1painting per day in 2K10

Mad House Moon, St. Elizabeth's.

I left Robert Eringer at the Georgetown Inn, and set out to paint the moonrise madness. I found it, lurking over the haunted Mental Asylum called St. Elizabeth's Mental Hospital.

Problem was, there was only one view of the hospital for which I could get a glimpse.

I had the driver pull up so I could get a better view.

I felt like a voyeur; peering through the giant Iron Gates. The Moon rising behind the hospital in the hazy DC sky. The Silence; deafening.

My driver asked me why I wanted to stop here. He'd never ever stopped here before, in his life!

I got out and grabbed my camera and tripod.

There were some lights on inside the hospital. I wondered who was home? Who knew what activity was taking place inside?

Strange thoughts entered my mind, and then exited. (fortunately).

The only thing I heard outside was from critters in the bushes, and a strange chattering sound which turned out to be the knocking knees of my driver, who nervously awaited for me beside his big black Lincoln Town Car.

He just kept sayin', "Man, you must be crazy coming out here like this". I ignored him. But he kept on exclaiming about how dangerous this neighborhood is--especially at night! in his nice Town Car.

We was foolish!

I asked him if he'd mind waiting for me while I hopped the fence and took a look around. He yelped, "Don you go in there, they's rattlesnakes roamin' 'round.

I glanced back at him and said jokingly, "But I'm Mad! Besides, it looks kinda homey!

"Man!", he said, "the only homey ya gonna see around here, will steel your camera, your money, and your life"....

--but I'm just worried about ma car!

Convinced of the intelligence he imparted, I quickly gathered up my gear and got the hell outta there!

Full Moon Over St. Elizabeths

16x12 oil/board

Collection of Robert Eringer

For more >Motional Blur, see the Surreal Bounce Blog: http://surrealbounce.blogspot.com/

Night of Depature July 7, 2010

Robert Eringer and his family were here and gone.

I'd never met anyone like him before. (At that time, I had no clue what Eringer did for a living, his spy stuff and all, and I wouldn't learn for another three years).

Our organized trip to Iceland seemed quite esoteric--like a fantasy! It was just what a nocturnal artist needed. Lucky me-- I'd attracted a patron who saw in me my ability as an artist. Eringer also had the means and interest to help make something extraordinary happen for me and my art career. Mixing my art with his writings, how cool was that? It was a meeting of the minds.

Our friendship: alchemical, syncronistic, serendipitous.

I didn't know if the Eringer's would ever be back. I thought, who in their right mind would ever want to leave sunny Santa Barbara-- especially to live in loony London?

All I knew was that I was feeling bummed.

So, I did what I felt was the best thing for an artist to do; I needed to create...

I went down to Butterfly beach, to the place where I'd painted the 4th of July sketch, and all I saw when I was there, was darkness. There was no moon, and except for a few lights, it was a somber scene. It was perfect, devoid of meaning!

I painted away with detachment, and purged myself of sadness.

That night, I left it all on the beach, yet I sensed something out there--just out of reach.

As far as Robert Eringer and his family was concerned, I decided I would send them one post card per week, depicting beautiful, sunny Santa Barbara in a, "Wish you were here" idealism. My motive was to tease them, and to get them to realize they'd made a big mistake by moving back to London.

What else could I do? A year later, my conspiracy plans paid off; they moved back!!

Night of Departure
8x8 oil on board
Collection of Robert Eringer

For more Motional Blur, see the Surreal Bounce Blog: http://surrealbounce.blogspot.com/

Afternoon Light, Butterfly Beach

I have only so much time to paint before I have to pick up my boys and be Mr. Mom.

I have my paints, I have my easel and accouterments. I have the light, and Inspiration before me.

Even though it is a blustery day, I set my easel up in the lee side of a low hedge to block the wind. The light is changing, and so I begin.

I paint briskly, starting with a violet under painting, knowing the highlights would be represented by the complimentary color of Naples Yellow. I work dark masses to light masses, like a mad man. I paint like my house is burning down.

