Saturday, November 26, 2016

"Happy Canyon Layers", Santa Ynez Valley, California

"Happy Canyon Layers", Santa Ynez Valley, 24x36 inches, oil on canvas, $1200. 
I started this painting last Spring and was so tired and grumpy by the the end I wanted to throw it away. It hung on my living room wall for the last 6 months and I started to like it. I tightened up a few things and signed it this past weekend. It's now one of my favorite paintings because of the change in motif and combinations of greens.
 — at Happy Canyon.

"Sunken Garden Swirling Sky at Midnight under the Full Moon", Santa Barbara Courthouse, California

"Sunken Garden Swirling Sky at Midnight under the Full Moon", Santa Barbara Courthouse, 36x48 inches, oil on canvas, $3200 with frame.

It's not easy to get out and paint at night after having a full day. Once I do get out there it's not easy to stop. I pushed on thru till just after the time on the clock. It was the full moon that night and instead of painting it I tried to get the light it cast.
— at Santa Barbara County Courthouse.

"Super Duper Moon", Sea Landing, Santa Barbara Harbor, California

"Super Duper Moon", Sea Landing, Santa Barbara Harbor. 8x8 inches, oil panel, $500

Paint can be so much fun to play with if your in a playful mood. The moon and painting at night seems to bring it out in me. Looking forward to the next full moon!

"Quite Rise of the Super Moon", Sea Landing, Santa Barbara Harbor, California

"Quite Rise of the Super Moon", Sea Landing, Santa Barbara Harbor. 12 x 16 inches, oil on linen panel, $600

I got out to paint this about an hour and a half before its official rise. Our mountains added another 20 min or so. It seemed like it took forever. Then all of the sudden it was well above the mountains. I painted this up to the point it rose.

Monday, November 14, 2016

"The Super Moon", Goleta Slough, California

"The Super Moon", Goleta Slough. 6x8 inches, oil on panel, $800

This is the largest brightest full moon in the last 70 years. I woke up at 5:30am and ran out to Goleta Beach to capture it. As I was painting it I was thinking how short and precious our time is on this earth. How we need to take advantage of every blessed minute. The next time we have a super moon will be in 18 years, I'll be just about 60 years old. I want to look back and think I did everything I could to bring beauty into the world.

"Sunward at Faria Beach", Ventura, California

"Sunward at Faria Beach", Ventura, California. 6x8 inches, oil on panel, $180

It's amazing how different things can look when looking into the sun as apposed to away. The last painting was looking West while this is towards the East.
 — at Faria State Beach.

"Faria Waves", Ventura, California

"Faria Waves", Ventura, California. 6x8 inches, oil on canvas, $180

The marine layer left a beautiful clear coast with a nice swell coming in. I've only painted here once before I ashamed to say. Can't wait to come back.
— at Faria State Beach.

"Gibraltar Mountainscape", Gibraltar Road, Santa Barbara, California

"Gibraltar Mountainscape", Gibraltar Road, Santa Barbara. 36x24 inches, oil on canvas, $1400
(In an opera voice) To paint something new, to paint something new!!! This is a view from Gibraltar Road 3/4 if the way up the mountain. Instead of painting towards the coast I chose a view looking into the mountain. Something I've never done before. Can't wait to do more different things.
 — at Gibralter.

"Rose Garden Morning Mountain Panorama", Santa Barbara, California

"Rose Garden Morning Mountain Panorama",20x60 inches, oil on canvas, $3200

The morning colors here are really something else. The combo of the roses, trees, houses and hills gives a painter a lot to work with.
 — at Mission Santa Barbara - Rose Garden.

"Golden Morning", The Boathouse, Hendry's Beach, Hope Ranch, Santa Barbara

"Golden Morning", The Boathouse, Hendry's Beach, Hope Ranch, Santa Barbara. 18x24 inches, oil on canvas, sold

We've had some the nicest mornings of late. This week we had the full moon setting behind golden cliffs and the cobalt sea. I felt blessed and lucky to be there to capture it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

"The Crystal Pit", Hendry's Beach, Santa Barbara, Hope Ranch.

"The Crystal Pit", Hendry's Beach, Santa Barbara, Hope Ranch.
15x30 inches, oil on canvas, $750

Crystal days and emerald waves, how I love the fall in Santa Barbara!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

"The Orange Bluffs at Butterfly", Montecito, California

"The Orange Bluffs at Butterfly", 12x36 inches, oil on canvas, $850. 

