Monday, December 3, 2012

2013 Plein Air and Studio Workshops


My 2013 workshop schedule is available. I hope you consider one of the two current workshops.

April 19-20, 2013: Studio Workshop. Painting from photo to create plein air looking paintings. This 2-day workshop will be at my art studio in Vallejo, California. Cost $200. Click for brochure.

June 13-15, 2013: Valley of the Moon Workshop. This 2 1/2 day plein air workshop will focus on architecture and vineyards in and around Santa Rosa (Sonoma County), California. Cost $275. Click for brochure.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

2013 Calendar

My oil paintings are all originals and not mass produced. However, in reflecting on paintings completed in the past year, I decided that a 2013 calendar would be well-received by my family. I decided to order a few extra. If you are interested in one, please use this link to Paypal or mail me a check (address in contact tab). Each calendar is $20 which includes shipping. I hope you enjoy the 12 oil paintings featured.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fracturing a Painting

Pipe Essentials, a 10 x 12 oil painting illustrating the use of "fracturing" techniques
One of the techniques C.W. Mundy taught in his recent still life workshop at Fechin Art Workshops was what he termed “fracturing a painting.” This involves different methods to break up a painting to keep it interesting to the viewer. I started with a gesso base on a board to create texture. Fracturing is created through variations in brush work, use of a palette knife, and softening edges. Pipe Essentials tells a story which is important for a successful still life. The Prince Albert tobacco can came from my Grandfather and the pipes are from my antique collection. The box of matches are placed to enhance eye movement. What experience have you had using fracturing techniques?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Before and After C.W. Mundy Workshop

Taos, NM was the location of C.W. Mundy’s five day still life workshop. I first met C.W. in 2005 when he taught a workshop in the Loire Valley of France. In addition to being a plein air painter, I strive to excel in still life paintings. As a life-long learner, workshops are an essential element in ongoing education.

C.W. has seven foundational truths of painting: Drawing; Squinting; Design; Value; Color; Edges; and Paint Manipulation. I incorporated each into the still life below which I painted after the workshop concluded. A few reasons I believe the  “after” painting succeeds compared to the “before” painting is because there is a more defined focal area. The orange has the brightest brights, next to the darkest dark. This is key to drawing your eye into the painting. Paying attention to still life values more in the “after” painting caused me to paint the upper portion darker and the table lighter. This achieves greater contrast and interest. The second copper pot has softer edges. It is not the focal point so not as much attention is placed here in the “after” painting. Do you agree the workshop helped the second painting succeed? Let me know if you have other questions as to paint choice differences between the two paintings.
Still life in preparation for C.W. Mundy workshop

"After" still life - same set up, but after C.W. Mundy workshop completed.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Plein Air Workshop

Interested in a 2 1/2 day plein air workshop in Sebastopol, California. AWS has organized one from October 19-21, 2012. Click here for details.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Youtube Art Demonstration - Pont Neuf, Paris

Please view my latest YouTube oil painting art demonstration. I welcome your comments and am interested to know if there is a specific technique or process that I should focus on in my next video. This one takes the painting from start to finish.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Updated Website

I updated my website. Please subscribe to receive posts that will contain tips for artists, collectors, new videos and information on my latest plein air and studio oil paintings. Take a look and let me know what you think of the changes.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Thick Paint and Marbling

Copper Pot & Hollyhocks is a 10 x 12 that I completed this weekend. The pot belongs to my Great Grandmother and the Hollyhocks came from my backyard. Combining the two was a melding of old and new in a nurturing tribute to her.

I am preparing for a still life workshop I will be taking from C.W. Mundy in September. He is my mentor and I look forward to continued progress with my still life work. This piece was painted from life in a studio set up.
Here, I played with thick paint. The key is to start thin then layer as the painting progresses. The thickest paint is applied to light areas. Thick paint facilitates both the accomplishment of soft edges and marbling paint. You can see both soft edges and how many paint colors run together or marble in the close up above.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Although I learned about glazing in college and have experimented occasionally with them, it wasn't until I read C.W. Mundy's recent facebook post about experimenting with glazes that I was inspired to work a glaze into one of my canvases. I painted a 24 x 24 oil painting, A Pissarro View, about four months ago. However, I knew it wasn't quite right so I had let it sit in my studio. I had invested considerable time and loved many parts of the composition. Pissarro painted in Normandy, France often. This scene is in Dieppe. So, for many reasons, I didn't want to give up on it.

