Sunday, April 21, 2013

Influences on My Art: Claude Lorrain

I sometimes mention Claude Lorrain as one of the artists who impacted my own painting in a big way. So who the heck IS this guy?

Claude was born Claude Gellée and was (in my opinion) a fantastic landscape painter from 17th century France. If you're interested in the details of his life, I'll let you read his bio which appears on the J. Paul Getty Museum's website rather than go into all that here. But I will tell you he made landscapes that seem to offer perfect harmony and composition -- places where people work and live in Arcadian beauty. Claude was known for his golden yellow or orange skies, making beautiful scenes even warmer and more inviting.

 Sunset or Landscape with Argus Guarding Io

Pastoral Landscape (1638)

I'm somewhat limited in my ability to emulate what Claude did in his landscapes. Here in the desert, except for cottonwood trees, I don't have the advantage of being able to place nice, big, full, lush trees against the sky. What we have are short Joshua trees, saguaro cactus, palo verde and ironwood "trees" (the latter two are more like big shrubs than trees). And cottonwoods are found only where water is near or on the surface.

Oh, well. I'll make the best of it. Claude's spirit compels me to do so.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Moving Along...

I returned from the art show safe and sound, and I think all I've done since then is sleep! I guess I really should be moving along.

No sales...apparently, the economic recession/depression hasn't recovered that much after all. A few artists sold a few items, but overall, most of us sold some inexpensive prints or nothing at all.

As you might expect, it's a bit discouraging to put in the time and money (about $500 total) to do a show and leave with nothing but a goose egg (i.e., -0-), but at least it isn't as though everyone sold but me -- that would have been REALLY discouraging!

Still, I felt comfortable among those folks, and I already expressed an interest to the show's organizer that I'd like to do it again next year -- provided I have the $$$ to invest in it.

Here was my setup. The Show provided the lights, chairs (except for my folding chair on the right), pegboards and hooks, and I provided the paintings! I also took a picture with buyers milling around in the aisleways, but frankly, the crowds were a bit sparse this year.

 But at least I managed to get in some picture-taking of the countryside coming and going. For a desert-dweller like me, it's easy to get green-deprived! This view is a little north of Buellton, CA along US Hwy 101. Besides the oaks and green grass, this spot had LOTS of blue-flowering lupine (which, I believe, are what the Texans call bluebonnets).

I can see some paintings coming out of the photos I took, most likely with some creative rearranging of elements while keeping the overall flavor of the area. I think that in the end, the trip will end up being worthwhile, if only because of the new paintings I'll be making.

God-willing, see you in Paso Robles next year -- with desert paintings AND central coast paintings!