In the Studio Today...Face Painting

Cat Face; Halloween Eve, 2008., originally uploaded by cproppe.

I am working on Holiday commissions these days; lots of paintings of people's homes and places they want remembered in a painting. Besides this, it's Halloween! I painted this face on my son tonight, as a test to see how it will look for tomorrow. I may be painting it on 2 more times before the Holiday is over.... He has a parade at school tomorrow, and then the main event trick-or-treating is 4 hours later.... I don't think he will want to keep the face paint on for 4 hours.... So... Looks like I will be a pro at face painting by the time the night is out tonight! I have never actually painted faces before, but I think I would enjoy it, as long as I have designs to work from.

Plein Air Partner Remembered... Quest 1993-2008

Memories of Quest 1993-2008, originally uploaded by cproppe.

I have spent some of the best days of my life with Border Collies, and the rest of them, with artists, poets and musicians. My kids are in there somewhere too... but Border Collie days are certainly at the top of the list! There is no greater joy and comfort than painting outdoors with my dogs at my side. They always provide companionship and protection with out the criticism. I will miss Quest very much. She was laid to rest near this hillside last Friday, just above the last neighborhood in Fairfax, reaching towards Mt. Tam and the watershed. We spent some of the best days of my own life out there together, running around the lakes, and playing fetch. Life is good, and Quest helped me to enjoy it thoroughly. Click here to view a photo memoir of Quest on Flickr.

At the Show Today.... Art on the Farm

October 19th, 2008
Some of my paintings at Art on the Farm today. The "Jurassic Truck" (below) sold to it's rightful owners, which makes me very happy. Please click here for more photos from the event at Point Reyes Vineyards.

In the Studio Today... Jurassic Truck,
and Gospel Flat Chicken

October 18th-19th, 2008
Two last paintings, completed early in the morning, for
"Art on the Farm"- The Show is TODAY only!

"Jurassic Truck" is from Carbon Farm, in Nicasio, CA.

"Chicken Portrait" is from Gospel Flat Farm, Bolinas, CA.

These are both 11" x 14", and will be framed and availabe for purchase at Point Reyes Vineyard during the show today.

In the Studio Today... Mt. Barnabe Farm;
Session #2

Thursday, October 16, 2008
"Mt. Barnabe Farm", Lagunitas, CA 12" x 24" o/c. Another one for the Art on the Farm show this weekend. Click here to view the first plein air session of this painting.

In the Studio Today... Cow Track Ranch; Session #2

Wednesday, October 15, 2008
"Tree Shadows at Sunset", Cow Track Ranch, Nicasio, CA 16" x 20" o/c. I added final details to this plein air piece today, including grasses in the foreground. It was such a pretty day out there this summer, and I remember it very well. This painting will be available for sale this Sunday, at Point Reyes Winery, for Art on the Farm show and benefit for Marin Organic's Interest-Free Loan Fund to Farmers.

In the Studio Today... Website and

October 12, 2008

When you type in in your url bar, it no longer goes to this blog. Two months ago, I designed a simple website to introduce myself and my paintings to clients that was not a blog. It existed, but I never implemented the redirection. So, from now on, you will land on a new page and website when you type in If you wish to follow my personal blogging, find my exhibits or updates in life, you can get there from links to my blog on my new site, or you can go to my Blogger site at I have really enjoyed using Blogger over the past two years, and I have learned so much. It has helped me to grow my business and share with my friends, family and clients. I will continue to use blogger, as it is easy, fun, and doesn't take up much of my time. When I would rather be painting, I really appreciate how easy it is for me to update my own photos and information on Blogger. Not only has Blogger helped me, but I have been able to share what I have learned with other artists, such as painter and poet, Kate Peper, and independent filmmaker, Holly du Rivage... artists who also don't want to spend a lot of time hand coding and formating webpages, but want to be able to update the public on their work. Thank you, Blogger. You have been a good friend!

In the Studio Today... Environmental Art;
Beacons of Hope

2 Glass milk bottles from Strauss Family Creamery, California.
Two weeks ago, I began another small effort to remove waste from our landfills; giving up milk cartons. I decided that milk cartons are pretty big, we use a lot of them (by the time my sons turn 18, we would have potentially used over 2 thousand milk cartons), and because they are plastic-coated, they can't possibly be eco-friendly. I decided to start buying milk in glass bottles, and it has been fun, educational for my kids, and the bottles are so pretty. Perhaps I will paint a still-life soon, with these lovely bottles. Environmental Art is often beautiful and educational. Here is a link I found online enititled, "20 Unforgettable Works of Environmental Art". For a link to what artist's do with trash in San Francisco, have a look at the Artist in Residence program at the SF Dump.

One of my sons has increased his consumption of milk in the last 2 weeks because the milk just tastes better. I love it too. The milk is from an organic dairy farm in the Pt. Reyes National Seashore, about a 40 minute drive from our home. Happy cows, by the seashore, grass-fed and organic must be making the difference in taste. When I took the boys to the store to return the bottles and get our new milk, they were so excited. This is definitely a trend that should continue as people reach toward a greener future. Progress moves in waves. We were there already, now we have to step back a bit. Here is a post I found online about the return of the glass milk bottles in New York City.

For more information, please visit the following links:
Information on Nurdles and the dangers of Plastic in our Environment
Judith Selby Lang's "Nurdle Art"
Flickr Photos of Glass Bottles around the World

In the Studio Today... Fairfax Fresh Mt. Tam #2

Monday, October 6, 2008
Lemon tree before Mt. Tam 11" x 14", o/c.
With only 2 weeks to go until "Art on the Farm" annual show and sale at the Pt. Reyes Winery, I am working to finish all the plein air pieces I started on the many Marin Organic farms we visited this year. This one was started near sunset, in the Spring, at Fairfax Fresh, a meyer lemon farm owned by Patti Elliot, up in the hills of Fairfax.

In the Studio Today... Sarah Palin Wordle

Sarah Palin_Wordle
Originally uploaded by cproppe

A few weeks ago I discovered "Wordle" online and started playing with it to create artistic word clouds. What I found most unusual about Wordle was that if you played with it long enough, changing the arrangement many times, changing the colors, etc... you would eventually get it to show you phrases from text you entered that would appear in really interesting ways. The most profound and spirited Wordle I have still seen to date was the one from Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech. I decided to take Palin's most memorable phrases from the debate, and put them all into Wordle to see what it looked like. This was the result (click on image, above to see larger). From the above wordle, I have been able to generate a campaign graphic for Obama-Biden, and I intend to print it as a car magnet.