So I’m going to be featured artist in a local gallery

It was a last minute happening, so I have to take pieces that are already framed, as other than two inch canvases everything needs to be framed and ready for hanging. Fifteen pieces are now ready to go. In other galleries where I’ve shown my work and had my own show, you took your work in, hung it yourself and each one was labeled on the wall with information: Price, size, material & etc. At this one, there is a list to be made, someone else hangs your show and each piece has a rather complicated tag. It took all day to pull this together, and I still do not have a list of cards yet. Those need to each have a description, even though I put the name of the piece on every one.

It is about this point if you wonder if it is worth the work? Since I am new to the area, it will be interesting to see if anything sells?

This the largest piece I am showing at 36″ x 36″. It has been in my family room for the last year and I do like the piece, but needed a “Show-Stopper”. Hope it catches the attention of people coming into the gallery. It was painted after the fires in Vacaville and is called: “The Air is Clearing”. It is available for $2500.

Lagoon Valley was painted from a photo I took while walking around this lake. It is 24 x 18″ and is for sale for $750.00.

“And the Ducks Liked the Boat” was a derelict boat in a small canal that I photographed, while we were out looking for Christmas Trees last year. We did not get a tree, but this photo of the boat was lovely. It is 14″ x 11″ and available for $550.00
“Down By the Sea” is a Plein Air from Monterey. It was such a beautiful spot! Hope I captured the essence of the scene! It is 12″ x 9″ and can be yours for $450.
Mardi Gras is a smaller 7″ x 5″ watercolor that is framed and for sale at the gallery for $250.

A River Runs Through is 12″ x 9″ and available for $450 at the gallery.

There are several other pieces.

Come visit the Fairfield Suisun City Visual Arts Association

1350 Travis Blvd, Fairfield, CA 94533

So I’m going to be featured artist in a local gallery

How to change an art piece or what medium looks better?

Yesterday in our watercolor class we had the option of painting something with green. I had taken a photo while driving along the coast and thought this might be fun to paint. I am still struggling with watercolor, but had a little fun with this.

This was the piece as I left class, but I thought it was a little boring.
So I added, pen and ink and like it a little better.

This is the original photo.

Just for fun I redid the same photo in oil and thought it would be fun to add here and see what you think?

This is just a quick blog post to show three different styles of the same thing.

How to change an art piece or what medium looks better?

Trees in Watercolor

Back to the watercolor class today with mixed emotions. I wonder if watercolor is even my medium? Do you ever wonder why you are trying something new. I was told the piece was very “painterly”, which was nice, but I really did not like the piece. I came home and added some pen and ink to the watercolor as it looked to bland to me. I am having a hard time figuring out how to have more dark darks in watercolor. It is so very different than painting in oils.

How do you control the movement of the water with the paint as you apply it, so you do not get splotches? How do you get the vibrant color that you get with oils? I won’t give up! I won’t give up!

It is a class of beginners, so hard to learn from anyone else in the class. I am using the class as a reason to force myself to try something new once a week. Not sure if it is working, as would I ever be able to sell anything in this medium. Maybe that is not a good reason to be taking a class.

Trees in Watercolor

Back to Watercolor Class

When is a class not a class. I love taking art classes, (and cooking classes) but need to learn something new from the person teaching the class. This is a watercolor painting from a class I took on Tuesday. I am trying to decide if I should pay the money for the camaraderie, and know I am not really going to learn anything new. The teacher is delightful and tells other people how to mix colors, I already know how to mix.

What do you get from a class, where you are just given something to draw or bring your own photo? And there is no real instruction or suggestions for change, is that instruction. The teacher is very nice and seems to do fairly nice (standard) work, but there is not much inspiration for me here. To continue or not?
Back to Watercolor Class

Taking Art Classes

I took an art class this Sunday for the first time in the area. I admire the work of the artist, although quite different than my normal style, and I did learn some new color mixtures, which I enjoyed. The work is a little darker than my usual style, but I had fun.

One of things that I have learned from taking art classes over many years is that even if you really like their art and style, it is not your style. Every class I have ever taken the teacher thinks their style is the only good one. I do always learn something, but I am not about the confidence that comes with it. Maybe I wish I had more confidence in what I do, so I could feel that way too!

I learned some “sweet” color combinations, but think I am back to vignettes of my own choosing, or scenes I select. I just can’t get excited about either of the paintings, and I can’t sell them (legally) as his paintbrush touched my canvas?

The picture below is part of the setup:

I might have to try to do it again with a little lighter hand and see what I think. I won’t mention the instructor’s name, as I do really respect his work and he did the following in less than an hour.

I would love to know what you think of what I have posted?

So I decided to add my own personal view to the vase scene and this is what I came up with in about an hour. Would love input on what look you like best!
Taking Art Classes

Catch Me If You Can?

