Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Santa Rosa Vista

Here is the little painting I did on Tuesday at the Santa Rosa Plateau, (see yesterday's post).
I hiked up a little hill in order to look out upon this wide expansive bowl of grassland and oaks. It was utterly quiet, except for the cool breeze, which brought clouds from the west and a few sprinkles at about 4:30, believe it or not! I love painting here and look forward to coming back again and again. When I finished, packed up and was heading down the little trail, (made by wildlife only no doubt, and no wider than 3 inches worn through the grass), I happened upon a tarantula, working it's way up the trail pretty as you please. When it perceived me, (vibrations? shadow? can they see??) it did a couple of little pumps up and down on its not unimpressive hairy legs, like it might jump. Knowing what a coward I am, and fearing to have a heart attack so far from help, I headed with my cart off into the crackly dead grass, making a wide circle around the rightful resident of this beautiful place.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oaks on the Santa Rosa Plateau

Today, I am going out to the Santa Rosa Plateau, an ecological reserve in Riverside County.
It's located at the southern end of the Santa Ana Mountains and consists of 8,300 acres of Oak woodlands, wetlands, coastal sage and chaparral. It is a wonderful place to to hike. Easy trails, and the oaks really are so beautiful to see spread out over the rolling grassland.
I am going with some friends from my painting group to pick up some unsold paintings from a small show we participated in there. Since I won't be back in time to post the little painting I'm hoping to do out there, I will include a photo of the larger piece I was exhibiting that didn't sell. Hope you all like it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Peach - the first

Here is a peach. A stubborn peach that took me 2 days to paint, just to get the hang of its peachiness. The photo actually doesn't quite do it justice, it came out too contrasty, but I like it OK.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Almost Foggy at Crystal Cove

Our painting group met down at Crystal Cove this morning, which is an amazing collection of old shanty buildings, right on the beach, left over from a bygone era when this place was a well kept local secret. For decades families  lived in these little houses, enhancing them with the flotsam and jetsam washed up on the shore, as well as with shells and nets and all manner of other bric-a-brac to create truly charming and unique little cottages. Sadly, for the families especially, when the owners of the land turned the acreage over to the State of California, everyone who had been living here, some families literally for generations, had to leave. Happily for the rest of us, many of the cottages have been renovated and are available at a very reasonable rate for up to a week's rental. So far about 1/3 of the cottages have been restored. The remaining ones awaiting their make-over are slowly crumbling, making them for us artists, very attractive indeed.
Here is one of my favorites. This tall white house, built up into the cliff catches the morning light and still just sparkles, even though with each season its roof sags a bit more, and the paint on closer examination really doesn't sparkle at all. The fog this morning couldn't decide whether to come in or go out. I've painted it with just a hint of fog on the left, as I can't resist that bright white wall contrasted with the deep blue sky.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Aliso Creek Beach

Here is #3 in the series for the commission. I'll probably do one more beach/ocean scene, since that's what was commissioned and we'll see if it's what is wanted.
This one was painted from a photo I took when I painted down at Aliso Creek Beach last year. It's a real challenge to paint a wave frozen in time like that. At least we modern artists can rely on photography to help understand what is going on. Imagine what it was like to try and paint moving water, waterfalls and waves before photography. Amazing!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sea View at the Montage

OK, here is number 2 for the commission I'm working on, so not for sale at this time. It's still at the Montage, looking south west instead of east this time, a little later in the day, but with the sun behind me and not in front of me as in the other view. I really like the little gazebo thing or whatever it is perched just at the edge of the cliff; so inviting to walk over and sit in the shade and gaze out to sea. What a beautiful spot.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Foggy Back Bay Morning

Sorry about the lapse. A couple of distractions that I hope are resolved now.
I did another painting for the commission, but I didn't like it, scraped it off and plan to start it over. So instead of another in that series, here's one I did Friday Morning at the Newport Back Bay. It's one of my favorite places to paint. There is hardly a bad view. It's frequently foggy in the morning and also in the evening and this creates its own atmosphere, which is what I tried to capture in this painting. Hope you like it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Keyhole Rock Laguna Beach

This painting and the next 2 or 3 or 4 are for a commission, so won't be available for sale, but  I don't want you all to think that I'm not doing anything, so I'll post them so you'll be able to check them out too.  Let me know when this series is all up which two you like the best. I'll remind you.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Stubborn Tooth

The following will help explain why I have painted what appears to be a tooth. With one of the roots broken off.

During my semi-annual dental checkup on Tuesday, I mention to my dentist that the space between my bottom right wisdom tooth and the one next door always gets so crammed with food after I eat almost anything that it's close to unbearable. Pressure, pain even, a lot of discomfort. My Dr. says, well why don't we pull it out, because hey, it's cheap, it's starting to show some decay, the gum area around it is not in as good a shape as the rest of your mouth etc. etc.. So I say OK

I go in on this last Thursday, and we get a bit of a slow start because I just am not getting numb enough. This has happened to me before many times, because that's just me. So, about 4 shots later, and almost an hour after I arrive we are ready to yank this sucker out. I'm ready too. But. It. Won't. Budge. This is one very tough tooth. After almost 30 minutes of pulling and pushing, trying his best, the doctor is getting visibly frustrated. I ask is this normal, and he says nooo, this is not in his experience normal, and he goes on to mime the many times he has simply toggled a tooth back and forth a bit, pulled a bit, and POP, Bob's your uncle.
I say does this mean I have strong bones, and maybe don't have to worry about Osteoporosis, and he says, well yes, I'd say if your other bones are as strong as your jaw, you don't have anything to worry about. I flash forward in my mind to a conversation with my gynecologist where I relate this bit to her. Smugly.