Within 30 minutes, I am finished. I captured the light, the gist and gestures, the immediacy of the moment, alla prima. Voila!

Therapy was good today!

Afternoon Light, Butterfly Beach
6x9 oil/canvas 2010
Collection of the Artist

4th of July, Butterfly Beach

It's been nearly ten years since I painted this painting; my first plein air nocturne of fireworks!!

I wanted to capture the vitality and vibrancy of the life on Butterfly beach in Santa Barbara, so knowing the fireworks would start at 9pm, and where they would be set off, I staked out a place resting above the sand, overlooking the masses of jovial celebrants.

I painted one, then two, small sketches in the afternoon. (Both paintings now in private collections. Then, after sunset, I lined in my composition after toning my board a light shade of green.

Once lined in I awaited the barrage. While people were busy lighting off their own fireworks on the beach, I busily painted in their patterns, silhouetted against the illuminated background of the ocean/waves. Then when the main show began, I sketched in the sky and corona(glow) of main bursts. I had to make a decision on what the colors were I would choose to paint.

During this painting, I had distinct company. I was visited by my new friend and patron, Robert Eringer. He popped out of the bushes holding a glass of wine, and observed me sketching away in the darkness.

Eringer had just purchased a couple of my smaller nocturnes from the Bottoms Art Gallery at the Biltmore Hotel, and I welcomed him to come and watch me paint this evening.

I knew I had only twenty minutes to complete this painting before the grand finale so I couldn't talk during the painting's evolution, but when I had completed the painting, Eringer commented on my ability to paint the night. He mentioned that he'd read about Iceland; that they have the purest of night time skies. He then asked me if I would be interested in going there to paint and capture this purity in paint.

In Seven Months, we would be flying Upper class on Virgin Airlines, in route to Berserkness and what would be the beginning of our seven year Odyssey in search of creativity and madness. The seed for Surreal Bounce had been planted.

4th of July, Butterfly Beach
10x14 oil/board 2001
Collection of Robert Eringer

For more Motional Blur, see the Surreal Bounce Blog: http://surrealbounce.blogspot.com/

Sunset, Santa Barbara. July 3, 2010

Every now and then, there's a good one. (A Sunset that is...)

Every now and then I find myself in the right place at the right time, with the time to paint. I have all my gear and most of my faculties,

It is incredibly enjoyable for me; to quickly set up my easel and palette, and paint the sun as it is setting. It is even more enjoyable if the painting process is effortless, and I can pull off a half decent work of art with minimal effort alla prima (painted in one sitting). Hopefully it is acceptable enough for my gallery: (the Bottoms Art Gallery), to exhibit, and sell.

Yes, it is a, "Pretty Picture", but it's exciting and challenging for me to paint something I've never witnessed, and created it in a way I've never painted before.

Some Artists, (Landscape Painters) frown, and look down their noses at paintings of sunsets-- considering them, "Low Art". I, however paint them out of love and appreciation for the day; daylight, the patient sun.

Knowing that no two Sunsets are alike, EVER! I strive to capture the uniqueness. I have immortalized this sunset in paint, yet I am clear that is some ways, it is a vain attempt on my part, to halt the passage of time.

Santa Barbara Sunset
10x20 oil/linen 2010


Hot Night at Club Nasa June 23, 2010

This was a challenging painting mostly because I was dealing with a subject that was constantly moving; The disco Ball was moving, the different colored lights were moving, the blond headed bobbing crowd was moving; undulating on the dance floor, there were even dancers on stage in front of a large movie screen showing old black and white silent films.

I had to pick and choose what was important; work from memory throughout the whole paintings' evolution, remembering that it was an impression of what I was experiencing, not a photographic representation of the moment.

I remember the blond vixen speaking Icelandic in my ear, doing her best to shake my resolve, and my co-hards working to be my body guards up against curious berserkers. Last of all, me, lighting a cigar and walking through the grinding throngs on the dance floor after i'd finished. I was feeling quite cocky after that day's adventures.

