A row of ribbons

Art award ribbons

Nice little array.

I had entered eight paintings in the Imperial County Fair this year and seven of them won ribbons!  Four of them – the first and second place winners will be on display in Pioneer’s Museum in Imperial until the 27th.


More birds.

I only had two students in my Paint the Night class last night at the Vanguard Gallery in Moreno Valley, but they both had fun.  One of the questions were, what kinds of birds are they?  Jenibirds?  Blue fronted swifts?  This is a very popular image, and sometimes students use their own imaginations and create red-fronted Jenibirds, or once, blackbirds.


Mixed media

Who knew that Vincent van Gogh was a mixed media artist?  Turns out that he incorporated some unusual components in his work.  It is know that he liked very much to paint en plein aire, so it’s actually not that much of a surprise that he incorporated wildlife into his paintings, along with dust and sand.

Student progression.

About 15 months ago, ‘Jo’ took my absolute beginner’s class.  Earlier in the month, she took the class again, not having painted very much in between.  One of the things that I ask at the beginning of the class is what the student hopes to get out of it.  It can help me tailor the class a little to hopefully cover any specific items. In this class Jo was lucky in that she was the only one, so we got to discuss her progress a little more.

She had indeed painted the day before, using watercolor crayons.  The papers were tiny piece of printer or drawing paper – not the best surface.  Jo expressed that she had had difficulty making out what she had painted afterwards and had ended up using ink to define the items painted.  Towards the end of the afternoon, after the standard Shadows exercise, we looked at Jo’s paintings and I thought we could tackle one of them as a larger watercolor and make a more realistic painting.

Working a little larger does help.  This time we used watercolor paper (Canson 140lb cold press) – about 12×9″.  I drew a quick value sketch first on a scrap to outline some of the changes that we would make to make the little barrel cacti look more round, and the rocks “rocky”.  The main adjustments were addition of shadows/shading to bring out the shapes of the cacti and rocks.  I suggested a simple blue sky/purple hills/sandy mid-ground behind the cacti in order to make them stand out from it, rather than a green one of a similar tone.  The cacti flowers didn’t come out as well as hoped – I’m not by nature a floral painter and they were a little on the small side to do much more with than a bit of impressionism.

Jo said her husband thought everything she painted was wonderful, but when he came to pick her up after the class and we showed him the before and after, there was no faking those eyebrows shooting skyward.  Here’s the before (on the right! 🙂 ) and the after.

After and before cactus paintings

Monday’s cactus painting on the right, and Tuesday’s redo with Absolute Beginners class and a little individual guidance.

A show goes up.

Yesterday I set up my side of the 2-person show at the Glass Outhouse Gallery in 29 Palms.  I was glad to meet my fellow artist Christine Lamb and her husband Ray (who is also a painter), who turned up to hang her half of the show just as Frank (one of the gallery owners) and I had finished.  I’m kicking myself that I didn’t take a few shots of her work as it was going up (Ray and I got to talking about single-pigment oil paints), but I’ll do so after the reception on Saturday.  If you’re in the area – please, we’d love you to attend, it’s 1-5pm January 6th (and I’m going to be making olive and cream cheese penguins!).   If not – please reblog this if you have friends/followers who are.  The show will be up until January 28th.









Monthly newsletter

This month is shaping up to be really interesting – as you can read in my Newsletter.

One of the things that I didn’t mention is that I’m also involved in curating another solo show at the Vanguard Gallery, this time for long-time associate Nick Foschi.   I’ll get to hang two shows in two days.  About 50 linear feet for Nick and about 7 for me!  Just hoping that my flu symptoms wane enough to give a demo/talk on Wednesday evening in Redondo Beach.


Abstract Painting by Nick Foschi.


Center for Healthy Generations.

Skyscapes for the Soul in Yucca Valley

Art and yardsale items. This is a first for me. I wanted to buy one of the hats, but I wasn’t allowed.

I was accepted to have a month-long solo show in what is considered an ‘alternative’ space – i.e. not a regular gallery. This is the Center for Healthy Generations in Yucca Valley. It’s quite an active center with a pretty full schedule of activities. When I arrived to hang my work, Darla, my handler – said there had been some dissent over the time of my hanging because they were setting up for an indoor yardsale on Friday.

yvhlc2That was the bad news,  the good news being that lots* of people would see my work. Right behind the yardsale items. I had to stand on the tables and tiptoe between the partially completed display of yardsale items to hang my work. Fortunately I did not stand on the hands of the lady below me trying to arrange items while I trod between them.

yvhlc3Then there’s space on the other wall for two large paintings. Here, my progress was hampered by the fact that a yoga class was in session and I had to wait until they’d finished before we could put the last two paintings up.

Yes, there’s going to be a lot* of people who see my work in the next month!