and with so many other projects happening all at once this kind of news is a boost to my weary bones, sore back and tired eyes. Exactly the shot I needed right now!
From the way things have been going so far it looks like 2015 will be a high watermark year for me, even with our extreme drought!  ; ).

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Digital Sketches

digital, SketchBook Express app

Here's some quick iPad gestural sketches done in the SketchBook Express app. I have been working at it more recently so I'm getting a little more comfortable with it. Previously I would work on it then not touch it for a long time, never really getting the hang of the medium. I still don't have a good stylus though. I have tried 2 or 3 and they don't feel as natural to me as pen or pencil on paper. I am still getting used to the way they drag across glass, that tactile sense.

As I work on multiple projects, like my upcoming summer show at Art-A-Fair, I am finding that working on the iPad is a great way to take a break from them briefly while still keeping my head in the game and just letting it flow. If I don't like one, DELETE.
These were done from life. The top one he was watching a TV mounted to the wall at a laundra-mat, the others folding clothes.
It can be hard to work from life and still find some kind of action instead of stationary or posed figures. The Laundra-mat proved to be a good place because even though they are moving they are doing the same repetitive motions, making gestural drawings easier to do because I don't have to get it all at once or remember the action entirely.299,300,301