26 September 2009

vendedor de paletas

Adding people to your paintings definitely makes them more narrative. I was painting in Hollenbeck part in East Los Angeles. A whole school of children was leaving school soon after I settled. Between comments like "Not bad" and "That's rad"(really?), most of the kids were fascinated by the fact that I added a "vendedor de paletas" in the background, a popsicle salesman. One kid paused for a bit and blurted "So how do you do it?" I immediately recognized a certain urgency I used to have regarding painting (I still do) so I put down the brushes for a minute and gave him some hints: can you see how things far away look more and more like the sky color? what color are the tree trunks, really? (very confused look after I said they are not really that brown and compared them to his shoes). If you mix yellow and blue, what do you get? When he started to show signs of saturation I felt my job was done. It is work kid. Forever. But it is fun work.

San Fernando (III)

Endured the blustery Santa Ana's in the San Fernando Valley last weekend. A girl came out of the shop behind where I was painting and said. "Do you mind me asking *why* are you painting ?" Good question. I mumbled something unconvincing. She looked around and said "Oh, You are painting suburbia." I thought, well yes, I guess I am painting "suburbia". I figured she must have wanted to sound educated or something ....only later I noticed the name of the gown shop I was painting: Suburbia. A poem in pink, chiffon and fluorescent lighting.

25 September 2009

Some paintings from North Tahoe.

This was my favorite painting, a small lagoon around Donner Lake. I liked the abstraction of the water reflections and the row of trunks in the back as a lattice of sorts.
The second one was my last painting (currently at Backstreet Gallery in Truckee) , I painted it in an almost impossibly beautiful spot by the Truckee river.

17 September 2009

North Tahoe Plein Air 2009

I traveled to lake Tahoe last week not quite knowing what to expect for North Tahoe Plein Air 2009 , an event organized by Lois Skaff and the North Tahoe Art Center. The ten hour drive from L.A. was pretty intense but the landscapes that greeted me were worth it. It is no wonder this area has become a popular tourist destination, some would argue too popular. It is simply gorgeous with its turquoise lakes, dramatic light shifts and layers of forest.

We had three days to paint and even though I spent a substantial amount of time exploring and hiking, I managed to come up with enough paintings for the festival (7). Most importantly, I made some new friends and met some great artists. I sold four paintings total. Celia Howe of Backstreet Gallery in Truckee even asked me to keep some of the pieces in consignment. Celia and business partner Peggy have a wonderful gallery and framing store in Truckee.

The main show was part of the Northstar wine and food festival. During our show, artists Paul Kratter and Craig Mitchell (judges along with Zeze Mott) did some demonstrations. It was interesting to see how two artists approach a landscape in such different ways, with Paul in a more direct traditional way and Craig with a more illustration approach, that is with a more extensive palette and graphic concept. Here are some pictures of the demonstrations . Guess who is who in these pics from my sparse description....
Clue: Craig is standing in front of Andrew Bolam's gallery in Northstar and Paul has a crowd of devotees around him. :)