Golden Sunset is not only called that because of its color but because I created it during a Golden Paints seminar in which we were given samples of a bunch of different paints and textures and encouraged to play with them in a guided creation that showed different ways to use most of the products.
Inevitably I worked on it further once I got home!
#1439 Golden Sunset. Mixed media on canvas panel. 20×16″ $200.
A recent sale at Palo Alto subsequently got back to me as a pic of the painting in its forever home. This one might not look as interesting as you would think it could be, but I knew before the new owners took it home, it was going in the guest bathroom, so most of the surrounds are omitted for aesthetic reasons.
“I thought this would be” has the following lines written for it and painted into the horizon areas: I thought this would be the view I’d live and die with but the sea recedes.
I wanted to paint something a little looser, and somewhat doubtful as to whether there was ocean or land beneath the sky. I took a hint of the color at the upper part from one photograph and inspiration from ‘Into the Light’ – an earlier painting (actually I did two with that name but the first one I really didn’t like so I binned it). Have only shown this once so far at the last Umbrella show last month, but it will be going out again next month to Fallbrook, unless someone snaps it up before then. (Lightweight and very mailable.)
Sometimes, there’s just something about a painting that you love that spoils it. And the worst part is when you can’t figure it out. Or maybe the second worst part. For me the worst part is realizing what you need to fix… after it’s sold.
Salton Sea Sunset II detail of rocks – before
So I’ve wondered over the years why ‘Salton Sea Sunset II’ never sold. It won an award at the county fair and a lot of people loved it. But. I realized there was always something about the rocks. The way I had done the shadows on the rocks made them look like they were floating balls. I realized this when I was working on two commissions of a similar view, both of which involved reproducing an existing painting(s), which had rocks in the water.
Salton Sea Sunset II – detail of rocks after
As I was painting the shadows of the rocks – or the waves and rills where they sit in the water, I realized what I was doing wrong. Now they look like rocks!
I’m actually glad I didn’t sell that oil painting – now that I’ve fixed it I’m really** happy with it. Hopefully the leap to the level of perfection will mean it now will find its forever home. Here it is, strutting it’s stuff on the website.
One thing that I don’t often get to enjoy is seeing my ‘children’ settled in their new home. Occasionally I will take artwork to a customers house to see whether it works in the location they’re considering, but usually I say goodbye to my offspring when they are placed into a box at an art show. I am particularly overjoyed to see this watercolor diptych in their new frames and their new room as it’s in Texas – and I’ve never met their new ‘Dad’ face to face.
As they’re framed pieces I shipped them unframed and they were a little while before the new frames were chosen, but now here they are above the sofa. It was also a very interesting way that the sale came to be. Having ‘met’ their new owner as his client for some online business, during a phone call he mentioned he liked my work and had this place that needed some new art, and described the location and colors of the room. I recommended this watercolor diptych which wasn’t on my website, and we exchanged some pics of the artwork and the room. Turned out it was just the thing – the right feeling for the location, the right size and the right colors.
“Dawn at the end of an era”. Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas 12×12″. $120.
The Salton Sea is in the news a lot these days – it’s about 4 ft lower than when I first moved here almost ten years ago. The foundations of the old yacht clubs that were flooded in the dual storms-of-the-century in the late 70s are now visible. The boat launch area from which a friend and I once paddled a canoe, is now an almost dried up inlet sporting only a large puddle. I’m glad I took photos back then, they are already historical. Sometimes when I paint from them I wonder if I will still be able to see the sun rise out of the water at winter solstice throughout my lifetime. Perhaps, perhaps not. This painting was created based on one of those old dawn photos. I titled it to reflect that.
“Dark water, white wave”. Oil on canvas, 24×12″, $360.
It’s been awhile since I’ve painted in oil – and I love the scent of the linseed that wanders out of the studio and through the house. Perhaps I need to regard this as a strong incentive to paint more of them. This new baby, which will be drying on the easel for the best part of a month, probably, as it’s an alla prima with thick textured layers, is one of the early views that I took of the Salton Sea – you can see the photo I worked from resting on the bottom layer of the easel. The print is dated 2005. No idea where I took it from, except that it would be Salton City – most likely from the point near Martin Flora park. I should go back and take more while the sea is still there.