Thursday, September 22, 2016
"Mesa Lane Morning Colors", Santa Barbara, California.
24x60 inches, oil on canvas, $3200
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.
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
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
"Hendry's Memories", 6x8 inches, oil on wood panel, $150.
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.
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. 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
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.
chrispotterart.com - 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
Propriano, Campomoro, Bonifacio, Bastia
Livorno, Rome, Sienna, Florence, Cinque Terre, Moneglia, Italian Alps
Posted by Chris Potter at 10:06 PM
Monday, August 29, 2016
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
"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. 12x16 inches, oil on linen panel, sold.
You guessed it, I stayed for some seafood pasta...
"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", 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. 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", 24x60 inches, oil on canvas, $3200
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. 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. 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. 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", 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. 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. 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. 40x80cm, acrylic on canvas, $1400.
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. 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. 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. 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", 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. 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. 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.
Saturday, July 9, 2016
"Raw Siena", 27x41 cm, acrylic on canvas, $850.
Every year in Siena there is a celebration and horse race called the Palio. A description couldn't do it justice but here goes. Basically all the contrada(neighborhoods) of Siena compete against each other in a horse race around the Campo, which is a big central square. It's been going on for the last 500 years and it feels like it. We where staying in a B&B in the Oca so we naturally rooted for them. The day of the race we posted up in the square starting at 2:00. We met a nice family from Australia and hung out(guarded our spot) for the next 8 hours. Luckily the time was broken up by conversation, gelato, white wine, prosciutto, watercolor, ext... They also did a big parade displaying their flags and horses, and sprayed the crowd with water to the kids delight. The entire square was packed full of people who had also been there for too long. Every few minutes the medics had to rescue people who had passed out from heat stroke. The locals where fired up over their race and got into it with our friends over standing on the fountain ledge. Then some others proceeded to take our spot. Some real medieval stuff. Then the race finally started, 90 seconds of pure adrenaline for jockeys, horses and spectators. They shoved, whipped and sprinted their way around the square 3 times. It was unreal to be a part of it. You get a real sense of the power snd momentum of racing horses. 2 horses collided in the first lap, one flipping over and slamming it's jockey on the ground. Very real and scary. Lupe ended up winning with our hood coming in 2nd or 3rd. I couldn't help but think it would be good if our US gangs had this outlet. Without gats of course.
"Night Lights at The Colosseum", 6x8 inches, oil on linen board, $220
We went to one of the local trattoria's where the food was decent, the service irritable and the prices great. Half the cost of France with $4 for liter of table wine. So, with a light buzz and full tummies we headed for the Colosseum. Maybe the rubbish would be less visible in the low light.
It's not easy fitting just a part of this monolith into 8 inches. Julie read and policed our sugar infused wildlings who ran frogger races on ancient cobblestones and climbed retaining walls.
"Piazza Garibaldi", Livorno, Italy. 6x8 inches, watercolor on paper, $350.
We took a ferry from the top of Corsica to Livorno, Italy. It's always exciting coming to a new city, and especially when it's in a new country. Julie's first time in Italy actually and the first time on our trip she couldn't speak the local language. We decided to go out for a light lunch. Julie said she wasn't even hungry. A charcuterie plate followed by pasta, lasagna and pizza accompanied by a bottle of local vino bianco. The kids did some recon and it turned out the restaurant made their own gelato. We all had two scoops and went to our B&B for a nap. The good news is we didn't need a formal dinner that night. We explored the city, walking along its Venice like canal, having some more wine and appetizers in a large open air market with live music. We ended up in our little square where Zenia made friends some local kids. Like her mother she doesn't let a language barrier get in the way. They played soccer and hide in seek all the time communicating in the worldly dialect of children having fun.
Friday, July 8, 2016
"Stacks of Rome", Italy. 12x16 inches, oil on linen panel, $1200.
I left the house at 5:15 am and it was already light. I didn't know what I would paint but The Forum drew me in like a tourist to The Forum. As I walked along the sun came up behind me and illuminated the many layered cake of buildings that is Rome. I was done by 8:30, had a double espresso and was home before my family woke. Later we ended up walking across the hot city for hours and hours eating great food and of course gelato.
Sunday, July 3, 2016
"Temple of Saturn", Roman Forum, Italy. 41x27 centimeters, acrylic on canvas, €600.
Yup, I ran out of materials. Acrylic paint and canvas in cm's. Every medium has its pluses and minuses and teaches you something new.
