Tag Archives: Plein Air

Camping Adventures

San Simeon

San Simeon

Last summer we went on a camping trip to San Simeon. I was surprised at how cold it was, it was July and back at home in Los Angeles, it was HOT! I pretty much lived in my Uggs and all those shorts I packed stayed in the bag. The bright side is that it was a beautiful place. Our camp site was surrounded by mountains and nature. We had two snakes visit us and thought we might be getting some coyote’s visiting since we had 3 small tasty dogs with us but thankfully they stayed away.

Our trip was only 3 days but we managed to squeeze in sight seeing at Hurst Castle, we only made it to the visitor center since we had dogs waiting for us in the car but it was still impressive, we toured 3 wineries, had lunch in Cambria and my husband got so close to a seal that he could have been eaten! I was also determined to doing a little painting. We had rented the cutest vintage camper (www.happiercamper.com) that was just screaming to be painted. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to paint the camper but I took lots of photos and I will be painting it someday soon. Instead I took my friend Tom for a little plein air painting lesson and we had fun at sunset painting the mountains of San Simeon until it was just too windy and cold to stand it anymore. Did I mention, this is why I’m really not a fan of plein air painting? ūüėČ ¬†I didn’t get any photos of us doing our paintings but I have posted my painting on FineArtAmerica and prints can be purchased there. ¬†Check out my mountain paintings.

Mike and the seal.

Mike and the seal.

Cutest camper ever!

Cutest camper ever!

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Mike the snake rangler!

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Breathtaking views!

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Happy Campers

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Trying to spot a wild boar in the mountains

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Just one of the beautiful wineries

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Our campsite and the incredible view

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Celebrating Women Artists of Southern California

The Women‚Äôs City Club of Pasadena at The Historic Blinn House is pleased to announce ‚ÄúSpring Forward – Celebrating Women Artists of Southern California.‚Ä̬† The exhibition, which runs from May 1 through July 30, 2011, features fifty paintings by seventeen Southern California women artists.¬† It will be the first exhibition produced by Margaret Danielak, The Women‚Äôs City Club of Pasadena‚Äôs new Curator of Exhibitions.¬†¬†

The ‚ÄúSpring Forward‚ÄĚ exhibition features the work of artists Ruth Olenick, Beth Summers, Carol Steinberg, Elizabeth Wallace, Linda DuPas, Frances C. Muenzer, Ellen Brown, Barbara Thorn-Otto, Julie Snyder, Kate Moriarty, Beverly Lazor, Athena Mantle, Anna T. Kelly, Judy Taussig, Marian Fortunati, Merrilyn Duzy and Robin Neudorfer.

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The Blinn House was built in 1905 for lumber baron Edmund Blinn and his family.  The Blinns hired popular Chicagoarchitect, George Washington Maher to design their Californiahome in the Midwestern Prairie School Style.  The building has been home to The Women’s City Club since 1945 and continues to serve the Pasadena community as a meeting place for civic, cultural, and educational activities.

‚ÄúSpring Forward‚ÄĚ will be on view from May 1 through July 30, 2011.¬† ¬†The Women‚Äôs City Club of Pasadena is located at 160 N. Oakland Avenue in Pasadena, CA¬† 91101.¬† Parking is accessible behind the building from Madison Avenue.¬† ¬†The phone is 626-796-0560 and website is www.womenscityclub.com

 The Women’s City Club of Pasadena is open for art viewing Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. Р4 p.m.  During the run of the exhibition, Curator Margaret Danielak will be on hand for special viewing hours on Fridays from 3 pm until 5 pm and by appointment.  Margaret Danielak may be reached through her blog at www.gallerywithoutwalls.blogspot.com , via email at Margaret.danielak@gmail.com or via phone at 626-683-9922. 

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Just Plein Painting It!

It has been my goal to get out there and paint the world in real life – not using photos. So, this past week I did just that. I thought I’d take a moment to share with you what I did.

I started last week inside a friends house with some lovely Iceberg roses that caught my eye. ¬†I decided I’d try making a pastel sketch and then do a painting for each subject.

These were both painted “al a prima” or in one sitting. ¬†I am not sure if it’s just the rectangular orientation of the pastel or what but I prefer the pastel on this subject. How about ¬†you?

The next day I was able to capture a succulent with pastels in my friend’s backyard. This was fun because all the other succulents I’ve painted have been from photos.

