Keys Creek Lavender Farms is a great place to plein air paint in North San Diego County. It is a difficult subject however because the landscape there is hilly and chaotic with lots of visual clutter, such as outbuildings and sheds. My first attempts at this painting were “wipeouts,” where I actually destroyed what I had painted in the background by wiping it off with a paper towel dipped in solvent. Eventually I decided to invent my own background (because I can do that, you know?) and paint something to suit the beautiful lavender which sloped down the hill in front of me in real life.
Another in my series of Hawaiian Floral Seascapes. Seen just about everywhere in Hawaii but like a younger daughter, the Pink Hibiscus must always be subordinate to the elder, yellow hibiscus which is the State Flower of the Islands …she is just as delicate and beautiful though.
This is in the same format as some of my other Hawaiian floral oil paintings, which are all in the 12 inch square format on 1.5 inch deep, hardwood cradled, birch panels, suitable for hanging with or without a frame. This colorful series of paintings brightens any space with a vibrant, tropical splash.
The yellow hibiscus is the State Flower of Hawaii. Some of the specimens that can be seen there are Amazing! I like to say, in a voice reminiscent of the young Forrest’s Doctor in the movie, Forrest Gump,
“They’re large as dinner plates!”
This painting captures the bold, lush petals of a giant “Pua Aloalo” against a backdrop of Blue Hawaii.
I took the camera and telephoto lens out today and made a visual diary of my stroll along “La Jolla Coast Walk,” which is a short but scenic trail along the top of the cliffs above the La Jolla Caves. It was overcast, which is typical of La Jolla, early in the morning. The sun doesn’t come out there until about 11:00 am, or later, if at all. I was able to get some interesting shots, even in the diffuse light. They’re there if you have the patience to look for them.
Hint: Click on the first image, upper left, then use the navigation arrow in the viewer box to click through the slide show.
A plein air QuickDraw is an outdoor event where a group of painters, usually invited to the event by a jury selection process, all compete to produce the best painting (as opined by the event judge) in a limited amount of time…typically about two to three hours.
The above painting, Serendipity, was completed in two-and-a-half hours at the April 12, 2014 San Diego Botanic Gardens QuickDraw, which had 16 painters participating. Not all of the time was spent painting…much of it was spent talking with interested onlookers and patrons of the botanic gardens. There were three ribbons awarded, which included some cash prizes. No ribbon for Serendipity–but hey–what does a judge know about what is the best, eh? 😉
The important thing is to get a good result and judging by response from patrons and other artists at the event, this one was well received. I am honored that Serendipity was selected by jury for exhibition in the June 2014 Regional Artists Show at the Museum of the Living Artist at the San Diego Art Institute in the Prado at Balboa Park.
While most of the rest of the country was in the grip of a deep blast of Arctic sub-zero temperatures, my backyard here in Wintergardens, Lakeside–a borough of San Diego County, in California, USA, was sunny, bright and a balmy 70 degrees Fahrenheit. To protect myself from the Winter sun, I put on my wide-brimmed cowboy hat, walked out the back door with my easel and paint supplies in tow, intending to paint a nice composition, featuring the Meyer lemons that are now fully ripe on the little tree along the Western fence between ours’ and the neighbor’s lot. I already had the antique, gilded gesso frame, which is very ornate and figured a botanical theme would not stylistically clash with it. I’m happy with the result. I hope you like it.
I sure do and that’s why I was excited to paint at the Flower Fields in Carlsbad. They are fifty acres of ranunculus flowers that are grown for bouquets. Every spring they bloom in a riot of color and the fields are open to the public for a fee. There were lots of people there today as I painted and many of them stopped to chat, comment and ask questions about the painting.
Here is another look at the fields…
and some of the workers that cultivate and harvest the flowers…
I decided that I would attempt to represent a view from the higher elevations of the fields, which slope down hill to the nursery area and the City of Carlsbad, below. You can see the Pacific Ocean from up there so I thought it would be a nice overall impression of the fields. This next photo is close to what I wanted to put on the panel–I brought another 16 X 20. I like the size because of the freedom it brings but it also brings responsibility to fill the space, which takes more time (usually) than a smaller painting. Here’s the view…
…and here’s me, in the act of applying colored oily stuff to a piece of wood. This photo was taken by a nice fellow named, Rob who promised to email them to me and he did. They were in my mailbox before I got home! Thanks Rob!
…and finally, here is the painting as it stands (unfinished) when I decided to pack up and head home for a late lunch (pizza!). I think it has potential to be a very nice piece. I just have to work out the middle distance, which in real life had lots of jumbled retail structures. I’ll try to simplify it and still represent an impression of the scene. Let me know what you think!
When I finish it, I’ll post it up here and share it with you all. As always, you can click on the gallery link at the top of my blog and see finished works that are ready to show and are for sale.
I’ve always liked painting and drawing botanicals. There’s something about the perfect beauty of a flower or piece of fruit on the limb or vine that is so appealing to all the senses. I have two pomegranate trees in the yard and I love eating the kernels as a snack and juicing them to make natures’ Grenadine, which can’t be beat in a tequila cocktail, when in season. Here is a rendition I just completed of a young pomegranate fruit on the limb. This is a small painting, only 4 X 12 inches, but it makes up for the size by its eye-catching appeal.
I finally got around to finishing the painting of the Giant Bird of Paradise plant (Latin name Strelitzia nicolai). This one is 12″ X 16″ on a deep (1.5″) gallery wrapped canvas. As all of my finished works, you can see this in one of the portfolios at ronaldlleeoliver.com
I’m also pleased to announce that one of my most recent paintings, Hacienda Carrillo, was juried into the show which is now displayed at the San Diego Art Institute in the museum of the living artist in Balboa Park.
While I haven’t posted in a while, don’t worry! I am still painting. Here is my latest work in progress, which is NOT finished, so don’t be too disappointed. This is from a photo I took of this spectacular specimen, which grows in my front yard, near the dog run. I water it every morning at around sunrise. It is very dry here in Southern California and I have a watering regimen that is a daily ocurrence unless it is raining, especially for some of my more tropical plants. The painting is 12 X 15 on gallery wrap canvas, which I prepared with several coats of umber toned gesso. While in progress, it is mostly done, so the next post will (probably) be in the finished works section of the blog.
This little guy caught my eye as my wife and I were walking down to D.T. Fleming Beach Park, in Kapalua, Maui, USA. Rain clouds were moving in and the early morning colors were lit in a moody light. I had my telephoto lens on and was able to frame up a good shot.
The papayas were out of reach or they would have made a nice breakfast.
The papayas would have been nice but we had some really good, Maui grown pineapples instead. Here’s a tip a Hawaiian worker in the produce section of a Mauian supermarket gave us: Pineapples never get “riper” after they are picked–if they are not sweet when picked they will never get sweeter with shelf time. He also said that the best pineapples have a golden color and the leafy stalk on top should be dry and not lush or green. Since taking this advice to heart we have not been disappointed with our pineapple selections…now you know!