From what I was told, the next day would be even more unique, and, ahem, memorable.

Hot Night at Club Nasa
8x6 oil/board

Collection of Robert Eringer

For More of the story visit: http://surrealbounce.blogspot.com/

Frozen Falls, Godfoss Iceland. June 11, 2010

While my traveling companions, Robert Eringer and Frank Martin caroused Rekyivik, Eric the Red and I traveled into the frozen moonscape of Iceland to catch a glympse of the geyser, the all thing, and the drowning pool. On the way we stopped by the frozen falls called Godfoss.

It was too bloody cold outside that I chose to sketch this painting of the falls from within the warmth of our van.

Believe me, after getting kissed by the devil at geyser I was done being frozen to my palette.

I needed a break; warm food, and good wine awaited me before my journey out into the frigid air to paint the Northern Lights.

Frozen Falls, Godfoss, Iceland
5x7, oil,
Collection of Robert Eringer


Geyser Licked June 10, 2010

Who could pass up an opportunity for a great story. I am linking this to my friend and patron Robert Eringer's Surreal Bounce Blog.

This photo shows me working in plein air in Geyser, Iceland, in 15 degree weather. I'd driven out to "Geyser" to paint the "Geyser" under the full moon. The Geyser would erupt every five minutes so it was relatively consistent and that made my job easier.

Also, because of the Northern Latitude the moon never set. It was up and full 24 hours a day. So the Moon was easy to capture. The only real challenge was that it was so cold that I had to add extra linseed oil to my paints in order to keep their viscosity.

Everything had been going along just fine throughout the painting, until the wind shifted. All of a sudden, the I found I was being sprayed by hot steamy water. Because I was so cold, the water instantly froze on my person, painting, palette, pride...

I still managed a smile.

Photo Credit
Erik (the Red) Russel

All Through the Night. June 14, 2010

I have a friend in the world who is a sultry country western singer who produce her latest album early this year. Her name is Annie Dahlgren. Most of the themes to her songs were dark and gritty, and she wanted to have my paintings grace her cover!!

She had contacted me last year to paint a portrait of Josh Townsend; the Green Beret from Solvang who mysteriously died in Afganistan

She chose from my archives, ten or so of my plein air nocturnes to use in the CD entitled, "All Through the Night".

This painting was from my first solo museum exhibition in 2004 at the Carnegie Art Museum in Oxnard. It is of an old bus I found one night in the back roads of La Conchita California. When I saw it, it looked like an alien face, or a hockey mask.
It was so odd that I had to capture it.

One year after I painted this painting there was a tremendous landslide in the distance where the last two street lights are seen. They, along with about fourteen residents from La Conchita, perished in the slide.

Now the face on the Back of the Bus looks morose.

Coming events cast their shadows?

Back of the Bus Nocturne
28x28 oil/canvas 2003

Collection of Ann Sanders and Gerry Winnet.

Meridian Blue June 13, 2010

One never knows where or when the Universe will shower it's grace. When I paint a painting; when the painting is finished, framed, and (hopefully) sold, it takes on a life of its own. It has its day in the sun so to speak, immediately, or in time, or maybe never.

In the case of this painting, I painted it in the mid 1990's, en plein air, across the street from my house in Carpinteria. It depicts the full moon setting over Santa Barbara, and the tree is one of the trees my brothers and I use to climb in our youth.

My friend and fellow Artist, Loren Grean, contacted me after producing her musical album, "Meridian Blue". She wanted to have one of my paintings grace the cover.

Loren is a master at Celtic Harp, and writes all of her own music. After searching my entire slide inventory, she found this one painting, which to her spoke to the color expressed in the title.

I obliged. Now my painting is being seen by greater and greater numbers of the public via the internet, or in record stores. I know not its affect on each and every individual who may see it, but I am happy to know that at least one person may be influenced by my art, in some way, some day.

However, I must detach myself from this possibility as well.

Moon Over Santa Barbara
30x30 oil/canvas 1996

Private Collection