Monday, August 11, 2014

The Debra Huse Gallery's "Just Plein Fun" Invitational

I was thrilled to have been invited to the "Just Plein Fun" Invitational this year, sponsored by the Debra Huse Gallery!  The week was very enjoyable, painting side by side with the other invited painters; many of whom were already good friends and some became new friends. The weather was glorious for painting; some sunny, and some hazy days.  I'm posting just a bit of the week's work below.  Here I am painting an overcast version of the ferris wheel at the Fun Zone, which was a short ferry ride across the harbor.  While I painted, people enjoyed their day; riding the ferris wheel or jumping on the bungie/jump trampoline or getting in line for a harbor cruise.
"Fun Zone" in the works, Thank you Toni Williams for the photo!
This piece was sold the day after I painted it, at the Debra Huse Gallery, and awarded a First Place Ribbon by our esteemed Juror, Jean Stern, who is the Executive Director a the Irvine Museum!  For a better photo of the finished piece, and the other winning paintings, visit

"Bay Front View" 9" x 12" available at the Debra Huse Gallery
This one, painted on Monday morning I called "Bay Front View". Even though I brought my iPod, full of all my favorite music, I enjoyed listening to the sound of the water splashing against the boats and the beach-goers chatting as they passed on the sidewalk behind me, often asking me for my "autograph" for their Debra Huse Gallery "Passport".  The passports were to be signed by all the participating artists during the week, then turned in to the Gallery on Saturday for a drawing to win a free painting.  This was a great idea, and the community participated!  Even kids enjoyed the game of finding the artists stationed around the island on any given day, and we artists appreciated the interest!

"The Original Frozen Banana" 8" x 8", available at the Debra Huse Gallery
Here's one of my "Balboa City-Scenes", "The Original Frozen Banana".  This is only one of the two shops that claim to be "the original", and the one I decided to paint since I fell in love this it's cute retro-looking sign.  I also happened to have sampled one of their frozen bananas and it was delicious!  

"107 Amethyst" 16" x 12" oil on linen, available a the Debra Huse Gallery

 This was one of the larger paintings I created during the week; "107 Amethyst".  I was drawn to the shapes created by the light and shadow patterns on this spanish style home, and as I painted I learned that this was one of the remaining original homes of the Island.

"Afternoon Light"  8" x 10" oil on canvas, available at the Debra Huse Gallery

"Afternoon Light", painted in, you guessed it, afternoon light!  There's nothing better than crisp white fabric in the sunlight, except where it's highlighted by some complimentary purple shadows!  This, and the relaxing mood created by the soft splashing of the water made this another enjoyable experience!

"The Capitol", sold
Toward the end of the week, there was a sandcastle contest at the beach.  I had stationed myself in front of these two darling boys, not realizing that they were going to produce the best sandcastle of the lot!  I am witness to the fact that the brothers had absolutely no adult help to create this piece, "The Capitol" in about an hour's time!  Happily, their mother purchased my little painting of them, also titled "The Capitol". What a sweet morning, to watch and listen to children working together and being creative! 

"The Fire Engine", sold
I chose to paint the fire engine at the end of Marine Avenue for the Brush Off.  This is a gem of an engine, dating to 1920!  It was a thrill to paint, and happily the painting was sold at the ceremony directly after the Brush Off!  I am especially grateful to the fireman who accompanied me and my painting buddy, Kristen Olsen while we worked (the fire engine could not be left un-supervised) and to the captain working that day who graciously moved his truck to a nearby (but maybe not so legal) parking spot so we could stand in front of the engine. Who knew that parking here in Balboa Island for the fire fighters is as difficult as for us civilians and they even get tickets!  
To see my other paintings from the event, visit my website
or better yet-visit all of the artists' work in person at the Debra Huse Gallery 229 Marine Avenue, Ste E, Newport Beach, CA 92662 949 723-6171  The exhibit will be up until Labor Day!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Telluride and Aspen Plein Air Events June/July, 2014

The Colorado Plein Air Invitationals were a huge success, and in fact I just learned that I was one of the TOP Sellers in Telluride!  I was thankful to have my husband and daughter travel with me, and I'm happy to say that they were able to have fun of their own while  I painted each town.
Here we are at the Fourth of July Sale in town near the Telluride Sheridan Opera House.
Several of my sold paintings in Telluride included iconic turn of the century homes like this one, titled "Telluride Charm" 6" x 8"
(which is still available by the way).  The historic architecture there is just beautifully "classic", and offers a sweet connection to America's past.
"Colorado Avenue" in the works...
"Telluride Daily Planet;front page!"

"Colorado Avenue"
"Colorado Avenue"  12" x 9" (still available) was created during the event, and above it is an article picturing it's development that made the front cover of the Telluride Daily Planet! 
"Morning Delivery", sold
The "Quick Draw" took place on the thursday before the Fourth of July.  A "quick draw"  is actually not a "drawing" but an organized painting competition, where the invited artists are asked to paint in a designated area for a designated amount of time. (this one was two hours, beginning at 10:00am sharp).  I chose to paint the side of this restored home/restaurant behind the park, where I spied and did some quick sketching and note taking to record a beautiful old pick up truck with it's delivery trailer behind. (We couldn't technically begin our paintings until 10am, and this delivery was made around 9:30am; which left me without "live" reference while I painted)  Here is a photo of "Morning Delivery" when it was almost finished, and sold at auction to a very sweet collector after the event.
"Bill Langford's Kayaks", sold
We stayed at the Telluride Lodging, and happened to see these fabulous kayaks parked pretty consistently outside our rental unit.  Both my husband and I noticed the view as the morning light streamed from behind the adjacent buildings and over the tops of the mountain beyond. I was surprised and delighted that the owner of the kayaks (and an absolute gem of a human being; in his retirement, Bill volunteers his time and the use of his kayaks to helping the disabled enjoy water sports in Telluride) was watching me paint it, and later "Bill Langford's Kayaks" was purchased as a gift for him from a sweet family friend at the Artists' Reception.  It's meeting people like this, and touching the lives of people who are such a huge contribution to our world that make this whole "plein air circuit thing" a thrill for me!  

