Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Zealand painting holiday

"Sandspit, New Zealand"
6" x 8" oil on board - painted on location

I've blogged about this before, but just in case you missed it.

In late February and early March of 2012 (15 months from now) Joe Garcia and I will be leading a Painting Holiday in my native New Zealand.  If you don't know Joe's work, then you must know his books, The Watercolor Bible and Mastering the Watercolor Wash.  Joe is a watercolor master....but don't tell him I said that.

Joe and I have been teaching together for years, including workshops on a river barge on France's Burgundy Canal, the Oregon coast, the Art Institute of the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, and several workshops in a villa in Tuscany.  During an Italian workshop this past September, our students put in a special request for a non-workshop in New Zealand...a painting holiday.  So keeping our students' requests in mind, Joe and I have organized a trip of a lifetime!  Joe and Anne Garcia have travelled with me to New Zealand many times so they know the country well.  My sister and her husband are also helping out with organizing, cooking and acting as translators and guides.  Yes, New Zealand is primarily an English speaking country, but you still may need a translator!  

Unlike traditional painting workshops, this holiday welcomes non-painters.  Our daily excursions to the bays, beaches and islands will take us to places that are not only paintable, but also have activities for your non-painter partner; hiking, snorkelling or scuba diving, swimming and sight-seeing.  There's also a golf course nearby, horse-riding and other activities.   And for the painters....the pressure is off.  No studio demos and classroom time.  Instead, you can hike with your partner or sit and paint alongside me or Joe.  We're going to paint the places we visit - perhaps a full landscape or just a red pohutawaka leaf or sea shell.  We will spend the week talking art, painting and soaking in the scenery.   When you get back to the States, you can take your stack of watercolors into Kinkos and have them bound into a sketchbook to remember my country, Aotearoa, Land of the Long White Cloud.  

The first holiday is scheduled from February 26 to March 4, 2012.  It's almost full, with one or two openings available, but if we have enough interest, we're going to have a second week, March 7-March 13, 2012.  New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere - so the seasons are reversed.  This will be late summer down-under.  

Price is about $2500, give or take $100.  This includes a week's accommodation, breakfast, lunch and 4 of 7 dinners.  It includes the planned excursions but does not include the cost of optional activities for spouse or partner.  It doesn't include airfare to New Zealand.  Airfare March, 2011 (2012 fares still not posted) are $1150 RT from Phoenix, Arizona - about $1200 from Denver - to Auckland.  We'll pick you up at the airport and drop you off there a week later.  If you'd like to see more of New Zealand (you absolutely must see more!) after or before the workshop, we'll provide you with more info on how where to go and how to get there!

For more information, click on this link.  It will take you to our online brochure that has much more information.

Friday, November 26, 2010

"Waggy Tail"

This is yesterday's painting that wasn't posted here as I was busy eating turkey and pumpkin pie.

It's the third painting for my 'Square Dog' series....all 5" x 5" oil paintings on board.  Titled, 'Waggy Tail'....I know you can't see his tail but I can tell it's wagging by the look on the dog's face.

"Waggy Tail"
5" x 5" oil on board


"Possession is 9/10th's of the Law"

This is the second 5" x 5" oil I've done for my Square Dog project.   Funny how I'm not really a dog person but I love painting them!  I can see I'll have to photograph this piece again.  It really is square - bad photography on my part.  

"Possession is 9/10th's of the Law"
5" x 5" oil on board


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Good ol' Dog

This 5" x 5" oil is an old yellow lab - hopefully the people I did it for will like it!   This is the first painting for my Square Dog project!

"Good 'ol Dog"
5" x 5" oil on panel

Monday, November 22, 2010

"Don't Crowd Me"

This is the second of four pieces that I've painted for Legacy Gallery's Holiday Show,  opening December 2.  My four 5" x 5" are a series of cactus flowers, all framed identically in floater frames.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

"Group Hug"

This is the second of four small cactus flower oils I've done for Legacy Gallery's Holiday Show.  The show opens on December 2nd and will continue to hang through the end of December.  There's a link to the Holiday Show catalog on their website if you'd like to see the paintings by Legacy's other artists.

"Group Hug" 
5" x 5" oil on board

Friday, November 19, 2010

Levi Doesn't Care Much...

This great little cow oil is Shane's latest piece. It is titled, Levi Doesn't Care Much for Strangers Since the Yogurt Incident of '09.   I don't have a clue where he gets his titles.  As his mother, I will reveal that at the age of 8 he changed his name to T.S.Garp and for a full year all of his school papers bore that name.  (and no, I did not allow him to watch the movie...someone else did).  

