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The Daily Paintings and Postcard-Sized Sketches in Oils and Acrylics

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March 2009

2 From Carlson Dog Park, I looked up in evening light to see the cross on the top of Mt. Rubidoux, here in Riverside. I'd taken Sparky and Onslow to the park for some much-needed socialization time, and yet I had my plein air gear and couldn't resist this evening view of the mountain that embraces the city of Riverside.
This is an 8x8 canvas, cut down AFTER I painted it from an 8x10. It's done in acrylics, and with the palette of the Color System that conveys evening light--but a softer side, since the cross and the mountain are messaging a gentler feel. It still has the characteristic orange and alizarin where needed, but whispered rather than shouted into the lights and shadows.
6 The Plein Air Paint Out in Riverside culminated with all the artists doing a Quick Draw (actually painting) in an hour and a half. This year celebrates a major anniversary of the Riverside Art Museum which is housed in a lovely building designed by Julia Morgan. Ms. Morgan designed Hearst Castle and was a respected architect in an era of few women building designers. So the artists were instructed to paint some aspect of Julia Morgan's handiwork.

I set up inside the central atrium, where Saffron's restaurant is located. The end result of my time at the easel is this 7 x 5 intimate acrylic, showing the dining atmosphere, the artwork on the hallways and the light suffusing from the glass ceiling.
9 Some of you may know that I used to be in illustration, many years ago. This painting is SO not the Color System, but there are parts of it buried in the pattern of colors splashed over the rider and horse. It's a strictly illustrative piece to catch the viewer and bright colors do that!

This is a distraction from the greens of "Hidden Pasture", and is done for the HITS posters for the show jumping circuit. I've been getting their press releases, and like a gnat, finally got out and swatted this 20 x 16 oil off my easel. I hope they like it.

Those of you familiar with the Color System will have a hard time telling what time of day it is. After all, there's a green horse, and look at that cadmium orange on the breeches! And in the shadows, too. ACK! This kind of color rule breaking can make for an exciting illustrative image, where realism takes a back seat to "punch" to catch the viewer's eye.
12 This 12 x 16 painting is done in acrylics, and I stood in the median strip on Magnolia Avenue this morning to paint it. If you've ever been to Riverside and seen this bit of history, you'll recognize it right away! Standing in the median with all my gear, I felt at one moment like a homeless person, and then at another as if I were one of those people who hold advertising signs. Hard to ignore the traffic so close, but I had a few nice comments.
24 I'm so glad to be back to the brushes now, and finished the 30 x 40 of the "Secret Pasture"--another place where I'd love to spend time. Most of the finishing touches are related to the lights on the sunlit areas, and the addition of one horse off in the distance--thus, the "secret".
26 Oh wow, oh wow, wow! I went to the Whitewater Preserve (used to be the old trout ponds) off I-10 west of Palm Springs and Desert Hot Springs late this afternoon. The land up there is gorgeous and rugged, and Sparky 'n' I were out in the middle of nowhere capturing this vista, looking north toward the San Gorgonio mountains. Old sycamores are everywhere, and the valley floor has grasses and brittlebush blooming. SOLD

My Color System is alive and well here in this 12 x 12 oil, yet so tempered by the dove grays and soft value changes that it is hard to find it unless you KNOW it. I'm so pleased with this one, because the recent series of larger studio landscapes has helped me to "nail it" in the field.
28 The second plein air painting for the show coming up on April 2 at Whitewater Preserve off of I-10 for your pleasure! This is a 24 by 12 acrylic, and I painted it SO fast.... Couldn't take any pictures of it in process, as the light changed so rapidly on that rock face on the right. I got that part in first, as I knew that as the light faded, the sun would leave those rocks. And it DID. So I painted this one mostly in the Cool Boxes of the Color System, using traditional acrylics, with just a few accents of warm on the water and wet rocks.