The cliffs here are really that orange. It's such a nice contrast with the blue ocean. Anytime there are two big forms of contrasting colors it makes me happy! It's also nice to be under the shade of the cypress tree on the hottest day of the year. Jumping in the ocean every hour helps too.

Friday, October 7, 2016

"Coast is Clear at More Mesa", Goleta, California

"Coast is Clear at More Mesa", 24x60 inches, oil on canvas, $3200 framed. 

The big view from the More Mesa Bluffs. It's normally a nice 3/4 mile walk out there that takes 20 minutes. I took way to big a canvas for 20mph winds. I had to hold on to it as it was whipping around while I had all my gear on my pull cart. I didn't have all the straps I needed so it kept falling off along the way. It felt like it took an hour to get there. Then when finally I did make it out there I couldn't step away from the easel for fear it would get blown over. After 3 hours I had the whole thing covered with my initial lay in. A couple huge gusts of wind blew dust into the wet paint and my palette. I limped home carrying the painting over my head so it wouldn't be completely ruined. I couldn't muster the strength to go out there again with this beast so I did this at home in the comfort of my front yard

Thursday, September 22, 2016

"Mesa Lane Morning Colors", Santa Barbara, California.

"Mesa Lane Morning Colors", Santa Barbara, California.
24x60 inches, oil on canvas, sold

After several weeks of marine layer, we finally had a clear morning on the coast. When I woke up I saw the opportunity and rushed down the steps at Mesa Lane. Huffing and puffing will all the gear, lunch and this giant canvas. The tide was coming up and it soon had me cordoned to the cliff side. This nice thing was all the warm cliffs reflecting in the water and the tropical clouds above. It doesn't get any better then this... reality and my painting effort:)

"Bacara Party for Taste of the Town", Goleta, California.

"Bacara Party for Taste of the Town", Goleta, California.
12 x 16 inches, oil on linen panel, Auctioned.

Every your the Arthritis Foundation has a big charity event called Taste of the Town. They asked me to provide the image for their marketing. We used a painting of Henrys Beach, which I also donated for their auction. The live auction was held at the Bacara. I brought my lovely wife. We had appetizers and local wines while I painted a smallish painting. I finished up the painting as dinner commenced. Then the auctions started. They brought up my big beautiful Hendry's Beach Painting framed by Distinctive Framing. They started the bidding and there where several people interested. It quickly got to $2800, then we made the pot a little sweeter and the auctioneer asked me to bring up the painting I had been working on. We would give this painting to the winner of the auction. It reinvigorated the bidding and it got to $3750! It was really amazing and I was really happy to be able to donate such a large amount to the Arthritis Foundation.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

"Montecito Canyon View", Montecito, California

"Montecito Canyon View", 6x8 inches, oil on board, sold

I did this from memory but this is about what it looks like from just west of Toro Canyon looking towards Ortega Hill. 

"Starry Goodland", Goleta, California

"Starry Goodland", 6x8 inches, oil on board, sold 

An imagination of a view looking back towards Goleta from Old San Marcos, if you where Van Gogh.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

"Hendry's Memories", Hendry's Beach, Santa Barbara

"Hendry's Memories", 6x8 inches, oil on wood panel, $old 

Another painting I did at home from memory. Yes, I was working on Labor day weekend. I did have a beer in my hand so I'm still American.

"Butterfly in the Sky", Butterfly Beach, Montecito, California

"Butterfly in the Sky", Butterfly Beach, Montecito. 6x8 inches, oil on panel, $180.

I made this in the studio late at night after everyone was asleep. Rather than watching tv I made my own mental adventure to Butterfly Beach. It was nice there!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

"Travel Travail" Art Show, September 1st, 5-8pm at Distinctive Framing, 1333 State Street

Dear Friends,

ART SHOW - "Travel Travail" Paintings of Europe, 2016
Thursday, September 1st
Distinctive Framing, 1333 State Street.

I don't think its any coincidence that the french word for work "travail" is so close to our word "travel." Back in the day as the languages where forming they must have taken 2 month journeys with their kids trying to work everyday.

This summer my amazing wife, planner, coordinator and native french speaker took our two kids and went on a two month journey to France, Corsica and Italy. Along with them we brought my easel and enough canvases and art supplies to fill a gallery. (see picture attached)

We travelled and I painted, then we travelled some more and I painted some more. Then we repeated that cycle until everyone was exhausted. Then we still had 3 weeks left to do the same thing again. Like all great journeys and adventures it was filled with the most wonderful rewarding moments along with the work of traveling to a new city every few days with an 8 and 10 year old. Those kids worked as hard as us considering their short legs. 