Well, after that he gets serious and really starts applying some pressure. I think my jaw will come unhinged. And then whew! "Crack" goes something and I think wow, great, the wretched thing is out.

Well, it is. Almost. Seems like one of the pesky roots just doesn't want to leave my jaw bone and decides to stay behind. Where he can't get at it. At all.

So, he steps out briefly, I'm feeling ok, a little giddy, because there's a bunch of epinephrine in each of those shots and I'm feeling almost bouncy. He comes back to say, that he could fight all day with that root and it wouldn't come out so, he's called an Oral Surgeon who will see me within the hour.
I'm starting to find this all sort of hilarious. Is it all those shots?

We arrive at the surgeon's office, who is still attending at an emergency, but will see me in about 30 minutes. I fill out lots of paper work, ask if my insurance will cover this procedure or for that matter this doctor.

Well, no. At least not exactly. He's not in the plan, and I have unfortunately exceeded my measly $600 limit, so unfortunately I will have to pay $515 to have this little piece of shit tooth extracted from the bones of my face!
Still, I am amazed at my calm, my giddy acceptance of fate slapping me upside the what?? Tooth? Jaw?

Anyway, I get one heck of a shot, a monster injection, and the whole right side of my face goes numb in about 45 seconds, and then push here, pull there, some sort of cauldron stirring motion, about which I try not to think too much, and there you are precious little 5.65 mm rootlet.

Before this all began, I had promised my Dentist, who is a dear, and loves my paintings, to do a portrait of the tooth. Just before rushing off to the surgeon, I renewed my promise, saying I would also be sure to include the little broken bit.

Well, I lost it. Somewhere in my studio. I heard it drop, but after crawling around on my hands and knees for half an hour, I cannot for the life of me find it. So, apologies to dear Dr. J.

Well, there you have it; a story of something that just is what it is. Nothing to do about it. Just chuckle, paint the darned thing, and write it up.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sunny Laguna September

Our painting group, SOCALPAPA, met today at the Montage Resort in South Laguna Beach for our bi-monthly potluck and meeting. I came a little early in order to paint this view looking west. It's a beautiful spot. Even though there is an exclusive hotel just to the right of where I stood to paint this, there is a public access park along the cliff edges, with beautiful landscaping cared for by the hotel but available to the public for free.  The beaches are pristine, and at this time of year practically empty. A place to return to again and again.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Crystal Cove Garages

I spent the day finishing this painting of the Crystal Cove garages because I'll need it to submit to the  Gift Shop there for consideration to show there next year. Wish me luck. This one won't be for sale right now so that I can save it for the gift shop.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Pluots #1

This is the first time I've ever painted, let alone eaten, (later) a "pluot". But bowing to
a dear friend's suggestion Here I present a cuddle of pluots. I tried a new surface to paint on this time, no canvas just a primed press board. A better surface permanence-wise, but funny to paint on. Have to get the hang of it.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sweltering Morning at Little Corona - SOLD

There were about 7 or 8 of us who went to Little Corona Beach this morning to paint the beautiful view of the cliffs looking south, or else to walk down the path to the beach. I picked Little Corona, at the beach, thinking it would be much cooler than it has been inland.
Well, that was a misapprehension to say the least. It was hard to judge just how hot it was because the humidity was so high. Suffice it to say, it was so hot, one of our painters passed out briefly, twice, and we had to call the Paramedics. She was fine, just a little heat exhaustion and dehydration, but we learned again, when out in heat like this, how easy it is to go from just feeling uncomfortable to actually having your health compromised.
Phew! So, here is my view of the Little Corona cliffs, with the morning sun just scraping the tops of he cliffs and a bit of the rocks and shore below.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mission Hollyhocks SOLD

I cannot tell a lie. I did not paint this painting today. Or this week, or this month. I did paint it in May, while I was gallery sitting at the San Juan Capistrano Mission, when our group, the Southern California Plein Air Painters Assoc. had its yearly show there.
The gardens in spring there are nothing short of breathtaking. If you've never been, and have an opportunity to go, I cannot recommend it highly enough. There are Koi ponds, and fountains,and roses and old stone pathways, and a lovely sacred chapel and so much history.
Today has been a taking care of business day, hence the painting out of the past. Tomorrow I'm off to Corona del Mar to paint with the above mentioned group. Hopefully, I can bring back a little something to post.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pomegranate #2

Boy, are these things a challenge. And they change each day, losing their vibrant majentas and crimsons, giving way to rougher, paler colors. Amazing. I love painting them too, receding into shadow. It feels less modern somehow, as if they were resting on the shelf in some dim 16th century Dutch kitchen.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pomegranate # 1

This has been by far the hardest piece yet to paint. But I loved it. I've always known that there seems to be an infinite number of greens to find in nature, but who knew there were an infinite number of reds to be found in one pomegranate? I can't let go of this one until I'm completely happy, which may be never, but what a great journey.