I must be on a fall vineyard kick now as I'm missing the current happenings out there in vineyardland. I haven't needed to drive outside of town, so I've been leafing through my photos of the autumn colors and it feels almost the same as being there. It's all rainy and bleak outside, but my studio is warm and cozy as I listen to Phil Keaggy on Pandora Radio. This piece is a scene from the home ranch of the Seghesio Winery near Geyserville and I love painting it because back lighting really gets to me in a big way. I have no idea what varietal turns this color in October and November, but isn't it out of this world???
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Since the coastal areas can't boast hillsides of flaming maples, we cling lovingly to our vineyards that also change color. In October and early November, driving along highway 128 is like floating on a golden cloud and the scent in the air is that of snappy apples. It's a wondrous time for a romp with the top down or the windows wide open in order to catch every possible sight, sound and yummy smell. The harvest is finished and now it's time to simply rest and savor and be thankful.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
I guess you can call what I've been up to 'a series' of floral paintings. I don't know that I've done an official series before, so this is kinda neat. This one shows a sense of place, and an elegant one at that. This is our dear friends Karl and Gayle's entryway and the last time we visited them this scene just about took my breath away. It's a classic bouquet in a classic home and these folks are right classy too!
Friday, October 26, 2012
Tracked down a raft of photos of flowers and still life set ups that have been hidden from plain sight for umpteen years. It was A LOT of fun going through them and thinking about the flowers as gifts, inspiration for future paintings and seeing my different houses represented as well. Someone brought this sprig of camellias into the Mendocino Art Center one afternoon and it was great setting them on the white paper covered table because the shadow was as much, or more fun, as the subject. Someone had left a red purse on a stool in the background, hence the exciting color back there. It's so great to use paint because you can take care of photo flaws lickety split.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Since we're on the topic of flowers and vases, might you take a peek into another side of my psyche? Sometimes I just like to work in a more free and flamboyant manner, with exaggerated colors too. The result is more playful and less realistic, but no less recognizable as flowers in sunlight eh? This is basically a watercolor, but there is some opaque and pearlescent acrylic thrown on for drama and surface excitement. Does it remind you of the finger painting from a few weeks ago?
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
The light that streams in through my dining room windows causes the heart to flutter and transforms anything from mundane to magnificent. Not that this bouquet is the least bit mundane, but you know what I mean because now the edges that meet the light are alive with light. It's been fun being on this flower kick and this one is has an overall warmth that makes me feel like sitting down with a good book, a cup of tea, and YOU.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
It was mid-afternoon at our French farmhouse, Mas Pichony, and we were in need of a pick me up, so we opted for lemonade and a crusty baguette in the cool of the dining room. However, the dancing olives on the tablecloth and the lilting sunflowers did as much for our energy level as the food and drink. The aesthetics of a place are paramount, and that's what drives me to keep leaving the country or I could live on bread and water in any old place.
Monday, October 22, 2012
Kind of diggin' the close ups of colorful things that grow in the ground and then grace our everyday lives. Thank you Linda for the use of this fabulous foto of flowers from a foreign land. Thanks too to all of you out there in blog and Daily Paintworks land that post such thoughtful and encouraging comments. They truly do keep me on task and much more joyfully so. I had to make this painting a bit larger than the others because it's a bit difficult to sink your teeth into a 5x7 of such glorious color. It's hard not to feel joy when confronted by such splendor, so have fun taking this in as you daydream about Spring that happens to be a long way off.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
I love tromping through the clumpy rows and getting right up close to the clusters of grapes. It's an earthy endeavor and the smell of the dirt, leaves and cobalt orbs feels ancient and other-worldly somehow. It's perfect just before harvest because the leaves begin to tinge with that rusty red and the greens begin to yellow, all perfect compliments to the dynamic blue tones. One day they'll turn into wine, but here they are in all their natural and regal beauty.
Friday, October 19, 2012
Will the real person that gave me these flowers please stand up? It's about time I thanked you and little did you know that I'd shoot them one afternoon as the sun was streaming through my windows. Those of you that have been to my house will no doubt recognize the tablecloth, the chairs and my painting on the wall. Those of you that haven't might as well just come on over so that I can make you a cup of tea.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Some sweet friends took me out to lunch today and we chose Silver's at the Wharf because of the view and the fantabulous "Coastal Salad" they make. We got to sit out on the deck as this rare summer weather just keeps hanging on and it was a real treat. Seagulls and fishing boats coupled with the deep blue green water and salt air definitely buoy the spirit right up. (did you catch that?) We relished every minute and every bite and though I'd forgotten to take my painting panels with me, was able to snap this shot and go straight home to do the painting. It was almost like being there and I hope you get the same sensation while allowing my descriptions to sail you right away.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
We've just been tromping around the headlands, gazing at the sparkling sea and meandering amidst the miles of narrow pathways. It is exhilarating, this environment of mine and I cherish each and every day. Yep, even the funky foggy days if they don't stack up to 7 in a row. Those days are cozy and encourage me to get a bunch of indoor work done like cleaning the desk and finding out what color it actually is underneath all the piles. However, when the sun shows up in full force, I'm outa there and ready to pounce on any and every scene that I encounter. And there are too many to count as I'm encountering them, so I count myself blessed to the enth degree.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
My very first post back in February was called "Happiness in a Vase" and a sunflower is also starring in today's feature. Flowers are a good excuse for extravagant color and they truly lift our spirits don't they? I'm moving a bit slow the last coupla days due to all that traveling and I just wanted to paint something lively to liven myself up and I think it worked. The sun is streaming through my seaside windows, the back door to the deck has been open to bring in the fabulous fall air and I've relished painting at home in my kitchen today. I don't have an official home studio, but the westerly afternoon glow is a sun-loving artist's delight. Sigh.
