Plein Air Today... Mt. Barnabe Farm

Sunday, July 27, 2008
"Barn at Spirited Rocky Ridge", 12" x 24", o/c. I spent too little time at this lovely, hill top farm, just below the Mt. Barnabe Fire Lookout Tower in Lagunitas, CA today. The fog rolled in just about an hour after I got started painting, so I lost my sunny and colorful lighting. I hope the owners will let us go back another day. This was one of the trips by the Art on the Farm group of plein air painters. You can read a bit more about the trip on the Art on the Farm Blog.

Plein Air Today... The Mill Valley Paint Off

Saturday, July 19, 2008
"Bikes at the Depot", Lytton Square, Mill Valley, CA 2008
14" x 18", plein air, o/c.
This was my first year entering the Mill Valley Paint Off, in Mill Valley, CA. I chose to paint from a location on Lytton Square, behind the Depot Bookstore & Cafe. It was a gorgeous day, and I fortunately chose this sunny spot with good protection from the wind. I overheard other painters saying they were cold. We painted from 10:30am to 2:30pm. I took one break, but was painting most of the time. The spectators were very friendly and it was a great event. I was wondering why Mill Valley is the only town in Marin that does this, as it is really fun and the artist's entry fees pretty much pay for the winners awards. I did not win anything this year, but I had some nice people come and tell me they voted for me, which was really nice. There will be a show in September, of all 35 artists in the Mill Valley City Hall Council Chambers as part of the First Tuesday Artwalk, September 2, 2008.

I truly enjoyed the day and it gave me an excuse to pick up some amazing flatbreads from Small Shed Flatbreads, on Madrona in Mill Valley. I have been wanting to eat there for a while now, as I have heard fantastic things about this little spot, where everything is organic and hand-crafted. It was a colorful place, with red chairs outside, a large, but friendly, white bull-dog, and a contrasting black dog tied in front. I was wondering if they were part of the design there, as the interior is also painted dark red, and the red, white and black worked nicely together. It was a pleasure to see that Helen Steele's paintings were on the walls. I met Helen and her daughter this year when volunteering for the Marin Open Studios. I really enjoyed Helen's work, which is a combination of abstract figurative shapes, broad and inviting brushwork and built up, 3d "encaustic" numbers protruding from the canvas. Encaustic technique is something I would like to try someday. It involves mixing beeswax with the paint. Once the paint is mixed with the wax, and is molten and ready to use, it is applied to the painting surface. Heated tools may be used to sculpt the wax once it has cooled. Before leaving Small Shed, I ordered 3 flatbreads half-baked to take home, including one called "Mad River (VT)" made with sweet-maple fennel sausage and carmelized onions... superb. I'll be back soon.

I forgot my camera today, but I will post some photos of the Depot from earlier in the week.

In the News... Mill Valley Paint Off

July 16, 2008
This year's Paint-Off to be held on Saturday, July 19, 2008 from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm

Pending my recovery from a stomach bug this week, I hope to be out painting in the Mill Valley Paint Off on Saturday. Stop by and check out the happy painters in the Depot...

Thirty-five artists set up to work between 10 and 10:30 am in the Plaza on the brick area behind the Depot Bookstore and Café. Each artist paints any scene visible from the Plaza vantage point using any style or medium. Painting takes place from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm. Each artist may then exhibit one completed work for judging which begins at 3pm.

The People’s Choice Award will be decided by the viewing public at 3 pm. All 35 artists will be invited for a group show in the Mill Valley City Hall Council Chambers as part of the First Tuesday Artwalk, September 2, 2008.

In the News... West Marin Citizen Article

July 10, 2008
This is the first of a series of articles that will be published in the West Marin Citizen about the Art on the Farm Group I have been involved with this year. Click the above image to read the article. For more information, you may visit the Art on the Farm website, maintained by the organizer, Larry Bryson, or the Art on the Farm Blog I am slowly updating. Larry's site is more current, at this point!