Skying in Vegas

6 x 8 oil on primed Hahnemuhle paper.  There were some pretty amazing cloud formations and monsoons happening after the duststorm.  I'm not used to being able to see such a huge expanse of land to the horizon, since the scale is very different in Hawaii.  The Nevada desert and skies seem immense.

3 x 5 oil on primed BFK.  Quick study that was part of the three-a-day.

Painting oil on paper has a long and illustrious tradition.  Corot and the other early plein air landscape painters routinely painted on thin paper which was then mounted onto canvas at a later time.  It's a great way to generate a lot of work when weight and portability are extremely important.


Vegas mountains

6 x 8, oil on primed bamboo paper.  These were actually very distant, but the morning sunlight on them was a welcome sight after having been obscured for a couple days by that duststorm.

3 x 5 very quick study of the clouds.  The unsettled weather did create some amazing cloud patterns.  More of those upcoming.


Dust storm

6 x 8" oil/primed bamboo paper.  

The first day in Vegas, there was a major dust storm blowing in from Arizona/New Mexico, combined with existing smoke in the air from the California fires...so visibility was extremely limited.  Air quality was bad enough that people were advised to stay indoors, so here's the view out the hotel window, extending about a block in every direction.    Thank goodness for air conditioning.

These are little 3 x 5 doodles, imaginary landscapes.  My goal was three paintings a day regardless of size or circumstances, so these were part of that exercise.


On the way to Vegas

These are all very small, about 5" on the long side, oil on primed watercolor paper.  They had to be small, because I painted them in the car on the way to Las Vegas.  This process is great because there's no choice but to release all expectation of recording an accurate scene (because the scene is flying past at 65 mph)...so the focus has to be on creating something that makes visual sense and is nice to look at.  It cannot be an exact record of what is there, just bits and pieces reassembled to create an impression of what it looked and felt like.  It's immensely freeing, and even more fun if an old painting is underneath, contributing colors and shapes that wouldn't be there otherwise.  Control is scarcely possible, so it's an exercise in letting go.



Cholla Cactus, 8 x 6, oil/canvas panel.

I've just returned from a three-week trip to SoCal and Vegas, with a bundle of new paintings to post.  But first, here's one that was done during a previous trip to San Diego a few months ago.  At the time, I couldn't decide if I liked it well enough to not just paint over it.  After some time away, I think that it says something, so here it is.  It's a good idea to put away work and look at it later when objectivity is possible.