Calm Waters on the Bay - Original Impressionist Style Oil Painting of the Newport Beach Back Bay

"Calm Waters on the Bay" 
12" x 24" Oil on stretched canvas.

The weekend of July 21 & 22 I will be participating in the Southern California Plein Air Painters Assoc. Back Bay outdoor art show and sale. Over 30 local artists will be presenting their landscape paintings for sale, many of them will feature the beautiful Back Bay of Newport Beach, California. The artists will be there Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 - 4:00.

The painting you see above was created from a smaller study that I painted while on location. This view is from the top of the Muth Interpretive Center in the Back Bay. It is always interesting to me to see the differences between the painting that was created on location and the one I finished in the studio. I've found that certain areas of the painting that worked in the small version like the weeds on the lower left side needed to be more fleshed-out in the larger painting. While I got away with a few bold brush strokes to indicate weeds in the small study I had to create more detailed weeds in the big painting.

"Back Bay Waterways" 
6" x 16" Oil on canvas panel.
Available at 

The large painting gave me the opportunity to make any edits to the scene that I didn't make the first time around. For example, I closed the gap at the bottom where the water goes off the edge of the canvas in the plein air version. Closing that gap made the focus of the larger painting much stronger. The light reflections in the water became extremely important at that point and required more definition, followed by the bluff as well. Constructing a painting like this is almost like tipping over dominos that have been set up in a line - once you refine one area then another shouts for attention.

At some point I have to force myself to put away the small study and just respond to the needs of the larger painting. Typically, when I feel like the painting is finished I'll put it away for a few weeks and then I'll pull it out and hang it on a wall that is usually within my field of view. Inevitably, I'll find a few things that still need to be changed. It's time to stop working on it when elements start to look too labored over. Then it's off for a coat of varnish and a frame.

If you are in the area, I hope to see you on July 21 & 22 from 10:00 - 4:00!
Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center
2301 University Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660


martinealison said…
Je vous souhaite plein de bonnes choses et de merveilleuses rencontres lors de votre prochaine exposition... Dommage que vous soyez si loin pour moi !
J'aime beaucoup vos deux interprétations. Magnifiques nuances de couleurs et très beau travail de l'eau.

Gros bisous
r garriott said…
Always nice to see what you're working on! Very nice. Thanks for your commentary on plein air vs. studio, that's very interesting.

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