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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Opportunity to learn about getting public art commissions (murals, sculpture, etc.)

On Behalf of Americans for the Arts 

Americans for the Arts Public Art Network (PAN) is pleased to offer scholarships to artists to participate in the 2011 Americans for the Arts Public Art Preconference Artist Professional Development Track, June 15-16, in San Diego. The Track is for artists who have basic familiarity with public art and have applied for, but may not have been awarded, a public art commission. Topics covered will include: applications and how to present your work, collaboration with design teams and community, budgets, contracts, fabrication, and working with or without an organizational partner. Artists seeking to create art in the public realm are encouraged to apply. 

Track participants will work with these terrific panelists:

Download Scholarship Application:
Public Art Preconference Full Schedule: 

Application are due Thursday, May 12.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Where do roads lead?

Roads are interesting to paint. I've discovered that many people like paintings with roads and paths. Perhaps it gives a sense of adventure, or of going somewhere, anywhere. They lead off into the distance, and only your imagination tells you where it is going. It brings up personal memories and fine times for each individual. I find this idea fascinating in that I can convey an image, using my own emotions and perceptions that will bring out emotions or memories for you. And it doesn't matter what the reality of the place is. The only thing that matters is what you as an individual take away from it because of everything that you have experienced in your life up until this point. For instance it may invoke memories of playing word games during long car trips, or hot rides through the desert to go riding, or a place you desire to travel to. My paintings are only a starting place, and the rest is left to you.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Local wilderness & park trip in Orange County, CA

Irvine Park is a mini secret for some people. It is a large park boasting kiddie train and pony rides, natural areas to hike in, bike trails, picnic and playground areas, horseback riding trails and the Orange County Zoo. Wild peacocks roam the park. If you hear what you think is someone hollering "help, help," that's just the peacocks.  
The park is located about 15 minutes east from the 22/55 intersection. Well worth the trip.

Monday, April 4, 2011

An Oasis in the Jungle

This is Back Bay in Newport Beach. Many people don't even know it's here. And it's so close. The late afternoon throws shadow onto this bluff and makes the sun sparkle on the water. It was very serene this day, only 3 people walked close by during the time I painted this. The smell of native plants and the activity of cranes munching bugs accompanied me. An oasis in the middle of the concrete jungle. On a day like that, I am alone, at peace, at one. It's just me and the moment before me.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Laguna Canyon

This is Laguna canyon. I've painted this general area before and have tried this scene. In the early morning the sun is off to the left, leaving the back hills with shadows. Plus there is usually clouds or fog lifting which puts moisture in the air, emphasizing the blue in the background hills. When I started this piece I felt the blue of the hills was an important key note to get in to be able to judge all the other colors and values off of. So after drawing in my basic line composition, I filled the whole background hill shape with the blue color of the shadow. Then I came back over top with a bit thicker paint in the green color to create the trees and foliage coming down the hills. A little bit thicker paint at each of the ridges, then dry brush dragging some of the paint over more of the hill area. This covered up some of the blue, but not all, thereby creating slight variations in value by being able to see the blue and the green.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Gray Days

These gray days are making me moody. However, when I paint a day like that there is such subtlety and smoothness that reveals itself to me that I appreciate I can open myself, experience what is before me, and interpret it for others to feel also.

Friday, March 18, 2011

How do artists choose where to paint?

Back Bay, Newport Beach. It's wonderful to paint here when there are clouds because you can get a great view of the layers. Some days I choose my painting location depending on the weather or the season. People ask how I choose where or what to paint. Locally I know several places that I paint frequently. So sometimes it depends on the weather - it's too hot in summer to paint the canyons; the beach is more fun and populated when it's warmer; and some foliage is too dead in certain seasons to be interesting. Other than that, sometimes I go somewhere with a friend. Or if inventory is low on a type of painting and I need more, then I go there. And occasionally I adventure 1.5 hours away to drive around and see whats there, maybe take 1/2 day to do a photo shoot and discovery mission. I'll go somewhere I heard there is an open space reserve that is good, or some little know spot with great views.
     So, if you know of some great areas, let me know. And I'll publish some photos or paintings once I go there!

Yellow Boat

I went out to paint recently with my friend Kathleen. We choose Balboa Island to go to as there are boats moored out in the water in addition to being tied up at the docks. The morning had a lot of clouds this day so the light filtering through was muted. I decided to paint the little yellow row boat because I was drawn to the contrast of the dark reflection and shadows.

It's always interesting to paint outside because you never know what is going to happen or what may come to your attention. Where I set up to paint is a walkway with houses on one side, a small sandy area, then the bay. Locals and tourists constantly are passing by. You get a different crowd depending on the season and the economy. Our dollar must be a good buy right now because I could hear a larger variety of accents as people were walking by. It's fun to try and guess where they have come from by their accents and dress.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Classic Scene

Laguna Beach. Who would not love to come here. People pay money to vacation here and I can go here any time. Whoo hoo. This is Heisler Park. There are many scenes to paint here (although it's currently under construction until May, so the views are limited.) I really liked the contrast of the light valued bluff and beach compared to the bright blue of the water. And the composition was just so pleasing with the curve of the beach. Early in my career it was difficult to paint in a location that had soooo many people. Everyone wants to stop and look at what you are doing. You have to turn from chicken into brave soul to bare yourself like that when you are in the beginning stages.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Imagine having the ability to stop where you are and take in the world where you stand. To feel the slight breeze on your skin, be aware of the smells in the air, feel the denseness or business or quietude of the ambiance that is surrounding you. To have a sense of the balance of all forms close by, and of the flow of energy that permeates the scene before you. These are the types of things that good artists can do. We take this essence and feeling and translate it for you, so you too can join us and be mesmerized also.

My intent of this blog will be to share with you my insights and heart as an artist.

I will be including the following in my future posts:
  • How it feels to be filled with passion and enthusiasm
  • How or why certain subject matter may be chosen to be painted
  • To explain about some of the technical aspects of painting in a simple way so you have more understanding
  • Descriptions of the emotional side of being involved with a scene
  • Tales of what happens in an artists day when you are open to discovering what life may bring you. 
  • Resources for artists and others, including suppliers, vendors, business books or places of assistance, travel notes, etc.
  • Philosophical thoughts as they relate to a certain painting (I can't help it, I'm emotional and I frequently ponder about the meaning of life, human existence, and the nature of reality)