Sergio Lopez - North SF Bay Area Fine Artist

Upcoming Shows and Events

•Abend Gallery: Jun 12 - July 3, 2015 "Contemporary Figuration." Denver, Colorado.
•Robert Lange Studios: Jun 11, 2015 "Fluent." Charleston, South Carolina.
•Pacific Northwest Plein Air: August 7-30, 2015 "Fluent." Hood River, Oregon.

Friday, August 14, 2015

2015 Pacific Northwest Plein Air

Folks, I had a fun time last week in Oregon. It was my fourth time participating in the Pacific Northwest Plein Air event in Hood River but it was my traveling partner Carole Gray-Weihman's first time. We caravanned up together and spent a couple of days making the trek. On our way there, we joined Brenda Boylan, who took us out to Kat Sowa's farm on Sauvie Island. Sauvie Island is one of my favorite places to paint, and I knew it'd be up Carole's alley as well, so I was glad to have the chance. Za Vue and Don Bishop also joined us.
We had a great time painting and laughing together, and even had a nice little barbecue at the end of the day. Such a good way to start the event.
This was the first painting I did on Sauvie Island. It was a fun little study of the trees that are so indicative of the landscape on the island. It's less pines and more cottonwoods, ash, etc. I did another one but it didn't come out at all. It's hard to do anything well when you're tired from driving so much.

We kicked off the event with the obligatory orientation, but the nice thing about them is that you get to see and chat with all the people you know who are also participating in the show. We met up with Thomas Kitts and Scott Gelatly who took us out to Parkdale to scope around for our first painting of the area. We found a spot just outside of town that had a great view of Mount Hood, but the lighting situation was less than ideal. It made for a lot of  "blah" paintings. I ended up close to wiping mine away, but I wasn't sure if I'd need to keep it for the show.

After lunching and then driving around a while, we scoped out a few places. "The Hook" had a lot of good views and windsurfers, but it also had a lot of wind. So then we went outside of town to a place on the river known as "Powerdale." It's an area that I had always been curious about painting around. Though most of them stayed around the parking spot, I chose to look around and find a spot that was more to my liking. I walked way down the rocky shore and set up on a spot near a river bend. I like this painting but I think I can really flesh it out into something nice, so I decided to take it home instead.
Don't know why this picture looks so low-res on here, but click on it to see a better version of it.

The next day was my return to Sakura Ridge on the west side of Hood River. I've painted this vista before, about 3 years ago, so I knew I'd like to paint there again. It's one of my favorite views of the valley.
This was 11x14, and is on display at the Columbia Center For The Arts this month.

After that painting, I went across the river to White Salmon, which also has a lot of great views of the river. I set up next to some train tracks right along the river to do this one. I was interrupted a couple of times with some trains going in front of me but it was cool.
I ended up winning an honorable mention for this painting. It is also on display at the Columbia Center For The Arts this month.

We woke up early a couple of mornings to catch the sunrise at the Rowena Crest near where we were staying. I did two "ok" studies of the sunrise, but I also painted this one over two mornings. I had to work fast to capture this effect.
This was 9x12, and is on display at the Columbia Center For The Arts this month.
Here is Carole painting the one that I believe she won the "Best Sky" award for.

This is one of the few areas I explored which were brand new for me. Thomas and Carole told me about how they had gone up the Klickitat River a little bit to find this view. Carole did an awesome painting of the river from a different view, and I hiked a little to find an opposite view of what Thomas and Carole painted.
This is 8x6 inches, and is on display at the Columbia Center For The Arts this month.

We turned our work this day. We both felt sooo exhausted by the end of that day for some reason. I ended up sleeping almost twelve hours! Our duties weren't over yet. We scoped around for the quick draw. I don't know how effective that is, really. Only thing it helped with was finding a subject I could fall back on if I didn't love the lighting situation during the quick draw event. Jason Sacran made some great points about the value (or lack of) of scoping out quick draw locations on the latest AHA podcast. You should look it up, it's a really good interview.
Here is one of the many scenic views of the town.

This is my quick draw. Excuse the lack of a better photo.
This is 6x8 inches, and is on display at the Columbia Center For The Arts this month.
Here is Carole next to some of our paintings, including her sweet piece of the Klickitat River.

Now with almost all of our responsibilities over with, we got to play tourist a little on Friday. I had gone out to the Maryhill Museum my first year I came out here, but Carole had never been out there. After a beautiful drive down the gorge, we made it to the museum which had a handful of solid paintings, including this one:
There are a bunch of awesome Rodin sculptures in the basement. We also had a fun time learning about Sam Hill, the founder of the museum and the main reason there was a road along the gorge in the first place.
Here is a fantastic view of the gorge from the museum ground.

We had time to taste some wine at Cathedral Ridge where our new friend Laurel Bushman treated us. It was now time for the opening reception of the event, where we learned who won the awards.

Here I am geting congratulated for my award.
It was all over! Was glad to be free of obligation, but it was gonna be sad not to see all of our Oregon friends until next year (probably). After our goodbye dinner we prepared to make our trip down the Oregon Coast.

Carole's in-law has a nice little place on the Oregon Coast that we were able to spend the day at. She has access to what is basically a private beach. The conditions are so varied here, making for a very fascinating day of just staring off of the deck for most of the day. This is the view:
The conditions really did change rapidly. I did these quick 20-minute studies in a row during the evening. The fog rolled in quickly, then started retreating almost as quickly.

