I unpacked several new frames yesterday and I am really loving the way floater frames showcase small paintings. Each of these paintings of Muir Beach -- one towards the sea, one towards the hill -- is just 6 inches square. When a small painting is placed in a traditional frame, the molding that holds the painting in place can "trim" as much as 1/4" all around. In a floater frame, the painting is mounted from the front on the frame onto a backing where it floats (see the dark line around the edge of the canvas) and the sides of the painting are exposed. The frames are 13 inches square and the finish is dark brown with hints of a red underwash and a gold border.
Saying goodbye to summer isn't as hard in Northern California as it is in other locales. Right now the fog is at bay, the air is clear, the sky seems bluer and the light is spectacular. I'm counting on a gorgeous warm October so I can keep on painting outside.
"Palms" is a plein air study of a chapel building in a decommissioned military base in Marin County. Unity in Marin is very generous and allows artists to paint on their premises, which features white stucco and orange tile roofs reminiscent of California missions and Mexican haciendas. I enjoy painting locations that evoke memories of unspecified, yet familiar places, and times of year. This painting reminds me of a beautiful summer day that can go on forever.
To celebrate the official change of season on September 22, this painting will go to the highest bidder at an auction that starts LOW and has a special twist:
It's all about the number 22. I originally posted this painting on Facebook on July 22, and I recall lots of people "liking" it. I went back to the post a few days ago and checked how many. At that moment in time it was 22. I was framing new paintings yesterday and tallied how many paintings had sold so far this year. When I saw it was 22, I knew the theme for the auction. The opening bid: $22. The incremental raise:$22. If the bidding ends at $220 or higher, the winner gets the original painting, and all other bidders can have a print for $22. The bidding ends on September 22.
If you want to get in the game of 22, head over to my Facebook page and place a bid in the comments. If you aren't on Facebook or want to bid privately, send me an email and write "Auction Bid" in the subject line. I'll post your bid for you and keep you updated on your standing.
P.S. At 2:22 on Saturday the 22nd, you might just find me buying a lottery ticket!
P.P.S. Congratulations to the winning bidder, Jennifer Faulker from Colorado!
Often, I see a scene I like but I am not sure how it will translate to a full-size painting. So I do a "study" -- a small painting to test out my ideas. Every so often, I just like the small painting the way it is and call it a day.
"Sonoma Hay" is one of those paintings -- it's just 5 x 7 and I popped it into a standard size photo frame (with glass removed). It's the perfect size for a small wall, a side table or on a stack of books on a bookshelf. If you've wanted one of my paintings - here's a chance to get one for a song - just $150. It's available at Moss and Moss in Mill Valley.
Northern California summer starts when the hills turn from green to yellow to gold. I've been painting outdoors a lot during the past few weeks and every day the changes become more obvious. I've got several plein air paintings in various stages of drying, waiting to be photographed and posted on my website.
Plein air painting, while not officially a sport, is a good workout. First you have to pack your backpack (paints, thinner, brushes, palette, canvas panel, towels, garbage bags, clamps, bungee cords, sunscreen, hat, collapsible umbrella, water and a power bar) and your easel (in my case, a "guerilla" box and a tripod) and then drive to your previously scouted location. Then you either "car paint" if your vista is viewable from the side of the road or you hike. And then you stand for a few hours, stepping back and forth to check how the painting is coming along.
So, if you see a painter on the side of the road while you are out for your run or ride, wave or say hey. We sports people need to stick together!
Several months ago I was commissioned by the Innis Arden Golf Club in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, to create an historically-inspired painting for their clubhouse. The mandate was to portray the club as it existed at the turn of the 20th century, when it was a 9-hole private course located on Sound Beach (now Tod's Point), at the waterfront estate of J. Kennedy Tod.
I was unable to travel to the site, so, with limited e-mailed reference material -- a small black and white photograph of golfers Sound Beach in 1901, a copy of a 1900 hand-drawn course map, new color photographs of the Innis Arden Cottage (which is now a community treasure on part of the town beach), and sleuthing on Google Earth -- I developed a plan to place the golfers in accurate perspective to the home and figured out the direction of sunlight for that location.
