Monday, June 12, 2017

"The Watchers"

 The Watchers (24x32) o/c

This is a new piece that will be included in my upcoming solo show opening this August at Maxwell Alexander Gallery in Los Angeles. Most ideas like this one start as a thumbnail doodle in my sketchbook where I jot down ideas from imagination, or from something inspired by real life (as was this one from my last trip to the desert earlier this year)...


(Original sketchbook thumbnail)


In this case it was a scene I imagined of trackers, bounty hunters revolutionaries...or? The main idea was whatever these guys are doing, it is punctuated by the rising moon and diminishing daylight -- contemplation of a trail gone cold perhaps...

 (colour sketch 8x10)
 
After I settled on the composition, I had a friend dress up and model for both figures, and I used reference from several plein air paintings I had done on site in the Anza Borrego desert not far from the Mexican border. I also like the element of mystery, not just from the early evening atmosphere, but from the figures facing away from us (and ones head being cropped off) that keep them anonymous and perhaps a little more vague as to their intentions.


 (detail)

 The paintings I like by other artists (and what I hope to achieve in my own) are the ones that give you a start to a narrative that the viewer has to complete; this gets the viewer involved on a more personal level even if they know nothing of the people in the picture.

(Another sketchbook thumbnail)




If a painting can be effective as not just a nice visual, but as a story telling (or "story starting" device) then you've accomplished something that makes the art twice as interesting...and I think people enjoy that a little bit more~










Wednesday, May 31, 2017

New Work...

"They Will Pay" (16x16) oil on linen


This is a new piece going into my solo show at Maxwell Alexander Gallery -- this show will consist of western figures (Cowboys, Bandits, Smugglers, etc.) opening in L. A. august 19th, 2017. 





Friday, May 5, 2017

Feliz Cinco De Mayo!

"Spanish Guitar" (16x12 cropped)

Another work-in-progress going toward my solo show in Los Angeles at Maxwell Alexander Gallery... Exhibition opens august 19th!







 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Jack in the Thicket

study for "Jack in the Thicket" (9x12)

Working on a number of new paintings for my solo show that will open at Maxwell Alexander Gallery in Los Angeles, CA. This "study" above was done in preparation for a larger 24x30 canvas which is now complete but not yet photographed... 

Several more canvases are finished with more in the works: Mexican soldiers, peasant farmers, bandits, smugglers and some western landscapes. 

Show opens August 19th.





 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

More small sketches from my recent California trip...

 Irvine Sycamores (8x10) o/c


 Irvine Hills (8x10) o/l

 Indian Head at Sunset (12x16) o/l

Cleft in the Rock (12x16) o/l








Saturday, March 18, 2017

Due Diligence in the Desert

 "The Santa Rosa's & Coyote Mountain" (8x10)

I just returned from spending a few days in the Anza Borrego Desert in Southern California. Thanks to some friends who lent me their vacation home and SUV,  I was able to get to places a two-wheel drive car couldn't, and the weather was perfect; sunshine and 85 degrees!

 "Desert Rock Design" (8x10)

Ever since I was a little kid when my grandparents kept a trailer out in Palm Springs, I have had an affinity for the desert; from the sunshine and sand to the colour and expanse. It was not just a trip to collect reference sketches for paintings, but to recharge myself after a long, grey Northwest winter and reconnect with my past...


"Coyote Mountain Sunset" (8x10)

Studying your subject from life is essential, especially when one lives so far from it. I never paint landscapes from photographs, but from life (or from my field studies done from life). It's the only true and accurate way to capture colour, value, perspective and the other sensual aspects of temperature, sound and the whole experience of being there...

 "Desert Mountain Colour" (8x10)

The colour of the desert is the most appealing aspect of painting there -- it is so intense on the mountains at sunrise and sunset, and when coupled with the silence and warmth, it really has an impressing effect! 
 
  "Fish Creek Passage" (8x10)
 
I hope to get back there before too long where I can relax from the stress of everyday life and appreciate the beauty of this wonderful & mysterious place!


"Indian Head Mountain" (8x10)

























Thursday, February 16, 2017

Magazine Feature!



Thanks to Allan Duerr & Tom Tierney for featuring me in the new March/April 2017 issue of ART OF THE WEST magazine! I also got the back cover with Bonner David Galleries -- on sale now!

 "Interlopers" (24x36) o/c
(crop)











Thursday, January 19, 2017

Land of My Nativity...

 To quote Thomas Wolfe & Ella Winter (or, The Shangri-La's) "You can never go home again" is apropos to where my mind is at these days.  'Middle-age' is (for me) a time of living in two camps; the here and now & the fond memories of my past... I know not everyone has fond memories of their adolescence, but I sure do...

"The Land of My Nativity" (24x30) oil on canvas

 I grew up in southern Orange County, California when it still had an abundance of citrus groves -- now there are but a scant few. In fact, the neighborhood where we lived in the 70's was built in an orange grove. Today the grove is long gone (as is the bareness of the hills that surrounded that small valley in San Juan Capistrano) but the memories remain; hide n' seek in the grove, building forts in the eucalyptus trees and coming home with our clothes wreaking of orange juice. 


"The Scarlet Conclusion" (9x12) oil on linen SOLD

In recent years when I've gone back to visit as a painter, the anticipation in my mind's eye never matches up with the reality that exists there now. The barren hills & vistas of the early California Impressionists (or even of my youth) have long since been plowed under in the name of urban sprawl. Those images of undeveloped Southern California are only to be found in history books now, or among the paintings of William Wendt, Edgar Payne and Hanson Puthuff from a century ago...

So although 'I can never go home again' literally, I can still revisit those idyllic places of my youth in my minds eye, and on canvas...  AND (as the Shangri-La's would sing) that's called, "Glad" ~