Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Transforming "plein air" into a large studio piece

Shown bottom center is my original plein air, which I've posted with the bigger "comp"(upper left) and even bigger (but just begun) studio piece (upper right) so that you can see the progression. I was happy with the plein air, but as I studied it and considered it for a larger studio piece I decided I wanted to try moving back from my vantage point so that I would see less of the ocean and more of the cliff sides that were so appealing to me that morning. Luckily, I had taken photographs so I had plenty of reference material. (The reason I would never begin a studio painting from photos alone is that photographs never capture colors as accurately as one can with a box of paints, but they come in real handy for this purpose!) I worked out a new composition on a 14"h by 11"w canvas panel to try it out, and I'm real happy with it!(upper left) My next project is to complete a larger (24"h by 18"w) studio painting and I have shown you here it's "first stage"(upper right) which is where I've transfered the image onto the larger canvas and have put in "basic color washes" to guide me and create a "base coat" for my finished work. As this painting progresses, I'll share images with you and hope to have it ready for the LaJolla Festival of the Arts in June!
1/7/10 Second to the top photo is a near completed section of the "ocean morning sparkle", and the landscape behind and surrounding it.
1/11/10 Here's the finished piece! 24"h by 18" wide. See it in person at the LaJolla Festival of the Arts in June! (I will post more info about that later)

Plein Air at Terramar Beach

This 10"h by 8"w plein air in oil on masonite was done a few weeks ago. It was a beautiful morning in Carlsbad, and I found this area of beach captivating as I meandered just a little south of Tamarack. I was especially drawn to the rocky walls along the path, and the way the light shone on it's surfaces. As I painted, several people hiked by, some with their dogs. A few people inquired about the painting, and for them I apologize that it's taken me this long to post it! I am now working on a larger "comp", that will be worked into a larger still studio piece. More on that soon...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Merry Christmas!

"The giver of every good and perfect gift has called upon us to mimic His giving, by grace, through faith, and this is not of ourselves." Saint Nicholas

Thursday, November 5, 2009

"The I-5"

This 14"h by 11"w oil portrays a view that catches my eye as the dogs and I cross over the I-5 from our home on our evening walks. I love the way the sun set casts a "glow" onto the curve of the interstate as it disappears to the south! This would have been a particularly difficult place to paint "en plein air" (in the open air) since it's quite noisy and space is limited, (not to mention those cars that just keep constantly changing their positions!) So, I opted to take a few shots with my new "point and shoot" camera and worked from them in my studio!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Why I'll always go back to Starbucks

I painted this small still life in my kitchen one halloween years ago while waiting for little trick-or-treaters. It makes me think of the things I like about this time of year. The plastic pumpkin represents candy (which is the only reason for this season in my book, and always has been!), and of course my favorite "adult treat" brought to me by Starbucks, in my beautiful shiny Starbucks cup! I bring it out to decorate my home every halloween.
Now, for the endorsement: I recently laid to rest my former Starbucks "Barista" latte machine. During the YEARS that I enjoyed that machine, there were a number of times that I was "sure I'd got my money's worth", and had almost resigned to replacing it. Every time I had a problem with it, and I will say usually it turned out to be "user error", I would as a last resort, call Starbucks customer service. Each time, I would be in contact with a friendly and knowledgeable associate. Each time, the people at Starbucks patiently walked me through "trouble shooting", to solve my problem and therefore it was not necessary to spend any extra money on my part. Now, my machine was nearly 10 years old, and because I had allowed moisture to accumulate inside the walls, it was beginning to corrode. I recently decided to buy another (Starbucks) machine. My husband and I walked into our local store, where the store manager offered us a shiny new "Vanezia", the "floor model" for a discounted price. He also threw in a pound of espresso beans! When we unpacked the box at home, we discovered that a small piece was missing from the "parts list". Before we packed it back up and drove the whole machine back to our local Starbucks store, I thought I'd just see what would happen if I called customer service and asked them what my options were. After hearing my story, the gentleman I spoke with just very simply said, "Well, we'll just ship you out that part." Imagine that! (no hassles with, "We're sorry ma'am but you're going to have to show us a receipt for that purchase"...) In this world, where businesses have gotten so big that "customer service" is a thing of the past, it's refreshing to be treated like a valued "client" instead of a "faceless number"! Thank you Starbucks! p.s. the coffee cup pictured in this painting is also still with me, and I have dropped it in the sink many times in the past years. The quality of a Starbucks coffee mug always amazes me!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Two Little Friends