I don't know if there is any connection between T.S. Garp and Shane's original titles, but as when he was 8, I assume it is because he has the soul of an artist.  To see Shane's commercial illustration work go to  His blog is  

Shane Rebenschied - "Levi Doesn't Care Much for Strangers"
5" x 7" oil on panel

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Depths of Glory

Depths of Glory by Irving Stone is about the life of Camille Pissaro with Cezanne, Manet, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet and other French Impressionists.  I've read it a dozen times, relating to the painter's words of wisdom.

Camille Pissarro is credited with saying, 'Where does this hunger come from, that drives some of us to draw with a ferocity that is equaled only by the necessity to breathe, to eat, to survive"?   "The compulsion to draw and paint was a positive presence.  Was it a gift or a deficiency?  A blessing or a curse?  Were they self-anointed or the chosen?"  

Years ago while painting outside, I told my artist friend about the book and asked, 'are we the self-anointed or the chosen'?  He thought it was the height of conceit that in regards to painting, I would ask if I  (or he) were the chosen? Never would I think that I could be the chosen when it comes to painting ability....only when it comes to the compulsion to paint.  I still wonder if is a curse or a blessing?  

The only thing in life that I put above painting is my family.  Which brings me to my point on today's post. I am delighted to see that my son is similarly afflicted - as Pissaro also said, "how did one explain this rationally to one who was not similarly afflicted?  Where there was no shared language"?   My son and I have a common language.  

He sent me this painting-in-progress this morning.  I love the cow and almost wish he would leave it as is - incomplete.  I love the brush work on the momma cow's back.  Just gorgeous!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A new project?

I'm back home and in the studio.  First thing on the list is to give the studio a good cleaning!

I've got several more small oils to do for the  Holiday Show at Legacy Gallery.  (this year I'm doing a series of cactus flowers) and then there's a list of commissions I have to start on. I also have a half-finished 20" x 24" red fox painting on the easel to finish and ship to The Walt Horton Fine Art Gallery in Beaver Creek, Colorado.    I've got paintings to ship to The Horton-Hayes Gallery in Charleston, South Carolina and several larger pieces to do for Legacy Gallery.  No rest for the weary.

I took some 5" x 5" dog paintings to the Waterfowl Festival in Easton.  They got lots of attention and all sold the first day.  Since then, I've been mulling over an idea for another online project which I'll call 'The Square Dog'.   The title 'square dog' has a meaning in my family as my brother had a much loved and rather fat mutt called Tom, whose portliness made him look square.  My brother was racing cars at the time and his racing team was called 'The Square Dog Racing Team'.  As the dog paintings are a square format,  I might as well keep a good title in the family.

I'll start posting images for the Square Dog project sometime in December, hopefully in time for Christmas.  As 5" x 5" is not a standard size, the paintings will be sold framed and will be more complete paintings than my 75 for 75 project, therefore will sell for $235 each, which will include shipping.  I'll be using my rather large file of doggy reference for the project but also welcome commissions.   If you get the photos of your dog to me by early December, I'll have it done by Christmas.  

These are the pieces that inspired the project.




Sunday, November 14, 2010

Is the recession over?

If I can use my sales at The Waterfowl Festival in Easton Maryland as a gauge of the economy, then I declare the Recession over and done with.

A few artists have not done as well - but overall, most artists seem to be heaving sighs of relief.  Not only are little pieces selling,  but work in the $1000-$6000 price range are also wearing red dots (which means SOLD!)

This is the last day.  This evening I pack up up my remaining work to be shipped home Fed-ex ground then head for the airport in the morning.  Tuesday morning I'll be back in the studio!

When I'm on the road, I blog with photos from my cell phone, which aren't the best, but are better than nothing.  This is the Waterfowl Festival's Gold Room,
where my work is exhibited.  That's my buddy, Joe Garcia (photo taken before the doors opened) ready for the crowds!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Morning on the Eastern Shore

The weather has been spectacular as has been the fall color.  And if that isn't good enough, the show is also going very well.  The Waterfowl Festival has always been one of my best shows - and this year, it's 'back to normal' after two slow years.  So I have said goodbye to some of my favorite paintings that have gone home with collectors, and am starting to mull over ideas for new pieces.

