Two Juried Show Acceptances! In One Day!

Watchful (Saiga Antelope)
“Watchful (Saiga Antelope)” oil 24×30″

December 3 was quite a day. First I got an email from Focus on Nature XV informing me that “Watchful (Saiga Antelope)” has been accepted into their exhibition. A couple of hours later I got an email from the California Art Club letting me know that “Elephant Seals, Piedras Blancas” was going to join fellow members’ work in “Magnificent Migrations: A Journey Through Central California”.

The first one is a big deal for me since scientific accuracy in appearance and behavior is required. Here’s the criteria:

“The Focus on Nature jury selects original works of natural and cultural history subjects (in whole or in part), excluding human anatomy and portraiture, that demonstrates:

  • a high degree of technical skill
  • scientific accuracy, including taxonomic definition
  • aesthetic qualities, including composition
  • a unique scientific and/or artistic viewpoint, techniques, medium, or format (organic depiction, schematics, diagrams, etc.) including traditional, mixed and multimedia, or computer-generated images
  • a broad representation of artists”

So my saiga piece was in competition with artists who have degrees in scientific illustration. I have a BFA Illustration. I saw my subject, a young saiga antelope, in Mongolia when I was at Khar Us Nuur National Park in 2015. Generally, saiga run away the instant they spot a car or human, but this fellow stayed close enough for me to get some good reference photos. The mountain in the background is Jargalant Hairkhan Uul, which is sacred, as are all mountains in Mongolia.

The exhibition will be at the Roberson Museum and Science Center from July 21, 2019- January 12, 2020. You can find out more here.

Elephant Seals, Piedras Blancas
“Elephant Seals, Piedras Blancas” oil 8×10″

My second accepted painting “Elephant Seals, Piedras Blancas” will be in the California Art Club/Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History exhibition “Magnificent Migrations: A Journey Through Central California” from January 18-April 14, 2019.

What makes this acceptance special is that it was open to all members and that means I was competing with nationally-known. long established artists.  I just rejoined the Club this year which one does at the entry level of Associate Artist member. There is a review once a year in November for which one can submit work in hopes of getting a “promotion” to Artist Member and then beyond that are the Signature and Master Artists. That’s one of my goals for next year.

I saw these elephant seals on a trip to southern California many years ago. We were heading home up the coast on Highway 1. There was a big parking lot right on the ocean with a long stretch of beach on the south side, where I took this photo (which is closely cropped from the original) and a rocky area with tide pools on the north side. That day there were hundreds of elephant seals all over the place on both sides. And it was noisy! Young bulls were jousting with each other on land and in the surf, the pups trying to stay out of their way. My painting is from a long “pile” of seals who were laying about along the waterline. When I was going through my reference to find animal subjects from Central California, these two were an easy choice. I liked their expressions, colors and marking variations, plus the variety of colors on the ones around them.

You can find out more about the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History here.

Gallimauphry Friday: Cat Art Sale Coming Up! See What I’ll Be Offering…

Watching Cat
“Watching Cat” watercolor on paper 7×10″ $20

There is a great benefit art show that has happened for a number of years now that I’ve contributed to in the past but have been too busy to do again until now. It’s called “Cats in the Hall”, the hall being The Hall Gallery at 208 C Street Studios in Eureka, California, about 20 minutes from where I live.

There will be work by over 70 local artists working in various media. The Arts Alive! Reception will be on Sept. 2nd. The doors open at 12:00PM Saturday and Sunday. Costumes are encouraged for the opening. The show comes down Sept 27th. There will be cats available for adoption.

I’ve taken advantage of finally not staring down the barrel of show deadlines for awhile to splash around with my watercolors and have some fun painting from the zillions of photos I’ve taken of our cats over the years.

Conked Out Cat (1)
“Conked Out Cat” watercolor on paper 6.25×9″  $10

The pieces I’m posting here will only be available for now at the show. If any don’t sell, then I’ll post them for sale on my website.

Comfy Cat
“Comfy Cat” watercolor on paper 5×6″ $10

I really had fun loosening up with the watercolors. I drew each shape, added a layer of clear water and then started adding paint, just letting it do its thing. I used my new Yarka watercolor set so it was a chance to try out some new colors too.

Tiny Cat
“Tiny Cat” watercolor on paper 1 7/8″x3 7/8″  $5

So if you live in Humboldt County (or beyond) and you love art or cats or art and cats or cat art, come to the show!

Tummy Cat
“Tummy Cat” watercolor on paper 10×7″  $20

Gallimauphry Friday- North Coast Open Studios Coming Next Weekend! Come Visit Me!

NCOS guidebook

2017 will be the nineteenth year of a Humboldt County event that I co-founded with another local artist, Sasha Pepper, who was the one who knew how to put an event like this together. We had 43 artists sign up the first year and it’s just rolled on from there, to my immense satisfaction. This will be my first time participating in a number of years and I’m really excited to be a part of it again. I’ll be open both weekends….June 3-4 and 10-11 from 10am to 5pm. The garden will be in full bloom, too, and I’ll have a selection of choice plants for sale along with my paintings, drawings, cards and prints.