We were then treated to this sunset.

This was our last day in Oregon, so other than a quick tour of Carole's awesome little cabin outside of Willits, it was time to go home and get some much needed rest.

Overall we had a great time. The Columbia Gorge is one of my favorite places to travel to. Carole really enjoyed her time there and since we have a lot of mutual painter friends up there, it felt like a mini-reunion going up there. Sales are never great up there unfortunately, but it's a lot of fun to paint up there so I put it in the category of a "working vacation" trip. I have some good reference for future paintings.

The paintings for the show are currently

Here are links to some of the painters referenced in this post:
Carole Gray-Weihman
Brenda Boylan
Za Vue
Thomas Kitts

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Sunday, July 05, 2015

Studio Landscape Oil Paintings: Moving To Bigger

I have been moving to working on larger paintings in the studio over the last few months. There are a few reasons for this. The Christopher Queen Gallery where I sell the majority of my landscapes requested that I don't bring in so many small works. It makes sense. As long as the paintings are good, she is able to sell them quickly. Paintings at this size make me more money, money I need to keep the business going. I love the studio but it's a good chunk of money that I have to spend every month on it. The artistic merits of working larger are not to be missed, either. I'm getting quicker at doing these larger pieces, but they do take more time regardless. I am learning different techniques that I started to learn in the field but am able to finesse in the studio. Having all this time to work on these paintings makes me really think about what I'm doing instead of letting so many happy accidents happen with that limited amount of time to work from life in one shot.

"Discovered Beach" Salt Point State Park, Sonoma County California. 28x30 inches.

I worked this one up from a study from life that I made a couple of years ago. Go to my Instagram feed to see some work-in-progress shots.

"Morning At Tejon Ranch" 28x30 inches.

This painting I worked up from some photos that I took at Tejon Ranch. It's a relatively exclusive view on account of it being a private ranch. There was painting of a tree that I did during Kern County Plein Air that served as reference for the tree and some of the haziest mountains in the back.

"Sunset Grove" Santa Rosa, California. 16x24 inches.

This painting was done from a mixture of life and studio photographs. Working completely from life has its disadvantages, it's a little harder to spend time on the drawing because time is of the essence out there. If you're trying to draw with color, you have to make sure it's the right color as you put it down. You can see some shots of this one in progress on my IG feed as well.

"Cacophony of Greens" Point Lobos State Reserve, Monterey County California. 16x24 inches.

This one was also started as a study from life during a plein air event. I took the study and sized it up(different format). It was a tough subject not only with the complication of the forest grove, but the relatively flat light that I worked on this with. I cheated a little bit with some faint sunlight on some of the trunks. I learned a lot while painting this one. I think the trees on the left have some of my best edge work to this date.

All of these paintings (minus the Tejon Ranch painting) are on display at Christopher Queen Gallery in Duncans Mills, California.

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Lake Lagunitas, 8x12 in. oil on linen mounted on board.


via Sergio Lopez Landscape Painter http://ift.tt/1Si0dIZ

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

How To Sign Up For My July Plein Air Workshop

Sign-ups are open for my new plein air painting workshop! I'm coordinating it through www.pleinairliaison.com, which is my friend Carole Gray-Weihman's website. She runs workshops and helps facilitate workshops for other people, so with my first one I want to make sure I'm guided via capable hands.

Fill Your Paintings with Atmosphere & Distance with Sergio Lopez 
Jul 18-19, 2015 
Oil - Beginner to Advanced 
Plein Air Workshop on Location - Tomales, CA.


To learn more about what the workshop is all about, and sign up, follow this link:
http://www.pleinairliaison.com/#!Fill-Your-Paintings-with-Atmosphere-Distance-with-Sergio-Lopez/cjc5/ia5w7ked54

What will you learn in this workshop?

  • Quick and effective ways to convey atmosphere and distance in a painting. 
  • Selecting and composing subjects for maximum impact for showing atmosphere. 
  • Exercises that will help drive these points home.
  • Demonstrations of these principles in action.
The website may be slightly complex, so I even made a tutorial video on how to sign up for the workshop!
Excuse the flicker, I think you can still follow along if you have the website open as you do it.


Hope to see you at the workshop! It's going to be a great time.

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

"Lakeside Vista" 5x7 inches. sold.


via Sergio Lopez Landscape Painter http://ift.tt/1FxP94G

"Sunset On Morro Bay" 5x7 inches. sold. Sergio Lopez Landscape Painter www.themainloop.com #pleinair


via Sergio Lopez Landscape Painter http://ift.tt/1eoLYUb

"Cayucos Shoreline" 6x8 inches. sold. #pleinair


via Sergio Lopez Landscape Painter http://ift.tt/1FxP6pJ

"Shimmering Bluffs" 12x16 inches. Sergio Lopez Landscape Painter www.themainloop.com #pleinair


via Sergio Lopez Landscape Painter http://ift.tt/1eoLYU9

"Keyhole Bluffs" 11x14 in. oil on linen board. Sergio Lopez Landscape Painter www.themainloop.com #pleinair


via Sergio Lopez Landscape Painter http://ift.tt/1FxP8Ok
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