Proprietor Pete, 14x11

 Proprietor Pete, 14x11" Pastel on sanded paper

Last year during the Los Gatos Plein Air event, I met Pete while painting an urban nocturn of the Los Gatos Theatre. As I was working the city's iconic 1940's neon structure, I was boldly interrupted by my painting buddy Thomas Kitts, who had gone across the street to grab some grub at Gardino's Restaurant.  Thomas bolted back across the street to tell me in a flurry that "We have an opportunity to meet Thomas Kinkade!"  Well, you can guess my hesitation to clean up my "studio" just to meet someone you hear so much about. So I packed up my pochade box and my half sketched layout to find out what the fuss was all about. Call it curiosity.

Gardino's is an Italian bistro on the main strip that sweats a "mafia" like atmosphere.  Pete, who is the owner, had struck a conversation with Thomas and so it began that "he" has an artist friend too. "You may know him...Thomas Kinkaid?"  Yeah, like we heard of him.  So Pete tried to contact his buddy TK, waiting long into the night as we sipped wine, but to no avail there was no return call.  Pete was definitely the confident Italian, with a very strong gaze and posture.  I asked if he could pose for me so I could someday paint him.  And so he did.

In preparation for my return to  Los Gatos Plein Air, I painted "Proprietor Pete" 

Detail of Pete.  Head measures about 1" h.

Los Gatos Plein Air is held June 12~16, 2012.  Listed in Upcoming Events.

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Quiet on the Lake, 11x14

"Quiet on the Lake" 11x14" Oil

This past week the weather was beautiful in Portland, so I went out to paint several times to get in some  much needed plein air time.  I'm still experimenting with oils and finding them increasingly more interesting, with so much to consider.  I'm currently using a Kevin Macpherson pallette (painting 101)  of Ultramarine Blue, Cad Yellow Light, Cad Red Light, Alizarin Crimson, Thalo Green, Portland Grey Deep, Medium, and Light, Chromatic Black and Titanium White. I imagine over time I will find the colors that will be unique for me, but for now I'm just focusing on experimenting with different palettes from painters I deeply admire. This one above was the more successful of the batch, painted on Sauvie Island (again my favorite place to paint).  Now the weather has reverted back to rain so I sat down at the easel in my studio today and worked on a pastel piece I started as a demo.  Here is just a peek of what's to come...

I have an interesting story that goes with this figure, so stay tuned...

Also, I'd like to invite you to an opening this coming June 1st.  It will be at Caswell Gallery from 5:30~9:00. I will demonstrate my painting process to the crowd, surrounded by fine bronze sculpture and live music.  Come on out and enjoy!  Info on the right----->

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Tree Trunk (study)

Tree Trunk (study) oil on panel

Here is a small study in oil I did last week up on Cooper Mountain Nature Park.  This park is a restoration area full of recently planted natural habitat species paired with trails winding through the park. There are also many established species that have been there for many years and thankfully are native to the area. 
The fir tree, native to Oregon, stands tall. Sometimes they will stand 100' or more, but sadly enough it has shallow roots.  A bold, strong wind storm will likely fall a fir and thus, start the whole cycle of life over again.  Here is my eye level view of a beautiful fir. I'm guessing this one tree is probably around 150 years old told by the width of the trunk. 

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"Passages" Solo Show

This Friday I will reach a goal I've had for some time but never even wrote it down.  If you have been reading my blog for some time now, you know that I am big on writing goals down, but I digress. The big news is, I am having a Solo Show!  

I first met Rip Caswell and his crew through my friend Michael Orwick about two years ago when they were looking for drop-in artists for the gallery.  As time passed and the gallery changed and evolved, we have built a business relationship and I was offered a solo show in May. "Passages" opens this First Friday, May 4th at 5:30 to 9:00 and the show will remain up until June 30th.  There will be a private viewing for my collectors (I guess it's not so private now) by prior invitation to help launch the show earlier this week.

As I delivered my work to the Gallery,  I likened it to turning in a final Senior thesis in college.    What a feeling to have that behind me.  Now for the Gala celebration!  Here are a few photos I took of the work that Gallery Director, Kathy and her crew hung (minus the title cards and a few adjustments).

Caswell Gallery is located at 255 & 253 E. Columbia River Hwy in Troutdale, OR at the gateway of the beautiful Columbia River Gorge.  Conviently located off Hwy 84, Rip displays his beautiful works in this space that does double duty as a sculpting studio and fine art gallery.

 Upon entering into the foyer and looking towards the left wall.

I'll have twenty five pieces (predominately plein air) accompanied by Rips bronze work.

 A few smaller pieces in the alcove.

So, come help me pack the house this Friday evening from 5:30~9:00pm. Caswell's will offer music, wine and a few nibbles and I will be painting a demonstration piece that evening for the more curious.  

Now if that's not enough, I also have two more smaller events this weekend: 

The Northwest Pastel Society's 26th International Show in Tacoma this Saturday, however, I will not be able to make the reception.  :(
Art on Broadway.  Group show "Colors of the Season" Saturday night at 6:00 ~ 9:00pm
info on the side bar ----->