Monday, April 29, 2013

Can You Hear Dawn Cracking? - Plein Air Outdoor Painting in Laguna Beach California - Outdoor Beach Painting

My desk - so much to do....

Sunday morning after attending two art shows in one night it was time to get back to the office and work! I made plans with coworkers Dori Dewberry and Greg LaRock to paint in Laguna beach at the tide pools. In order to get to this spot there has to be an extremely low tide. Sunday the tide was it's lowest at 6:00 a.m. The three of us agreed to meet at 6:30 a.m.

I thought, great, I'll get to do a beach painting just after the sun has risen. Yeah right! As you can see it was overcast. Not that I'm complaining, I mean my office for the morning was beach front property with a stunning view.

My painting was almost finished when the tide came back in and we had to scoot out of there before our exit was blocked by crashing waves. So we threw our gear back into our bags, scampered over slick rocks, dodged hermit crabs and climbed a lot of stairs to avoid swimming home.

My coworker Dori Dewberry working in oils by the tide pools. I am amazed that she is able to get her values right with those sunglasses on but, somehow she manages!

Greg LaRock looks like he is having WAY too much fun, doesn't he know this is serious business? Didn't he get the memo? Maybe I should report him to human resources....

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Art Show Award - Laguna Plein Air Painters Less is More Art Show Award

Last night at the Laguna Plein Air Painters Assoc. Less is More show and sale my painting "At the Crest" received a 3rd place award. Jean Stern, director of the Irvine Museum, was the judge for the show.

The caliber of work in this show is amazing and I don't know how Jean Stern was able to pick just a few paintings to give awards to. It was a wonderful surprise having one of my paintings recognized! Below is a shot with my three paintings (on the left) hanging next to Paul Kratter's pieces (the center two) with Susan Jarecky's three paintings (on the right).

Below are the show details if you want to stop by. Many beautiful paintings are still available for sale.

Show Dates: April 27th - May 10th
Hours: Tues. - Fri. 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Randy Higbee Gallery
102 Kalmus 
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Friday, April 26, 2013

Two Art Shows in One Day - Impressionism in Orange County - Art Show in Southern California

This Saturday is going to be a busy night with two art show receptions in one evening. First, I'll be the the Laguna Plein Air Painters Less is More exhibit at Randy Higbee Gallery in Costa Mesa from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Randy Higbee Gallery
102 Kalmus 
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Then I'll be at the Viewpoints: Orange County All Media 2013 juried art show and sale. The show is hosted by Chemers Gallery in Tustin, California. I'll be there from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.

Chemers Gallery
17300 Seventeenth Street, Suite G
Tustin, CA 92780

Both shows will be filled with Impressionist style landscapes created by some of the most talented painters in the area. I hope I'll see you at one of the shows!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Canyon Oak - Original Impressionist Style Oil Painting of an Oak Tree - Santiago Oaks Park Painting - Tree Painting

"Canyon Oak" | 6" x 6" | Oil on canvas panel 
Available at
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

The morning I painted this small piece I was on a scouting mission for potential new painting spots with fellow artist Dori Dewberry. The day started out overcast and we spent most of our morning just looking around at the scenery which left us a limited amount of time to paint. We both decided to paint tree studies and about half way through our paintings the clouds cleared up and blue skies emerged.

I always encourage my students to paint small studies of things they want to get a better understanding of. These studies can be quick sketches or finished paintings in their own right, like the one you see here. They are not always meant to be framed or shown to family and friends. Often, artists use a combination of these studies to create a large finished painting, adding in all the elements from the different studies they've completed. It is also nice to be able to experiment and work on a painting without the pressure of having to create a beautiful finished piece of art.

For a limited time I am going to offer this piece at a lower price on my site. Click the link HERE for purchase information.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Backroad - Oirginal impressionist Style Oil Painting of a Country Road - Plein Air Painting

"Backroad" | 9" x 12" | Oil on canvas panel.
Available at
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

While going through some paintings looking for work to post on my blog I realized that I'd never posted this one. About a year ago I participated in a plein air (outdoor) painting even put on by Segil Fine Art Gallery. Artists were invited to paint on the Falkner Winery property in Temecula, California for a weekend wine tasting celebration.

The event was in early spring when the vines were still bare which made painting the vineyards challenging. I found myself searching for views that didn't include the bare brown vines.

When I spotted this scene I felt it would make a strong composition because of the road, mountains and small hilltop house, however, the first time I saw it it was at noon and the light wasn't very good. I knew if I returned the following morning I would have better light to work with. So, I kept this location in mind for my second day of painting the area. When I returned the next morning the light was much better and I got to work.

This dirt road runs along the back of the parking lot behind the tasting room and restaurant. The fence you see on the left of the painting surrounds some of the Falkner vineyards while the hilltop house is, I believe, a private residence. I happened to have a toned canvas with me after wiping off a painting from a few weeks before this event and I decided to use it for this scene (in case you were wondering about the pops of Ochre that you see peeking between the paint here and there). Normally, I work on either a white canvas panel or a lightly gray toned panel. Every so often it's nice to mix things up and work with materials or techniques outside of my regular way of painting and I like the result.

Views like this always make me wonder what is just over the ridge and I would have really liked to walk the whole road to find out where it ends. Maybe next time....

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Quiet Day at the Cove - Original Oil Painting of the Crystal Cove Cottages - Crystal Cove Painting

"Quiet Day at the Cove" | 11" x 14" | Oil on canvas panel.
Available at
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

This painting was part of the Springtime Magic Show at the Crystal Cove Gallery which just ended today. It was painted on location (en plein air) and I have to say that is was a beautiful day to be painting on the beach.

During the opening reception for the show at Crystal Cove there were many artists, collectors and art supporters in attendance. John Stern the director of the Irvine Museum was there and he made his way over to tell me that he really liked "Quiet Day at the Cove" (pictured above). He went on to say that he would have given mine an award if the show had been juried and he was the judge. 

Needless to say, his words were award enough and put me on cloud nine. Many of the artists in the gallery are painters I've looked up to over the years and there are some truly beautiful pieces of art in the show. I am happy to be part of such a good group and even more thrilled that Mr. Stern liked my painting. He is an expert in the field of impressionist landscape painting and has seen hundreds of works through the years so, I was very honored.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Seeing Dots - Original Impressionist Style Oil Painting of Candy - Candy Painting

"Seeing Dots" | 8" x 8" | Oil on canvas panel.
Available at
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

In my Monday night oil painting class I often have students set up a still life to paint from. It gives them an opportunity to both paint from life and also to be creative in their selection of subject matter so that their final painting is uniquely their own. For this particular class I asked everyone to bring in candy.

It was a nice change of pace from landscape painting because all of us got to use bright color combinations.

For my painting I chose to bring in Dots which I had to hide from my family for a whole week before class. If the bright yellow packaging had been spotted in our pantry then all the candy inside would have been gone in a day and I wouldn't have had a still life to work from.

Strangely, when I brought this painting home my son asked me, "You painted Dots? Why?"

I would have thought the reason would be perfectly obvious to an 8 year old but then, he's seen me bring home a lot of landscapes over the years. Maybe he was surprised that I would pick a subject he actually found interesting.

Either way, he made like a magician and the Dots promptly disappeared and then he asked, "So, what are you painting next week?"