Thursday, July 7, 2016


          Phylo Feeling   Pastel | 8"x6"

There is a magical valley on one of the routes up to Mendocino - the Anderson Valley. In its middle is the town of Boonville, Ca whose location was so remote that a unique language called Boontling was developed back in the 19th Century and is reputed to be a language that the children developed as a game that spread to adults. Today less than 100 people still speak the archaic, esoteric language. The next town north of Boonville is Phylo, home of some wonderful vineyards and wineries, including Schaffenberger sparkling wines, Navarro, Husch and many others. Driving through the Anderson Valley is a special thing - miles of vineyards creep up the steep hills of the valley walls.

Painting Notes:  After over a week of daily painting a larger work, it was pure delight to 'whip out' this little gem. I still spent close to two hours on it but the pace of composing, drawing, under painting, and finally painting to finish was blessedly compressed so that I could easily break to get a chore done and come back to another stage. Painted on Uart 600, I really enjoyed the smooth surface and how it took the pastel cleanly.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


                  Mossbrae Falls  | Pastel | 18" X 24"

If you weren't from Dunsmuir, or knew someone that was, you'd probably never have found out about what used to be a Best Kept Secret.  Known only to locals, getting there was a challenge involving over a mile walking alongside the active railroad tracks.  A train always went by on the hike in and out and the proximity the trail requires would definitely bring on some adrenaline! The way down to the falls was unmarked.  Just this year, I read that the falls have been cordoned off. Seems that the 5% that ruin it for others began throwing long parties and leaving lots of debris. The water falls across a 80' or so ledge, streaming down into the river and is a place of solitude and awe.  What an awful shame!

Painting Notes:  When going 'big', I often find myself grabbing an Ampersand Pastelboard. I especially love how it never bends or sags, as paper mounted on foam core will sometimes do. And each time I use it, I find I really enjoy it. It will take lots of layers of pastel - more when I use SpectraFix to spray an area into the substrate and go back over it. Did this multiple times on the white areas of the water and the falls.