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Sonoma Plein Air 2022!


We went to Stillwater Cove both for Vanessa's event for Gualala Arts Center and to pre-game warm-up for my Sonoma Plein Air event. It was two days before my event started, and I wanted to try these new panels from Cottonwood Arts. I really enjoyed painting on it! I felt like I could build the texture and color layering on it pretty easily.


Day 1

We spent a SUPER hot day at the coast due to the fact that it was in the 100's inland. After checking in at Sonoma Plein Air, we had lunch at the Korbel Deli (high recommendation if you want a good yet not-too-pricey sandwich on your way out to the coast) then went straight out towards Jenner. The vista trail is a stop along the 1 just north of the Jenner Headlands Preserve. We went to a spot I scoped out a couple of weeks before, so I knew exactly what I wanted to paint and how. This was meant to be just a gouache study for the oil painting that was to follow, but this was the only painting to survive.

After exhausting ourselves in the full sun for a few hours, it was time to go down to the beach, which was quite crowded due to the heat. By the time we got there, a parking spot opened up and we were able to take advantage. I decided to try and do a really careful study of the waves. It takes a lot of concentration since waves are constantly in motion, but I think I got a pretty good feel of the waves, at least in terms of color.


Day 2

Furlong Gulch has become my new favorite beach to paint at. It's fairly tucked away along the Kortum trail between a couple much-more-popular beaches. I can tuck away and find a good spot to paint amongst many solid composition choices. It was a perfect place to be on a bright hot sunny day. The breeze was just cooling enough for the long day ahead of painting that I had.

This was a painting that didn't survive. Why? Because it went missing. Where? Who knows?! That and the following painting are now in some undisclosed location. I don't know for sure, but I think it ended up falling off the roof of my car somewhere. So if you happen to see them out there somewhere, let me know!

This one was painted at Portuguese Beach. Really gorgeous evening there. Took me a while to figure out where to paint from, but the composition is what really makes this painting for me.


Day 3

After going to Gualala to drop off Vanessa's show paintings, we then tried to go to Timber Cove to try to paint. The fog only let me get this far, but don't worry... This painting became something else later!

We finally found a place to escape the fog when we made it down to Goat Rock to paint some sunshine.

"Kayaker's Dream" 9x12 inches. Oil on canvas board. SOLD

I finished my painting day by painting this study of the distant rocks in the water.

"Sun and Mist" 6x7.5 inches. Oil on linen board.

Quite the day! We thought for sure we wouldn't get to paint in the sun on the coast but the sun #blessed us in the evening.


Day 4

I started the day off at Armstrong Redwoods, where it was still pretty warm. I spent most of the day doing both this gouache study and oil painting.

"My Big Friends (Study)" 5x7 inches. Gouache on paper. SOLD

I'm fairly happy with it so far, but this painting needs more work before I call it done.

"For The Birds" 5x8 inches. Oil on linen board.

Going for the hits! Went to the icon of the Sonoma Coast: Bodega Head beach! I tried to indicate the seagulls and cormorants on the rocks there.

I capped off my weekend by doing this quick study of the moon rising over Bodega Harbor. It got a lot of attention at the show, but alas, no one bit on it. I think it will go quickly at Christopher Queen Gallery once I take it there.

Day 5 was the day of framing things up and the gala. Marc Anderson, a new-comer, was the grand prize winner chosen amongst his peers.

Day 6 finally cooled down, which was perfect for the outdoor show. The show didn't go as well for me this year. I sold one small painting at the show, and my gala piece. It's so hard to predict how well you're going to do at a plein air event, so it's best that you don't, and try to do them for the experience and improvement!

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