We forgot about all the regular routines and patterns we where in at home. We became new people and a new family. We became the Travel Travail Family. We made new memories that will last a lifetime. Then we got to come back home to Santa Barbara with a new realization of how awesome it is here! 

Please come and have a glass of wine and see all the paintings from the trip this Thursday. After the show all the paintings that have sold will go to their owners so you have to make it tomorrow if you want to see the whole collection. 

Chris Potter
805-252-7052 - I posted nearly every painting on my site. So if you can't come to the show you can see them all here - with colorful commentary. 

Paintings from France:
Paris, Arles, Six-Four-les-Plages
From Corsica:
Propriano, Campomoro, Bonifacio, Bastia
From Italy:
Livorno, Rome, Sienna, Florence, Cinque Terre, Moneglia, Italian Alps

Monday, August 29, 2016

"De la Guerra Simple", Santa Barbara, Caliornia

"De La Guerra Simple"
24x24 inches, oil on canvas, $1200

Another great day on State Street. Gentle breeze, shade and hundreds of appreciating strollers. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

"Afternoon Contrast at Butterfly", Montecito

"Afternoon Contrast at Butterfly", Montecito. 30x48, oil on canvas, sold.

Lovely fog has dominated our mornings. Followed by warm afternoons with an on shore breeze. It's quite hospitable here. The ocean is 66 degrees, clean and fresh. I swam a few times and enjoyed every second of this magnificent beach. 

"Super Swirly from Shellfish", Stearn's Wharf, Santa Barbara, California

"Super Swirly from Shellfish", Stearn's Wharf, Santa Barbara. 12x16 inches, oil on linen panel, sold. 

You guessed it, I stayed for some seafood pasta...

"Douglas Preserve Breaking Marine Layer", The Mesa, Santa Barbara, California

"Douglas Preserve Breaking Marine Layer", 12x16 inches, oil on linen panel, $420. 

I brought my lover dog, Inca to the preserve this morning. She played and I painted till the marine layer just broke over the coast. It reminded me of last summer being so hot wishing for some early morning clouds. I'll never complain again, as its so nice to be comfortably cool on the coast. #marinelayerrules

"Harbor Restaurant Lunch", Stearn's Wharf, Santa Barbara, California

"Harbor Restaurant Lunch", 8x8 inches, oil on panel, $250. 

Despite what you might think the Harbor Restaurant is not actually in the harbor. It's on the Wharf as you can clearly see here. It does have some good views of the harbor. So, I'm thinking Harbor View Restaurant or Restaurant on the Wharf might have been a wee bit better. Just sayin..,

"Val Dessus" Aosta Valley, Italian Alp's.

"Val Dessus" Aosta Valley, Italian Alp's. 40x60 cm, oil on canvas, traded for this wonderful flat in Marsan. 
My last painting of our two month trip through France and Italy. We learned a lot about ourselves and the world. We found out how wonderful and different things can be. We also realized how wonderful and beautiful the place where we live. We also miss tacos, sushi, our dog, cats and beds. We especially miss our friends who made this trip possible. Thanks for being there while we where here. Going back to Cali!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

"Waterfront from Stearn's Wharf", Santa Barbara, California

"Waterfront from Stearn's Wharf", 24x60 inches, oil on canvas, sold

Well, I made it back from Europe safe and inspired. My last day I spent 4 hours studying masterpieces in Musée d'Orsay in Paris. I had been here before but not as a plein air landscape painter. I've logged thousands of hours observing and expressing in the past 10 years. My how my mind has changed! Paintings I clearly remember not understanding, now suddenly makes sense. I can see how former masters struggled with the same problems I do. The monumental scale of some great pieces made me realize I need to go even bigger and grander and more me. I feel like I have something to add to this great community of artists.  
Here my first painting day back I got to dive into cool pacific happiness. I love this place!

Friday, July 22, 2016

"Aosta Valley Dusk", Marsan, Italian Alp's

"Aosta Valley Dusk", Marsan, Italian Alp's. 30x60 cm, oil on canvas, $850. 
We are all quite tired from our nearly 2 month journey abroad. Everyone would rather sit and read a book instead of going to see a 14th century castle. Still we perceiver. We drove up into Cogne yesterday, an amazing town in a small valley between dramatic mountains. Meadows lead to hiking trails that lead to waterfalls. After some trout, suckling pig and veal we headed for the Lillaz waterfall. It was just a short walk amongst wildflowers and butterfly's eating a few wild strawberries and taking pictures at every turn. Then back to read more books while I painted this from the back porch of our flat in Marsan. 

