Monday, October 29, 2007

Thunderbird and Boat more SLO

12x 16 oil on linen

I think this was the third day into the SLO paint- out. We went down to the Moro bay harbor to try and find and interesting old boat or run down wharf building inspiring enough to paint, but I found it all to renovated.
Lo and behold sitting bleaching in the sun in the farthest part of the parking lot was a rusty old thunderbird with a boat behind it. I had my subject.
As you might well imagine I got more than one onlooker questioning my choice of subjects. The running joke was they were used to artists facing in the other direction, painting the boats, yep.

The most determined one tried to get me to paint his near by docked boat; if I were more of a salesman I would have taken him up on it, my gut told me he would have bought the final product. I was already into the grove so I politely declined, regretting I didn’t at least make friends with the guy as I could have used a ride across the bay so I could paint the power station on another day.

The highlight of the day was when a guy around 40 or so wandered by said “hi “ and kept going, stopped, thought better of it and came back to talk to me. He was clean and well groomed, but pretty quickly I had the feeling he was staying at a half-way house of some kind either for mental patients or recovering abusers of some kind. He was talking a little fast and acting younger than he was, not dumb as much as overly nervous for his age. The biggest clue was he kept leaving then coming back with the “just one more thing” question, like Colombo on to much coffee.
My favorite moment from him came when he took out a “to do” reminder list in a little notebook. He wanted to show me the proof of what we had in common, how providential it was meeting me in the parking lot at this moment in time. Because on his list: along with getting a car, calling his Mom and doing the laundry was; learning how to paint.
He had many questions; I answered them all as best I could, gently, but seriously about the challenge ahead of him. He seemed to appreciate my forthright opinion and I could tell he was happy he made the effort to talk to me, but was grappling the daunting task ahead, could he do it? Clearly it was going to be a real effort. I could see him deflating a bit so I told him studying to be a great artist was one thing, but he could start painting just for fun anytime. That picked him up and he soldiered on with a jaunty lilt in his walk.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sunny Acres and Dan's Crane SLO

Sunny Acres 12x16
Another view of Dan's place. I plan to finish this one
out a bit more, but decided to put it up anyway.

Oil 9x12

Note: My on e man show at Segil has been extended for a week, if you thought you missed it you still have until Oct 27th.

Dan De Vaul runs Sunny Acres on his ranch on Los Osos Valley Road a the clean and sober facility in San Luis Obispo County. He’s given a hard time by the locals, as they don’t care for old rusty cars, and neat piles of firewood. He’s up against the local money of the once small town that is now becoming a haven for corporations and chain retail who want him out due to the run down nature of his place.

Of course I found the place rustic and beautiful. The residents I talked to were sober and trying to turn their lives around. He was kind enough to let me have free run of the place and I did two different paintings on two different mornings. If anyone knows someone who works in welding metal that has an artistic bent and needs a place to live with a full metal and wood shop with free assistants, Dan is looking for someone to help find a way to use old wood and metal to make some kind of sellable art objects or gifts for tourists.

If I were young and freewheeling or need a little help with sobering up I’d go for it. San Louis Obispo is a lovely area, clean air mountains and a beach nearby. Contact me if you think you know of someone who would fit the bill.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

SLO 2: Los Osos

12x16 oil on linen
This was the second afternoon of the paint out. I was on the Los Osos side of Moro Bay about 4 blocks from where we stayed and running out of time. I was originally thinking about a boat picture, but in the end thought that was all to conventional so I turned my back to the bay and painted the back fence of some of the older houses at the bay edge. I was attracted the dramatic light on the house and the big shadow shape on the ice plant. Also my decision became pragmatic due to the time constraints of the peaking light.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

SLO Painting festival II part one

So we arrive at our funky beach house on Los Osos facing out to Moro bay Monday at 5:00. Within minutes we were locked out as wind the door blew shut and the key was on the table inside. After fruitless trying by Sharon to get the landlord on the phone and looking for every possible hiding spot for a second key (there is no second key), and talking to every neighbor on the block and calling local real estate agents we broke down and called a locksmith.

Needless to say my painting I tried to do (two houses down) after that was unfocused, so I trashed it. Nice little view, I may try it again from a photo.

Old White Camper 9x12
Thinngs improved the next morning as I did one of my favorite paintings of the show in the morning and found out my display painting down at the art Center had immediately sold, the first one to go… A strong start… You might think…