Cruising the Coast

CRUISING THE COAST

“Cruising The Coast” Acrylic Study on 11′ X 14″ canvas

I could paint this picture blind folded, well actually maybe not but this stretch of the California Rte 101 is etched in my memory.  I commuted to work on this byway for nine years.  OK, in the painting I omitted the hotels, homes and restaurants that dot the shore, but I prefer to paint the coast in its pristine beginnings.  All those hotels, and homes have created traffic on the 101 and that is one of the reasons I no longer live there.  These days I prefer my small mountain town to crazy California traffic jams.

I do miss my ocean breezes and the smell of the salt air, walking the beach and fresh seafood, I could go on and on…. So our last road trip was back to the old stomping grounds around Pismo Beach.  It was perfect timing corresponding with my new “Road Trip” series  which I started this spring and will work on through the summer and into the fall. I hope to have a sweet slugh of painting about road tripping since it is one of the things I like to do best.  Road tripping gives me great inspiration for painting my positive-energy art, and many of these small studies will be inspirations for larger paintings.

So heres to Road Tripping, enjoying life and expressing myself one painting at a time.

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“Looking Over Avila”

avila 2

“Looking Over Avila”  11″ X 14″ acrylic study

This is an acrylic study of  a view I saw looking at Avila Beach while I was standing on the patio of the San Luis Bay Inn. The inn is situated on the hill above the town.  I snapped a photo and saved it until I was back in the studio.  I had never seen Avila from this perspective.  I thought it would make a great painting for my “Road Trip” series. The road below leads to San Luis Port which is one of my favorite destinations.  I love watching the seals begging for scraps from the fishermen coming into port with their fresh catch of the day.

 

I enjoy capturing these interesting vignettes, which become memories of a life well-traveled.  At a later date I may create a larger painting of this scene. But for now it captures the mood and feeling of that moment.  One of my friends who saw this study said it was “magical”… Yes, I believe it is.

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Saturday In The Studio

WATERFALL

Water Fall 14″ X 11″ on Paint Board

Today is a rare opportunity to play in the studio, without time constraints or deadlines.  It will be the last time in the Studio for a week since our Road Trip to the Central Coast starts Monday bright and early.  My studio will be plein air on the coast.  Looking forward to it.

Meanwhile, today I decide to go abstract, play with colors and see what happens.  First off the easel is this piece.  So full of energy, very alive.  I can always tell my mood from my paintings.  Today’s start is expectations of fun, excitement and freedom.  I guess I need this upcoming road trip badly.

Using three main colors and their variations created the cohesiveness of the chaotic strokes.  Black gave it drama.  I love mark making and this is pure mark making.  No thought as to what it should become, it definitely is telling a story. Going back to my roots as a child growing up on the water. My happiest places are near the water, and on Monday I will be heading for the Pacific and that’s one large body of water.

Follow me on this fun adventure, for I will be doing some plein air painting on the coast.

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CREATING POSITIVE -ENERGY ART

 

FOREST BASIN

Forest Basin

I have discovered over the years that I love to teach and confab with other artists.  It brings me as much energy as it does the student.  Many times I learn from them how to be a better teacher, nurturer and friend.  This year I embarked on a new journey of discovery with my first workshop on Creating-Positive Energy Art.  I realized I needed to kick  it up a notch, and stretch my possibilities along with my students.

 

What I paint is not all that unique, but how I go about creating a painting may be.  First off I have evolved into a mark maker.  Tiny strokes off nothingness, becoming something.  It feels very magical when an image in my mind’s eye evolves into an image on canvas solely by creating small stokes of energy.

I start off remembering an event, a life circumstance or a picture; than I create a story from memories or feelings.  This becomes my story, unique to me seen through my own mind’s eye.  I hold it in my heart and then I put down my first mark.  I choose my colors by the mood that the memory brings. Slowly I add other colors usually starting from the top of my canvas and moving downward. Magically I start working, sometimes that memory will evoke another feeling, and than I am off in another direction.. It is a journey of self-discovery.  Each painting unique, created in the moment. It maybe realistic or abstracted solely based on the emotions brought to the surface.

In my workshops I try to teach this technique to help open the artist to greater possibilities.  It is not always easy and I see them struggle, it is hard for an artist to lose control and not dictate the direction of the painting. But than the magic happens, I will get an e-mail a few weeks later from a student telling me I showed them a new way of seeing. That it was freeing to let their intuitive side dominate the canvas.  They like the outcome,  they don’t mirror my technique but they create their own story, a story unique to them and a painting that is all their own.

I call it Creating Positive-Energy Art.

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Listening More… to my America

across-the-pond

“Across The Pond”  30″X 30″ Acrylic on 1 1/2″ gallery wrap canvas

After a week of disappointment, grief and anger I had felt alienated from those I love. Our America divided feels somehow worse than a week ago.  Even with a divisive election campaign I still had felt that the majority of us wanted to see the America that I envisioned.

Now I come to see that my vision my have been tinted by those I never stopped to listen to.  The silent ones that I left behind.  They found their voice in our new president-elect.

I have always felt I was a caring and compassionate person, Christ driven to do my best by others. But now I see that I left some of the others behind.  I had not listened to the disenfranchised poor rural white people,  their privilege was not as white as my priviledge their opportunities where not as high as mine.  My fault has been that I did not listen to their plight as I did to the other disenfranchied; immigrants, people of color, urban poor.

Maybe it was the media, we never saw the other side. Maybe it was me not opening my eyes.

I still feel dishearten that a man such as our new president-elect will lead us the next 4 years. Crude and spewing hate, he became a whole segment of the nation’s mouth piece for those that were angry with my white privilege, my truth and my blindness to their needs.

I will find something good from this learning experience, my eyes are wide open now.  I will become a better listener.  I will continue to fight for the rights of others and be welcoming to all.  I will learn to tolerate our new president-elect, and pray that he finds his footing to lead this great nation.

I will continue to paint Positive-Energy into all my art, for that is one thing that our whole nation needs. We must continue to live positively, knowing that through loving each other, and listening to each other we will work with each other to make a new America inclusive to all people even those I have not heard.

“Across the pond ” the painting above is a vision of my home, my rural experience, my dream of hope, happiness and joy.  I share it with others and pray that all America finds their own vision of hope, happiness and joy.