I was meeting my painting group at the north end of Solana beach for a plein air painting excursion, when I noticed these two very busy little boys exploring the tide pools. I did feel a little weird taking their photo for reference, especially since there was not a parent to be seen! (but I just had to, since I found the scene so beautiful!) I shot a few photos, (before I notified the nearest life guard, who said that he had been keeping his eye on them) and developed them at home. From the series, I modified the placement of some of the waves and rocks for a more interesting composition, and here we have "Two Little Friends", 11"h by 14" w

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Afternoon at Torrey Pines State Reserve

Yesterday I met some good friends and fellow artists from Redlands for an afternoon of painting in beautiful LaJolla, California. We had a super time catching up and sharing the day! This 8"h by 10"w plein air in oil is on canvas board, and it's title: "Afternoon at Torrey Pines State Reserve"

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Plans for La Cresta Event 10/4/09

This weekend, I have been invited to show my work at the La Cresta event: "Taste of La Cresta" All proceeds from this event will benefit the development of the Recreational Trails in La Cresta. For more information, go to I will be bringing 10-15 pieces, including my most recent work, this 10"h by 8" w plein air painting done from the Hedionda Lagoon, here in Carlsbad. I'm looking forward to spending the afternoon in the beautiful hills of LaCresta!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Northern Coastal View

This past week, I've been working on (among other things) this 11" by 14" studio piece, "Northern Coastal View". I began with a "transparent wash" of color, diluted with varying amounts of turpenoid to arrive at the correct "values". When I was satisfied with the placement and values, I applied pretty generous amounts of oil paint with more confidence. This is a cool trick I picked up from Robert Watts, and I intend to use it and explore it for everything it's worth!
12/09 This piece won Third Place at the San Clemente Fall Judged Exhibit!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Camping at Morro Bay

These small plein air paintings are from a recent family camping trip to Spooners Cove, in Morro Bay, Calfornia. The "old me" would have turned up my nose at both of these views of the cove/visitor's center, since the mornings were mostly without sun (the light and shadow is what usually inspires me). However, since valuable time spent with one of my favorite plein air painters of all time, Mr. Robert Watts, I have grown to appreciate the value of an "unchanging" light source and the atmospheric perspective that is enhanced by these otherwise "dreary" days. I'm looking forward to using some of my husband's photographic reference to create a larger "studio piece" in the near future!

Camping at El Capitan

These plein air paintings are from our 2009 annual camping trip to El Capitan State Beach, just north of Santa Barbara, California. Having camped there with my husband's family for many summers, the views continue to inspire me!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Riverside Banner Project

Riverside Banner ARTventure

This post is a bit out of order, but having come across this photo, I felt inspired to share. In May, 2009 The Riverside Art Museum held "The biggest outdoor art exhibit and fundraiser ever held in Riverside!". Local artists submitted entries for banners to be displayed on the city streets for nearly two months. Here I am with my entry "Cheeky Orange Picker" at the silent auction held on May 28th. The banner was inspired by an photo my sister in law took for me of my darling nephew Clayton a few years ago, and a visit to the Historic California Citrus State Historic Park. It was great to be a part of this extraordinary event benefiting the Art Alliance of the Riverside Art Museum!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

8th Annual San Clemente Plein Air Competition

The week after moving, I took part in the San Clemente Plein Air Competition, and created 5 new works, 2 of which were submitted into the for jurying. San Clemente is a beautiful little beach community (as pictured here at bottom left from "The corner of S. Ola Vista and Avenida Del Mar" 8"h by10"w). One of my submissions(at top right); "San Clemente Potted Plants" was awarded Honorable Mention!

