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Friday, December 9, 2011

Foggy River Farm and Humboldt County Ranch

The paintings above were done from photographs.
The top painting, Foggy River Farm, was a commission, a wedding present from a relative of the bride. The couple worked at the farm last summer and fell in love.
The lower painting is from a photo I took while in Humboldt County a couple of weeks ago. I love the Thalo Blue hills which complement the Terra Rosa barn roof. The cows are another favorite element in this painting.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Aztec Dahlia Farm Along Adobe Road

Two plein air paintings done a week apart with Sandra Speidel's painting group. Although both days were sunny, the difference in color is notable. In the muted landscape, my paints were mixed with various piles of paint to harmonize the entire painting.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Another day with Monday Morning Painters, where we painted at Pedroncelli Winery and Vineyards in Geyserville, with most of us capturing the oft painted white house and its sunporch, along with the vineyards and Sonoma hills. The morning started out cool, but the Indian Summer kicked in by 11:00am, with the hot sun forcing out of the field those painters who didn't track where the sun was going to bear down. I was one of those painters. So in finishing the painting at home, I didn't really finish it at all.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Freestone's Fading Icons

Yesterday, I attended a workshop with my favorite artist and instructor, Judy Butler. After watching her demonstration, I painted these barns and silo in Freestone. My painting is very loose, as I was hoping it would become; sometimes the hand and eye do work together during the creative process. One surprising outcome of my day's efforts was the high-key result, which I like.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sausal Vineyards

Arrival at Sausal Winery
The view I picked.

After a couple of hours.
The finished painting, in my opinion, too overworked.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Blue Oaks at the Lake

Just back from a trip to Atascadero where my sister and her husband live. I always take along my painting gear and make excursions around San Luis Obisbo county. This time I chose Santa Margarita Lake, at the very spot where I painted a couple of years ago.

Fused Glass Cat Mask

A surprise email with this photo attached arrived in my In Box last week. The sender purchased this fused glass piece a number of years ago and asked if I was the artist. It is not uncommon for artists to switch media and I claim to be the artist for this piece.  I worked with fused glass for a decade, but when I moved from Cazadero to Windsor, I switched to plein air painting.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kunde Vineyards

Yesterday's Monday Morning Painters location was Kunde Vineyard, located on Highway 12 . The place was packed with painters wanting to capture the beautiful vineyards and gardens, and picturesque buildings. My attempt in this painting was to create atmospheric prospective. The building is a bit larger than reality, but this is artistic license.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

View from Rio Lindo Academy

This July 4th, Monday Morning Painters were scheduled to meet at Healdsburg Verterans Memorial Beach, but even at 9:00 am, people had staked out their picnic tables and it was sizzeling in the sun. I looked aroung for other MMPs but couldn't locate any, so I drove up to Rio Lindo Academy at the end of Bailache (which becomes Rio Lindo). It was much more peaceful at that location, since I hadn't been there for several years, I was quite taken aback at the changed view. As with a lot of Sonoma county, vineyards are being etched into mountain sides, and along river valleys. The hand of man changed the landscape.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Maui Visit

Last week I traveled to Hawaii, staying in Maui. While there, the highlight of my trip was visiting Carla Thistle and her husband who moved from Cazadero, CA to Haiku, Maui a decade ago. Carla was one of my art buddies in Cazadero, where we both lived for a number of years. One of her claims to fame is making willow furniture by cutting, stripping and weaving willow from the Russian River area. Several of her willow chairs were featured in Phenomenon, a movie starring John Travolta. Carla and Steve have a sweet home and green house that show off Steve's talents as a builder. Their property is filled with tropical abundance: orchids, fruit trees and just about anything that lands in the rich soil and is watered by the warm tropical rains.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

In Sara Lee's Vineyard

This past Monday Morning Painters' venue was located in the lucious vineyards of Sara Lee Vineyards. The vineyards are vast and contain incredible places to plein air paint. We often say to one another how lucky we are to live is such a beautiful place on earth.

Next Door to the Jimtown Store

Last week I was invited to paint on the last remaining 250 acres of the 9,000 acres once homsteaded by Cyrus Alexander in the mid 1800s. Alexander Valley is famous for its wine production, and the valley now contains the vineyards of many Healdsburg wineries. This painting is located next door to the Jimtown Store, and views the back of the house there.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Healdsburg Iris Gardens

Another Monday Morning Painters venue, located downtown, through an alley and opening into a secret garden. The morning's passing clouds turned dark and rained on us before we could complete our paintings, so we had to finish the plein air beginnings at home. The beautiful gardens were filled with fragarent irises and roses.

View from Bishops Ranch

After months of rainy and cold Mondays, the weather finally cooperated for Monday Morning Painters. Here is a view from the a deck overlooking a vineyard and towards Fitch Mountain at Bishops Ranch. Bishops Ranch, in Healdsburg, is favorite place for our group of painters, not only because of the many beautiful views it provides, but also for its peaceful surroundings.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Farm on Adobe Road

Last weekend, I drove to Jaccuzzi Winery for their Olive Festival. The trip showed the beauty of Sonoma County in the late winter - thunder clouds, viridian green grass, diciduous trees slowly gaining back their follage. I pulled away from the ubiquitous traffic on Adobe Road and took a photo of this old farm house with it's Happy California cows and the traffic zooming by, then I painted from the photo.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Soaking Up Sunshine

I must admit that I haven't painted much lately, and since this is the time to make new year's resulutions, I promise myself to paint more often, but I'm not saying how much more, and also to attend at least one art workshop a year.

So, in preparation for Tim Horn's indoor, winter workshop at the end of this month, I've been sorting through my photos to find something to paint. I chanced upon a photo I took of my cat about ten years ago. The picture was taken the day I rescued her from Healdsburg Animal Shelter where she was housed for six months in a small room with lots of other abandoned cats. The photo captures my cat at peace with herself, while soaking up the warmth of the sun.

This painting may or may not be finished. However, because some of the colors were getting muddy, I had to pull the painting out of my studio and hang it on my critiquing wall until I can decide what to do next.