When I was young we went to the city to go shopping for fabric and clothes each August. We dressed up and wore hats and gloves. So now you know I’m of a an older generation, as who does that now. When I went to the city right before Christmas, the only gloves worn were to keep your hands warm. There was not a lot of “dressing up”. Downtown it was hard to tell the shoppers from the transients. It’s just so very different. The restaurants are still fabulous, but all the little boutiques are gone, replaced by Gucci and Prada and etc.

I have been going to San Francisco for over forty years, and every time I have been, I have gone to Buena Vista Cafe and had an Irish Coffee. I painted it a while ago, but may go back and work on it. Maybe add some more darks.

San Francisco used to be the perfect place to get away from the mundane life, but now I think it has become the mundane city. It’s so sad that there are so many transients living downtown, and the city is just not as pristine as I remember it was when I was young.

You still can’t beat restaurant life and I still love Cable Cars and all the wonderful restaurants!

Catch Me If You Can?

And then there were grape vines

Living so close to Napa, makes it easy and wonderful to go wine tasting at a very wide variety of vineyards. One of my favorites is Crocker and Starr where they sell the Sauvignon Blanc and delicious Cabernet Franc. The last time we went wine tasting, I took lots of photos and painted a couple of vineyard pieces. These are smaller pieces, so about 8″ x 10″ and 9″ x 12″.
Trying to capture grapevines is not as simple as I you think. There is the idea of wonderful wine, the simplicity of the vines and difficulty of trying to capture the essence of the place. I added a little gold leaf to try to bring out life of the vines.
And then there were grape vines

Dancing in the Wind

Back to my makeshift studio to paint. This is 60″ x 48″ and is designed to hide a water heater. Not the best reason to paint, but any reason in my mind is a good reason. When I sold my waterfront home, I gave up my perfect painting studio over my three car garage. It was designed to have perfect north lighting, lots of space for storage and close to main street where I could sell my art.

When I sold it, I bought a small cottage with a finished garage, so I could set up my studio there. It was great, people walked by and said hello and it was clean and organized with lots of storage. I still own the home, but do not live there.

Where I live now, really has no studio. It is a wonderful 1912 California Craftsman Bungalow with a not so lovely 1912 one-car garage. I’m not sure it ever really housed a car. It is unfinished, has that “old house” smell, and it has taken me a while to want to paint in it. In time we may dry-wall it, so I can hang some art and hopefully get some shelves so I can store some of my supplies. I did order a lamp this weekend to help with the lighting.

Dancing in the Wind

Newport Bridge

Driving down to California we stopped in Newport Oregon for two days. What a beautiful site on the coast. We ate at the local marina both nights with great views, fabulous wine and food. I captured the top photo out the window when we were having dinner one night. I loved the boat and the bridge, but thought the painting might be a bit bland. So I added a nice sunset. The painting is 12″ x 24″.

At first I missed the spotlight and when I looked back the photo and noticed it, I thought it might add a little life to the painting. I realized bridges are not easy to paint, so I abstracted it a bit and did not put in a lot of detail.

It is nice to be back painting, and when Thanksgiving is done, I will be back in the studio. There are no Christmas parties this year with the Pandemic, so we will have to find ways to celebrate the season that bring us joy. I think I will just cook and paint and be happy! Hope you can do the same!

Newport Bridge

After the Fire

After the Fire 12″ x 24″

Picking up and moving to a new place for half a year is proving to be an interesting transition. Definitely not a bad one, but traveling and hoping you have packed everything you need.

I brought a lot from my kitchen, as my new kitchen in the north is so much smaller and out of date compared to the house l sold. I do miss the view of the harbor when I am in my Washington home, but adapted by enjoying the trees (that constantly make a mess of my back yard), the deer wantering through and the smaller space. I finally had the kitchen of my dreams, but not the marriage. So the choice was be happy in the house and miserable in part of life or move on. I am very happy I moved on.

Then there is the packing of clothes. So very often when I get dressed in the morning I realize that I left a few too many things behind. When I arrived in California it was supposed to Fall, but it was still summer and I had no summer clothes. Thanks to Nordstrom Rack I found end of summer sale clothes, so filled in what was missing. (sort of). With the Pandemic having the right clothes certainly is not as important. I just needed a few lighter weight clothes and some T-shirts to get me to Fall.

Fall has finally arrived and I am savoring the weather and finally got a studio, of sorts set up in the 1918 garage. I got a heater, a light and have a folding table and one easel for my art. I got the heater after the first day I painted and had to wear tights, a turtleneck, a flannel shirt, overalls, a fleece vest, cashmere gloves, which I cut the fingers off, a hat, Ughs and I was still freezing. The heater has helped a lot.

The fires were finally under control in Central California, so I painted the above painting in honor or that and for all the people that lost homes, pets and loved ones. I usually do an abstract rather quickly, but I think I felt a little emotional over the fires that blazed so close. The painting was done for our home in Vacaville and seems to fit in perfectly.

After the Fire