Carlsbad at last!

The source for this small plein air piece (7"h by 5"w) is a short walk from our (new) front door, the "Agua Hedionda Lagoon", as viewed from Harrison Street above. Walking our dogs, Frankie and Matilda through the streets of our new town, I couldn't wait to unload them at home so I could capture it on canvas!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Tuscany Hills Clubhouse

This 10"h by 8"w plein air in oil depicts the view from the Tuscany Hills Clubhouse. When painting it, as I listened to young voices and splashing, a couple were enjoying valuable time with their grandchildren. Another group of children were playing in the adjoining park. I was reminded of all the times in the past 12 years that my family has walked to the clubhouse in the sweltering heat, to find refuge here!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

DeJongs Dairy

Today, two of the plein air painting groups I belong to were gathering to paint in gardens; one in Riverside and one in Huntington Beach. I couldn't decide which one to join, because they were both a drive for me and I was late in getting started. I finally decided to "stay home" and paint at the dairy that has supplied my family with the best milk in the valley for years-"DeJongs." The dairy was very accomodating, and the cows presented a great value study! (for the most part they ignored me, after a brief show of interest) This 11"h by 14"w plein air in oil shows them at work at their feeding trough. They cooperated by staying relatively still for a while, then in a moment, I looked up and they were gone!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

"Leaving Tuscany Hills"

This 11"h by 14"w plein air oil painting captures a scene that has caught my eye for years, just as we've driven down Summerhill Drive, leaving Tuscany Hills. The trees in the landscape here, just west of the waterfall create an interesting foreground for the cool backgound of the Cleveland National Forest, with just a portion of the lake visible. Yesterday, I finally decided to paint it!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Fallbrook Art Association's Juried Show of Fine Art

My 8" by 10" oil, "Some Things Never Change", won First Award in the Oil/Acrylic Category at the Fallbrook Art Association's Open Juried Show of Fine Art at the Fallbrook Art Center! A total of three of my oil paintings were selected to be a part of the show, two of which are plein air, and will be on display there until Saturday, April 11. The address is 103 South Main Street in Fallbrook. Daily hours are 10am to 5pm, Saturday 10am to 3pm. I surely hope that you can make it to Fallbrook to see this exhibit!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Crazy Beautiful Girl

One of my favorite subjects, our daughter Natalie turns 18 today! The source for this 24"h by 20"w oil painting was a photo taken in our sunny backyard, with a backdrop of the Cleveland National Forest in the distance. For 18 years, we have watched Natalie grow into a beautiful, creative, kind, talented and responsible young lady. Natalie has been a true blessing to us! Happy Birthday Natalie!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Captain II John Lawrence Presentation

Yesterday, my husband and I attended the 42nd Annual Firefighter of the Year Luncheon for the Los Angeles City Fire Dept.  My oil portrait of Captain II John Lawrence, a nominee, was presented to his widow, Valerie Lawrence.  It was a moving presentation by the Firefighters Association, where the elected Firefighter of the Year, Battalion Cheif John L. Nowell (clearly an exemplary public servant) , refused to upstage Captain Lawrence. It was apparent that Captain Lawrence had made an impact on many people, and it was a thrill to be a part of the tribute!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


This 8"h by 10"w plein air in oil, "Keyhole Rock" is my latest, painted yesterday at the Montage Resort in Laguna Beach. My good friend, and amazing artist, Lisa Mozzini-McDill invited me to spend the morning there with her friends of SOCALPAPA (Southern California Plein Air Painters Association). When we left Lake Elsinore, rain clouds loomed, but in Laguna Beach we had a wonderful morning, with just a few clouds to include in our plein air sketches. I met some of the painters and enjoyed their hospitality (one of them even brought home made cookies for us!) I'm really excited to get started with them! Oh! and to purchase this painting, contact me!

