September 1, 2023
I was delighted to win a first place award for my painting of Dudamel at the Carlsbad Oceanside Art League’s 71st Annual Open Juried Show. Mike and I hadn’t planned to make the lengthy drive to attend the reception and awards ceremony, but changed our minds at the last minute, given the situation.
Tricia and “Gustavo Dudamel” at COAL show in Carlsbad
The Torrance Cultural Arts Center show morphed into an opportunity to have my painting of Alice Paul displayed in the Del Amo Mall for a month. There was a reception at the mall with the artists, as well as the mayor and other city government officials.
Tricia at Del Amo Show Reception
I attended the Saturday portrait workshop twice during August. On both occasions, I drew a portrait instead of painting one. The first time, I had intended to paint, but forgot my palette. A fellow artist gave me a piece of paper, a pencil, and a drawing board😊. The next week, I decided to draw again, because it had been fun the previous week.
Meanwhile, I have been working on my next “main event” painting, which is a double portrait of a mother and babe, with a landscape behind it. It has been progressing well, in spite of a couple of logistical issues. For one thing, the faces are in shadow, so the mother’s teeth need to look more gray than white, without looking as though they are decayed. The second challenge is that the values have a fairly narrow range, which can make it difficult for the viewers’ eyes to rest on a focal point. Oh, and one more thing—the forest in the background is lovely, yet distracting. I’ve got these and no doubt other challenges ahead of me.
My painting, “Farm Girls Supper Club Member” is in the CA 101 show, which is open until Sept. 10th. This show is one of the most extravagant and creative shows in the South Bay area.
Tricia at CA 101 with “Farm Girls Supper Club”
August 8, 2023
This month, I ran across a French painter’s website with a version of my painting that he had painted! Again, I don’t think he improved upon my version, and he cropped the infant out of the scene! Hmm—the guy claims to be a French painter, yet his website is in English. Maybe that’s fake too. At any rate, this is the fourth person I have discovered duplicating my painting.
My painting, “Farm Girls Supper Club Member” was accepted for the CA 101 show. This is a special event in the South Bay, and this will be the last one. The show has been held annually for 10 years.
“Farm Girls Supper Club”
“Almost Shirtsleeve Weather” is currently in an excellent online show featuring portraits. The Show is called “Portraits,” which is run by an outfit in Canada. https://www.gallerium.art/p/portraits-2023.html?TP=artworks&PN=7 The same outfit accepted “Shopping with Mommy” for a show entitled “Children of Men.”
My portrait of Alice Paul is hanging in the Del Amo Mall, on the second floor, near Dick’s Sporting Goods. I’m thankful that it is hung quite high on wall, so that passersby can’t touch it.
The portrait I painted of Gustavo Dudamel was accepted for the Carlsbad Oceanside Art League (COAL) 71st Fine Art Open Annual show. The show has opened and will run until Sept. 2nd. The reception will be on August 13th from 3-5pm at 300 Carlsbad Village Drive, Suite 101, Carlsbad, CA.
July 3, 2023
My painting “Shopping with Mommy” won an honorable mention in the Destination Art Associates Show. As usual, the reception was a lively affair, with loads of good food and wine. I was delighted that a dozen of my friends accepted my invitation and attended the event. Destination Art is not only a fabulous venue, thanks largely to Robin Johns, who joined the staff as Vice President in 2020, but also DA puts on the best reception of any show I have attended in Southern California. Mike contributed to the fabulous food by making a batch of granger cookies from a much-loved and often used recipe of mine that dates back to my babysitting co-op days. One of the co-op mothers found this recipe and it soon became a favorite of the entire group.
Tricia at Destination Art Reception
If you haven’t done so already, please go to the Destination Art website by July 7th and find the Associates Show for 2023. Vote for your favorite art piece in the “Art Lover’s Choice” section. I have two paintings in the show, but don’t feel obligated to vote for one of mine. There are 90 other paintings in the show. https://www.destination-art.net/associates-show-2023
This month, I attended four sessions of the three-hour Saturday portrait workshop in Los Alamitos. I don’t expect to finish each portrait, since I have been creating a new one each Saturday. For me, this is an unsustainable pace, since my lifestyle diverts my attention to other matters.
I have finished my painting, “Farm Girls Supper Club Member.” I submitted a photograph of it to a show this past week. This woman was one of the models at the portrait workshop.
“Farm Girls Super Club Member”
Besides my “Farm Girls Supper Club Member” portrait, I also began and finished “Kayla Goes Casual” this month. I have been enjoying creating portraits with intensely detailed faces and hands, combined with forming the hair and clothing in a looser and more painterly style. This gives the painting a sense of movement and vigor, it seems to me. Lance, my portrait painting teacher, would heartily disagree. His skillfully rendered paintings are impressive, and yet, there is something still or static about them. A good example of how my style is departing from Lance’s is my painting, “Shopping with Mommy.” I painted it myself. Then, I showed it to Lance and he suggested ways to refine the face and hands. After that, I snatched the painting away from him, because I felt certain he would want to have me homogenize the wild hair and other aspects of the painting that I created in a looser manner, and liked very much. The DA show judge, Paula Vukmanic, who awarded this painting an honorable mention in the current DA show, wrote her thoughts about my painting on the award certificate: “This little portrait was so skillfully rendered. Strands of hair balance the delicate features and warm joy in the face. Beautiful, intimate color harmony and composition.”
“Kayla Goes Casual”
I discovered that my painting, “African Mother in a Yellow Dress” has been plagiarized by three different companies, with prints being offered for sale online. At first, I thought I should confront the outfit that was offering copies of my painting for sale, so I went to the website, and under “contact us,” I wrote a message telling them that they had plagiarized my painting and needed to take it down from their website. As soon as I did this, I noticed that two other business enterprises were also selling copies of that same painting of mine. What’s almost humorous is that one of the outfits had paid someone to paint a horrid copy of my painting, so that I would be surprised if loads of copies of that one have been sold. It would have been so much easier, not to mention more honest, and probably more successful if these people had contacted me for a high-resolution photograph and offered me a share of the profits.
