Saturday, April 27, 2013

Meeting Kathleen Dunphy

There are special moments along the way that I know will continue to bring a smile years from now.  Yesterday my FatBoy friend Steve Kobely (aka Sterling Saguarro) and I journeyed to Douglas Flat near Murphy's California to experience one.

In an earlier post I expressed my excitement over receiving a merit award at the Ironstone Winery "Spring Obsession" art show.  Of course it was a pleasure to have my painting, "Miner's Cabin" selected, but the special part of that was that the judge who selected it was Kathleen Dunphy, nationally known plein air artist. ( )  Now THAT was exciting.

Although I got to thank Kathleen and shake her hand during the flurry of activity at the show reception, I didn't get a picture.   My FatBoy buddies, Steve and Mike Tompkins (aka Tall Fescue), badgered me into writing Kathleen to ask for a photo op, something I'd never do on my own.  Amazingly, Kathleen gratiously agreed and yesterday I met her in Douglas Flat near Murphys for the big event.  Kathleen was holding a workshop for 15 painters (all her workshops are sold out well in advance!) and at lunch break we took the photos.

She could not have been more gracious.  And as for myself...well, it was a special moment in my artist's journey.  Thanks Kathleen...once again.

Kathleen Dunphy

My Art Site

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sutter-Jensen Park Fund Raiser

Today I joined David Peterson's Third Saturday Paint Out.  We ventured to the Sutter-Jensen Park to support the local community that is trying to save the open space for a park.  It's a beautiful untouched 18 acres in the middle of the Carmichael suburbs.  The artists gathered to paint and offer 50% of the proceeds of the sale to the preservation committee.  It was a warm but blustery day.  I felt my painting was a success and I was pleased to donate it to the cause.

Sutter-Jensen Park   Plein Air Oil  on 12 x 9 canvas panel.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Renewal: a landscape

I tend to separate landscape subject matter into two categories, "pure" landscapes and "architectural" landscapes.  Neither is a particularly accurate description, but that's how it seems to break down to me.  I much prefer landscapes with 'architecture' in them.  The architecture can be anything from the tried and true barn to a tractor or old truck.  Whatever the case, the architecture provides a focus point with edges and shapes that are recognizable (hopefully) and provide interest.  Pure landscapes on the other hand are a real challenge for me.  Subtle colors and shadows can be difficult to capture accurately, while an overwhelming amount of detail can make it difficult to find and define a center of interest.  I think one key is to not be a slave to what's in front of you, whether it is a photograph or a plein air scene. 

In this painting, from a photograph, I tried hard to not get caught up in detail.  I also consciously tried to define the center of interest (focal point) with definition, brush strokes and light.  Conversely, I tried to keep detail to a minimum in other parts of the painting while also avoiding strong brushwork and highlights. 

My materials were my usual assortment of primarily Rembrandt oils, including Transparent Oxide Red, Olive Green, Ultramarine Deep with a little Titanium White and Yellow Ochre.  The canvas was acrylic gesso preprimed cotton canvas roll.  I added another coat of oil based primer before starting.  The canvas was taped to a board.  When it dries I will have the choice of stretching it or gluing it down on masonite or something similar. 

I call it "Renewal" 8" x 16"  oil on canvas.

Renewal   Oil on Canvas  8" x 16"