I'll be exhibiting three paintings at La Casita del Arroyo in Pasadena on October 9, 2016. The Moon Stirred is a nocturne, far up the Upper Arroyo Seco back in the San Gabriel Mountains, the full moon rising over a silhouetted cliff and the flower stalks of Yucca whipplei, the archetypal yucca of The San Gabriels. The Lower Arroyo is seen in both Arroyo Dusk and Arroyo Seco Afternoon. The San Marino Tribune was kind enough to use my nocturne for their article announcing the exhibit.
If you're in southern California, I'm going to have three paintings featured at the upcoming season finale of Classical Underground next Monday, June 6. CU is an informal concert series featuring many extremely talented musicians playing classical pieces that aren't heard often.
It will be really exciting to see the paintings in a live music setting.
Tickets and details: http://www.classicalunderground.com/
I recently completed a new self-portrait that I've been planning in my head for some time. Ideas for paintings often arise from things I see or read, or certain 'problems' that present themselves. "What if...?" often leads me to an interesting concept to work from. For this painting, I had to have everything set up in anticipation of sunset; I only had about 30-45 minutes max each day (you can see the shadow creeping up my chest). It took 6-7 consecutive days painting outdoors at sunset to develop the painting to this stage.
I want to clarify: I see these colors. These aren't the colors of Fauvism or Expressionism which depart from describing reality: not arbitrary, they are carefully orchestrated using a full color palette to describe light and space. The six earlier self-portraits below give some comparison; all depict different lighting situations and times of year. Three were painted indoors, three were painted outside. One of the strange things about color (among many) is that if you believe there is a lot of color, you'll see it; if you don't think it's there, you won't see it.
Top row, from left: Self-Portrait with Cool Light (2005); Self-Portrait in Winter (2007); Self-Portrait by Open Door (2014).
Bottom row, from left: Self-Portrait 100F in the Shade (2015); Self-Portrait by Moonlight (2015); Self-Portrait Indoors (2016).
I'm stoked to be a part of a new exhibition opening soon in Palm Desert. The Salton Sea, sometimes called an accidental sea due to its unintentional creation in 1906-07 (refilling the Salton Sink), has been an inspiring and mysterious place for me to paint over the last seven years. "The Salton Sea: Lost in Paradise" explores the strange and beautiful history of a place once heralded as California's Riviera through paintings, photographs, video, and sculpture, as well as historic memorabilia.
"The Salton Sea: Lost in Paradise"
Marks Art Center, College of the Desert, Palm Desert, CA
March 21-April 22, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, April 1, 5-7pm
From Artist and Curator Deborah Martin:
"The Marks Art Center is pleased to present “The Salton Sea: Lost in Paradise” featuring a selection of works and memorabilia from the collection of the late Jenny Kelly, new video from Coachella Valley artist Cristopher Cichocki, Contemporary Sculpture by Ashley Hagen and Aili Schmeltz, photographic works from Christopher Landis (In Search of Eldorado), Joan Myers (Salt Dreams), Kim Stringfellow (Greetings from the Salton Sea), and new work from photographers Victory Tischler-Blue, Bill Leigh Brewer and environmental artist Doron Gazit. In addition, the exhibit will include paintings by Deborah Martin (The Slabs: The Last Free Place in America) and new work from landscape painters Andrew Dickson, Mary Austin-Klein and Eric Merrell, who will present a new series of "nocturnes" inspired by the Salton Sea. A site specific installation will be on view by Los Angles based artist Thinh Nguyen who will present a durational performance “From Dawn to Dust” during the opening night reception on Friday April 1st, from 5-7pm.
For those who have chosen to make the Salton Sea their home this is their sanctuary. Like the sea, these communities have been forgotten, yet they continue to band together and persevere in spite of the odds stacked against them.
The sea provides habitat to some four hundred and thirty species of birds, some of them endangered, and is one of the last significant wetlands remaining on the migratory path between Alaska and Central America. Every year, the North shore of the Salton Sea is diminished, partly because of drought and partly because of the sale of Colorado River water to coastal areas. The migrating pelicans and grebes have fewer fish to eat as the shallow water disappears. The dust from desiccated shallows blows into the air and is easily inhaled by local children, whose asthma rates lead the state.
The nonprofit Pacific Institute estimates that the surface area of the 350-square-mile lake will shrink 100 square miles by 2030, salinity will triple over 15 years, and fish will disappear in seven years without intervention.
