It was a cold and blustery day on the Marina, just a few short weeks ago. Decided to try out painting the Marina in Monterey.
So much to choose from. Remembering my new mantra: simplify, simplify. And now, begin:
“Santa Ritas”; Oil on Canvas; 24 x 18″; 2012
New images in my Gallery.
At the Plein Air Conference and Expo last month in Monterey, we had the fun of participating in a paint-out on the beautiful beach at Carmel-On-The-Sea. The weather was perfect, amid a group of blustery days; the sun shone and there wasn’t too much wind.
We walked down the beach a little way, towards a view of Pebble Beach off in the distance, and set up our gear.
I was working on creating a quick tonal underpainting, while the fog was rolling around in the distance. I had recently purchase a set of primary colors from Michael Harding paints (at the PACE) and was excited to play around with the oils a little, and see how far I could mix with just the primaries.
turns out I could mix some lovely tints and tones of green, which went along well with the view.
The shadows were growing long, and it was time to pack it in, go somewhere to get warm, and take a little walk in the quaint town of Carmel.
Recently we took a trip to this quaint little Victorian town near Monterey. The day was overcast and blustery, the bay was choppy and a steely grey. A perfect time for a quick outdoor sketch in oil. There was a little town park at the tip of the town, called Lover’s Point, a place dating back to Victorians who loved to bathe in the waters, and take boating trips in the bay. The boulders were personable, yet a little dangerous.
I’m working on birch panels that have been stained a transparent earthy red to seal the wood. I start the sketch quickly, using marks that block in the basic shapes of the boulders, sea and sky. I noticed that the shapes of the boulders were quite smooth, leaned together at odd places, and had interesting cracks and things that seemed to go through the whole grouping.
The light was fairly constant, since the sky was overcast. The water was moving and crashing, transparent in some places, opaque in others.
There was a misty and nostalgic atmosphere to the space and composition that I tried to keep in the painting. I was pleased with the way that the boulders opened up the space to the vastness of the sea. Beautiful northern California!
A group of artists and activists in southern Arizona are concerned about protecting the Santa Rita Mountains from the proposed Rosemont Mine. Below is a weathered outdoor map of the Empire and Cienega Resource Conservation Area, provided by the Forest Service (are the pock marks bullet holes? You see a lot of bullet holes on signs in Arizona).
A Canadian company, Augusta Resource, is going through the process of acquiring mining rights to this area, and plans to mine for copper for the next 20 years. While mining is an Arizona industry, grand-fathered mining rights from the early 1900’s don’t necessarily reflect current needs to protect bio-diversity and cultural heritage. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/04/arizona-mining-project-wins-a-key-permit/
It is also questionable whether Augusta Resource plans to “flip” the property to another institution once the permissions have been made.http://www.ajelp.com/articles/not-your-fathers-mine-the-rosemont-copper-mine-and-dry-stack-tailings/
A view in the late afternoon on a crest just below the old Rosemont Ranch:
I am documenting the area through oil painting studies done plein air:
The study completed, in the 1 hour left before the sun sinks below the hills to the West:
At risk in the area are: Recreation and Tourism (hiking, bird watching, horseback riding, ATV riding, taking a scenic drive); Biodiversity/Charismatic Species: Jaguar, Ocelot, Yellow-Billed Cuckoo, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, Gila Chub, Gila Topminnow, Desert Tortoise, Chiricahua Leopard Frog, Lesser Long-Nosed Bat. Plants: Huachuca Water Umbel, Pima Pineapple Cactus, Coleman’s Coral-Root, Beardless Chinch Weed, Wildlfe connectivity and corridors; Water/Watersheds: Diminished riparian areas of Davidson Canyon and Cienega Creek watersheds will affect ranching, vineyards, wildlife and vegetation; Cultural Resources: More than 4 Native American tribal farming and historic burial grounds; Business: Vineyards in the Davidson Canyon area; Pecan Industry in Green Valley; Ranching (Cattle).
Please visit: http://www.scenicsantaritas.org, www.LensOnTheLand.com; and www.skyislandalliance.org.
A revisit to this austere high desert location inspired contemplation and pastel drawing.
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A revisit to City of Rocks, New Mexico, inspired some pastel drawing.
A view of the beautiful Bookkeeper’s Quarters and the progress of a pastel drawing, at the historic Empire Ranch near Tucson.
A recent visit to the old ranch that was homesteaded in the 1870’s. Painting the ranch and landscape is part of a project to embrace the environment visually, as part of an effort to save the Santa Rita mountains and area from being devastated by the proposed Rosemont Mine.
The ranch is lonely and austere, and kept up by the Park Service. The structure I’m drawing in pastel is the old Hired Man’s House, an adobe structure also from the late 19th century.
Imagining the old west: cattle days and cowboy architecture. Wind, turkey vultures overhead and a glimpse into time that exists in the past, present and maybe the future.
For more information about Empire, go to empireranchfoundation.org. To learn about the project that opposes the building of the Rosemont Mine, go to: http://www.Lensontheland.com.
Landscape painting reminds me of what keeps me grounded and centered – connecting to the land and the wisdom and peace it offers.
This beautiful image above was taken by a friend who lives at Rancho Linda Vista in Oracle, Arizona, a magical place indeed. The Sonoran Desert is unique, dramatic, inspires inward journeys and (im)practical escapes. My dog Frida feels empowered too.
I had a show of landscape paintings last month at the Ranch gallery, in the old barn dating from the early years of the last century.
Some good people up from Tucson town listened to me talk about my process, the land, painting.
Below, “Aspen Grove”, 5 x 4 feet, oil on canvas, somewhere between reality and abstraction, states of consciousness, the spirit of the wood.