Here is the painting, and a link to the Raymar's July 2012 contest page it appears on:
"A New Dawn, A New Day"
12 x 16 | oil on canvas on panel
Available for purchase
I painted it last month during the 2012 Plein Air Easton Competition and it was my favorite from the entire week. Mike Kowalski was on my right and Camille Przewodek was on my left and we were standing on a overpass with the morning rush hour traffic whizzing by us the whole time. Stepping back to evaluate our paintings would have been fatal. The stark contrast between the commuters blowing by their air-conditioned cars and the scene before us was one of those rare inexplicable moments. The light was holding and the temperature had yet to reach the anticipated uncomfortable high. In fact, it was only 89 degrees with 95% humidity at 6:30 am. Ha! One of those lazy-dazy paintings. Still, one of my favorites...
I don't enter these things often but when it was announced July's judge would be Jennifer McChristian I decided to opt in. I respect Jennifer's work a lot. I admire her technical virtuosity, but even more so, her ability to choose what you or I might feel is a mundane subject and find the lyricism within it.
Who else can paint the concrete of Los Angeles and make it beautiful?
I've met Jennifer a couple of times at various competitions. Even painted along side her. She is quite approachable and I picked up one of her smaller QuickDraws from a recent Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational. I think she's the closest thing the West Coast plein air movement has to Sargent sketching in the field. Look at her values. Look at her neutrals. Look at her muted warm and cools. Look at her simple and economical brushwork. She lays down a solid thumpin' bass line and then plays the right notes on top. She's pitch perfect. She makes it look easy but it ain't. That much I know.
Thank you Jennifer for the Raymar call-out. Much appreciated. And thank you for the following comments about my painting. You nailed my aesthetic intent. Even down to the ducks, who entered the picture just as I began to tear the easel down. I hemmed and hawed a bit about whether to include them but the painting would not have been the same without the ducks. It's nice to know you think so too.
Hey readers, on September 20th I am off to Spain on a private painting trip! First Madrid, where I will visit the studio of Joaquim Sorolla-Battista, the Prado and the Sofia museums to view their Velasquez, and of course paint in the streets. Then I head down to Granada by car to paint the Alhambra. Then, to Northern Africa to the Moroccan Berber town of Chefchaouen (google it!). Then, back to the White Hill Town of Ronda in Andalucia – What was the setting for Hemingway's 1940 novel "For Whom the Bell Tolls".
Follow me on these travels by subscribing to this blog. (in the upper right column) That way you will see all the posts and paintings as I go. Without missing anything! Assuming I have 'teh internets' to connect to!...