This exhibition is not only a tribute to the artists who have found inspiration in the Salton Sea, it is a tribute to the endurance of the sea itself, and to the people who are dedicated to preserving it."
This exciting project was just released a few weeks ago. Nocturnes is a short film that follows me into the desert while I paint at night. It was shot on a Sony A7S, which is the first camera with the ability to film in moonlight without any other light sources. It was all shot on location - even the lightning storm.
We've also gotten some nice coverage since its release:
Artists on Art (issue 17 contains an article I wrote, “Is Plein Air in Moonlight Possible?”)
NOCTURNES SCREENINGS AT U.S. FILM FESTIVALS
Lone Star Film Festival, Fort Worth, TX, Nov 10 – 13, 2016
St. Louis International Film Festival, St. Louis, IL, Nov 3 – 13, 2016
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, Hot Springs, AR, Oct 7-16, 2016
Alameda International Film Festival, Alameda, CA, Oct 7 – 9, 2016
Tacoma Film Festival, Tacoma, WA, Oct 6 – 13, 2016
Great Lakes International Film Festival, Erie, PA, Sept 22 – Oct 1, 2016
Joshua Tree International Film Festival, Joshua Tree, CA, Sept 16 – 18, 2016
Atlanta Underground Film Festival, Atlanta, GA, Aug 19 – 21, 2016
DocuWest International Film Festival, Denver, CO, May 11 – 15, 2016
RAW Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA, April 24, 2016
I made these limited edition linoleum block prints as a special thank you to collectors of my work and those individuals whom, without their support, I wouldn't be able to do what I love to do: make art.
The first two images above (sunset) make up the majority of the edition: 105 prints out of 125 total; the remaining 20 prints are of the third (nocturne) image.
Thanks and Happy 2016!
Collectors of my wife's photography will receive the limited edition print below.
Henry Hensche (1899-1992), a painter known for his connection to Provincetown, MA, was also a highly influential teacher and a major proponent of the role of color in painting. (His west coast counterparts of the mid-20th century were Sergei Bongart and Theodore Lukits.) Hensche was a student of Charles Webster Hawthorne, who was in turn a student of William Merritt Chase; Chase's outdoor painting school on Shinnecock, Long Island was one of the earliest to be influenced by the lessons of the French Impressionists.
Moonlight has fascinated the arts for centuries. Writers have composed about its romance, artists have painted its mystery, musicians and composers have been moved to produce beautiful passages that evoke those ideas. But while moonlight has been depicted by many painters, it was often done from memory out of necessity, because it's hard to see and paint in the dark.
Despite the difficulties involved, artists are in good company: Van Gogh, Caspar David Friedrich, Frank Tenney Johnson, Elihu Vedder, Frederic Remington, and Lockwood de Forest are just a few who painted nocturnes. Some painted by candlelight, some tried working in the near dark after memorizing the colors on their palettes; some painted from memory or imagination, while other artists painted an imagined nocturne on location - in the middle of the day. I'm fascinated by all of these depictions, but the thing that always rang a little off for me was that many of these moonlit scenes felt too 'crisp', too similar to daylight - they didn't feel like moonlight. When I'm standing in moonlight, especially with no ambient light, it's very easy to navigate and walk around - individual trees and plants are distinguishable - but details, sharp edges, and the full spectrum of daylight color all disappear. We're left with softness, unidentifiable forms blurring into other forms, edges that get lost and blur into the sky, and a very reduced (though not achromatic) color range.
Many nocturnes painted today have too broad of a value range to truly feel like a nocturne - the lightest lights often look like spotlights on canyon walls, not soft moonlight (I'm not addressing nocturnes with multiple light sources, like urban settings, just pure moonlight). Interestingly, nocturnes are not absolute darkness painted with the darkest pigments on your palette (even a quarter moon has light enough to see some things). Instead they're a little lighter, maybe in the range of 80-90% dark; but the lighter values are only slightly lighter.
Technology has helped advance nocturne painting. While artists working in previous centuries were extremely limited in how they could approach painting at night, today we have many different portable lighting options that make it possible to stand outdoors in moonlight and paint what we see. Despite this, painting moonlight on location is still considered something of an impossibility.
Of course it isn't easy, but neither is painting during the day. How many tries did it take to come up with something you thought was successful when you started painting? It takes time and preparation to learn the approach. The challenge of painting nocturnes is the same as during the day: to paint what you see, not what you think you see. However, what we see at night is much different than what we see during the day, but since humans are (for the most part) diurnal, we tend to think of things in terms of daylight. Moonlight can often border on abstraction, but that's the appeal for me. Everything can't be explained. Don't worry about the science behind it. A nocturne shouldn't be painted in the same way as something painted during the day.