“African Mother in a Yellow Dress” (my painting)
“Fake African Mother”
The Friends of the Redondo Beach Arts (FRBA) is having a fundraiser on behalf of the last CA 101 show (this fabulous event has run annually for 10 years). The show is going to be held (as it was last year) at the Redondo Beach Historic Library, so I donated my plein air painting of that building to the silent auction that will be held at the fundraiser. I found a decent frame for it, which I happened to have on hand.
“Redondo Beach Historic Library”
June 5, 2023
While Mike and I were in Europe, I had some paintings accepted for shows. “Shopping with Mommy” was accepted to the “Tears and Smiles” show through CaFé.
“Daydreamer” and “Shopping with Mommy” were invited to the “Bellissima!” show through CaFe’.
The “Precious” show offered through CaFé, accepted my “Portrait of Alice Paul.”
Mike and I returned from our trip on May 20th. Since then, I have spent half a dozen hours working on my painting, “Farm Girls Supper Club Member.”
Meanwhile, I have had the two paintings that I submitted to the Destination Art Associates Show accepted. Those paintings are “Daydreamer” and “Shopping with Mommy.” The reception is on June 10th from 3-5PM. Destination Art is located at 1815 213th Street, Torrance, California.
I am hoping to arrange a trip in June to see my brother and his wife in Oak Park, my daughter and her husband in Santa Barbara, and my longtime friend, Kathy, in San Luis Obispo, was well as a new plein air painting partner, Shelley, in SLO.
Unfortunately, I did not manage to take photos of interesting Europeans during our trip in May. There is an embarrassment factor that gets in the way of good shots, both from my position of wanting to respect the privacy of others, and that of the local people, who might consider a photo to be an invasion of privacy or to have religious beliefs that forbid such photos. At any rate, Spaniards and the Portuguese look and dress as we do, so obtaining scenes from times past were not typically on offer.
April 27, 2023
This update is being posted early, since Mike and I are leaving for Europe on April 28th. Wish me luck on snapping a few painting-worthy photos.
“Suffragist Alice Paul” was accepted for a show in Thousand Oaks. I dropped off my painting with my brother George and his wife, Alicia, to be delivered to the show after Mike and I are gone. “I get by with a little help from my friends,” as the Beatles put it. Thank you!
This month, I worked on two portraits using live models at the portrait workshop. I haven’t finished either, but I’ll show them as they are so far. This portrait class continues to be great fun.
Ta-da!—My portrait of Dudamel is finished! I only took me 10 months! Of course, I worked on several other paintings in the meantime, because I often became sick of looking at “The Dude.” I mentioned to Lance Richlin, my painting teacher, that while learning more about Spain in preparation for our trip, Mike and I saw video of a church known as the Sistine Chapel of Spain, which contains elaborate dome and ceiling paintings that took the famous artist who created them an entire sixteen weeks to do them. Not to compare myself with one of the best painters in Spanish history, but it is pretty deflating to spend nearly a year working on one portrait painting, when that guy managed to paint maybe 50 figures on a dome in a few months! Lance’s reply was that those artists who painted on cathedral ceilings could get away with sloppy work, because no one is able to scrutinize their work up close. Oh, yeah, that must be the explanation 😉.I won’t be doing any painting for the three weeks of our trip to Europe, so next month’s blog entry will be rather short or non-existent.
April 1, 2023
I hope you had a fun St. Patrick’s Day and weren’t hit too hard this past month by nature’s waterworks and other surprising weather patterns. In California (as most of you know), we had so much rain that I couldn’t keep up with the weeds in my yards. Therefore, a couple of weeks ago, I paid my gardener extra to pull out about a thousand of them. I haven’t see him since, and he generally comes weekly. He’s probably still recovering from the effort.
During March, I attended two Saturday morning, three-hour painting workshops of a live model. I find these events simply delightful. About a dozen artists gather, and most draw the model. The woman in charge of the workshop, Ying Liu, puts on a lovely playlist of music, and we are all in our bliss for three hours. The set of portrait workshops Bridget Duffy and I attended is over, but a new session is due to start on April 15th. Due to my participation in these workshops, I was invited to be one of six “demonstration artists” at the Los Alamitos “Weekend of Art” show. I also had two of my earlier portraits from the portrait workshop in the show, “Una Mujer de Mexico” and “Daydreamer.” “Daydreamer” won 3rd place in the show.
I haven’t been plein air painting in 10 months. The portrait workshop Bridget Duffy and I have been attending is really my thing. People fascinate me more so than lovely gardens. I enjoy flowers and unusual-looking plants, but don’t feel much desire to paint them. It’s a social occasion for me. I had planned a five-day car trip from March 31st to April 4th, which would have included some painting time with a friend in San Luis Obispo. Unfortunately, my daughter caught a non-Covid type of cold, so I had to postpone my visit.
This past month, I drew my own hand and painted the hand in “Daydreamer,” so I’m counting that as practice too.
March 5, 2023
My painting, “Shopping with Mommy” was at a Thousand Oaks show of the California Art League during the month of February.
My brother George made some suggestions to me about my landscape painting projects. He thought that since I’m an artist who likes to put in details, perhaps I should steer away from plein air painting. The time limit inherent in plein air painting practically demands an impressionistic painting style. Something George wouldn’t know about, but which is also a limitation of plein air painting is that it isn’t feasible to lug along a mall stick to hold my hand steady while painting, or a slew of tiny brushes for delicate detail work. George thought that if my landscapes weren’t done out in the field, I could use larger canvases which would allow for more detail and the finished paintings would also be more commanding of attention, as he put it “worthy of a living room wall.” I told my figure painting teacher about this idea and he agreed with George.
