Monday, November 29, 2010

Tribute to Chuck Chambers, Sean Kelly and Russ Urban

Attended a Memorial Service for Chuck Chambers on Torrance Beach yesterday. He, along with two passengers, Russ Urban and Sean Kelly, died last week, when his plane developed engine trouble, and they crash landed near Newport Harbor. There was a huge turnout with much music and many colorful tributes to a remarkable man. A fly-by tribute by the Tiger Squadron flew over in a missing man formation. Russ Urban was a great teacher and taught my son Patrick from an early age. One of Chuck's mottos: "Life is a journey ---- not a destination"

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Mammoth Trip

Back from a great painting trip to Mammoth in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Lots of photos and painting. Steve Mirich did all the driving -- and the cooking, An amazing feat. What a guy!

My Nikon SLR D100 shutter went out on the journey up. Pulled into Vons in Bishop and bought a Nikon point&shoot COOLPIX L22. I knew I was going to need it.

I also had my Leica M4 (a lovely film dinosaur I bought in the 70's) and my last 2 rolls of Kodachrome, a classic film invented for the intrepid National Geographic photographers to bring back the best photos from the frozen and the fiery ends of nowhere. This film's production has ceased. And December is the last month for developing this great film. I'll post results when I get them back.

Meantime, here's one of the D100 photos, just before it conked out.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I have been working on some small square paintings. Here is one of a Japanese cake - they come in packs of five at my local Japanese market. Very attractive! I have some other paintings to do from here, but right now I am off to the mountains of Mammoth to do some good old plein air stuff. My local plein air classes are finished, but I am still doing some demonstrations for local art clubs.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

After the rain in LA is a most wondrous time. So clear. Been down on Redondo Beach quite a bit. Here's "After the Storm."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tomato Grapes and a new vintage is born.

At last! My experiments have paid off after years of grafting. I have created a Chardonnay flavoured tomato that grows on a merlot grape vine. This now gives a multi harvest abundant crop ready to ferment. And the natural yeast is outstanding. I now have 72 acres of Los Angeles freeway embankments (all south and west facing) ready for cultivation next Spring.

I'd like to call it Chardomato, but I'm open to suggestion for other names for this latest appellation. Please feel free to give me your thoughts.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Crabs - ugh

Came across some crabs on Redondo Pier last week. The effect on me is almost the same as spiders, except crabs hold more fascination

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Back from a 5-day painting trip a few weeks ago. It was organized by Dave Gallup and a bunch of us got to see an extraordinary aspect of California. Here's a couple of oils that I completed. A freshly caught Whitefish and a dramatic aspect of East Anacapa Island at the sea lion colony. We were anchored and painting the views while others were diving, snorkeling or kayaking, when the sea mist enveloped everything. Quite eery. The photos show our boat the "Conception" at anchor with a diver and kayak; and the sea lions lazing about.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Plein Air pastels

I've been working with pastels over the Summer. I like to start with medium ones to start with, to establish the big shapes. Get the drawing and basic design done first. Then it's time to apply the thicker , more painterly layers to establish what is important for the viewer to absorb. attached are a couple from Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach. The other is a wine country barn near Paso Robles that fills the heart with warmth.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Power of Art

Getting ready for the Redondo Beach Art Group's big show in August. Originally it was held in October in the local power station on the upper turbine floor. Last year we converted a disused restaurant for the 3-day event. A lot of work! Here's some pictures being considered for the show.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve

Went for a drive to the Poppy Preserve off Hwy 14. The flowers were in full bloom after the recent rains. I had never seen them before and they were great - just rolling away in different directions. Weather was overcast which didn't spoil the experience, it made it look flatter from a painting and photography point of view.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hosted a great workshop on Saturday 12th April with the Mid Valley Art League in Temple City. The theme was "Using Photography to Make Better Paintings."

I discussed some of the technical aspects of lenses and distortion, working without flash, ISO, shutter speeds and printing out b+w plus color prints to start the painting. Do a freehand thumbnail to get the hang of the image to edit and make your own.

Try drawing on the final paper or canvas with a paintbrush, and not a pencil!

Interpreting the shadows used to make the photo is especially important as the print is made with 3 color inks and black.

I am doing a demonstration in pastel tonight for the Corona Art Association. Again the subject will be the interpretation of color from a photo.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Chicago Night

We had a great inaugural reception for the first exhibition of the Pastel Society of Southern California in Manhattan Beach today. Pictured from l-r: Sally Strand, Ron Libbrecht and me. Also here is a second painting I have in the show made from a visit to Chicago at Thanksgiving in 2009.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lifeguard Tower, Redondo Beach

Here is a recent pastel painting, part of a series on Redondo Beach, which is in the inaugural exhibition of the Pastel Society of Southern California. A dozen of us formed the group last August and now we have many members. Our exhibition is at the Creative Arts center in Manhattan beach until 16th April 2010.