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!

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