These ideas made me think about what I could do differently. It’s true, I could take photos and paint from them. To some extent, I’m already doing that, as I generally finish my plein air paintings back in my studio from reference photos. However, photographs don’t capture the actual shades of color in a scene; in fact, they look shockingly different from an artist’s view of the scene when painting en plein air. The shadows in a photo are darker than in life and more uniform. The highlights are also problematic, because many photos are over-exposed so that the highlights are so large that they obscure the midtone areas, which reveal the true color of an object. On every object, there are highlights, midtones, and shadows. All three of these are distorted in a photo. The colors caught by the camera cannot be trusted. For one thing, most cameras don’t do justice to the vivid red colors one can see in real life. For this reason, I like to at least begin a landscape painting outside.
I could consider making larger paintings, since I don’t carry my equipment on my back and I don’t feel pressured to complete my painting before packing up. Even though I find it challenging to work with the 11”x14” size I use now, I could at least bump the size up to 12”x16”. In that case, the only drawback is that there aren’t many readymade frames in that size, but I usually order custom frames anyway, so that is a minor concern. I have not gone on plein air painting outings with my figure painting teacher, but on the rare occasions when he could be prevailed upon by his other students to teach them plein air painting, he has insisted that they use an 8”x10” canvas! I mention this because the size I have been using is about average.
A further drawback to plein air painting with a large canvas, is that if there happens to be any sort of wind, the canvas can act like a sail and either fly off the easel, or, if secured properly, topple over the easel as well. Most easels used outdoors are lightweight, so that they are less burdensome to carry. Some landscape painters make a small draft of a scene outdoors and then return to their studios to make a large painting of the same scene, probably using reference photos to remind them of details.
Last month, I spent no time at all painting landscapes. I devoted fewer than 10 hours trying to finishing up my portrait of Gustavo Dudamel. I am tired of working on that painting, so I mostly spent time on other pieces.
My friend, Bridget Duffy, suggested I accompany her to a live model drop-in portrait drawing/painting workshop on Saturday mornings. We went together twice during February. Back in my studio, I finished the first painting quickly, using a reference photo. Since the model was from Mexico, I titled this painting “Una Mujer de Mexico.” I was reminded of how tricky it is to use a reference photo compared to painting a person from life. The colors and lighting are completely different, just as with plein air painting.
The second painting I made is an unrefined study at this point, so I won’t include a photo of it in this blog. This model wore a full-length black dress and a large-brimmed black hat. Since her long hair was also jet black, my painting of her is not all that colorful. I decided to make her hat and dress navy blue, but that didn’t help much. In my mind, I’m calling this unfinished study “Elvira,” since the model reminded me of her, sans the deep cleavage.
Since I had a family get-together to attend on the following Saturday, Bridget went without me. She sent me a couple of reference photos of the model that day, who was so lovely that I painted a study of her from the reference photos Bridget sent to me. I managed to complete a painting of her in 10 hours, and submit it, along with my “Una Mujer de Mexico” to the Los Alamitos City art show. Artists attending this live model drawing/painting workshop were offered an opportunity to submit their pieces to a juried show at no charge. Painting 18×14 portraits from life is challenging for me but also quite thrilling. Our “teacher” (she paints the model alongside the students and thus doesn’t do much instruction) puts on a fabulous playlist of music from opera to mellowed versions popular rock-n-roll oldies. I told her how much I enjoy her music. I added that painting a figure while listening to gorgeous music—it doesn’t get better than that!
As you look at the two paintings below, you can get an idea of the differences between painting a live model and painting from a snapshot. Notice the dramatic light effects in the painting done from life.
I completed two drawings of hands this past month, and am nearly finished painting Dudamel’s hands.
February 1, 2023
I was pleased to have my painting, “Shopping with Mommy,” accepted for a California Art League show in Thousand Oaks during February. The opening reception will be on Saturday, February 4, 2022, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The address of the Thousand Oaks Community Art Gallery is 2331 Borchard Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. There will also be a closing reception on Sunday, February 26th from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm.
This month, I was a bit distracted by preparations for a birthday luncheon I decided to put on to celebrate Mike’s birthday with his ample family and a few of our friends. After the party, I got back to my art projects. I was weary of working on my portrait of Gustavo Dudamel, so I diverted my attention to a plein air painting I had begun with my artist friend Bridget Duffy last summer at the South Coast Botanic Gardens. I’m far from being an expert in landscape painting, yet I enjoy these outings because of the companionable aspect, as well as the freedom it allows me to employ artistic license to alter the actual scene in nature to create a pleasing and interesting composition. I don’t seem to be able to complete a painting on the spot, so I have learned to take reference photos, in order to finish the paintings back in my studio. Below is the painting I finished up this month.
For me, plein air painting is an especially challenging struggle when the scene in front of me is an array of green plants of slightly different colors, with no particularly attractive shapes and contrasting colors that present themselves. I get into this predicament in part, because I go on painting expeditions with a companion and for that reason don’t always get to select a spot that I find compelling. Bridget is good about sharing the decision as to where we’ll set up, although we often pick different aspects of the scene to paint. She is a superior landscape painter, having had about 45 years of professional work as a set painter in Hollywood. I get the impression that she despairs over my shortcomings in this style of painting, but she patiently tries to tutor me—being a good daughter who was raised by two teachers😉 Below is an example of a painting for which I had to create some interest when the scene before me was pretty much a mass of uninteresting shapes of green.
I made a plan with my figure painting teacher to spend two hours a week drawing body parts, in order to become more familiar with the underlying bone and muscle that result in convex surface bumps and concave surface areas. Since I am working on Dudamel’s hands, I have drawn hands for the past two weeks. This has been surprisingly fun for me, because, once again, I am challenged to create the drawings as I see fit.
