Sunday, February 15, 2009

Gallo Gala

This pair of paintings was done in October of '07 in front of the Gallo Center of the Arts in Modesto California. The show was call 'An American in Paris" and they had continued the entertainment during intermission to the outside of the building these two nights. They had food from local restaurants, live music, plein air painters, wine & champagne and more in front of the Gallo. I was set up to paint there both nights. The top image is October 5th, bellow it is October 6th, There is about 20 feet difference from where I was set up those two nights. The second night people would start to linger hoping I could capture them in my composition. It was fun trying to capture likeness of people as they drifted by. I would see some one standing some where and would have to remember the pose as they moved on. some of the figures started out as one person and evolved to someone else as the night went on.

These are both 9.3" x 9.3" oil on a thick board
The second painting (Oct. 6th) is sold

I enjoy painting in public. I'm seldom disturbed by the crowds as long as I have enough space. My first public painting experience  happened over 25 years ago. I worked for a screen printed sportswear company that sold a horse themed product line. The name of the company, Horsen' Around seemed the perfect venue after leaving Boeing where I was an illustrator. I did not think it odd when asked at the job interview if I ever used an airbrush. I had, once. I painted a sign using stencils. I soon learned that was to paint portraits of horses on jackets and sweatshirts at a horse show in two weeks. I took my airbrush and 2 colors of paint out to a friends barn to try airbrushing freehand. It was great, I felt really good about this new medium. Went back the next day and could not do anything. Seems you really need to clean those things. If those two days were switched I would have never gone near an airbrush the second day. 

I had a Polaroid camera, and would take a picture of the horse to work from. I did not know anything about horses (still don't) but I would work to capture a likeness of what's on the Polaroid. I much prefer working from life rather than photographs. I like my oils better than the airbrush. I have a set up that is pretty portable. A pochade box on top a tripod, a bag with my paints and other supplies and I'm good to go.

My favorite memory of painting at horse shows was when I had to paint someones truck on the back of a Members Only jacket. He watched me painting it as his girlfriend was performing in the ring. 

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