One of the main things I like about doing large group shows, such as this one, is that it gives me the opportunity to hobnob with my fellow artists.  Matthew Hillier and his wife Julia Rogers, are showing their work in the same room as me - so every time there is a lull in the crowd, I spend time looking at their work.  One of Julia's paintings is a magnificent oil of a flying egret (over 5 feet horizontally and vertically) and Matthew's seascape oils are to-die-for.  I love the way he handles edges and softens lines.  Really amazing work.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Early morning cruise

As an artist, I meet some of the greatest people.  Friends/collectors in Easton, Margaret and Dick, are at the top of the list.  Joe Garcia and I really got to know Margaret a few years ago when she took our workshop on a river barge on the Burgundy Canal in France.  This year, they invited us to stay at their waterfront home in Easton and surprised us this morning with an early morning cruise of the waterways out to the Choptank River, off the Chesapeake.  It was a beautiful morning with fall color at its peak.  The crowning glory was the bald eagle that flew right over the boat.  What a fabulous morning!

I have 36 new originals on exhibit this year at the Gold Room in the Tidewater Inn.  If you're in the area, stop by!    The festival opens this afternoon with a VIP event and is open to the public starting tomorrow morning. For more information on The Waterfowl Festival such as location and hours, just click on the link.  I hope to see you there.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Last Piece!

This is the 35th oil I've done in the past few months for The Waterfowl Festival in Easton, Maryland, that I leave for on Tuesday.  It's also the last painting for the show.  It's been a long few months that at times, felt devoid of inspiration.  But I persevered and have some pieces that I'm pretty happy with.

This is a 10" x 8" oil on panel titled, 'There is a Season', inspired by the bright autumn leaves outside my studio window.

Now it's time to pack up the last of the paintings and head for the airport!

There is a Season
10" x 8" oil on panel


"The Long Way Home"

This is 12" x 9" oil on panel.  This piece gave me an opportunity to play with the composition and the chance to use some interesting light.

The Long Way Home
12" x 9" oil on panel

Friday, November 5, 2010

Three Dog Day

I didn't really paint all of these in one day, but I finished all three today.  These are 5" x 5" oils on Ampersand board...and will be included in my exhibit The Waterfowl Festival in Easton, Maryland, next weekend.  I'm looking forward to getting out of the studio and spending a week on the Eastern Shore - such a pretty spot to be at this time of the year.  The Blackwater Refuge in Cambridge, MD., is one of my favorite places to paint, watching the thousands of Canada geese and other waterfowl.  I can only imagine what it was like before the white man arrived in America, when hundreds of thousands of geese would blot out the sun.  What a sight it must have been.  (funny, but to find a link for the Blackwater, I googled 'The Blackwater Refuge' and clicked on google images.....and one of my own paintings came up.)




These aren't particularly good reproductions of the paintings.  As usual, I'm fighting the glare off the wet paint.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Light through trees

Sunset Through Trees

I've painted a series of 'light through trees'...there's something about it that intrigues me.  This is just a small oil on an 8" x 8" panel that I've floated in a narrow floater frame.   I rather like the effect and am now working on completing six 5" x 5" floaters for The Waterfowl Festival in Easton, Maryland, next week.    The first two  5" x 5"'s  are of dogs - a chocolate lab and a border collie.  I'll post them tomorrow. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"Folded Wings"

"Folded Wings"
14" x 7" oil on board

This looks more like the work I did in watercolor because it's one of the first pieces I did when I switched to oil about five years ago.  A few days ago I found it stashed away, unfinished.  A few brushes strokes and it is done.  The bird is a sparrow.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Artist's Cottage for Rent

I would like to return to New Zealand to live and I'm trying to decide if I should sell my home or rent it out either short term, furnished (more than 30 days) or long term, unfurnished. 
I live in Oak Creek Canyon, just north of Sedona, Arizona.  The canyon is one of the prettiest places in the U.S....second in Arizona to the Grand Canyon.  I have a very cute artist's cottage.  1200 s.f.  Two bedroom, 1.5 baths, with studio.  There is also a detached 10' x 12' frame shop with table and matt cutter.  There is no garage or carport.  I have legal creek access.  I'm at 5,000' altitude so there is snow in the winter - but snow comes and leaves just as quickly.  You're not shovelling it all winter.  The canyon is green in the summer, much cooler than Sedona in the summertime and Oak Creek is right across the road within about 100' of the house. 

My home would be perfect for another artist who, perhaps, would like to live in the canyon for six months or even a year.   At this point, I'm just throwing this to the wind to see if renting is a possibility.  Contact me if this sounds interesting.  I would be happy to send photographs. 

View from my door