Guidebooks, which include maps, are available at a variety of locations around the county, but you can also find out who’s opening their studio on the event website here. There are over 100 artists and fine craftspeople to choose from. Many people plan their weekend around visiting the artists in specific locations. I’m in Dow’s Prairie, just north of McKinleyville. There are seven of us in the area and three more locations just to the north in Trinidad and Westhaven, so make a day of it and come see us! We’ll all have signs out to direct you to our studios.

If you’d like to preview many of the participating artists’ work, there’s a show up now at Stonesthrow Boutique in downtown Eureka at 423 F St. My painting “Chronos (Khomyn Tal Takhi Stallion)” is there.

“A Fine Fall Morning (Hustai Takhi)”, the painting I have in the guidebook.

Humboldt County has had a vibrant art scene since the 1960s. You will be amazed and excited by the variety of styles and media we work in. If you’re coming in from out of town you can find visitor information here. Coastal Humboldt County is the place to beat the inland heat.

“Foal” I’ve been experimenting with a new style and approach. Come check out my newest work and hear the stories behind the paintings.

You can also always find my work at Strawberry Rock Gallery in Trinidad. My studio is open by appointment throughout the year. Just use the contact form on my website to set one up.

Off to “Plein Air at the Lost Coast”!

I’ll be back next week with Part 4 of the 2015 WildArt Mongolia Expedition. For the next few days I’ll be attending a great new local event “Plein Air at the Lost Coast” as one of the featured artists and will also be doing a presentation about my travels in Mongolia and a demo of how I work in the field. Cheers!

In the meantime, here’s a picture of a cat…

Alexander a Really Great Cat
Alexander a Really Great Cat


Latest News! I’ll Be A Featured Artist At “Plein Air At The Lost Coast” This Year!

Valley north of Delger Camp
Valley north of Delger Camp

I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be one of the Featured Artists at “Plein Air At The Lost Coast”! This is the second year of this great Humboldt County, California event and I’m looking forward to being a part of it. It will be in Shelter Cove from September 30 to October 4. Registration is open now and you can find out all the details here. I’ll be there all weekend. On Thursday evening I’ll be doing a watercolor demo and giving a presentation on my painting and travel adventures in Mongolia. Readers of this blog know that watercolor is what I take to Mongolia for working on location, as in the example above. The event also has a Facebook page here. Shelter Cove is a small community on the north coast of California, about a five hour drive north of San Francisco. It’s 28 miles west of Garberville off Highway 101. There is spectacular ocean scenery, a black sand beach and hiking trails in the surrounding forest. Come join us!

Getting my paints wetted and ready. I'm using a set of Yarka watercolors.
Getting my paints wetted and ready. I’m using a set of Yarka watercolors.

Now Available For Viewing: “My Mongolia: Paintings of the Land of Chinggis Khan”

Saikhan Eej 18x14" oil Inquire

Tomorrow night is the opening reception for my solo show at Plaza Design, 211 G St., in Old Town, Eureka! I’ll be there from 6-9pm wearing a traditional Mongol del and boots.

And for those of you who can’t seen the show in person, I’ve created a new Page on my blog and posted most of the paintings there. Just click the show title at the top.

North Coast Open Studios Is Here!- I’ll Be Open On June 11-12: Today’s Featured Painting

I’ll be open the second weekend, June 11-12 from 11am to 5pm. You can find directions to my studio and more information about this annual Humboldt County art event here.

Between now and the 11th I’ll be posting a painting every day so that you can see what I’ll have available. They will be small works and very affordable. Here’s today’s featured painting, a vermillion flycatcher which I saw near Tucson, Arizona during my March trip to the Sea of Cortez:

"Vermillion Flycatcher" 5x7" oil on canvasboard $50

I’ll also have prints and cards, plus a selection of my large, framed pieces, including my latest major work, “Then They Walked Out Into The Morning Light”.

Then They Walked Out Into The Morning Light 24x48" oil

Two Paintings Accepted Into Greenhouse Gallery’s Salon International Juried Show!

I got the email telling me to go the site and check the acceptance list yesterday morning at 9am. It was in alphabetical order, so I slowly scrolled down, holding my breath. And saw my name. Twice! I entered three pieces, so two out of three.

One of my goals for many years has been to have my paintings accepted into juried shows that are outside the “wildlife art ghetto” to which the genre of animal art has been foolishly and ignorantly consigned by many in the mainstream art world, even though great artists who these same people often admire also painted animals.

Clearly, the good folks at Greenhouse Gallery don’t share that bias, bless their hearts.

I’m proud to be an animal artist and know that our genre’s best work easily stands with the best in any other field of representational art. And I also know that to paint animals successfully requires a specific depth of knowledge that is not appreciated by those outside the field.

Here are the two paintings that will soon be on their way to San Antonio, Texas:

Done for the Day 17x30" oil on canvasboard
Takhi Stallion, Hustai National Park 17x30" oil on canvasboard