January 2, 2023
Happy New Year! Each year at this time, I make resolutions. My artistic goals have been the same over the past couple of years–to enter at least 10 shows and to produce a dozen paintings. I generally exceed the first goal and struggle to make the second one, often coming up one painting short. This is partly because, as my skills improve, I often pull my older paintings off the wall, take them out of their frames, and repaint them in a more polished form.
This happened last month. Two of the four paintings that I offered for sale in December were purchased. The buyer bought three paintings in total. Luckily, I felt quite finished with two of the three paintings, after having spent dozens of hours revisiting both of them to get them to where I could see no further improvements that were needed. As it happened, the remaining painting was one on which I had changed the background color and pattern twice before and still was unhappy with it. I got the buyer’s permission to make changes. Of course, it makes no business sense to work on a painting that has already been sold; in fact, it could be risky. I could alter something that the buyer likes about the painting. None-the-less, after I softened the background color and made it more varied, I started to see portions of the face and hands that I could improve. Twelve hours later, I was finally ready to let the painting dry again, and I am much more pleased with it. Below are the “before” and “after” photos, so you can decide what you think. I purposely left Joshua Bell’s shirt untouched, trying to figure out how John Singer Sargent varied his style within his paintings from detailed realism when depicting a face to impressionistic renderings of less important aspects of the painting, such as the garments worn or the room’s furnishings.
I was disappointed that I didn’t quite finish my portrait of Gustavo Dudamel. Everything looks good except that the hands could be refined. My work on it was slowed by holiday socializing and preparations for Christmas. I was also sidetracked by reworking my portrait of Joshua Bell. Below is a peek at the almost-finished piece.
December 4, 2022
I completed a small, new painting: “Alaskan Adventure,” which I gave to my friend, Ken Root as a parting gift. He moved to Henderson, Nevada last month. Ken is an avid kayaker who has practiced his hobby in Alaska twice.
My painting of Gustavo Dudamel is nearly finished. I am still refining his hands.
Women in Hats
I like wearing hats. I think they look nice, but the reason I wear them is that Southern California is a sunny place, and I need to protect my skin. I seem to find women in straw hats rather fetching, as I have three among my small collection of portraits. The first was “African Mother in a Yellow Dress.” I approached her hat somewhat intuitively, whereas I spent many hours laboring over the folds in her dress, and I found that both efforts worked out well. The second was “A Day in Paris,” a painting inspired by the film “April in Paris,” starring Doris Day. This was the rare occasion when I created a painting specifically for an art show called “April in Paris.” I used as my model, a horrifyingly bad image from one frame of the movie. Doing this pretty much insured that I would end up with an impressionistic painting rather than a highly detailed one. I cropped it so that it looked as though she were drinking a glass of sherry or wine by herself, although in the film, she was sitting with a male companion. In the film, her handbag rested on the table, obscuring her arm and hand, but I decided to disappear the purse and imagine her arm and hand. More recently, I painted “Shopping with Mommy,” in which the little girl is wearing a large-brimmed straw hat. I expended most of my effort on her face and hands, thinking about John Singer Sargent’s work. He would often paint detailed faces and then finish less important portions of his paintings, such as his subject’s evening dress, in a much more abstract manner. The combined effect is delightful. I decided that the girl’s hat, hair, and shirt could be more abstractly rendered, as they were meant to be in the periphery of the viewer’s attention.
During the month of December, the following four paintings are available for nearly 75% off, or $275 each.
“Joshua at Play”
November 3, 2022
The Anaheim show ended on October 30th, and I retrieved my two paintings. I was accompanied to the closing day reception by my artist friend, Bridget Duffy. She engaged in a couple of interesting conversations with some of the top artists in the show, which made my experience of the day all that more worthwhile. This may be my last show this year, except for possibly one at the Palos Verdes library. I have had paintings displayed in 10 shows during 2022.
In October, I finished “Laguna Lake, San Luis Obispo.” I began this piece, on a plein air outing with Shelley Lawrence, back in August. I set it aside until October, when I decided to finish it using reference photos. I may have a buyer for it before the paint has had time to dry.
What am I currently working on? I am finishing my portrait of Gustavo Dudamel and am perhaps halfway through creating a small, 8×8” painting for a friend who is moving to another state.
So many artists in our local community are retired people. It seems to me that the most effective ones paint the scenes around them. Last Sunday, Bridget and I talked to a fabulous artist, who freely made use of his granddaughters as models, to a wonderful effect. Since I have no grandchildren, I have found that I need to cast about for youngsters as subjects, since I do enjoy painting them. My sister-in-law, Alicia, generously provided me with a variety of photos of her grandchildren, which resulted in “Child’s Play.” My brother, George, shared a photo of his grandson, John, who had fallen asleep with the family’s cat, and his mother snapped a photo to commemorate that sweet moment. My brother named the painting I created from that photo “Sweet Dreams.”
My most award-winning painting so far was developed to represent my sister-in-law’s daughter-in-law with her daughter. These two are related to Alex, who is depicted in “Child’s Play.”
While an untrained artist, I attempted a couple of self-portrait drawings (of me in my teens and 20s not shown here), as well as two drawings each of my two daughters. Following are one of the colored pencil drawings I did of Megan, as well as one of Kristy. I also drew my niece, Kathy.
Eleven years ago, I did a drawing as a homework assignment in my first life drawing class, by using myself as a model. I didn’t agonize over making the image look as much like me as possible, since that wasn’t the purpose of the assignment. I liked the drawing well enough to make a painting of it later, which I called “Dancer at Rest.” I recently made another quick study of my face (last year), mostly as an attempt to capture light effects.
This year, I painted a portrait of my cousin’s granddaughter, Autumn, named “Shopping with Mommy.” My goal for next year will be to paint figures with a strong implied narrative.