"Fénis from Marsan", Aosta Valley, Italy

"Fénis from Marsan", Aosta Valley, Italy. 18x24cm, oil on wood panel, $280.

No, that's not a misspelling. We made it to God's Country, the Alps! Such an amazing change of landscape from our mostly Mediterranean adventure. We took a train from Moneglia to Turin so that we could rent a car and drive up here. The train was delayed from the beginning... Then got delayed more along the way. We thought we where going to have to stay in Turin for the night b/c Europcar said they'd close at 6:00. After some debate we decided to take a taxi to the office even though it was 6:10. This would of been our first detour and missed schedule if they where not there. Not bad for 2 months travel we consoled ourselves. A few nervous minutes later, Julie ran from the taxi and checked the door. Locked.... But then they buzzed her in. Whew! 1.5 hours later our Fiat Panda rolled into our friends time share with this view. Sweet victory!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

"Mount Emilius", Marson, Aosta Valley, Italy

"Mount Emilius", Marson, Aosta Valley, Italy. 24x18 cm, oil on wood panel, $280. 
As much as I wanted to sleep in the view was calling me. I started the coffee and set up my gear on the porch. I love mountains. It's one of my great joys in life to paint them. This little spot in the Italian Alp's Aosta Valley has so many to choose from. I could spend a lifetime here and never get bored. Fast moving clouds kept moving the illuminated areas to and fro. A little church tower grabbed the sunlight, pointing to the magnificent peak above. A thousand miracles in a few minutes. I'm lucky to be alive and observing. The real goal of my paintings is to learn and to teach myself and you. Some subjects can be painted boldly while others needed to be caressed. I felt I had I nice warm hug around this one. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

"Vernazza Morning with Trail", Cinque Terre, Italy

"Vernazza Morning with Trail", 50x100cm, oil on canvas, $2200. 
We where supposed to be heading to Venice but our kids where totally burned out after 5 weeks. They certainly had enough of hot, crowded cities. So we decided to extend our stay on the Ligurian Coast in Moneglia. It's a great beach town with 90% Italian people walking the streets. A refreshing change to be off the typical tourist track. The first day here though, I ran down to the train station at 6am to get back to Vernazza and paint this. I had the place to myself till mid morning until the droves of hikers started coming by. I was back in Moneglia by 3:00 to enjoy a Spritz at the local bar. 

"Corniglia Coast at Sunrise", Cinque Terre, Italy

"Corniglia Coast at Sunrise", Cinque Terre, Italy. 24x30 cm, acrylic on canvas, $280.
We have been on Italian time for the past weeks. That means taking a siesta, then eating dinner late, walking back to our apartments with Gelato by 11ish. Then winding down takes an hour and our kids absolutely have to read or do their join aka before sleeping. So if the lights are of by 12:30 we're lucky. Since the sun rises before 6am I haven't gotten up to capture enough of them. Since we where leaving Manarola this day, I had to do one if the coast going north towards the next town. I hiked up the terraces through a few vineyards and was completely alone for a couple hours. I had only the birds and the crashing waves with me. Every time I do muster the strength to do this, I always wonder why I'm not doing it more often. Oh yea, I need to sleep.

Friday, July 15, 2016

"Manarola Shores", Cinque Terre, Italy

"Manarola Shores", Cinque Terre, Italy. 24x18 cm, acrylic on canvas, $150. 
We had a picnic dinner of Italian veggies, meats and cheeses. A couple bottles of our favorite wine and frizzante for the kids. The frizzante mineral water was €2 and a bottle of our wine was €2.70. It really didn't make sense to drink water. We ate and chilled, the kids played in the park as we soaked in a Mediterranean sunset. A nice break from pasta and spending €90 for dinner at a restaurant. 

