Sunday, March 31, 2013

Celebrating The Earth

Last week I was excited to get an email from the editor of CASA magazine in Santa Barbara. They asked me to bring in two paintings for an upcoming show titled 'Celebrating The Earth'. The editor chose the 1st painting from my website. However,  I only had a few days to complete & frame this 2nd painting. I'm thankful this bouquet was in my house and ready to sit still for me!  This bouquet came from the Farmers Market here in Solvang. I'm proud to celebrate what comes from our valley & the hands of our local growers!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Classical Still Life I

I photographed this still life set-up at an oil workshop with Qiang Huang. I wanted to try this in watercolor and had the opportunity this week. This is a small painting for me (6X6 inches) and I enjoyed painting small- a lot! Much faster to complete and I didn't feel overwhelmed like I frequently do with a large sheet of wet paper! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Tres Hombres

Another in my Visitadores series (aka Pink Cowboy series). When I took this photo I enjoyed the way the cowboys seemed to be connected. You could tell they were good friends, and enjoying the day. I hope this painting translates some of that closeness with the viewer.

Halfway through this I wondered which was more important to 'get right'. The anatomy of the horses or the accuracy of the cowboy's hats? ;-)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Riding Into Town

A day I'll never forget! Last summer hundreds of Visitadores road into Solvang wearing pink shirts to commemorate breast cancer awareness.
This painting was part of a show I hung a few days ago at Los Olivos Corner House Coffee. When I stopped in for coffee this morning it was missing. I cringed thinking it might have fallen off the wall. A smiling (and caffeinated) patron told me it had sold. :-)

Rusack's Roses by Sunset

Since coming to California I've heard many people complaining about the multitude of plein air painters (and paintings) in California. This seems a non-issue to me. I see bucolic scenery in about every hour of the day here.

As a painter, it's not a matter of recording what I see around me. It's the challenge of taking what I feel  when I'm confronted with this beauty and translating these feelings onto a two dimensional surface.

BTW, these roses jumped out at me when I was driving down Ballard Canyon Road. The old vines were dripping with pink roses that were backlit by the setting sun. My car pulled itself over and insisted I get out with my easel. What great memories I have of squinting into this scene as I tried to capture all of those colors.