Category Archives: Finished Works

Have a look at some of my finished works…outside of the gallery.

Ronald Lee Oliver

Rios Trailhead at San Elijo Lagoon

Saturday, October 1, 2016

San Diego has some great places for the plein air painter to park their easel and capture the beauty of nature with brush and paint.

One of the best places in the county is the nature reserve at San Elijo Lagoon, between Solana Beach and Encinitas. The lagoon and tidal estuaries meander East to West from the inlet at the coast. The tidal flow extends inland for almost two miles, flowing under the I5 Freeway before eventually ebbing to a stop in Rancho Santa Fe.  I painted at a place along the Rios Avenue Trail, which is on the Southwest side of the Lagoon, on a peaceful, foggy, October morning. I can recommend the many locations at the lagoon as a places one could return to again and again and find something new to paint, each time.

Here are some photos and video I took to share with you. You’ll also see my completed painting at the bottom of this post.

A panoramic view of the Rios Trailhead at San Elijo Lagoon.

A panoramic view of the Rios Trailhead, looking East at San Elijo Lagoon.

Birds and jumping fish break the stillness now and again…

Lifting fog on a mild October morning.

Lifting fog on a mild October morning.

Here’s a short video that gives a 360 view.

Here is the painting after about an hour and a half of painting, when I decided to take it home.  I made a few small touches and corrections back in the studio.

16x20 Rios Trail at San Elijo

16×20 Rios Trail at San Elijo

…and here is the finished piece, “Rios Trail at San Elijo”

Ronald Lee Oliver

Rios Trail at San Elijo Lagoon, 16×20 oil on panel

 

Oliver #Pleinair Paintings Showing at Solana Beach Library

Four of my San Diego plein air paintings are showing at the Solana Beach Library in Encinitas.  The art will be on site June 11th through August 3rd, 2016. There is a reception open to all on Saturday, July 16th at 2:00 to 4:00pm.

All four paintings are plein air works, in 16×20 inch landscape format.  Each is identically framed in solid wood with dark, espresso color, red distressed undertones and a gold liner.  They look very elegant in these frames!  Click on an image in the slideshow below to learn more about that painting and to see larger images.

Santa Inez at San Elijo, San Diego plein air painting by artist Ronald Lee Oliver. San Elijo Morning, San Diego plein air painting by artist Ronald Lee Oliver. Batiquitos Clearing, San Diego plein air painting by artist Ronald Lee Oliver. Pala Valley below Palomar, San Diego plein air painting by artist Ronald Lee Oliver.

San Elijo Morning ~ San Diego plein air painting with studio finish by Ronald Lee Oliver

San Diego Plein air at San Elijo Lagoon

San Diego has some great places for a plein air painter to set up their easel and create fantastic landscape art.  One of my personal favorite places to paint en plein air (a French term that is universally used to describe the process of painting at an easel in the open air to capture a sense of light and place) is at the San Elijo Lagoon Interpretive Center.  There is a very well maintained trail and boardwalk that puts the painter in a beautiful setting with a minimal amount of hiking effort.

Here’s a video I took, early on the spectacular April morning of this plein air outing.  You can see my easel, parked and ready to go–the 20×16 inch canvas, primed with a purple-grey undertone.

It really is such a wonderful place to paint, the problem is in selecting a composition from the many choices presented.  An interesting sinuous pattern created by the meandering estuary caught my eye and I decided to park my easel to find a composition that included it.

Ronald Lee Oliver plein air easel

I focused on a particular part of the view that I thought would make for a pleasing result…

Selecting a Composition

Of course, I did’t paint exactly what is in the framing box above, because while it is a pretty view, it is a photograph and not a painting. As an artist painter, I have license to arrange and to subdue or emphasize elements to fit my impressionistic depiction as I choose to frame it on the canvas.  It is this personal expression of omission or embellishment that makes painting an impressionist art, and not a craft.  Another artist, standing next to me, would bring their own interpretation to the very same view and create an image entirely their own.  Successfully finding this balance between representation and impression is the great joy and challenge of painting in the open air.

Here is how the painting looked when I decided to stop, take it home, ponder it for a few days and finish in studio.

San Elijo Morning ~work in progress

…and here is the painting after several days of rumination and the finish in the studio.

San Elijo Morning ~ 20×16 in. oil on canvas by Ronald Lee Oliver

San Elijo Morning 20x16 in. plein air by Ronald Lee Oliver

San Elijo Morning ~ 20×16 in. plein air by Ronald Lee Oliver

 

 

Plein Air at Point Loma

It was a beautiful, early Fall morning for plein air painting in San Diego at the coast.  The area known as Sunset Cliffs Natural Park has many places for recreation, among which is plein air painting.  There is no limit to the choice of subjects found there.  If you come to San Diego to paint, I definitely recommend this as a good place.

Here’s a pic of my painting kit on site.  That’s a 16×20 on the easel. I like that size for plein air because it allows lots of freedom for brush movement, though it is a large space to fill in one session.

The "block in" stage after about a half hour of painting...

The “block in” stage after about a half hour of painting…

…and here’s a short video I made after I finished…you can see the light has changed as compared to my composition on the canvas.

…and of course, here’s the finished piece…

Pappy Point at Sunset Cliffs