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Weekly Paintings By National Award Winning Artist Terry d. Chacon

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Santa Barbara Mission 2008 "Lavanderia"

This past weekend after 3 days of painting at Art Alive, my hubby, Tootsie, April and myself took a short trip to Santa Barbara. Tootsie had a veterinarian appointment with Dr. Shaw on Monday so I decided this would be the perfect opportunity for me to paint the Santa Barbara Mission on Sunday. Being the good sport that my husband is, he said he would go along for the ride. When we arrived in Santa Barbara we dropped the dogs off with Abbe and Gary and got to the Mission around 3 p.m. The sun was starting to come out and it was a bit on the chilly side. My very first painting I ever did was in my art class in 1999/2000 was of Ch. Shylo Marquis Malachite better known as Hubert at the Santa Barbara Mission. I painted this painting from a photograph. The photo was on the cover of the Afghan Hound Review way back when also. My art teacher at the time thought I was sure taking on a huge project for my first painting but said I could give it a try. I will also put a cropped portion photo of that painting for you to see at the end of this post. For some reason I don't have a photo of the whole painting. I will try and find that photo at another time. Meanwhile I always loved the lavanderia (clothes washing basin built in 1808 by the Chumash Indians) at this Mission and also liked the view of the Mission that I had painted so long ago. Painting in Plein Air is sure a lot different than painting from a photograph. You really see so much more when you are on location. I am sure in the past 8 to 9 years some things have changed. We all change with age!!!! I quickly got the drawing and placement of the scene I wanted to paint. My husband watched this and told me later he was wondering how a painting would every emerge out of what I was doing. But he said he had faith in me as he knows my work. I first do an abstract design while drawing with a small brush, paint and turp. Mostly just to get an idea of placements of the subjects. I then put a quick wash over the painting paying special attention to the shadows and the lightest lights in the scene. By this time I am on a roll, or I can tell if I need to make adjustments before continuing or give up and start something fresh. Eddie decided he would go take a tour of the Mission while I continued. The sun finally came out and I quickly got in the what I was seeing and started to warm up just a little. I loved the way the sun hit the towers, the tops of the roof in spots and the trees in the foreground. The lavanderia was in full shade at this time except for the sun on the mountain lion figure at the top. Yep, that is a mountain lion, so funny how when I was painting the Hubert painting many years ago, from the photo I thought it must be a pig then. Still looks like a pig to me, but after the tour Eddie had gained a lot of knowledge about the lavanderia and how it came about and its many uses over the years. At this time Eddie decided he would read the newspaper, he was so worried about all the people who pass by and stand behind me watching me paint and taking photos of me painting that he thought he needed to stand guard so to speak so he moved the car where I was in full view as he read his paper. About 5:30 I was really getting cold and the light was changing so fast. I quickly finished the painting, put it away and hurried to the car. It was so nice to sit in a warm car. My hands were freezing. I didn't take the painting out of my carrier until we returned home on Monday. I was pretty pleased with the results. This painting will be on display starting April 15, 2008 at the Banning Center for the Arts Mission Show, featuring the Plein Air Artists of Riverside. If you are in the area be sure to contact me for directions. You do not want to miss this exhibit! Until next time, ENJOY THE ART. Terry


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