A Twitch in My Right Arm

Quickly! There is a disturbing itch developing near the crown of your head. Scratch it!!!

When you scratched, did you draw blood or make a wound of any kind? Obviously, not. Since you inflicted no damage, how much pressure did you use? In what direction did you scratch? How many strokes did you use? Did you use fingernails or finger tips? Did you satisfy the itch? Yes? If so, how did you know when you were finished scratching? When it didn’t itch anymore? How did you know that?

My guess is that we all developed this reflexive and second nature skill through tens of thousands of ‘itch scratching’ occurrences. In other words, a whale of a lot of PRACTICE ! You know exactly how to scratch and don’t even think about it much when you do it . . . right? Of course!!

Color mixing and learning about color characteristics and applying that stuff in a painting is much more than pulling the ‘right crayon’ from the box. It really is about understanding the color relationships you are building into the painting. It is how this color is going to react with the other colors in the painting.

But . . . . . . . How does one KNOW about relationships and how a color will react with the others next to it, away from it, mixed with it, surrounded by it etc? How many books have been written about color? How many opportunities to practice mixing different greens have you,( the artist), taken to fill reams of canvas or paper to achieve that “knowing” of when it is right. How many different colors on your palette are possible to use in the mixing of greens? How much PRACTICE have you put in to learn it? Are you waiting for the right moment when you need that certain green to figure it out? Or, are you developing the skill quietly by yourself so, when the need arises, you can deliver it in spades?

I am preparing a first time three day workshop on Color Relationships to be given in Murphys, California near the end of this month. 25 participants will be there to learn more about the utility of color, color harmonies and color relationships. At least, we will be able to put out enough knowledge to make any painter “dangerous” with color if they develop and PRACTICE their skills AFTER the workshop.

How does one explain color harmony? Comments anyone? What about color relationships? How does one explain that? How does one awaken the thinking muscle about color when one is the teacher? I have ideas and would be interested in yours. Drop me a note or comment. Meanwhile, our house is still ‘the gallery’ for open studio. I am cleaning house again today and fussing with details and more outdoor clean up to get ready for tomorrow.

I am sure you would be interested in knowing my right arm is under severe “twitch observation” since I have not been able to find a moment to actively paint. The twitch is from brush neglect! And it is painful!!

You Had to Be There!

The Yosemite Display

The Garden Wall . . .both oils and watercolors

The Dining Area display . . .all small oils

Well, it’s not over, yet. There are two weekends to go. We had a moderate turn out on Saturday and had a great crowd on Sunday. A number of things sold from every category! I will be making note of those paintings previously posted that have sold later. Today I have to complete some nagging things including a doctor’s visit that I have been postponing. Hopefully, the studio will be smelling like turp this afternoon!
I heard some comments such as, “OMG!! This is NOTHING like we have seen on the blog!!” or, “These are spectacular! They look nothing like they did on the computer!” or, “Holy Cow!! These are amazing! They are everywhere!!”
The last comment is near true. There are paintings all over the house, the outdoors and the studio. There are a few missing from early sales, but there is still soooo much to see.
These is what some of the set up looked like on Saturday Morning just before we opened. The black walled display is our dining room. The set up outside . . .the masonite peg board wall has to be built for this event . . .then taken down, disassembled and put away till next year.
I sure hope you can come by this weekend or next!!

Uncommonly Busy Here

“Base Of The Wall”

