Laguna Beach, Day 3?

Again, with the head cold form Satan. And I am supposed to do a demo and talk at the end of the week. Ha!

Tonight I went down to Moss Point to paint an evening contra jour sunset. Stunning light. Another two day painting. I will complete it tomorrow night.

A few minutes into my start I get a phone call from my good friend Eric Bowman, from Portland, Oregon, who is down here visiting his family and taking his little girl to Disneyland. He’s got his easel with him so he comes out to paint too.

Eric knocked out a lovely 9 x 12 as I hacked away at my 20 x 24. He really needs to get an invite to this event. He would kill at this show. He is fundamentally a SoCal painter of the old school type. Born and raised here. Plus, Eric got second place in Easton last July and best of show at Sonoma last week. He is on fire right now. And he stopped by to paint with me this evening. Nice to see him this week.

Check his work out:

Going to bed. More to paint tomorrow.


– Posted from my iPad

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Laguna Beach 14, Day 2

Another day at the office…

But unfortunately, I got slammed with a nasty cold last night. A really bad one. I am n hopped up on antihistamines. Don’t really feel like painting but sometimes you must.

As I often say, “inspiration is for amateurs…”

Good night!

– Posted from my iPad

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Laguna Beach 14, Day One…

My quickDraw today. Sold.

The new happy owners Howard and Lynn. Thank you!

It’s late and time for bed. Tomorrow, the Keyhole…


– Posted from my iPad

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Heading for Home…

Or back to that place wherever you lay your head.

Wheels up at 6:00 am. Which means taxi at 3:00 am. Another grand adventure…

– Posted from the road from my iPad

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Ronda, Day one and Two…

Made it to Ronda, which entailed hiring a Moroccan Grand Taxi out of the Tif mountains, crossing la Frontera, catching the express ferry out of Ceatas (Spain’s toehold in Morocco) and then a train ride from Algeciris to Ronda.

Ronda is where Papa Hemingway set his novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and the bridge here is where the insurgents were thrown off of to their deaths. No one talks about that around here. Just Hemingway and Orson Wells, since they both came here for the bull fighting.

We missed our ferry out of Africa so we thought we were toast. But we made the train in Spain somehow. Been here in Ronda two nights and will be leaving for Madrid tomorrow morning. I get one more day at the Prado.

I had a chance to paint the Puente Nuevo, here in Ronda, as well as the old arab bridge which predates it by 700 years. Was going to paint the old Roman bridge as well (Origins unknown…) but went down with a tummy thing last night and took it easy today.

Well, Ronda Spain is going to be my first international workshop. It’s all here. Access. Infrastructure. Beautiful buildings, squares, long distant views, and countryside. And chocolate. A big draw for my wife. And warm and friendly people. So next November I’ll start posting details about what I will teach here…

Right now I am so beat this is a short post.

Here are a few paintings, the Puente Nuevo, and the Arab bridge. I hope to publish a procedural in an upcoming PleinAir Magazine. Specifically, the Puente Nuevo. I’ll let you know when and if it happens.

Good night.

– Posted from my iPad

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Chefchaouen, Morocco, Day 3

Still raining up in the Tif Mountains so no painting on day 3, but things did clear on day 4 and I got one off in the alleyway outside my rental during a break in the weather. Early morning because the street is only wide enough for the tiny lorries that drive through and nothing was going on at that time. Ever so, I had to pick up the easel and step into a doorway several times while I was working to let a donkey through.

Here is the painting:

My traveling companions want me to call it “Chefchaouen’s Bridge of Sighs”, after the one in Venice they kissed under last year. We all kissed each other under this one later today before we went our separate ways. (My wife and I are staying in Chaouen a few more days while our companions go on to Fez to ride camels out into the desert, and sleep in a bedouin tent, before flying home out of Casablanca.) I plan to re paint this scene this winter and insert figures in it so please think of this sketch more as a field study.

My view.

Up against the wall.

Some of the local boys who were very curious about what I was doing. The Koran has an edict about making images of Allah’s creation and I was worried about that but I encountered no criticism. These boys were nice and respectful and helped me pack up after I was done. Mustaffa, Mohammad, Marto, and one other boy I couldnt. remember.

The walls really are that blue because of the intense color the villagers paint them. They white wash the entire town in blue powder. Here is the powder for sale in the street.

While having some strong afternoon Moroccan mint tea under a dripping canopy in the town square I asked our proprietor what was a good time of year to visit Chefchaouen. He smiled immediately and said, “Oh now is the best time. It is raining and we need the rain. The rain is very beautiful.” I guess it all depends upon one’s point of view, eh?

This is a tight muslim community, and while seemingly fairly moderate in its religious expression, there is a muezzin call to prayer every 4 or 5 hours from multiple minarets all over the town. There is no question who runs this place.

A native drinking a glass of what I was told was “Bedouin Whiskey”, meaning Moroccan mint tea. There is so much sugar in this stuff it might as well contain alcohol. We kept skipping lunch until we figured it out: we’d been drink one or two glasses at breakfast and the sugar took us to dinner. Sheesh!

The main mosque starts up and the others follow immediately after. I never did get the schedule down but you can’t miss it since there is always a minaret near you. Here is one call to prayer starting at 4:30 am. I filmed it from my roof top because I couldn’t sleep. Once a call starts you see muslims running into the mosques. However, you can’t see it happening in this clip because it is so dark.


Back to Spain next. To the white hill town of Ronda, where Hemingway set his novel, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. I will be painting the bridge the Spanish insurgents were thrown off of during WWII. A sad tale, but hopefully one which will remain firmly in the past.

– Posted on the road with my iPad

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Chefchaouen: Day Two…

It’s been pouring non-stop since we arrived so no painting today. But if it is still raining tomorrow I will paint from under a tarp in a restaurant. I made the arrangements this morning as we ate breakfast. The people are so warm here, unless you invade their privacy in the upper neighborhood. This I understand as it must be tiring to put up with the endless tourists marching through their streets looking in doorways, taking pictures — oh crap, I am talking about myself.

Here are a couple photos:

Where I will paint tomorrow.

Or here if it isn’t raining.

“Color cones” on a side street. That’s the blue the town is painted with. The thing which looks like a Smurf hat behind my head.

One of the many locals.

A perfume shop where my wife and friend’s wife went crazy. Stunning interior and much to smell.

And here are a few paintings which haven’t been posted yet. Windmills from the drive down to Granada, and a couple of Alhambra paintings. ONe evening, one morning when the weather started going south.

That’s all for now. Off to look for an Internet cafe.

– Posted from my iPad

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