October 3, 2022
The Anaheim Art Association’s international show has been going on for a month and will continue throughout October. “Almost Shirtsleeve Weather” and “African Mother in a Blue Dress” were entered and both paintings were accepted. The in-person reception/award ceremony will be on Sunday, October 30th from 1pm to 3pm. Mike and I plan to be there, so please let us know if you are going and might wish to get a ride with us to the reception.
The location of the Anaheim show is MuzeO Carnegie Gallery, 241 S Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim CA 92805 (corner of Broadway & Anaheim Blvd.). There is limited parking on Anaheim Blvd. and Broadway. If you park on Center Street Promenade, check the parking signs carefully. It is easiest to park in the parking structure off Center Street Promenade. Go through the gate on the second floor of the parking structure and get a ticket. There is a walking entrance from the Center Street Promenade to the Gallery.
I had two paintings accepted for the California Art League’s Gold Medal Exhibition, Mankind/Nature. This is an entirely online show. The opening reception will be on October 15th, 7-9pm Pacific time via Zoom. The exhibit will also be online at CAL’s website www.californiaartleague.org. My paintings were a bit of a “family affair,” since I was depicting three people across the two paintings, all belonging to the same family. The paintings are “Child’s Play” and “Almost Shirtsleeve Weather.”
A few months ago, I lost one of my plein air painting buddies, Harvey Cohon. I decided to look back on our delightful outings together. Following are nine paintings I painted with Harvey, and in some cases, I happened to have a photo of the painting he made on our outing.
Greengate Farms, San Luis Obispo: This was our first painting. I was still using watercolors when I traveled, but painting with oils at home. Soon, I decided that our painting expeditions were serious enough so that I should paint in my accustomed medium.
Righetti Ranch Road (off Orcutt Road), San Luis Obispo: This was a delightful outing, because we found shade where we could set up. There was a horse and a calf present in the scene, so I decided to try my hand at capturing them.
Pismo Beach Butterfly Preserve: This plein-air painting was made in the place where Monarch butterflies rest annually in a Eucalyptus grove on their migration to Mexico. Harvey and I went to this site on a misty, moisty January morning. The light that filtered through this grove of trees appeared to be almost lavender. Just before we got started, I snapped a photo of Harvey at his easel. Eventually, we had to pack up, when a light rain began to fall.
Shell Beach Dinosaur Caves: The day after painting at Pismo Beach, Harvey and I went out again. We had only an hour before fog completely obscured our view. I finished the painting using reference photos I had taken as soon as we had set up our easels.
San Luis Obispo Barn on Miossi Ranch: Harvey and I painted this barn twice. Normally I am not interested in painting the same scene more than once, but the color scheme was so different on these two occasions, because the first painting was made in summer and the other was created in winter, so that I was okay with giving the scene a second look. In this—the first—version, I left out the distant mountains, because they appeared to have the same value as the trees, which I thought would have made the background less well-defined.
Chamisal Vineyard in San Luis Obispo: Harvey and I approached the manager of the tasting room, which was not busy, to ask whether we could set up and paint the vineyard. We had a great time capturing the grape-laden vines as well as the colorful leaves strewn on the ground.
San Luis Obispo in January After Rain: After a generous amount of rain, San Luis Obispo and surrounding areas become transformed from hills covered with golden grasses to hills blanketed in wild flowers and kelly-green grass.
Morro Bay Inlet: To capture this scene, I had to drag my small-wheeled cart of equipment through soft sand for a tortuous distance in order to follow Harvey to a site he thought would be a good one for us to paint. When I saw it, I agreed with him. Within a year, I revisited the scene with another artist friend, Bridget Duffy, and we painted this scene from the opposite bank. Instead of having the sailing boats in the foreground and the canoes in the background, my new painting depicted the canoes in a fair amount of detail with the rest of the foreground, and the small sailing boats in the distance.”
Sycamore in Islay Park, San Luis Obispo: This was created on my last painting outing with Harvey. One of his plein air painting friends, Shelley Lawrence, and my plein air painting buddy, Bridget Duffy, joined us on this occasion.
September 1, 2022
I entered “Alice Paul” and “On the Beach” in the Carlsbad Oceanside Art League’s 70th Annual Open Show. The COAL Gallery is at 300 Carlsbad Village Drive, Suite 101, Carlsbad, CA. Both paintings were accepted. “Alice” won an honorable mention. The show closes on September 4th.
The SFVACC “Women Artists Making Their Mark” online show accepted “African Mother in a Yellow Dress.” The online reception was impressive, in that many women artists infused their art with a concern over the environment and protested the Supreme Court’s recent overturning of Roe vs. Wade. I felt admiration for their passion and ability to channel it into an effective piece of artwork. I wondered whether I was being tone deaf for endeavoring to crank out scenes of sublime human experience “while Rome burns.” I also found it interesting that my portrait of suffragette Alice Paul was rejected for this show, which leads me to hypothesize that this group is looking forward rather than backward in its concerns about women’s place in society.
Anaheim Art Association’s international show is about to commence. “Almost Shirtsleeve Weather” and “African Mother in a Blue Dress” were entered and both paintings were accepted. I dropped them off on Friday and was impressed with the quality of artwork I saw all around me. The in-person reception/award ceremony will be on Sunday, October 30th from 1pm to 3pm. I’m batting 1,000 with this art group, since the two paintings I submitted last year were also accepted.
The location of the Anaheim show is MuzeO Carnegie Gallery, 241 S Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim CA 92805 (corner of Broadway & Anaheim Blvd.). There is limited parking on Anaheim Blvd. and Broadway. If you park on Center Street Promenade, check the parking signs carefully. It is easiest to park in the parking structure off Center Street Promenade. Go through the gate on the second floor of the parking structure and get a ticket. There is a walking entrance from the Center Street Promenade to the Gallery.