Below you see the painting before the glaze was applied. The second image is the painting after a glaze (a mixture of turpentine and liquin) with transparent oxide yellow. I was able to loosen up several hard edges and introduce new color into the painting. Thanks C.W. for your continued inspiration and tips.
Before Glaze

After Glaze

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hawaii Paintings

I recently returned from a 10-day plein air paint trip to Hawaii. The majority of the time I painted around Waikiki, but was able to travel around all of Oahu during parts of the trip. My fresh paint page has seven new paintings from this trip. Two are displayed below I anticipate completed more from photo over the coming months.
 Honolulu China Town, 16 x 20
Waikiki Yacht Club, 10 x 12

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Winter Beach Day Video

It was Fleet Week in San Francisco so the beach goers were dressed in clothes instead of swim suits. In this scene, I play with a lot of thick paint and use soft edges throughout to help depict the exited energy in the air. Enjoy the Youtube video at this link.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Workshop Rewards

Kunde Winery

Many rewards come from teaching workshops. First, the participants are eager and motivated to make the most of their time and investment. To maximize their gain, I keep my workshops to a 10-person maximum. This allows for quality one-on-one instruction. Each person declares one primary intention they hope to gain so the work is directed with this goal in mind. 

I also spend advance time scouting ideal paint locations. The owners of Kunde Winery were gracious enough to allow this week's group to paint on their property. The vistas were perfect with the wild flowers and rolling fields. 

It is rewarding to have repeat participants. This reaffirms I'm connecting in a way that lasts long past the workshop itself. 

My next workshop will be June 7-9, 2012. A down loadable information brochure can be found at this link.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Mission Garden, 12 x 10

On March 7, I had the privilege of being the guest artist at the Artists' Round Table in Santa Rosa. This club began in 1953 and is extremely active. Over 50 people attended my demonstration. Fortunately, I can  paint and talk (and answer questions) at the same time.  The audience was inquisitive and I was pleased with my Mission Garden painting. If I hadn't been an artist, I would have been a teacher so providing demonstrations enriches my soul.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Large Paintings

Les Gendarmes is a 30 x 40 oil painting I recently finished. Working on this complicated painting made me think about some of the differences in how one executes a large painting versus a small one. I have pushed myself to paint in various sizes. Certain compositions work better large such as this one. It would not have worked on anything much smaller as there is too much detail involved. Once I determine the size, I decide on the paint brush. Larger paintings require a larger brush. I used a one inch brush throughout the majority of this painting. A large painting can become overwhelming. To prepare myself mentally, I usually block out 3-5 days without much else that will distract me. I then focus on one area at a time. The statue was one of the last parts of this painting. It was so rewarding to paint. I could feel the anticipation build in me as other parts of the painting came together. Working on the same painting over a period of time transports me back to when I took the photo. I was on a Paris paint trip and remembered brisk weather, sounds of the horses and the relaxed atmosphere of this leisurely stroll along the Champs-Elysee's path. Large paintings also are best when loaded with varying amounts of paint. Thick paint in select parts and confident brush strokes are essential in the execution of a large painting. I am thrilled with the finished oil painting. I hope you agree.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Small Gems

I live a short distance from wine country in California. As a plein air painter, my world is full of opportunity. Being a full-time artist, I take advantage of the beauty close by and travel to Napa,  Sonoma, and Marin Counties often.  The pieces are usually too small to send to galleries. They adorn my home and studio. Below are some recent oil paintings I adore. Please email, or call me if you are interested in one of these gems for your collection.
Corner of the Vineyard, 5 x 7

Vineyard Study, 5 x 10

Hillside Trees, 5 x 7

Marin Morning, 5 x 7

Off Highway 116, 6 x 8

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pissarro's People

I recently visited the Legion of Honor Fine Arts Museum in San Francisco. Pissarro's People is extraordinary exhibit of his paintings, many of which I had not seen in books or other museums before. Although Pissarro is known for his landscape pieces, this show contained many of his figurative works. Several of his black and white sketches were quite interesting and worth seeing as well. The exhibit runs through January 22, 2012. If you are in the San Francisco area, do take time to visit the Legion of Honor before the exhibit ends. If any of you saw the exhibit, I would enjoy hearing from you so we can compare our experiences and thoughts.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

11,000 Youtube Views

I have 12 videos on Youtube under my brentjensenart account. They range from educational videos where I talk through a painting to themed videos (e.g. architecture). I didn't know what to expect when I uploaded my first video, but have been pleasantly surprised with the positive comments and emails I receive. My architectural video has over 11,000 views. This is rewarding to me and helps me know the time involved is worthwhile. I recently uploaded a new video called Amarante Bridge. It is a 24 x 36 oil painting from Portugal. I hope you enjoy watching it and learn a bit about my style of painting.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Painting in Documentary

Several years ago, I made a Route 66 paint trip. One of my oil paintings from the trip was a 16 x 20 of the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, NM. In front was a Volkswagen bus called The Croc. I was recently contacted by Charlie Pecoraro who is co-producer a documentary with David Torstenson. They are going to use my painting in their documentary called Circle the Wagen. I was more than happy to lend my painting image for their use.