I could take some artistic liberties to help tell the story. I chose the time of day (morning light) and season (late summer/early autumn), taking clues from the golfer's clothing. No one living today would know exactly what the golfers looked like and what specific plantings were around the home. At the same time, the painting needed to be an accurate impression of the site. Without the historic cottage and a specific pair of entry gates -- the painting could be three golfers anywhere along a coastline.
Over several months, rough sketches and color studies, more photographs and videos created on iPhones were sent back and forth by e-mail with the client. My very patient husband stood in as a model for the kneeling golfer, as the reference photo was very dark, and I wanted to place him in a different direction to improve the composition.
An online artist friend who lives in a nearby town kindly sent me some of his personal photographs of the area which helped me recheck the colors of sea, sand and sky.
The finished painting measures 30 x 40 inches and will hang in the main entry of the modern-day Innis Arden Golf Club, which is a few miles away from Tod's Point.
Sometime during the next year, I will see it in it's new home and give it a protective coat of varnish. Some things, you just have to do in person!
Northern California weather has been extraordinarily mild and dry this winter. I know this is not a good thing for our snowpack water supply, but it has given me the opportunity to get outside and paint.
I joined a "Meet-Up" group of plein air painters on the last Sunday of January in Sonoma County and had a great experience. The group loosely convened about 1 p.m.and wandered off in many directions. We gathered back together late in the afternoon and showed each other what we had accomplished.
Here's a photo of my finished painting "Marsh and Mountain" on the easel. You can see my pencil sketch up in the corner.
It's now ten days later, the paint is dry, the painting is framed and ready to be shown to prospective collectors at an event this weekend.
I just discovered a new type of frame - called a floater frame. Instead of mounting a painting through the back of the frame, which hides the painting edges, you "float" the painting on a solid board and the edges show.
This is very effective with small paintings, and gives them a lot of presence on a wall.
I was able to secure this frame at a great price, so I am happy to pass along those savings.
"Tennessee Valley" is a oil painting that measures just 6 x 6 inches, and is on sale for only $150 at Moss & Moss, in Mill Valley, California.
MOSS & MOSS is a great "antiques & etcetera" shop in my hometown of Mill Valley, California, owned by a delightful couple with great talents. Larry plays the grand piano and Marjorie creates beautiful vignettes to display the merchandise. One Friday a month they have a jazz and wine reception, and it's a popular place to stop by on the way to dinner in any one of the great restaurants in town. I am very delighted that they have chosen to carry my paintings and prints. It's a treat for me to see how they are displayed, and very exciting to get the phone call saying, "Linda, we sold another one!" Visit MOSS & MOSS at 1 El Paseo, just off Sunnyside Avenue.
We spend a lot of time in the heart of our homes, gathering with family and friends and creating good food and memories. Kitchens are a natural place for art - and not just the masterpieces taped to the refrigerator! Still life paintings of fruit and vegetables are natural subjects for art in the kitchen, but have you ever considered a landscape?
This beautiful gourmet kitchen in Washington state is the new home for my recent oil study of Mt. Tamalpais. The owner chose a warm cherry frame to complement the cabinetry, and the cool gray-blue color palette of the painting picks up tones in the slate backsplash and the skies of the Pacific Northwest.
Going back to the same spot to paint in different weather or different times of the day is a great exercise in painting what I see -- not what I know, or what I think I see.
One dry afternoon, Mt. Tam looked clear and the grasses along the creek were hot orange. The result is a very warm painting.
On another day, the air had quite a bit of moisture and the mountain had a vague mist around it. The grasses were more uniformly green, and the water seemed more blue. It was a warm day, but the painting is cool.
I've been doing these smaller paintings outdoors ("en plein air" as termed by the Impressionists) as studies for a larger one.
The same paint colors were on my palette each time, but the results are so different, I am tempted to go back to the scene again this week with fresh eyes and see what happens! What do you think?
About the artist
Linda Rosso is a California artist who delights in the colors she sees out of the corners of her eyes. Read more...
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