Watercolor, 30″ x 22″
Painted in November 2006 at Yosemite National Park
Hi! It’s nice you came by to visit today. Sorry I have no paintings to show for the last few days. As you might already know, I am holding open studio here at my house beginning this weekend.
People wonder why I have made such a ton of work out of this event. Let me count the ways . . . 😉
As you already know, I am somewhat compulsive . . .somewhat???? Whaddayamean, ‘somewhat?!’ . . . .seems mighty compulsive to me!!!! . . . . . .So, in the course of one year, I produce a lot of paintings. Just since May 1, I passed 100 new paintings. Of course, some went in the trash bin, but don’t forget I was painting before that, too. For example, I spent a week in Yosemite, last year, following open studio and came up with some nice watercolors from there. In fact, here is one that will be appearing in the show. But that is another story.
Back to what I was saying . . . .a lot of new work . . . .there will be nearly 140 paintings on display for this event. In order to do so, I have to change the configuaration of the internals of the house, build a display (large!) set up out doors, protect everything from rain, clean studio and then do all the nit picking stuff, starting with the framing . . .making price tags, doing inventory, blah blah blah. Believe me, it is an endless, daunting undertaking.
Mind you, I am not complaining at all!! I chose this mode of living and, before I did so, looked on others who did the same sort of thing with great envy. I live the life I have always wanted to live. Frankly, even though this sort of thing is lot of bother and work, it is precisely a result of the fantastic blessings that have been bestowed upon me. For that, I am most grateful!!
I needed to make a post today to let you know that all is well here, I am just not at the easel these last few days. Be advised I will be tearing into it immediately after closing the doors on my first weekend.
Hope you can join us here for the fun. It would be great to see you!!

Open Studio

This is my patio at open studio last year. Yup! There is a lot of stuff out. Imagine yourself walkin up the steps in the forground toward the far paintings . . .then turn left . . there’s more!!
I have to set all this up, hang the show and clean everything, spic and span, to be ready. Diana and I spent most of the day today shuffling paintings back and forth, here and there, fitting in and taking away to make the whole show relate. It is no easy task! It is extremely time consuming!
I WANT to paint, but the chores getting ready for this event are much too demanding. So, if I don’t put up a painting over the next few days, I know you will understand.

Just A Mere Taste

Guilty as charged! I am a tease. What can I say?

Open Studio is but seven days away from today. I am frantically putting it together in some semblance of order. . . .

This year will be different, I keep saying to myself. No more putting out old work for people to come look at and walk away from. No more! Just new stuff. A few pieces from last year is all I am going to allow to float in this raft of paint. The stunning abstracts of last year (see my web site) will be quietly hanging in my studio. The new oil paintings will have honored places. The new watercolors will be especially held up as eye candy.

But it is yet to fall into place as I scramble to put it all together . . .over 100 pieces! I have to build a wall for paintings outdoors . . .and it rained yesterday! OMG what if it rains during Open Studios? I’ll figger that out on the day it happens . . .if it does.

Here’s a taste of what’s in store . . . .B & W?? No, the paintings are in blazing color. You’ll have to come here to get the full effect!!

Yes, I know. I am teasing.

Seriously, if you live in the Bay Area, come by for open studio. It goes for three continuous weekends, beginning October 6 . . .11AM to 6PM. Drop me an email if you need directions.

Getting Ready for a Rilly Big Shew

The big show is coming to Santa Cruz . . . .Entitled “An Inspired Summer” (my own theme) . . .the show features many of the paintings done daily, a series of watercolors on Yosemite, some watercolors done in France and other stuff that showed up through the year.
Here is the invitation . . . . . .
Open Studio in Santa Cruz is a huge event! 275 Artists open their studios to the public for three weekends in October. This year is my largest yet after 18 conscecutive years. After all, I have been making a painting a day. This is the back of my invitation post card, of which I am mailing 1400.
This is the front of the card. You may have seen most of these images here on the blog. If you haven’t, they are in the archives. Be warned; the photos only remotely resemble what these paintings look like in person.
If you aren’t invited and live in Northern California, come to my studio and join the fun. Besides these, there will be a lot of great watercolors shown too . . .many that you have NOT seen.
Yes, I did paint today. I painted damar varnish on many paintings . . .the whole house smells of it! I also have a great start on a dramatic watercolor of another version of the bluffs here. Didn’t finish though. Too much else to do in preparing for this monster show. It’ll be done in the morning, though. You can see it then. I will even include my value sketches. ( yes, I do them every time I do a watercolor . . .and plenty of times when I oil paint.)
Meanwhile . . . get your calendar and make plans to attend mine and a few dozen other artists’ open studios here in town.
I can see the text finds its way to the edges of the images . . .sorry . . .it does this sometimes. I dunno how to avoid it. Can you struggle through it this time? I’ll be more carefull next time.