Sonoma Plein Air 2013: The Triumphant Newcomer

Literally the day after getting home from Mendocino, I started the Sonoma Plein Air event. The idea was to use Mendocino as a warm-up.

Day 1

Canvases are stamped early in Sonoma. Once I checked in, it was time to decide where to go. Indecision is the hidden enemy of the plein air event. If you can plan out where to go beforehand, you can save a lot of time driving around that you should be using for painting. I ended up on Lakeville Road just outside of Petaluma to do this painting.
“Lakeville Summer” 11×14 in oil on linen board. SOLD 
“The Old Commute” 9×12 in oil on linen.
Got some lunch in downtown Petaluma(Mi Rancho, one of my fave cheap lunch spots) then drove down Highway 101 out to the edge of Sonoma County’s south side. I found a large pullout to paint a scene I’ve been wanting to do for the longest time. I pass it every time I go to San Francisco, so most locals know where it was.
 
“The Petaluma Fishing Spot” 8×10 in oil on linen board.
It was a warm day, and dehydration is another hidden enemy of the plein air event. I went back into to town to get a huge pink lemonade at In-N-Out with lots of ice… ahhh, much better. Ready to paint another. I ventured a half-mile over to Shollenberger Park where I painted this view across the river. The 101 is just beyond the oak.
 
From here I went over to the Ramekins in Sonoma to meet and greet the rest of the artists, some of the hosts, and some of the best-tasting finger food I’ve had in a while.

Day 2

Crashed and burned on a painting I did in Spring Lake before getting lunch with other artists at the Quarryhill Botanical Gardens. It’s a place I’ve wanted to visit for months now, so it was nice to get a free preview on behalf of the event organizers. Gorgeous gardens with much variety and some solid views if you go far enough up the hill.
 
 “Quarryhill Color” 6.5×9.5 oil on linen board.
 “Return To Autumn” 6.5×9.5 oil on linen board.
Quick Draw: We started our paintings at 4:30 and had to have them framed and up for display by 6:00, so it was a quick draw indeed. I think I handled the light decently well, but my cropping of the scene may have made it too obscure to be recognizably Sonoma. Might just have to do the clock tower next year.

Day 3

 “Bodega Harbor Haze” 14×18 in oil on linen.
I went to the coast on Wednesday which turned out to be a perfect day to do it. A perfectly clear day of sunshine with almost no wind. I stopped at the harbor on my way to Bodega Head and painted the misty morning before the fog completely dissipated.
 “A Rare Day In Bodega Bay” 16×20 in oil on linen. SOLD.
The day was still warm, the wind still hadn’t come in yet, so that meant it was time to paint the most ambitious piece of the week. This was a large complex piece where so many things could have gone wrong. Fortunately I kept up the juggling act which is plein air painting for the required 2.5 hours it took to complete this painting.
 “Coastal Jade” 6×8 in oil on linen.
I drove north up the 1 and stopped at Gleason Beach to paint this little scene. I had fun playing with the colors I saw. 
 “Harvest Moon In The East” 8×10 in oil on linen.
Came back into town to escape the wind that had started to kick up at the coast. I painted a scene near the Laguna De Santa Rosa, which is a favorite place of mine to paint. The moon was gorgeous as was the sky. This is the only painting I did over 2 days, because I came back the next day to work on it some more.

Day 4

 “A Need For Sure Footing” 6×8 in oil on linen.
I had planned on spending the day in Sugarloaf so that’s what I did. Started in the morning near the dried-up waterfall(bet it’s raging now after yesterday’s downpour…) I enjoy painting creeks but they are more fun when the water is flowing through them.
 “Anticipating Exploration” 11×14 in oil on linen.
It took me a little while of hiking around the meadows near the parking lot to find a view that spoke to me. I can probably come back and repaint this scene to tweak the design into something stronger, but hey, decent study.
“Lion Rock” 6.5×9.5 oil on linen board. 

The hike up to this scene was long and arduous, but worth it in my opinion. There is a plethora of views up there, but this was one I had wanted to paint for a while. I like this piece on its own, but I may do a larger piece of it sometime.

Day 5

“Barely Holding On” 9×12 in oil on linen.
For my last painting of the week I drove down Stony Point to paint a scene I have wanted to do for years and never got around to. These barns have been crooked for years. Very surprised they’re still around considering all the stuff they are fighting to tear down. #localpolitics
Time to finish framing in time to get everything ready for tomorrow. 4:00 clock rolls around and it’s time for the Opening Gala. To get a detailed recap about how that night went, please go to my previous blog post:
 

Sales Day

My wet, wet booth.
I already knew earlier that it was going to rain on the day of the sale, so I was prepared for the worst. Being prepared did not make me any happier of a camper. There were still a decent amount of people who checked the art out, despite the weather. Bless their hearts. I managed to squeak another sale in at the final hour, but for the most part it was slim pickings for a lot of artists. Being a Sonoma County native I am confident that I can sell plenty of these in my local gallery, so I am not that bummed out about it yet. Besides, the prize money and two sales made it the most financially successful plein air event of the year for me. Being the big winner can mean all sorts of great new opportunities for me in the future, so I am excited to see what this will lead to.

