Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Friday is the Preview and VIP Reception for the Huntington Beach annual Plein Air Festival, which draws many top artists. Artists compete by invitation only, and it's a great compliment to be included. Today we submit our entries at the Huntington Beach Art Center and I decided to preview one of my entries here today.

This is an oil rig off the coast of Huntington Beach. Not a very inspiring subject for most artists perhaps, but it spoke to me. The challenge was how to take a humble industrial blight and turn it into a thing of beauty.

Inspiration struck and everything clicked. Suddenly it came together in a magic moment. It’s hard to show the subtleties on a computer monitor, but in the close-up detail you can see the color and brushwork better.

This piece is very pale in values, almost as if you need to rub your eyes from the afternoon glare. The colors of the water and oil rig are almost gray, but not really. The brushwork is quite loose, and the rig has the impression of detail even though there is very little actual information (but what information is there is accurate). In certain areas of the ocean, the swell of the water catches the peachy glow from the sky. The sky has about a dozen distinct hues; they probably don't translate on a computer monitor but it will give you the idea.

If you live in the area, come join us Friday for the Preview and VIP Reception, where you can meet the artists.

Here are the details:
Huntington Beach Art Center
538 Main Street
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Friday, September 12, 7pm to 9pm
Free Admission

Hope to see you there!

For more information, email me at tombrownstudio@cox.net.

Today’s thought:
Participating in a Plein Air Competition


Blogger trailbee said...

This is absolutely stunning. I used to sail my boat around these rigs and this is such a perfect memory. Thank you. I hope everyone appreciates this work as much as I do.

8:50 AM  
Blogger Mark Adams said...

Tom, When I saw this today, I was instantly reminded of Monet's Rouen Cathedral series. Great light and paint!

9:27 AM  
Blogger Mary Sheehan Winn said...

It's a wonderful piece. I look at stuff like that and cell towers etc. as modern day sculpture.
I love it!

12:14 PM  

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