On August 22nd, Shelley Lawrence and I ventured out to paint a scene at Laguna Lake, San Luis Obispo. I did not complete my painting, and was gratified to say, when more than one person asked to see my unfinished painting, that my painting teacher, Lance Richlin, had advised me not to show any unfinished work. I know that paintings often look weird and disappointing as they are taking shape. I confess that I don’t always follow Lance’s advice, but on this occasion, I was happy to do so. I took several reference photos of the scene of our plein air outing, so I’ll be able to finish the landscape painting when I can spare the time. I haven’t completed a painting in two months, so I may elect to finish one of three landscape pieces I began this year but haven’t completed.
This month, I’m offering a sale on some of my landscapes: “Goldilocks and the Three Oaks.” “Bridget’s Apple Tree,” “Descanso Gardens in Spring,” “Chantal’s Garden in Blueberry Season,” “South Cast Botanic Garden in Fall,” and “Redondo Beach Historic Library Building” are available for half price–$200 framed or $100 unframed.
Meanwhile, I continue my efforts to complete a portrait of Gustavo Dudamel but have been waylaid at times by my four-day trip to Oregon in July, a five-day trip to visit my people in California to the north in August, as well as several days preparing to host people at home this summer on three occasions.
On Aug. 29th, I volunteered for four hours for the CA 101 preparations. The show is going to be engaging. Curator Nina Zak Laddon has done it again, producing a magical experience. The reception is this Friday, Sept. 2nd from 5-8pm, in the Redondo Beach Historic Library building in Veteran’s Park, in South Redondo. I’ll be pouring wine during the reception from 6:30-8pm, so please consider dropping by if you are local. The CA 101 Show is located at 309 Esplanade, Redondo Beach, CA 90277.
August 1, 2022
My painting of “Suffragette Alice Paul” was awarded an honorable mention certificate from the judge of the Destination Art Associates’ Show in June and July.
There is a YouTube video of me discussing my painting, “Children Branching Out,” which was also featured last month in the Destination Art Associates’ Show: https://youtu.be/kPkQ-r2kDEk
“Suffragette Alice Paul” and “Shopping with Mommy” were accepted to an online show with “Artopia”, put on by the San Fernando Valley Arts and Cultural Center, which runs from Aug. 1st through August 31st. View the show at: https://sfvacc.org/events/artopia-2022. The virtual artist’s reception is August 7th, from 5-7pm PST.
The Carlsbad-Oceanside Art League (COAL) show accepted both of the portraits I entered, “Suffragette Alice Paul” and “On the Beach.” The reception will be Sunday, August 7th, from 3-5pm. The show runs from Aug. 3rd through Sept. 4th. The location is 300 Carlsbad Village Drive, Suite 101, Carlsbad. Let me know if you would like to ride with Mike and me to the reception or meet us there for dinner.
“Shopping with Mommy” was accepted for the CA 101 show in September. The in-person reception for this show will be Friday, Sept. 2nd at the Redondo Beach Historic Library building.
This month, I’ll be adding “Bridget’s Apple Tree” to the store.
My current project is a portrait of LA Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel. I have been told I shouldn’t show an unfinished painting, but one of my girlfriends expressed an interest in my painting process, so I’m including a photo of the unfinished painting. I first drew Dudamel and then proceeded to paint over the drawing.
The Story of My Painting, Almost Shirtsleeve Weather (See Page 1 of Store)
I had just finished a painting of my older brother’s step-grandson, Alex, and decided to try a new one inspired by the same family. I found an image that, if modified, would be the spitting images of the mother and older sister of Alex, the boy in my previous painting, which I named “Child’s Play.” I made up the background for the new painting, which depicted a typical British Isles landscape, with clouds, fog, and a hint of blue skies. My figures were in shirtsleeves, so I decided to title the painting “Almost Shirtsleeve Weather (ASW),” to capture the enthusiasm of folks living in cold weather when they encounter the first hint of spring. I had a bit of fun with the lower left corner of the painting, where I imitated a landscape squiggle that is like the one in the lower left corner of the “Mona Lisa.”
“ASW” won 3rd place at Front Porch Gallery, which was the first time I had entered the painting in a juried show. It was accepted along with both of the other paintings I had entered, “Child’s Play” and “A Muse.” The Judge was Nancy Hillis, MD, a psychiatrist who creates non-objective (abstract) paintings, so I was surprised she liked my hyper-realistic painting. That same year, I entered “ASW” in the 2019 Torrance Artists’ Guild’s annual show for members, and it won The Higbee Award, an award with a cash value that Judge, Bob Mackie, gave to paintings of some merit, but not in the ranking for place winners. In that same show, the other painting I entered, “Soy Nativo de California” won second place in the show. “ASW” was also accepted to The Pasadena show this same year. The Pasadena show did not offer awards.
Subsequently, “Almost Shirtsleeve Weather” was accepted for the CA 101 show in 2019. It was also accepted to a Carlsbad Oceanside Art League’s show in 2021. That same year, it was shown in the Associates Show at Destination Art in 2021. The judge was Desmond O’Hagan, who awarded “ASW” first place in the Emerging Artists’ division. The other painting that I entered in that show, “Child’s Play,” won the Art Lover’s Choice Award.
This year, “ASW” was accepted to the Thousand Oaks Community Gallery show in May 2022 and the South Bay Festival of Arts/TOCA Fine Arts 2022 Juried Show for June 2022. “ASW” is about ready to retire, since most shows require that paintings entered be completed with the past few years.
July 1, 2022
I completed my painting of the Redondo Beach Historic Library building, only to learn that contrary to the past two times when I participated in this activity with the same group, on this occasion, the paintings weren’t collected from the artists to be sold at auction. Instead, publicity was generated by the plein air event and posted on the FB website. This was what the Friends of the Redondo Beach Arts group was after. The artists are free to do whatever they wish with their paintings. It could be yours for a couple hundred—lol.
The second painting I finished in June was “Shopping with Mommy.”