"Manarola Late Afternoon", Cinque Terre, Italy

"Manarola Late Afternoon", Cinque Terre, Italy. 40x80cm, acrylic on canvas, sold 
One of the nicest things about Manarola is the outcrop of the terrace that affords this great view back to the town. There is also a great kids park and picnic area. If that wasn't enough there is an amazing bar. We spent a couple nights getting fun drinks for kids and adults while eating charcuterie and watching the view. As I was finishing this painting, I was parched, so I went down the stairs to get a "take away" martini. Never had one of those before. Then I got to finish the painting in style, mingling with travelers and enjoying the place. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

"Vernassa Colors", Cinque Terre, Italy

"Vernassa Colors", Cinque Terre, Italy. 40x60 cm, oil on canvas, sold. 
I left the apartment early while Julie watch the kids. A short train ride from Manarola is Vernazza, a little bigger and equally picturesque. My friends asked me for this particular view and I was anxious not to disappoint. I made my way up the trail and found a little shade behind the toll booth. The attendant was cool and said I could kick it there w/o having to pay the toll. It costs money to hike between towns here. Either I was lucky or they built the buildings at just the right angle to be shaded from the midmorning sun. It was hot clear and calm, like so many days here before. Hundreds of people walking by from every country all cheering me on. It was the best spot to paint on my trip in terms of view, friendliness and magic! Afterwards I got to jump off the rocks into the cool green water with he kids, then we ate lunch at the cafe just below the castle tower. 

Crown of Manarola near Sunset", Cinque Terre, Italy.

"Crown of Manarola near Sunset", Cinque Terre, Italy. 30x40 cm, oil on canvas board, $350. 
What a relief to be on the coast again! And in one of the most picturesque places on Earth. We are staying in the village of Manarola, a short walk up from the train station and on the steps of the trail that connects this village to the next one. Our first afternoon here we ran down to the little cove for swimming and jumping from the rocks. Julie into diced herself to a Medusa(jelly fish that stings painfully.) The rest of our time here we where super cautious and aware of their presence. That evening I hiked up the hill and got this view of the top of Manarola. As I was hiking by a tourist had hiked down a little path to have his girlfriend take a picture of him. I walked by and thought not s great place to be, with a 20ft drop. I was already past them and I heard a grunt and a Yelp. I turned and saw he had fallen off the ledge! He was hanging by a thin rope panicking trying to get some footing with no success. His girlfriend, was clambering down the trail in high heels, still holding her selfie stick. I ran back caught his arm and pulled him up. He said in a thick Chinese accent, "my hero, my hero!"

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

"Typically Tuscan Hillside", Florence, Italy

"Typically Tuscan Hillside", Florence. 18x24 cm, acrylic on canvas board, $140
I couldn't paint this fast enough as I was looking forward to a cold shower and sitting directly in front on the AC unit with an ice cold Biere Moretti. 

"Hot Afternoon at Boboli Gardens", Florence, Italy

"Hot Afternoon at Boboli Gardens", 18x24 cm, acrylic on canvas board, $120. 
This is a view from the top of the Medici  Gardens. Even in the shade it was too hot for acrylics and me. Still it was fun to paint a castle.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

"Orange Sun Over The Arno", Piazale Michelangelo, Firenze

"Orange Sun Over The Arno", Piazale Michelangelo, Firenze. 20x30 cm, acrylic on canvas, $350. 
After a long hot day of touring we hiked up the hill to eat dinner and then watch the sunset. Equally exciting was watching the city come alive with lights. Tons of people up there all enjoying the street musicians, while the sun set over human and natural wonders. It was a wonderful atmosphere and very inspiring to paint in. We got up there with about 20 min left before the orange sun dipped behind the river Arno. I set up and painted this with only instinct in front of dozens of onlookers. Making sure not to talk to start too many conversations and miss the few precious moments of light. My family sat on the grass in front of me, one kid reading, the other doing watercolor. My lovely wife smiling and enjoying the vibes. My favorite moments of Firenze for sure. 

"Palazzo Vecchio", Firenze, Italy

"Palazzo Vecchio", Firenze, Italy. 30x40 cm, acrylic on canvas board, $600
While Julie and Zenia took a cooking class, Malakye and I went to work at this famous square. I painted while he used a pocket knife to whittle sticks. We worked as thousands of people passed thru. Many of them thought it would be a good idea to get up on the marble podium that holds a massive gold turtle. When we got there we also thought it was meant to be sat on as "everyone else was doing it ", and its height was just under 4 feet. There where even kids on top of the turtle at some point. To his dismay I wouldn't let Malakye climb up it. I said the cops will come and sure enough they came and whistled everyone off. Then they'd leave and the new ignorant set of tourists would climb up and the whole play would repeat itself. Finally an 80 yr hardcore stubborn bastard of a cop came and sat in a chair, yelling and whistling at anyone looked at the piece sideways. It was hilarious.