"Fourth of July Fun", sold
Another thrill:  One of the "flappers" I painted from my husband's photo reference from 2012 happened to find herself AND HER SISTER (what are the chances??!) in my studio piece, titled "Fourth of July Fun"!  Above, "Shine" (short for Sunshine which I assure you is a fitting name!) is holding her new painting, her son at her left and husband at my right.  
"The Red Onion in progress"

"The Red Onion"  12" x 12", sold

Two delightful new collectors with their new paintings!
I met some new friends while I painted the town of Aspen, Colorado.  Blaine and Newton stood behind me while I painted a few of my works, offering encouragement.  Here they are at the weekend sale with their new paintings, "Ski Lifts from Hunter" (my quick draw) and "The Red Onion".  Here are a few of my "still available" pieces from Aspen:
"Fountain Fun"  11" x 14" oil on linen (still available!)

"Gondolas from Hunter"  12" x 9" oil on linen (still available!)

"Justice Snow's"  10" x 8" oil on linen (still available!)

"Aspen Dining"  14" x 11" oil on linen (still available!)

"White House Tavern"  10" x 8" oil on canvas (still available!)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Upcoming Event at the San Clemente Presbyterian Church

Recently, I was asked to participate in an "interactive visual journey through the Stations of the Cross". It's hard to relay my eagerness to secure a place in this venue, but suffice it to say that it's certainly consumed my thoughts for days and a week later, I've finished!  Browsing the internet for photos from movies, events and old paintings for inspiration, I came across photos from "reenactments", where I found the most inspiration.  From bits and pieces of several of them, "Distracted" was created.
"Distracted"  12" by 16" oil on canvas panel
I can't help but think about the people who witnessed the actual event, including Simon the Cyrene.  It becomes clear to me that this Simon was not such a "willing" participant.  He seems to have been just "traveling" through town when this horrific event took place.  Both in Matthew 27:32 and Mark 15:21 he was "forced"; and in Luke 23:21 he was "seized" to help with the cross.
Growing up in a Catholic home, I guess you could say I was "forced" to attend Mass with my family on Sundays and go to Catholic school for 12 years. (Believe me, I used those words and resented it at many times in my young life!)  Resentment caused me to walk away from my faith for years and do things "my own way".  Even though in later years, I go to a non-denominational Christian church here in Carlsbad,  I am forever grateful for the parents I had who shared their Catholic faith with me and my brothers and sisters.  I'm grateful I was "forced" to be a participant and to learn the story of the bible because in this world there are so many distractions!  As I painted, I imagined being each of the members of the "crowd".  I saw myself in every one; worried about my own comfort and protection, taking photos of events so I can "share" them, completely "missing" the point, "talking" while I should be "listening", not able to grasp what price was paid for my soul.

This will be an interactive stations of the cross that will take place Monday through Friday of Holy Week, from 10:00am-7:00pm.  Over a dozen local artists will have contributed pieces that uniquely express each station, from the Last Supper to Jesus being placed in the tomb.  It will be a silent and self-led experience that may take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to complete.  

San Clemente Presbyterian Church
119 Avenida De La Estrella
San Clemente, CA  92672
phone: 949 492-6158

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The City of Vista Presents: Vista Visions 2014

"High Tide" 20" by 24" oil on linen

"Young Art Critics" 6" by 6" oil on panel
I'm honored that two of my oil paintings were selected for the exhibit, which will run from February 22-April 3, 2014.
"High Tide", one of my "larger" paintings depicts a view at the San Clemente Pier, inspired by a plein air painting I produced for last summer's San Clemente Paint Out.  The plein air was awarded an "Honorable Mention" ribbon, and was sold at the Gala Reception following the paint out.  I still had my photo reference, and of course the experience of painting and studying the scene for my plein air certainly helped me to create this larger piece.
"Young Art Critics" was created from photo reference.  It depicts two of my favorite "20-somethings" enjoying a recent art exhibit.  It thrills me to think that our next generation is appreciative of and actively participating in the arts! I personally can't wait to see what contributions these two talented girls will produce in the next few years!

Vista Visions 2014
Vista Civic Gallery
200 Civic Center Drive
Vista, CA  92084 
Exhibit runs from February 22-April 3, 2014
"High Tide" Awarded "Third Place" at the Exhibit!

At last Saturday's Opening reception, this piece was awarded a Third Place Ribbon!  Our esteemed judge, Daniel Foster (Executive Director at the Oceanside Museum of Art) gave a stellar report on his careful review and jurying of the exhibit. I was especially flattered by his comments about my work and this, one of my larger pieces.  Thank you Mr. Foster!