Monday, September 9, 2013

Rockaway Beach, Pacifica -- 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge (Round Two), Day 8 (A Plein Air One, Finally!...)

Rockaway Beach, Pacifica,
 Watercolor on Arches #140 Cold Press paper, 4"h x 6"w, 2013 #59

Bid at My DPW Auction
 (Starting Bid $15) 

I had an ultra-busy day today: the new show at the Main Gallery is being hung today, so is my 3-person show with Los Altos Art Club (LAAC) at Simply Be Salon in Palo Alto. The show in the Main Gallery runs from September 11th through October 13th, with artists' reception held between 4 and 6 pm this coming Saturday, September 14th. The show in Simply Be Salon will be on view through the month of October. So if you are in the south bay area during the month of September and October, there would be plenty of place to see my work!

After a whole day's physical labor, I rewarded myself by driving along the coastal route 1 instead of the boring normal commute highway 101 back up home. Just as a spur-of-the-moment decision, I turned onto this hidden little treasure patch of sandy beach when passing Pacifica -- not many people know it, except the locals, so in the late afternoon of a Monday, it is very quiet. Only the sound of waves and heat of the setting sun keeping me company... I quickly found a patch of shade under a coastal cypress tree and started this little plein-air sketch of what's in my field of vision.

It was a relatively quick effort. Even in shade the heat reflecting from the sand was getting my washes drying very fast, so I chose this tiny size and did not labor on any particular technique, instead just got the view in front of me down on paper with straight-forward layered washes. In hinder sight, the composition probably can be improved quite a bit. Yet it was just a fun excursion for me, and when looking at it, I can almost feel the scorching heat on my skin again, hearing the roaring waves again, and smell the salty scent of the sea air again. To me, plein air painting like this are precious snapshots of time for myself first, studies for future larger studio work only serves as a second, side benefit. 

Of course, sometimes I go out and plan a whole day's plein air painting and they are solely to study a place, a season, a particular lighting condition. Those are different -- a lot more useful perhaps and I take them as very serious exercises, but I have to say this is so much more fun!...

I felt I have really missed doing this -- painting purely for the fun of it and indulge myself (at least for a moment) forgetting that this is my full occupation, my career, my livelihood now, and just view it as pure fun. It is much easier to do this when I still had my engineer day job. Now... I often find that I have taken painting too seriously, too much like a regular job, to the point any time I found myself really enjoying it, I would feel slightly guilty about that, as if I am not working hard enough. But I don't want to view painting just as another job... I DO NOT EVER WANT TO FORGET THAT IT IS LOVE AND PASSION THAT HAS ATTRACTED ME TO BECOME A PAINTER.

... And fun, like today, I've come back with a not-so-impressive painting but also great memory and fun. I think it is time well spent... 

You can now buy high quality Giclee prints of many of my sold paintings, both on paper and canvas, as well as some note cards with my paintings here:


Thank you so much for taking time visiting and commenting on my blog! Your feedback and encouragements are things that keep me going with I am feeling down or frustrated... I will try my best to reply to every comment ASAP but sometimes life gets in the way and I am a bit slow in my response. I would like to apologize if that happens...

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