Friday, July 1, 2016
"Colosseum at Night", 8x6 inches, oil on linen panel, $220
We have been in Rome for the past 5 days but I hadn't been able to post anything. Partly because we have been so busy enjoying the city and partly because I'm ashamed of being part of the narcissistic parade of trash creating selfie stick toting tourists that descend on this city everyday. A Sunday morning in Isla Vista seems orderly and acceptable compared to this daily disaster. Plastic bottles, plastic bags, gelato cups, and cigarette butts are strewn about on every surface and in every crack. The first evening we arrived, I wondered how people could just litter like this and why nobody picked it up. I still don't have an answer to the first question. The Romans are picking it up several times a day and do a full court press in the morning hours. Sweepers, trash collectors and trash trucks in a coordinated army before 6am get the place in descent shape. Then the mobs come and destroy it all again. I'm sure the river will eventually be choked with cigarette butts that everyone here casually throws on the streets to get washed down the drain. It made me proud to be an environmentally minded Santa Barbarian but very scared for the worlds future. How do we get everyone feeling responsible for cleaning it up? Half the tourists here are too busy looking at themselves in their phones to actually see the Eternal City and the trash their leaving behind.
Friday, June 24, 2016
"Ile Lavezzi", near Bonifacio, Corsica. 12x16 inches, oil on panel, $700
We haven't done many touristic things so we splurged and did an all day cruise along the Eastern coast of Corse-de-Sud. They served bouillabaisse with Corsican Rosé. We then hung out at this tiny Island for 3 hours. Amazing views in every direction... but I had to choose the one looking towards Sardinia with amazing green water, yellow flowers and noble rocks. While I finished my painting the captain let the kids jump off the 2nd story of the boat! Fun for all!
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
"Bonifacio Midday", Corse-du-Sud, 12x16 inches, oil on linen panel, $800
Probably one if the coolest cities I've seen. After a 1000 years of development human structures start to take on the forms of nature. The buildings here have the same natural rhythm and color as the cliffs below. I only had a few hours to paint but could study here a couple weeks and never get bored. While I painted Julie and kids shopped. They came away with 3 Corsican knives, some oeil sainte lucie bijoux - jewelry with little shells from Corse.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
"Summer Solstice Moon Rise over Campomoro", 8x6 inches, oil on linen panel, $250. Made in the dark with my friend the spirit of Campomoro. I kept hearing things behind me and then I saw a red human like blur running across the path in front of me as I walked home in the dark. All the hairs on my back and neck rose. I told myself it was nothing but I couldn't get it out of my head. I did my best not to run down the hill. I kept thinking if it was a ghost at least it was running away from me. Maybe it was protecting me the whole time. Or maybe I was tired and my eyes and mind where playing tricks on me:)
Monday, June 20, 2016
"Corsican Coastal Layers", Compomoro, looking at Popriano. 6x8 inches, oil on linen panel, $250.
Looking at the mountain layers here gets me excited to paint and to hike. We're hatching a plan to come back here in a couple years so I can do a portion of the G20 with some friends. The ladies and kids will be enjoying the beaches while we hike.
"View from the Genoese Tower" Compomoro, Corsica. 6x8 inches, oil on linen panel, $250
Julie was already asleep when I hiked up to this overlook. I left the kids with the babysitter(iPad) in charge. I saw an outcrop that would afford views of the sunset and moonrise. It was just a little bit off trail. After being wrapped in thorny vines and sweating profusely I decided that I would stay on trail. This was a great view of the town but I had to set up on top of a monster boulder with a 20 ft drop on one side. It was comfy except I just had to remember not to pace around like I usually do.
"Compomoro Coast", Corsica. 12x16 inches, oil on panel, $700
Another day in Hawaii, oh wait, I'm in Corsica! I can tell because the bread and wine are magnifique! We woke up late, then spent the middle part of the day on the beach. We left the beach at 2:30 tired and hungry, looking forward to some legendary pizza Julie had told us about for the past two weeks. We straggled down the beach and up the hill to find the kitchen closed. Not only that, every kitchen in town was closed till 7pm. We learned a valuable lesson, never get caught looking for food during the siesta hours. The good news is we had Corsican wine at our apartment... and some charcuterie ingredients for the kids.
Sunday, June 19, 2016
"Thunderheads over Compomoro", Corsica. 12x16 inches, oil on linen board, $700
We expected a thunderstorm for the morning but instead had a full sunny beach day. The only drama was my son panicking in the shallow water afraid of getting spiked by an urchin. I had to pull him in and got a nice gash on my hand in the process. Paradise is not without its dangers. As the thunder roared to my right I hustled to get the painting done while having a Father's Day beer. Btw Cali has much better beer.