Monday, October 15, 2012
Now which saddle was it that I was supposedly back in anyhow? I guess I'm still discombobulated from the long time away and have been distracted. I do have to admit that Saturday was a worthwhile day of distraction as our dear friends Phil and Joan came to visit and treated us to a sumptuous concert right here in Podunk California. We welcomed Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas to our humble berg and through their musical mastery were transported to the highlands and moors. Fiddle and cello like YOU HAVE NEVER HEARD before, WOW. I told our friends that I would be crying more if I'd brought along more tissues. This story has nothing to do with today's painting but what I offer here is a subject near and dear to me that needs no explanation. I hope to paint the musicians that I was blessed to see, as I snapped a few photos on that enthralling night that slipped by me without my posting this painting of more of that yummy purple stuff. Oops.
Friday, October 12, 2012
Even though I'm pretty much scared of horses, I am finally back in the saddle. I've been thrown off my routine, but thankfully not for good. This painting was inspired by a rash of photos I'd taken not long ago when the rising of the moon over Mendocino Bay was spectacular. I just ran from one vantage point to the other to try different ways of arranging the masses of land, the beach and the islands. Each angle was as good as the next and the whole experience was exhilarating to say the least. I hope you get at least a little bit of that same feeling as you gaze at my chunky-ish strokes and feel like dancing an Irish jig.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
You guessed it. I've been too busy for my own good and really just need to get home and get my nose back to the grindstone! Lots of visiting and moving about in increments of 30 minutes has left me without enough concentrated time or energy to produce anything but sleepiness. Stay tuned for the 'real stuff' again by Friday or Saturday and in the meantime, enjoy this shot of Multnomah Falls in the afternoon shade.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
You're right. I forgot to post yesterday and it's all because I'm having way too much fun up here in Portland visiting lots of people and soaking up lots of sun and wind. It is definitely the fall season here and the leaves wouldn't fall off the trees if the wind didn't visit in full force. We drove out to Multnomah Falls today and experienced the majesty of cascading water against steep cliffs lined with amber colored leaves flickering against the cobalt blue sky. Yesterday we spent our 2nd day along the Columbia River at Jantzen Beach enjoying a cafe within the harbor area and delighted ourselves with the variety of boats and sea life against the glorious backdrop of Mt. Hood. What on earth does any of this have to do with the painting above? Well, nothing really. I brought this along with me so that I could just spend time lollygagging. However, it is also a late summer scene in another amazing Napa Valley location and I hope you enjoy this visual along with the description of what's been going on today.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to France I continue to go. This time to the small village of Soreze that is close to Toulouse and a truly delightful and inspirational spot on God's green earth. I took a group of painters there several years ago and one evening raced around taking copious photos at the golden hour. This was the backside of town, though it appears to be a grand entrance for those on foot and might have been the original gateway. I'll never really know, but isn't it great to dream of walking down this little lane and into medieval times when life was slow and different and altogether other worldly?
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
In preparation for our trip to Portland, I sat down and did a few paintings so that we could make our drive and not have to pull over at any old opportune spot. This is a piece that came out of my head, but is based on my trips to France of course. I kind of mixed up the red poppies that bloom in May along with the lavender that blooms in July, but I have an artistic license dontcha know? I love the lopsided rooflines there, the olive and cypress trees and the lilting light and color, all that seem to flourish beyond measure. Happy, dreamlike days that I invite you to join me in.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
It's hard to imagine that these small structures take a real beating most of the year since they are sitting there 'baking' in my newest painting. It must have been 80 degrees while I was out painting and both my bones and their ancient bones were certainly appreciative. Mendocino has a historical review board that makes sure that renovations are in keeping with the original designs from long ago, and these humble buildings have been lovingly attended to. They happen to be within spitting distance of my house, but it was fun to finally paint something that I had never painted before - rustic and understated as they are. Kind of poetic and simple.
Monday, October 1, 2012
A few years back, my buddy Leslie and I made a road trip along the coast of California. It was spectacular weather and of course the visual were breathtaking as well. We didn't do as much painting en route as we'd hoped, but did stop often to take photos. I've been eyeing this photo for quite some time and today was the day to give it a whirl with my newest chunky-ish but small brush. I was able to sit outside on my deck in Mendocino and enjoy the same amazing weather as when I shot the photo, so doesn't that count for painting outside? It must have been 75 degrees here today, hip, hip hooray!!!