Monday, January 30, 2017

A Fantasy in White

A Fantasy in White (18" x 24" / 46cm x 61cm) is my latest painting. A little different from my usual subject matter!

tropic,tropical,rain forest,rainforest,tree ferns,bromeliads,rabbit foot's fern,white peacock,morpho butterfly,green,dark,misty,humid

Although I've never gone to any tropical areas, I'm familiar with the overall look as well as many plant species from my studies in ornamental horticulture many years ago.

The scene was inspired by a spot in the Los Angeles County Arboretum -- a "jungle" planting that includes a cluster of tree ferns that formed the basis of the painting.

L.A. Co. Arboretum,tree ferns,palm trees

I visited there in 2012, saw this view, and I knew I would have to paint something similar to it. In addition, the Arboretum has peacocks running around loose. No white ones that I've seen, just the usual (but stunningly beautiful) India blue peacocks. I've never seen a live white peacock, only a taxidermy specimen in an antique store.

Incidentally, peacocks can be white either because it's their coloring (their skin and eyes are pigmented), or they can be albinos, with pink skin and eyes. I painted a white, not an albino, critter.

The painting depicts a rain forest typical of the lowland tropics of Central and South America. Normally I work to keep my painted habitats "pure," but this piece has non-native (to Latin America) species in it: the Hawaiian tree ferns (Cibotium chamissoi), the rabbit foot's fern in the lower left (from Fiji) and, of course, the peacock.

I've included some details from the painting, some intentionally easy to miss if one views the original piece.

tree ferns,bromeliads,morpho butterfly,rabbit foot's fern,white peacock,tropics,tropical,rain forest,rainforest,fallen log,moss

It's hard to say if I'd ever again do another painting like much detail to paint!! Maybe next time, I would create a view where I (the painter) am standing further away from the scene rather than standing IN it!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


I first started doing "real" outdoor art shows in February, 1989. The first was in Palm Springs, CA followed by several others. The best part of those shows was getting to know some of the other artists who, like me, returned to do the shows as they came along.

One of the artists I met was a photographer who sold small framed prints of his pictures. I often wondered how well he did with his enterprise. He was a Seventh-Day Adventist, a Protestant Christian group that believes the traditional Sabbath day, Saturday, should continue to be the Sabbath and not Sunday as most other denominations believe.

The art shows were typically three-day shows...Friday - Sunday. Well, this fella was ready to sell on Fridays, closed up his booth on Saturdays, and returned on Sundays for more sales and to take it all down at the end.

I have to admire him for his dedication to his convictions, but I always wondered how well he could do by missing out on an important sales day -- Saturday.

Maybe he had retirement income going for him and selling photos was not his #1 source of revenue. Obviously, he felt it was more important to attend church than to be present at the art shows, in spite of possibly missing out on filling his wallet a bit more. Perhaps God would reward the guy in non-material ways than are much better than money.

I suspect the photographer is no longer of the earth -- he was already along in years in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I'd guess he is in the Lord's presence now, reaping the eternal benefits of his commitment to God.