Monday, March 2, 2009

PAAR 4th Annual "Paint Out"

Last week was the 4th annual Plein Air Artists of Riverside "Paint Out", affiliated with the Riverside Art Museum. Each day of the week, the group met at various locations in Riverside to paint "en plein air" (in the open air). Pictured here are my original plein air paintings from the week: "DC3 at Flabob Airport" , 8"h by 10"w oil, which I am offering, framed, for $250, "Bonanza at Flabob Airport", 7"h by 5"w oil, which I am offering, framed, for$250 ,"From Mount Rubidoux", 7"h by "w, oil, which I am offering, framed, for $250, "Mount Rubidoux", 11"h by 14" w oil, which I am offering, framed, for $350, "Arches to the Mission Inn", 10"h by 8"w oil, which I am offering, framed, for $250. This series of paintings will be on display at my SOLO SHOW at the Arrivederci Roma (see earlier post) in Lake Elsinore through March 18th. The last photo shown is: "Coffee Depot", 14"h by 11"w oil on canvas. It was entered into the Riverside Art Museum's PAAR Exhibit that will run through April 18th, with an opening reception on Thursday, March 5th. It is offered at $350 through the museum.

Third Place RAM 4th Annual Paint Out "Quick Draw"!

Saturday, February 28th, I participated in the 4th Annual Quick Draw, affiliated with the Riverside Art Museum and PAAR (Plein Air Artists of Riverside). My painting, "RAM from Fire Station #1", a 10"h by 8"w oil won THIRD place in the judging!
In honor of the 80th year anniversary of the beautiful Julia Morgan building, 30 artists took part in the "quick draw". Each artist was to all paint the Riverside Art Museum from our chosen vantage point. We began at 9am, and quit promptly at 11:30am. This is a somewhat stressful scenario, to say the least! This painting, and the other artists' renditions will be displayed at the Riverside Art Museum through April 18, with an opening artists' reception on Thursday, March 5th. I will be there! I hope you can make it also!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rita Pacheco-Solo Opening and Exhibit at Arrivederci Roma Restaurant through March 18, 2009

This is a "one woman show"! I hope you can make it! This painting of a Historic Heritage Home in Riverside and many other original paintings will be exhibited in Lake Elsinore, at the Arrivederci Roma Restaurant located on Riverside Drive. The address is 31731 Riverside Drive, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530. Their phone number is: 951-245-7490 Here's a review I found on the restaurant:
The Arrivederci Roma will be serving wine at a discount that night! I hope you can make it. Reception will begin at 5pm on March 4th, and the exhibit will run through the 18th.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lake Elsinore, Main Street

"Lake Elsinore, Main Street" 40"h by 29"w original oil on canvas. This is one of my larger oil paintings that was displayed in the Riverside Art Museum's "Members' Show" last summer. I have always been inspired by the beauty of the architecture in our town, especially the Historic Cultural Center shown at the far left. When driving down Main Street, I always enjoy the colorful array of people and businesses, with the backdrop of the cool mountains of the Cleveland National Forest in the distance. I am offering this painting for $700.00, and will be donating 100% of the profit to the Temescal Canyon High School Dance Program. To purchase this painting, contact me through my website :

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Telling a Story at Mystic Seaport

Come See My Art "In Person"! I was fortunate enough to have this piece juried into the 40th Annual Multi Media Mini Show, on exhibit at the Redlands Art Association's Gallery and Art Center. The RAA's Multi Media Mini Show is unique in the Southern California area, as all the art is a maximum of 14 1/2" in any direction. The jurist chose the best 120 out of 380 pieces submitted. I know you will enjoy the show-please come! Exhibit runs through March 19, 2009. Redlands Art Association Gallery & Art Center 215 E. State Street, downtown Redlands Phone: 909-792-8435 Hours are: Monday through Saturday, 10am-5pm Open to the public. This a small oil painting (7"high, 5" wide) was inspired by a photo I took of my dad in front of the historic "Charles W. Morgan" at the Mystic Seaport in Connecticut in November of last year.  He and I had journeyed to the east coast, to join his other Long Beach friends from the St. Joseph's Church Senior's Club.  He was an encyclopedia of information and would share his facts with anyone who showed an interest.  I feel fortunate to have witnessed him in a setting where he was so comfortable, (he had been building a sail boat for the past probably 15 years), and gave him so much happiness!      

