Artist Trail

Still Waiting, Figure in the Landscape April 24, 2013

This is a quick charcoal sketch I created back in  1999 when I was pursuing my Master's Degree in Art.  The criteria was to create a series of plein air nocturne sketches using a live model as the subject. 

I sketched the model at the Santa Barbara Train Station around 10 pm.

Being it was winter time in a public place, the model preferred to pose "draped".


"Still Waiting"
Collection of the Artist


The Nocturne Wall April 11, 2013

My Friend and art patron, Robert Eringer, has opened a new Saloon in Santa Barbara. It is called Palmeri's.  Once a seedy dive bar, Eringer has cleaned Palmeri's up, making it a location to come, have a drink and a chat, Listen to good music, and leave feeling you've had a "memorable experience," of leaving Santa Barbara without actually going anywhere.

He has taken a collection of my paintings; (38, out of the 86 he owns), and has decorated the inside of the saloon with them, and assorted pantings by his father, and Santa Barbara Artist Shawn Kirkpatrick.  The Nocturne Wall, of moonlit scenes, remains above the fray and frolicking customers  who are enjoying their libations below.

Most of the paintings depict images I painted on our Surreal Bounce over the last 13 years. Every painting tells a story about our quest; our search into creativity and madness.

Feedback from the clientele is that they love having artwork on the walls...

In my opinion, it sure beats plastic Budweiser pennants.


Photo: Robert Eringer



Clicking Frog of Calaveras County: Old Fashioned Road Trip April 10, 2013

I've traveled all over the world with Author/Spy Master Robert Eringer, in search of creativity and madness. For a year  we traveled far and wide with the goal of getting to places  where famous American Literary Icons like Hemingway, Kerouac, Fante, Bukowski, Steinbeck, Brannigan, Miller, and Hunter S. Thompson, lived and/or committed suicide. One of the Authors we never got to investigate was Mark TwainSo on this old fashioned road trip with my travel companions, I decided to have my own mini "Surreal Bounce" journey.


We stopped up on Jack Ass Hill to view Mark Twain's Cabin, where in 1865 he wrote his very first novel, "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County".  Feeling the empty cabin with three chairs wasn't much to shake a stick at, we traveled on down the road tothe town of Angels Camp to find the tavern where it is said Twain heard the story while sipping liquor at the bar.

The Tavern, inside Angels Hotel is now an Antique store full of glimmering novelties.  I asked the owner if he knew where the bar was once situated way back in the day? He then pointed to some display cases over yonder. I walked over to the cases imagining them to be an old western bar where I could order a shot of Basil Hayden, (Bourbon Whisky).


Thinking to myself, "This is where Mark Twain once stood... way back in the day... when he was starving, striving to become a successful writer and searching for his voice.  The one that was loud enough to be heard like the croaking of a bull frog." 

Then, looking down into the case, I knew there must be something there for me to remember this moment by. There, sitting on top of a small box was this well-worn antique clicker, in none other than the shape of a frog! I knew I had to have it as a keep sake from this journey.  So, in my search to capture a glimpse into the spirit of Mark Twain, and in the continued tradition of a Surreal Bouncer,  I purchased this miniature clicking talisman that still works like a charm. 

Yosemite Falls April 8, 2013

I had a two hour window to make a decision on how I would paint the Yosemite Falls for my client. Now, even though I'm use to teaching and demonstrating plein air painting techniques,  I did my best to conceal myself in some trees alongside the road to limit exposure to the hoards of tourists. My strategy worked somewhat. I spent almost two hours painting in awe of the scene before me, attempting to capture the sunlight as it moved across the granite walls. Somewhere in Korea and China this image exist in some tourist's photo album. The ripples go out...


Work in progress, with client, Jim Worthen. Photo: Rob Rafelli



Eyes Wide Open, Yosemite April 7, 2013

The Focus of the trip was to paint a couple of painting for a client. Having only a small window of time to produce it was important to not get distracted by the magic, beauty, and sublime grandure of this place. In other words keep focused on the job. However I couldn't help but appreciate a few choice views of the world around me.

Stained glass, Art Deco Design, Iwani Hotel 

Nature Abides

Eyes to the sky














Old Fashioned Road Trip April 6, 2013

Art influences life, influences Art

Wandering around Mariposa in the early morning l came across this blooming wisteria. Since I am always in search of how light falls on the form I am also looking for patterns to help make my compositions more interesting.


Context is everything...

The fence pattern reminded me of an Iconic Image in American Photography I saw in 1998,that was taken in 1916 by artist Paul Strand.  I love to travel because it can remind me of places I've already explored.



Gold Coin, Mariposa April 5, 2012

Cramped in the back of a Toyota Camery, was not the most glamorous way of traveling 700 miles in three days, especially when fighting a cold, and at altitude.

I was pleased with the progress of the Gold Coin Nocturne. Of all the nocturne paintings I have painted in the last 20 years this one seemed to have all the color palette ingredients of Van Gogh's "The Night Cafe".So it was a good beginning, and that is always the bare minimum of what an artist can hope for.

Three Day Trip to the Gold Country April 4, 2013

Last week I received another commission.  I was hired to travel 700 miles in three days, in a Toyota Camery, with three friends, and to paint two paintings. One painting of the Historic Gold Coin Tavern in Mariposa California, (The former home of Gen. John Fremont.

The other painting was to capture the Moon over Half Dome. However due to time constraints I was only able to capture Yosemite Falls.

It was a good, old fashioned Road trip into the Gold Country.

Photo: Josh Worthen