Wednesday, June 27, 2012

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

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Honesty - Original Impressionist Style Oil Painting of a Tree - Forest Painting

14" x 11" Oil on canvas panel.
Available through

Painted on location during a beautiful spring day - I could hear the leaves rustle in this tree when the breeze would stir. The leaves on this tree had just emerged from their buds and were a lovely shade of green.

This quiet spot is located in the Irvine Regional Park in Orange, California. I set out that morning to paint a portrait of a tree to further my understanding of their structure. What you see is my response to this subject the morning I created this, it’s an honest interpretation of what I saw that day, hence the title – “Honesty.”

Friday, June 8, 2012

8th Best of Plein Air Art Show Award - Laguna Plein Air Painters Association Award

I'm completely honored to announce that my painting "Yard Workin" was awarded 3rd place at the LPAPA (Laguna Plein Air Painters Assoc.) 8th Annual Best of Plein Air Show. The show contains 45 works by some of the best landscape painters working today. Over 200 entries were submitted. It's an honor to even be included, let alone to place. 

Michael Obermeyer was the judge for the evening and if you haven't seen his work before you should click here - he's an amazing painter! I've wanted to meet him for years and finally got the opportunity after the awards presentation last night. He's and easy going guy with a great sense of humor. 

This morning my son also won an award at school so, I'm walking on cloud nine today. With all this good luck I should be out buying a Lottery ticket or something.

My painting is still available and if you want to stop by and see the show here are the details - 

Show Dates: June 7th - 27th

Seven Degrees Gallery 
Behind the main building, enter at the top of the stairs.
891 Laguna Canyon Rd.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Call for hours - 949-376-1555 ext. 106

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Half In Half Out - Original Impressionist Style Painting of a Boat - Boat Painting

"Half In Half Out"
6" x 8" Oil on canvas panel.
Available through

I love the color combination in this one. With many landscapes there is a lot of green involved. When I saw this celadon green boat against the warm tones in the sand with the colorful shadow underneath I knew this would be fun to paint.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Lounging Around - Original Impressionist Style Oil Painting of a Boat - Boat Painting- Seascape

"Lounging Around"
8" x 10" Oil on canvas panel.
Available through

Sometimes a painting just comes together almost effortlessly and this was one of those paintings. At first all those gray/blues seemed daunting. To differentiate the blues in the boat from the blues in the water I made the choice to stick with ultramarine blue in all the paint mixtures for the water and only use cobalt blue in my paint mixtures for the boat. The rest was all about value (how light or dark each color is).

The inside of the boat had some additional details that I edited out because I felt that you got the idea of what the boat looked like without the extra visual clutter.

I'm really pleased with this one, especially the areas of canvas that peek through the painting in the lower left. Little things like that make me happy.