I had paintings accepted into two shows in June. The South Bay Festival of Arts, put on by the Torrance Cultural Arts Center, took place on June 25th, and I thought the collection of paintings was remarkably good. There were a handful of wonderful portraits, which is unusual for a local art show. My piece, “Almost Shirtsleeve Weather,” was in good company.
The other show is still ongoing. It is at Destination Art in Torrance, and can also be viewed online. I have two paintings in this show: “Suffragette Alice Paul” and “Children Branching Out.”
Destination Art made videos of artists discussing their paintings in the current show. They published the video clip of me discussing my painting, “Suffragette Alice Paul.” The link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjbUsOxWi-c.
The Destination Art show has an art lover’s choice award. I hope you’ll take time to look at this show and possibly vote for one of my two paintings, “Suffragette Alice Paul” or “Children Branching Out.” Feel free to choose another painting if you prefer it. To vote, go to https://www.destination-art.net/associates-show-2022 On the screen that pops up for the Associate Artists 2022 Exhibition you’ll see a turquoise blue box that says “Art Lovers, Click Here to Vote for Your Favorite Painting.”
Bridget Duffy and I enjoyed a plein air painting session June 22 at the South Coast Botanic Gardens. We spent a lovely afternoon painting, but unfortunately, I don’t yet have a finished painting to show.
June 2, 2022
My art activities for May included showing my paintings in two shows, one virtual and one in person. The in-person show was at the Thousand Oaks Community Gallery and was put on by the Thousand Oaks Art Association. The online show was sponsored by the California Art League, a group I joined during the pandemic. This show has the theme, “Reflections,” which I chose to interpret as the inner musings of a person. Both of the pieces I entered in this show were accepted: “Suffragette Alice Paul” and “A Day in Paris.” The second painting is an older one of mine, but last month, I reworked some aspects of Doris Day’s face, hair, and hands with which I had grown dissatisfied.
“Almost Shirtsleeve Weather” was accepted for the Thousand Oaks Art Association Show.
“Suffragette Alice Paul” in the California Art League’s Show, Reflections
“A Day in Paris” in the California Art League’s Show, Reflections
I was accepted to two additional shows that will take place in June. One is the Destination Art Annual Associate Artists’ Show in Torrance and the other is The South Bay Festival of Arts show in Torrance. Both shows are in-person.
On May 28th, I participated in a plein air painting event with a dozen other local artists. We all painted the Redondo Beach Historic Library located in Veteran’s Park. This event was a fundraiser for the Friends of the Redondo Beach Arts. The artists agreed to donate their paintings for a silent auction, intended to raise money for the CA 101 show in September, which is put on by The Friends of the Redondo Beach Arts. The last time it was held, in 2019, this show was cited by our local paper, The Daily Breeze, as the best art show in the area. I have to agree that each year the show has been spectacular. The silent auction will be held on June 10th at a lovely Redondo Beach home. Details can be found on the Friends of Redondo Beach website.
The Redondo Beach Historic Library was designed by architect Lovell Pemberton and opened in July of 1930. A three-story building, the library has a combination of Spanish and Dutch colonial styles with arched windows and gables on its north and south wings. Art Deco moldings adorn the front facade, and windows are set in almost every wall to allow unrestrained views of the bay. The library served Redondo Beach residents for sixty years, until a new library was built on Pacific Coast Highway. A Moreton Bay Fig tree to the left of the building is itself a registered landmark.
April 26, 2022
This month, I completed two paintings: Suffragette Alice Paul (4/12/22) and Moon Rising Before Sunset at Harbor Lake (4/19/22).
In 2020, I ran across a remarkable sepia photo of Alice Paul, circa 1915. I was quite taken with Alice Paul’s determined gaze, combined with her frilly outfit and slim waist. There seemed to be a dynamic tension between her fierce expression and her delicate femininity. I wanted to capture that. I cropped the photo and began my effort. Eventually, I decided to add color. I had learned through Wikipedia that Alice was known for her violet eyes. I used Elizabeth Taylor’s famously violet eyes as a model for the color. The background in the photo was so blurred and odd-looking that I decided to alter it somewhat.
Alice Paul lived long enough to play a role in the writing of the Equal Rights Amendment. In 1923, in Seneca Falls for the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the 1848 Woman’s Rights Convention, Alice Paul introduced the first version of the Equal Rights Amendment, which was called the “Lucretia Mott Amendment” at the time. In 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment, designed to guarantee protection against sexual discrimination for women under the law, passed both houses of Congress and was sent to the individual states for ratification.
On April 15th, I had an opportunity to join members of the California Art Club to paint a full moon that was expected to rise before the sun set. I had not tried painting a landscape in potentially dim light, but was excited about trying it. My painting buddy, Bridget, and I sat side-by-side, with half dozen other painters within a 20-foot space. It was challenging to make something interesting out of a lake shore lined with non-descript trees and other greenery.
My painting, “Almost Shirtsleeve Weather, was accepted for a show in the Thousand Oaks area. I’ll be at the reception on May 15th from 1-3pm.
March 25, 2022
” Two new paintings were completed in March: “Naked Coral Tree at South Coast Botanic Gardens” and “La Familia Ranch, San Luis Obispo.”
February 2, 2022
During this plein air outing in August of 2021, I was with my artist friend, Bridget Duffy. There was plenty of yellowed grass in the open fields, but the area around the creek had plenty of water, which turned it a lush green. In the distance is Morro Rock, in the middle-ground you see a Snowy Egret, which I think may be my favorite bird, because of its long, slim, elegant look and its intriguing movements. The Egret was not in this position. It was facing the two ducks and behind them far enough to be out of the scene, but I so much desired to place the bird I admired into this painting.
I abandoned this piece for several months to work on other paintings and then picked it up again in January. It was completed January 31, 2022. An artist friend of mine, Shelley Lawrence, described this painting as having some dreamlike qualities to it. I love that depiction and see that quality in it myself.
