Tuesday, November 22, 2016


     Fence Shadows | Pastel | 8x6

On arrival day for this year's Capitola Plein Air, I had just enough time to scout out a few places for possible paintings during the 4 days we were given to paint.  I recalled liking the scenes from the River Walk and headed there to find the late afternoon shadows streaming through this fence attracted me.
I loved the bridge faintly in the background with just a hint of the River. In the foreground, the pink mophead hydrangeas leaves had all turned autumn oranges and yellow, giving a nice analogous reverberation off each other. I loved that I could create so much depth in such a small painting.  I was thrilled to later, at Sunday's show receive an Honorable Mention ribbon for it! And it sold shortly thereafter! Double bonus!!

Painting Notes:  I chose Fisher 400 pastel paper for this small guy. Its texture is similar to UArt 600, both of which I prefer for my smaller paintings. Putting the sunlit slits in the shadows of the fence posts was fun and I wanted them to be crisp and prominent.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


    Opal Sea | Pastel | 9x12

Painting in Capitola Plein Air last Friday, i discovered a locked gate and small park that local Capitolans pay $100/yr to have access to a great surfing spot. The gate monitor allowed me to come in to check out the view of the north facing side of Capitola's famed Opal Cliffs and then to set up and paint on the highest deck of the staircase down to the sea. I thought the sun was getting to me when I kept seeing a kaleidoscope of colors -a prism- appearing on the water's surface just before the white of the wave break! Then a local told me that since the recent red tide, this phenomena had been readily visible especially at high tide. Way more than the cliffs reflection, all the colors in the rainbow were like glass on the surface. It was mesmerizing and I tried to capture a bit of it in this painting.  

Painting Notes:  I knew right away this would become a good painting so I used one of my last few pieces of Wallis Warm Beige pastel paper.  We've all had to find other papers to use since it's withdrawal from the market but the two hours I spent with it renewed my love for its surface!