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Visit to the Fechin House


        September, 2008- My husband and I traveled to Taos, New Mexico for a few days of painting workshops (me) and golf/photo taking (him).  The workshop I attended was at the famous Nicholai Fechin Museum/former home, and it was taught by an amazing painter, Jeffrey Watts ( of Watts Atelier in Encinitas, California).   To attend such an informative workshop in the former studio of one of the true "Masters" of our century was a memory and experience that I will forever cherish.   For three days, we painted models from life dressed in authentic  Native American attire in Mr. Fechin's spacious studio under north light.  While we were there, a photographer from American Artist Magazine snapped photos of us.  What a thrill to find a photo of Jeff and I on the front cover of the winter issue of American Artist/Workshop Magazine when I got my subscription in the mail!  My work was also shown in the article!  

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Oma's back porch, Brooklyn, NY

8"h, 10"w oil on canvas board
In 1976, my sister Anna and I took a flight to New York to visit our grandparents.  We were 12(me), and 15(Anna), and we were to spend our "whole summer" there in Brooklyn.  Our grandmother, whom we called "Oma", was really our caretaker, as our grandfather (Opa) was already pretty incapacitated by then, and not probably real happy about the arrangement.  I remember him banging his cane (or a broom?) on the ceiling  when my sister and I were listening to the small radio upstairs or laughing too loud.  What I remember about Opa is:he was mostly blind, and wanted to tell long stories that I  did not want to listen to.  Oma made baked goods regularly, and bought fresh bread every day, which we enjoyed with REAL butter.  And tropicana orange juice!  Ice cream every night!  She pushed one of those "granny carts" (the same kind I sometimes schlep around with my painting supplies) to the market every day it seemed.  Also to church for Mass, which happened to be a long walk through the creepiest cemetery  I had ever seen.  (I loved it of course)  We saw a few sights; one of them being a real live "flasher" (trench coat and all!) on the city streets-Anna and I never laughed so hard!  We took the subway to visit some of the historic sights, and to the beach.   Oma treated us to Radio City Music Hall where we saw "Logan's Run", and the "Rockette's".  We saw a play on Coney Island but I can't remember what.  Oma bought me my first pair of "platform" shoes and I wore them to death for months (they added three plus inches to my height!) We found a sweet "mother" German Shephard and her young pups living between Oma's house and the next.  Anna and I saved some of our food for her, but Oma found out and wasn't happy about it.  Anna must have taken the snapshot I used for this small painting on Oma's back porch.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year PAAR

This very small oil painting (3" by 5"!) depicts a small group of PAAR (Plein Air Painters of Riverside) of which I have belonged for a few years.  At the close of 2008, I would have to say that being a member of this group has been one of the most enriching creative experiences of my career!  We are of varied backgrounds, yet we come together several times a month to share in our appreciation of this age old practice of "plein air painting".   The inspiration for this painting came from a cute picture that was taken of some of us before we painted at the DosLagos Golf Course in the spring of 2008.   Can you guess who's in it?  I sort of hope so since  I used a HUGE brush (as I have been advised to do from one of my PAAR friends) and tried to capture the comaradarie of this lively group of friends, with as little "detail" as possible. (for me that's a real challenge) For myself, being exposed to so many beautiful and talented people has been  a valued treasure for which 2008 will be remembered. Happy New Year and thank you for all the wonderful memories PAAR! I'm looking forward to another rewarding and fulfilling year as a plein air painter!