January 21, 2022
One of my paintings was selected to appear in the 2022 Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff Reference Catalog. (Click inside the box to scroll down through the paintings.)CJAS_2022-Art-Gallery
January 13, 2022
Palos Verdes Library District Annual Community Art Show – November –December 2021
My painting, “African Mother in a Blue Dress, ” was given an honorable mention.
October 30, 2021
Our friends, Ray and Dale, accompanied us to the Anaheim Art Association’s annual show, where I had two paintings accepted: “Jane Goodall and an Infant Chimp” and “Soy Nativo de California.”
October 26, 2021
Our Torrance Artists’ guild art show reception took place on October 23rd. Our photographer took photos of the award winners. I’m pictured with my painting, “On the Beach.”
October 18, 2021
The Palos Verdes Library District Art Show 2021. November 10-December 31st., 10am-4pm. 701 Silver Spur Road, Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274. The two pieces of mine that will be in the show are “African Mother in a Blue Dress” and Chelsea on the Verge”.
October 19, 2021
The Torrance Artists’ Guild’s annual show is online now and will be available for viewing throughout October. I invite you to see what our artists have been creating. Please be sure to visit and vote for your favorite painting.
Torrance Artists‘ Guild Online Art Show Dates: Monday, October 4 through Sunday, October 31 (view through the Destination Art website at www.destination-art.net), with an in-Person Show Reception: October 23, 2021, 1-3pm (at the Torrance Civic Center Garden Rooms, 3330 Civic Center Drive, Torrance, CA) There will be refreshments and live entertainment. A slide show of the online entries will be running on a large-screen TV and the winning artwork will be present “in person”.
I have two paintings in this show: “Children in a Tree” and “On the Beach” As the current president of this art group. “On the Beach” won an Honorable Mention award, so it will be at the show.
Honorable mention award winner.
October 11, 2021
I had two paintings accepted for the Anaheim Art Association show. The in-person reception is on Oct. 30th. My two paintings that were accepted for the show will be on view until Nov. 7th at 250 E. Center Street, Anaheim CA 92805 . These paintings are “Jane Goodall with an Infant Chimp” and “Soy Nativo de California”.
September 23, 2021
My painting, “African Mother in a Yellow Dress” was accepted for an online art show put on by the California Art League, with the theme of Light and Shadow. I became a member of this group when they accepted my painting, “Child’s Play” for their spring 2021 show, which had the theme: “Sublime”.
The current show will be available from October 1st through December 31, 2021 on the California Art League web site, www.californiaartleague.org. After that date, the exhibit will be in CAL’s archives.
ARTISTS’ RECEPTION: There will be a virtual (on-line) reception on Friday, October 8, 2021 between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. on Zoom Video. All participating artists are invited to attend. Each exhibiting artist will be given approximately 1 minute to talk about their work. Details will follow.
September 15, 2021
I had one painting accepted to the Carlsbad-Oceanside Art League’s 69th Open Juried Fine Arts Show. That painting is “Almost Shirtsleeve Weather” and can be seen in person from Sept. 1st-Oct. 3rd at
Carlsbad-Oceanside Art League,
300 Carlsbad Village Drive
June 15 2021
People’s Choice Award Winner
In addition to winning First Place in the Destination Art annual show, with “Almost Shirtsleeve Weather”, I won The People’s Choice Award in the same show for my other painting, “Child’s Play”.
June 12, 2021
TAG Award Winner
My painting, “Righetti Ranch Road, San Luis Obispo (off Orcutt Road), won the People’s Choice Award for the month of June, 2021 in my art group’s competition among members. The group is called the Torrance Artists’ Guild, and I’m its president this year.
This painting was done “en plein air” and is part of a series of scenes in the San Luis Obispo area. Other paintings in the series include “San Luis Obispo in January After Rain,” San Luis Obispo Barn on Miossi Ranch,” “Chamisal Vineyard in San Luis Obispo,” “Wolff Winery in San Luis Obispo,” Pismo Beach Butterfly Preserve,” Greengate Farms, San Luis Obispo,” “Montaña de Oro State Park,” and “Morro Bay Inlet”.
May 24, 2021
The Destination Art Emerging Artists first place winner was Tricia Alexander, with Almost Shirtsleeve Weather. The artist judging the artwork was Desmond O’Hagan, of Denver, Colorado, who is a familiar figure to Southern California artists, as he frequently offers workshops here and at other locations across the country.
The show is online and in person through June 12th. Destination Art is located at 1815 West 213th Street, Suite 135, Torrance CA 90501 (You may reserve your time and date for an in-person viewing by sending an email to LocalArtists@destination-art.net) For online viewing, go to https://www.destination-art.net/
May 8, 2021
California Art League’s show “Sublime” accepted “Child’s Play” and “Almost Shirtsleeve Weather” for their online show. The show runs from May 5th to June 5th.
May 7, 2021
I had “Child’s Play” accepted to the Ode to Spring online show at the Huse Skelly Gallery. It begins on May 8th. See it at https://www.huseskellygallery.com.
I had two paintings accepted for the Associate Artists 2021 Exhibition at Destination Art. The show goes from May 3rd through June 12th. The paintings are “Child’s Play” and “Almost Shirtsleeve Weather”.
It is in the gallery and online.
1815 West 213th Street, Suite, 135,
Torrance, CA 90501.
April 16, 2021
I had two paintings accepted to a show with the theme “Models in Motion.” They are “Joshua at Play” and “Child’s Play.” Please visit the exhibit at www.sfvacc.org any time between now and Friday, April 30. This will be exclusively an on-line exhibit.
April 13, 2021
My painting, “African Mother in a Blue Dress” won the People’s Choice Award this month in my art group’s monthly competition. The group is called the Torrance Artists’ Guild.
This painting was part of a three-painting series of African mothers and their infants. The other two paintings are “African Mother in a Yellow Dress” and African Mother in a White Dress”. Later, I expanded my series to include mothers and infants who were not African.