Marmot Paradise and Painting Process

Oil on Canvas 25.5×34″  –This is the first backpacking sketch that I’ve turned into a finished oil painting.  Lauren named this place on the east side of Sawtooth Pass “Marmot Paradise” for all the happy groundhogs who call this place home who were whistling, running amok and eating the vibrant grasses in these high meadows. I took pictures of the original sketch and my backpacking painting kit so people can see the setup.  I used a lightweight sheet of corrugated plastic as a laptop desk with a clip-on water container.  Notice the wet paper towel that I squeeze my paints onto… it wicks water up into the paints to keep the dry mountain air from solidifying them.   No stand up easel this trip, but after hiking fifteen miles over a pass, who wants to stand?  

Open Studio and Art Sale coming up…

On Labor Day Weekend (Sept. 1-3) I will be having my big Open Studio and Art Show event for the year.  If you’d like to mark your calendars, it will be at 1128 Via Regina from 10-5 Saturday and Sunday and Monday from 10-2.  I hope to see you there!  You are welcome to come for free as my guest.  It will also be in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Studio Artists’ tour and if you would like to buy tickets for the full event, details can be found at  www.santabarbarastudioartists.com .

Here are some more pages from my summer backpacking sketchbook.   Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Backpacking--Gleason - 3Backpacking--Gleason - 5Backpacking--Gleason - 9Backpacking--Gleason - 10

Backpacking & Painting in the Sierras

Backpacking--Gleason - 1I was lucky to spend twelve nights backpacking in the Sierras recently.  I hiked an eight day solo trip from Bishop to Mineral King and then met Lauren and the girls for another four night loop.  All in all, I enjoyed over 150 beautiful miles of trail and each day painted   at least once in a sketchbook with gouache.  I’ll lump together some of the sketches in a couple of posts here.  (I don’t want to overwhelm the email subscribers, so if you’d like to see them all, you can follow my Instagram feed or “like” my Facebook artists’ page.)  I plan to turn some of them into big, fully rendered studio paintings.  Any votes for which one you’d like to see fully realized?  Backpacking--Gleason - 6Backpacking--Gleason - 4Backpacking--Gleason - 7

A Lighter Shade of Pale

HarborandWharf--Gleason - 118×24″ oil on canvas–  When the marine layer has blown into the Santa Barbara Harbor you realize how many colors there are that we call “grey”.  It is fascinating watching colors as they sit in oily piles on the palette looking nameless and neutral suddenly come to life in the context on the canvas and showing the violets, greens or rusty oranges they lean towards.

Location, Location, Location

Location,Location--Gleason - 115×30″ oil on canvas– Available now!  Spacious ocean-side home with unrivaled ocean views in Goleta, the good land.  Open floor plan is airy and welcoming with plenty of natural light.  Sustainable architectural design uses reclaimed timbers throughout. Exquisite natural landscaping by world-renowned designer Mother Nature.  Fantastic curb appeal! (What’s more appealing than no curb at all?) Also notice the quaint heating and lighting system based on age-old technologies that are making a comeback.  Experience to the ultimate in simple living…

My most detailed painting yet…

My family and I recently visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Gallery.  I went looking for the best art that I could find and for inspiration to turn in a new direction with my work.  The impressionists excited me with their colorful light effects as usual and Joaquin Sorolla and John Singer Sargent dazzled me with their expressive brushwork, but the paintings that knocked my socks off this time were those of the Frederic Edwin Church.  In particular, the painting “Dream of the Andes,” has me staring for… well, I don’t know how long but, thank you Lauren, Ellie and Quinn for being so patient with me in art museums.  What blew me away was the incredible detail. He beautifully designed every fern in the forest, every termite in the trees, and the painting goes back into space at least ten miles.  Now I’m trying to paint a painting with exquisite detail.  I’m not at his level yet, but I’m happy with how it is progressing.   Here are the sketches for now… one from memory in the sketchbook and then a plein air color study.  MoreMesaBreathe-Gleason - 2