First Spring Stance, 5x9

"First Spring Stance" 5x9" Pastel on sanded paper

I admit, I am a fair weather painter!

That means I am a "whimp" when it comes to cold, wet, damp weather. On the other hand, I can stand the heat! Last year, I was out for 3 days in 103 degree temps plein air painting. I don't mind the heat, but the sun and my fair skin are not a good mix, so I am relegated to shady spots and umbrella wrestling.

Yesterday was a great day to go out to paint without an umbrella. Because Portland is mostly a damp place, it has been unseasonably dry for this time of year. Here is my take of a small park located in Beaverton just off of Murray Blvd. It was not a location that I'd have first picked, but after establishing a composition. it all worked out. Today it is back to raining, so I am in the studio for now...next to my heater!

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Beaverton Wetlands, 12x9

"Beaverton Wetlands" 12x9" Pastel on sanded paper

When the weather starts to get sunny in the Pacific Northwest, it's like heaven on earth! This morning I got a call from my painting buddy Gretha and we gathered a few other artists for an impromptu paint-out. This is my first time out this year, and I felt so rusty. Although after a half hour at the easel I began to settle down. The hardest part is trying to figure where all my plein air supplies are after the winter studio pieces have had their turn. As I was digging in my plein air bag, I stumbled upon a Corona beer cap! I had to laugh out loud because it immediately took me back to my painting trip to La Pine last summer! Gretha and I had been out painting on that sunny day and the weather was getting hot. We each had to whet our whistles with a bottle of suds from the cooler. Oh, what fun it was to stumble upon that bottle cap in my bag!


Fast forward to "Shoreline Shadows", 24x24"

Here is a little painting video of "Shoreline Shadows". Recorded and then processed on my iMac, then fast forwarded 800% to encapsulate the process. I don't know what I'd do with out this technology...probably paint more I suppose. My daughter Nikki, flutist, accompanies the piece. Enjoy!

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Amato Gallery of Artists Gala Opening

Well, it finally happened! Last night we celebrated a months' worth of hard work preparing for the Gala Opening of Amato's Gallery. We had an incredible turnout of around 100 visitors during the extent of the opening. With that kind of a turnout, we could only expect some great things will be in store for the Gallery. What once housed a gift shop, Amato's now holds some incredible sculpture, ceramics, jewelry and paintings from the Southwest area of Portland. Amato's also is well known for it's unique floral designs and wine selection. It's a "One stop guy shop" for your valentine!

Here's my video roundup of the event with all us artists celebrating the joy of the occasion!

Artists included in the show:

Diane Ahrendt
Linda Baer
Bert Cohen
Sheri Gorman
Christine Helton
Gretha Lindwood
Rosie Long
Joni Mitchell
Beth O'Mahony
Michael Orwick
Christy Perrine
Joe Pogan
Annie Salness
Donna Sanson
John Wisener

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Shoreline Shadows 24x24

"Shoreline Shadows" 24x24" Pastel on sanded paper

Well, here it is! I'm really happy how it turned out and so I am going to take it over to the photographer and then get it framed! Whew! It was a really cold morning, 28 degrees, in January. I remember the icy crystals on my windshield as I drove out to this spot. Located on the banks of the Willamette River, George Rodgers Park is a frequent spot for artists to plein air paint.

My daughter Nikki wrote a haiku for this piece:

Misty branched fingers
Sapphire, emerald surface glass
Sun-kissed shoreline sand


Color Scheme Designer

I found an incredible online tool that I want to share with you! It's called Color Scheme Designer and I found it on a forum on WetCanvas. I'm not getting paid to promote this, but am posting it to share with you because it looks like an invaluable tool.

It sorts out colors by monochromatic, compliment, triad, tetrad, analogic and accented analogic schemes. You can adjust the colors saturation and brightness like you would in Photoshop, but the interface is so easy that even I could use it! Check it out!


The start of a new piece for the Chronicle

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a few photo's of the Lake Oswego area for the Chronicle Show. I finally decided on "Shoreline Shade". Here is my selected subject I wanted to paint from that best represents the area, or at least my interpretation of the area.

Since this is a very cool toned subject, I used a very warm underpainting to help warm it up and bring it some brilliance. Some may say it's too garish, but I love a lot of brilliance under a cooler piece. So, this is it for now.

On another note, I haven't been on the easel as much as I'd like to because of the transition of Amato Gallery. It's been very exciting to be working with some incredible artists who have the vision and energy to make it sail. Next weekend we will have our Gala and I can't wait to see how that all pans out. Then, and maybe then, I will be back on the easel on a regular basis. Let's hope.

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