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About Sergio Lopez

North Bay Area based Fine Artist Sergio Lopez. Oil paintings, gouache paintings, plein air paintings, and charcoal drawings. http://www.themainloop.com

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Mendocino Open Paint Out 2013 Recap

It’s literally the night I got home from Mendocino after painting. I am about to go to bed and wake up to start painting in Sonoma in the morning. I want to do this quick recap before I spend the whole week painting my butt off with no time to write this before I finish the event in Sonoma.

Since it was an “open paintout,” artists came in to town to start painting anytime during the week they wanted to. I started painting on Thursday, which seemed a little late compared to everyone else. Since I had to bring in my paintings the next day at 5:00 for judging, I really didn’t give myself time to hit my stride. The 3 paintings I did were all I was able to do in that time.

Done at Van Damme State Park. The only time I had sunshine during the event.
“Standing on Glass” 9×12 in. oil on linen board.
The next morning I started this painting at Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, right next to where I was staying. It’s called Glass Beach because the glass bottles that used to litter the beach were sculpted into “gems” by the ocean waves.
“Whispers of Sunshine” 16×20 in. oil on linen board.
This painting was done over 2 days. I started it at 6pm Thursday night, and finished it at 3pm the next day. The one nice thing about painting on gray days is that the light is constant, so as long as both days are gray, you can start a painting at whatever time you want and finish whenever as well.
We were only allowed to pick one painting for judging. This was the Best Of Show award winner by artist Macario Pascual. His work was new to me but he is a fine painter and really nice guy. I went back and forth between choosing whether I should have went with “Standing On Glass” or “Whispers of Sunshine.” I went with Whispers of Sunshine, but based on the feedback I should have probably gone with Standing on Glass. I still feel like Whisper of Sunshine is a better painting than Standing on Glass, but I could just be suffering from “artist’s blindness.” What do you think? Which one should I have went with?
This was my 9×12″ quick draw. I spent the whole two hours on it. Some said it was ambitious to paint something like this for a quick draw, but with the cropping the way it is, I really didn’t have to spend that much time on the complex parts.

After the quick draw, there was time to kill before the reception. I went exploring so I went to the Point Cabrillo Light Station park. There is plenty to see along the cliffs here. Here was a pretty quick study.

I only had this format for a painting, but I think I found an interesting crop for this scene. Interesting thing happened to me on my way back to the parking lot. I was stopped by a couple of park rangers who asked me, “gone fishing?” Fishing?? No… I was painting, and I told them so. Apparently, from where they stood, my setup resembled some sort of fishing apparatus. They had to come by and make sure I wasn’t pulling any shenanigans.

The next morning was time for me to head back home. I was going to go down the 1 and stop at some places that I wanted to paint. One of them was the Jug Handle State Natural Reserve. It was a gloriously sunny day today, the type that makes you want to paint way better than on a gray day. The colors of the coast really come alive.

It took me a little while to fine Bowling Ball Beach (located in Schooner Gulch State Park) but the journey was worth it. The entire beach has really interesting sheer cliffs, but the namesake comes from the boulders that have been shaped over the years to resemble bowling balls. I was drawn to paint this location because of the great colors of the warm shadows in the cliffs.

My last painting was done in a really remote beach on the very northern part of Salt Point State Park. Salt Point is one of my favorite places in Sonoma County. It’s so rugged and unique. I almost finished this painting before the fog finally crept back in and killed the light. At this point I feel good about starting Sonoma.

I think the event is fairly well-run for a first time event. There were over seventy participants! The event ran very well for the amount of people who participated. The quality of painter was a bit uneven as to be expect in a non-juried show. There were some sales but mostly under $500. The prizes were modest but fun. Not sure why Mendocino doesn’t attract more collectors of plein air, but I am sure it’s because the Mendocino Art Center is really the only art venue in town, and plein air paintings aren’t their only focus. I hope that next year they can attract more serious patrons. I would give the event another shot, but I will make sure to start earlier. Hoping for less gray skies.

Additional photos and videos can be found at my Instagram account.

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http://themainloop.blogspot.com/2013/09/mendocino-open-paint-out-2013-recap.html

About Sergio Lopez

North Bay Area based Fine Artist Sergio Lopez. Oil paintings, gouache paintings, plein air paintings, and charcoal drawings. http://www.themainloop.com

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Pinback

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Here’s a study of Rob Crow from the band, Pinback.  Painted because I finally get to see them after missing them multiple times over the years.  Hope you like it, and thanks for looking!

study060hires

About Johnny

likes to draw and paint

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Void /// Experiment

Hey folks!

Just a quick style experiment for upcoming projects and ideas.

See ya’ll!

 

void_lowres

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GOWREELLAZTIKOS ::: The return of Raf and his shattered mind

GOWRIES, Gorillas, fellow friends – SO LONG!!!!!!

 

Well, Facebook and shiet can’t kill the passion for the BADASS-est art community, so, I’ll do ALL my best to ressurrect my ass in here!

I know it’s boring (since I’ve already posted this on FB and whatnot), but these are my latest personal experiments. YES, experiments, since I needed to try some things, before heading myself for bigger goals. Learned tons, specially for the absurd amount of CRAP that these turned out!!! Ps.: The bottom five pieces are some oldies (last three are book covers and a editorial piece),  but I still didn’t posted them I guess!

 

Hope to hear your TALENTED AS SHEISSE words on these babies!

SEE Y’ALL,

Raf

guardian
in_the_game
oracle_sleep
secrecy
sovereign
the_artificer
blank_lowres
vessel_lowres
ilu08lowres
ilu03
ilu04

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