With landscape, it's fairly easy to allow ourselves to abstract. My self-imposed challenge with these two portraits painted on location in the moonlight was two-fold: looking at how the color differed between the two paintings (the first was painted a few days before the full moon in July, the second a month later in August), as well as painting what I could truly see; allowing myself to lose features or elements of likeness if I couldn't actually see it. In the self-portrait, the eyes and eye sockets lost most of their detail, so I just tried to paint them as they appeared. In the other one, I could make out cool bluish glints of moonlight reflecting in her eyes, but the shadow on her neck nearly got lost in her hair.
Stand in the dark awhile, let your eyes adjust. You'll be amazed at what you can see and paint. If you want to explore nocturnes further, join me for my annual Nocturne Painting Workshop, October 24-25, 2015.
This excerpt in Art and Artists from July 14, 1907, Antony Anderson's weekly art column in the L.A. Times caught my eye. Interesting read. "Can Color Be Taught?"
"The colorist is simply a man in whom a certain set of nerves are unusually sensitive, but those nerves by training can be made still more sensitive, and can be brought more completely under the control of his intelligence. While he remains untaught he is unable to use his powers effectively, because he does not understand them. His successes will be accidental, his methods will be erratic, and the results at which he arrives will be disconnected and probably unconvincing. Subjected to discipline, however, he will become more consistent, and he will find out exactly what he should do in order to convey to others the impression that exists in his mind."
"The man who would teach color must himself be a colorist exquisitely sensitive and perfectly trained; he must be able to dissect and analyze the most subtle combinations, and to explain the details of the most elusive harmonies, for of all sciences the one with which he has to deal is the least susceptible of being governed by hard and fast rules."
"To arrange color by rule is to make it lifeless and without meaning, to destroy its power of exciting emotion, and to reduce it to a mechanical balancing of color areas. What I understand by the science of color is the accounting for the relation between the pitch and area of the colors used in a properly adjusted combination, and the explanation of the manner in which varying color tones can be brought into agreement so that the result of their juxtaposition is absolutely harmonious. That this science is subject to laws which call for complete obedience I admit, but these laws must be taught by demonstration, not by text-books. And can you tell me of any school in which teaching of this kind is available?" (reproduced from The Lay Figure, in International Studio).
I'll be teaching two workshops next month in which we'll focus on color and discuss a lot of these points. How do you make good color without subjecting it to formulas? Color has always been considered part of emotion, hard to control; the opposite is found in the reserve and control in academic drawing - the classic battle of the Florentines v. the Venetians, of line v. color. Color is extremely personal, but it can be used to communicate as well.
I grew up in Northern California where summer turns the rolling hills to a burnished gold. With the oaks and sage mingling and creating hillside patterns, it's the classic California landscape. I was recently was able to explore and paint my hometown - here are a few of the pieces done on location.
I've been wanting to paint more portraits outside using natural light, so I recently set up a mirror and sat myself down for a self-portrait (well, I was standing, but you get the idea). My goals lay more in exploring the new color relationships and what they convey than in trying to get a 'likeness'; however, with enough time, the individual will come through with the right shapes and spots of color.*
It was definitely hot out - my thermometer read 100F in the shade - but my goal wasn't bragging rights for painting in extreme temperatures; I wanted to use color to convey that heat. The darker and warmer reds in the shadow on my face are (relatively) darker compared to the greenish-oranges in the shadow on my neck, and the cooler pinks and violets around my cheekbones are lighter than those reds; still, while more 'colorful' than one might expect, when taken all together they should hold a sense of form and create a sense of light. This kind of information is lost in a photograph, hence the necessity of painting in the heat.
A little side note about my color: I've had people ask how I categorize myself: would I consider myself an Impressionist, Expressionist, or lately, Fauvist (what, no Romanticism?). While I admire artists from those movements, I don't feel akin to them. And while the Fauves can be fun, they were essentially rejecting three-dimensional space, so when Andre Derain painted a beach he used an intense red, possibly straight out of the tube. My color is not the broken color of the Impressionists nor the 'liberated' color of the Fauvists: I'm interested in searching for subjective/personal color relationships that still function within our shared experience of humanity, so although certain colors might come as an unexpected surprise to a viewer, they make sense and (hopefully) lead to new insights.