“Iceberg Roses” and ¬†“Propagation” are available in my Esty shop.

Stay tuned for more plein air painting and I’d love to get your feedback, so feel free to leave a comment!

Happy painting!

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Just Plein Motivation

I find it hard to get out there with the easel and paints and just start creating. ¬†I liken it to getting out to exercise. ¬†Sometimes it’s just hard to get past the comforts of home and get out there. I took a workshop in plein air painting recently and really enjoyed it. It is a whole new world for painting, I think it stretches your creative muscles much more than painting in a studio from photos. I even went so far as to buy a painting box meant for this activity as the French easel I bought was so huge and clunky compared to what all the other students had. Not to mention I brought every brush I own and the instructor teased me about it. It really does helps to have the right equipment and not a stitch more. The idea of lugging a huge easel, all the paints, turpentine, brushes, towels, canvas or boards, etc. to some beautiful¬†remote location made me forget the idea the minute I considered it. Taking photos was a much more appealing option.

I just came across this great article by Lori McNee which I really does give that needed motivation to get out there and paint! ¬†http://www.finearttips.com/2011/03/10-motivating-tips-for-the-plein-air-painter/. ¬†Read it and subscribe to her blog, she’s full of good information for artists.

Below is a slideshow to give you a glimpse of the fun I had at Frank Serrano’s urban painting workshop, in and around downtown Los Angeles.

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Painting In The Back Alleys Of Burbank

This past weekend I took a painting workshop with Frank Serrano, an Artist Member of the California Art Club,¬†to learn urban plein air painting. I have been primarily working from photographs in my recent work,¬†figure drawing is all I’ve really done working from life. I’ve painted outside a few times but never with any instruction. This was a great experience! ¬†Here are some photos of what I did on Saturday…

Urban Workshop Paintings

The pictures on the left show my reference and on the right are the paintings I did. Frank demonstrated before each new subject and explained his process.  After the demo we were let loose to find our spots and whip out the paint. You can see in the first photo that I have 2 artists painting a different view sitting right in the middle of my painting. Thank goodness he told us we could leave stuff out!

In the early part of the day the light changed so much that you really had to nail down where your light and shadows were going to be so you didn’t keep changing things. By the time we left the first location it was 1pm and time for lunch. We moved to our next location in a more industrial section of Burbank. Frank really knows some interesting spots. I have to say I preferred the gritty industrial section of Burbank to the horse alley we started with. I love the little field studies I did that day, I didn’t have a chance to finish them as we ran out of light but I did learn a lot that day.

The main lessons I came away with were…

  1. Stay loose – don’t worry so much about the small stuff.
  2. Pick you focus and gray the other areas down.
  3. I’m the artist…if the picture is better with something left out or changed, do it!

If you can think of anything I missed or have any feedback, leave a comment I’d love to know what you think.

After just one day I knew I would have a different approach to photographs so I’m testing out my new skills…stay tuned!

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Plein Air with a Little Flair

Last month I joined the California Art Club and attended a group paint-out at El Matador State Beach. It was an exhilarating experience to paint on the beach with other artists. Did I feel a little like one of the French Impressionists? Yes I did and I have to admit I was smiling all day. I made some new friends and broke in my new French easel in the sand.

I took out my 12″ x 24″ canvas and got a few comments on how large it was…this made me chuckle because I already knew that it might seem like a bit much to tackle for a 5 hour painting. As a teacher I would have discouraged using it but what the heck…I was there to make a painting and I was going to have fun! Of course I didn’t finish my painting but I took a few photos and brought it back to complete in my studio.

In the photo you’ll see that there is a very large white house that does not appear in the finished painting. The biggest challenge for me is remembering that I don’t have to paint things exactly as they are. The artists had the option of ¬†receiving a critique from Sharon Burkett Kaiser the Chairman of the Malibu/Ventura Chapter of the CAC and I wanted to know what she had to say about my painting. She had mostly complimentary things to say about my painting but commented about the white house that I had put in the painting. She said to me, “You don’t like that house, do you?” I had to laugh because I kept thinking it reminded me of a hotel and how it ruined the view of the beach. She said, “Leave it out.” I let that sink in a bit…I didn’t have to put in everything I saw?

Wow….what a revelation! Taking out that monstrosity made a world of difference in my painting and I’ve been reminding myself ever since that I have that thing called an “Artistic License”. My challenge is using it ¬†every day in every painting!

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