I've probably done a dozen (or more) paintings of roads in this part of the world; Colleton County low country in South Carolina. It is one of my favorite places to paint as long as you watch out for fire ants, water moccasins, copperheads and alligators! Not forgetting sand gnats and mosquitoes the size of B-52's. But it is a gorgeous area with great color and moody atmosphere.
It must be because of my childhood in New Zealand that I am compelled to paint cows. You would think I would be painting sheep, but cows have such nice lines. When I start a painting, I quickly sketch the subject matter with the edge of a #6 flat oil brush then I make corrections as I paint.
I'm trying to make up for lost time with two blog posts today. I've been very lax about posting lately - but the last three months have been pretty hectic. My son, daughter in law and three grandkids made the big move from Arizona to New Zealand in January. They now live just two hours south of me in my old hometown of Warkworth. I helped them get settled then had back to back visitors for 8 weeks! That is what happens when you move to Paradise.
Down the Grade is a scene on highway 78 between Julian and San Felipe in San Diego County. I am represented by the Santa Ysabel Gallery on highway 78 in Santa Ysabel on the western downslope from Julian, so I've spent a lot of time painting in this area. I'll be back in the U.S. for three weeks in May, so I'll be painting in the Julian area with my painting buddy, Joe Garcia.
I was fortunate to live in Sedona, Arizona for 35 years before returning to New Zealand. While there, I became friends with Beatrice Welles, daughter of Orson Welles and his wife (Beatrice's mother) Paola. Since Beatrice's mother passed away, the Welles' belongings have been in storage. Now Beatrice has the sad job of sorting through everything. You may have seen or heard Beatrice being interviewed in the past few days regarding her Dad's estate, including Citizen Kane memorabilia, that is going up for auction. There's a fascinating interview with Beatrice where she discusses life with her famous father and the upcoming auction, that you can read here: http://www.wellesnet.com/?p=9297 and here: http://www.wellesnet.com/?p=9349
Beatrice contacted me a few months ago, after finding my little watercolor in her parent's collection and asked if one of my collector's might be interested in purchasing it. It is a watercolor on board, 5.5" x 7". The painting will include a personal note from Beatrice giving the provenance of the watercolor and that the painting was purchased by Orson Welles for his wife, Paola.
from the collection of Orson and Paola Welles' estate
Red fox and yellow aspen leaves - one of my favorite combinations! This is an 11" x 11" oil on gessoed hardboard.
Autumn on the Wind
11" x 11" oil on gessoed board
My painting surface is often untempered masonite that I buy at the building supply store. I've found the most accurate way to cut it up is using a Stanley knife and a heavy metal ruler. When painting a piece that will be floated, it is important that the corners of the board are completely square, so I use a carpenter's square to double check this before cutting. I mark the line to be cut and with my knee on one end of the yard-long metal ruler, and my hand on the other end, I make repeated light cuts until I'm halfway through the board. Then I flip the board over and repeat the process on the other side. It's easy and accurate. If I'm floating the painting, I sand the edges and slightly round the corners.
Though the title may change on this - it seems a bit trite, but it gets the point across. This is a 34" x 16" oil on linen.
Into the Wind
34" x 16" oil on linen
New Zealand was just hit with Cyclone Lusi. I'm probably just a quarter mile from New Zealand's east coast and the cyclone came ashore in Paihia - just about three miles from where I live. It was a wild and crazy night with wind howling at the windows and rain beating on my metal roof. But my house must be in a sheltered spot as I was surprised when I took a drive the following day and saw trees down and businesses flooded on Paihia's main street. I love living near the sea - the weather is always changing! It beats shoveling snow.
I spotted this sailboat coming into Opua the same day I watched Rock and Roll Star (#9) arrive. It was a pretty smooth day but I like painting choppy water so I exaggerated just a bit. I think the name of this boat is Nola, but it was a bit too far away for me to be positive. Have I mentioned that I just love painting boats! This is the 12th painting is my Boats of Opua project. Eighteen to go and then I'll start painting some bigger nautical pieces.