Sunday, April 26, 2009

Oil Paintings in a Chicken Coop

I received a B.A. in Art from the University of Utah in 1987. In a future post, I'll talk about how my art education has been a great foundation for my current art work. For now, I want to share how about 12 of my oil paintings from college were saved from a chicken coop.

I had been living in California for many years and thought I would never see those paintings as I had been divorced for many years and they had been in storage in a small chicken coop at one of my ex-wife's relatives for decades. During a trip my life-partner, Steve, was making to Utah. without me knowing, he arranged through my sister, Cindy, to pick up my college paintings. He loaded them in a van and returned to California arriving home in the middle of the night. He placed the paintings throughout the living room where I would see them when I woke up the next morning. It was a complete shock for me when I was reunited with so many of my paintings. I truly thought I would never see them again, so it was one of the best surprises of my life.

These paintings are dear to me not only because they are over 20 years old, but also because some were painted the year my daughter, Alexis, was born. Others I painted in classes I took from my favorite art instructors.

Race Track is a 30 x 40

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Edward Seago

People often ask me who are some of my favorite artists. So, I thought from time to time, I would write about some of them. Edward Seago, (1910 - 1974) an Englishman was a prolific painter in both oils and watercolors. As a boy, he had a heart condition that kept him in bed where he would sketch and do watercolors. He excelled in his career, but was resentful over not receiving national attention or important recognition during his life.

I enjoy his use of light and shade in all his work. People and objects are rendered with great ease and simplicity. His work has a sense of depth by using cool flat color in the distance and then increasing the warmth and contrast in the foreground. When you look at a Seago painting, there is something sincere in its beauty. No exaggeration or over intellectualising, but always technically exciting. That is what I strive for in my work. Below is an example of his work called,
The Doorway, Venice.

There are several books about his life. I study, Edward Seago, the vintage years by Ron Ranson which includes a selection of his work from the private collections of members of the Royal Family.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

China Camp

I discovered a new painting location this past week called China Camp. It is near San Rafael at the San Pablo Bay. It was a Chinese shrimp-fishing village that thrived in the 1880s with nearly 500 people from Canton, China who lived in the village.

On Wednesday when I painted Sea Breeze (the shrimp boat's name), I was the only person around. Sometimes not having human interruption while plein air painting is a luxury in itself. I was comforted by the solitude I found so close to the water.

I enjoyed my time at China Camp so much that I returned yesterday and painted China Camp Sparkle. I loved how the sunlight danced off the water and thought about what the people's lives may have been like when they lived in the cabin so many years ago.