* When looking at paintings our natural tendency is to want people to look 'right' - getting a likeness - this makes the human figure a difficult subject to use for studying color. Not the premeditated academic 'color' like Ingres or Cabanel, but beautiful natural light that is as much a joy for the artist to discover as it is for the viewer. My focus has been in studying how light works and how we perceive it; landscape and still life allow more freedom to experiment in those areas.
When the California Art Club returns to USC's Fisher Museum of Art to present their 104th Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition from March 29 - April 19, 2015 this spring, I'll be exhibiting a new large painting titled The Rush. This piece is located in the Pinto Basin of Joshua Tree National Park.
Purchase tickets to the Opening Night Gala Reception here.
Proceeds from this sale benefit Arts Without Boundaries ,a non-profit organization which brings free arts instruction and performances into public schools.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! I'm stoked to have five of my paintings - all being shown for the first time - at the Coors Western Art Show in Denver, CO opening next week as part of the National Western Stock Show. Check them out online now and then go see the works in the Gallery at the National Western Club starting January 5, 2015.
Purchase tickets to the Red Carpet Reception on January 6th here. The exhibition runs through January 25, 2015.
Four fresh and recent paintings are in a new group exhibition at Altamira Fine Art in Scottsdale, AZ opening next week. Check out all of the work for Desert Mythos online now and then go see them in the gallery starting January 5, 2015. Two pieces are from Joshua Tree National Park and two from Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. One work was painted from memory. Can you figure out which one?
Four of my paintings are in a new group exhibition at Altamira Fine Art in Jackson Hole, WY opening next week. Check out all of the work for Holiday LookBook online now and then go see them in the gallery starting December 15, 2014.
Art Business: Yawn, right? Still, I think it's important enough to write about. Of all the artists that I know, the successful ones (read: make their main income from art) are totally involved in the business side of their art, not just the creation of it. The romantic stereotype of the messy artist who just creates in a cluttered studio is really the image of an artist who won't survive.
I want to stress that this is directed equally towards Artists and Galleries, but is written from the Artist's (my) perspective. Artists should realize that each of their business decisions, even on a small scale, affects other Artists and the art world at large. An Artist-Gallery relationship is a lot like a marriage. You should spend a lot of time asking questions and getting to know them before making a commitment. Artists need to make it clear what they want, listen to what the Gallery wants, and then work with the gallery to make that happen - don't just sit back and wait for the checks to roll in. It doesn't work that way.
(I've worked in a handful of Galleries before, so I can easily sympathize with owners, and I know how problematic and difficult living artists can be. Think how much consignment forms would streamline everything! If I owned a Gallery, I wouldn't do business with an Artist who didn't use them.)
The 5 main reasons for using consignment forms:
1. It protects both parties involved. If you were consigning any other physical object for sale, such as power tools or furniture, wouldn't you want to have signed forms as proof that the agreement actually exists? Fedex and UPS have you sign to verify receipt of a package. Otherwise, how do you prove that the exchange ever occurred in the first place? Art is no different, even if it does have the artist's signature on it. The Gallery could have purchased it separately from a third party. As my uncle says, a contract is as good as the paper it's signed on. Meaning, no contract, no good. Get it in writing. Plan for the worst case scenario, and create a consignment form and agreement that will prevent you from ever getting there.
I have heard horror stories from other Artists: Galleries that were closed due to creditors where the consigned artwork was confiscated as payment for debts; Galleries that didn't pay what they agreed to pay when selling; Galleries that denied work was ever even given to them. I've also heard Artist horror stories from the Gallery side of things, too, so why wouldn't both sides draw up a fair agreement that protects everyone?
2. It keeps everyone involved happy. Because the Artist and Gallery are all on the same page at the outset and have the same understanding of the agreement, misunderstandings have much less chance of occurring.
3. The art world is in reality a small community. If an Artist sets certain precedents in a Gallery relationship, good or bad, that affects other Artists who come afterwards. If an Artist accepts sub-standard commission rates just for the sake of a wall to hang on (don't do this, Artists), the Gallery will continue to use those rates because they can, and that Artist has now made it harder for every Artist who comes after him to get a decent agreement. If one Artist walks away from what they perceive as a bad deal, but the next ten Artists agree to it, nothing will change. But if one Artist walks away from a bad deal, and subsequent Artists do too, that sends a message to the Gallery that maybe they need to change something to get the good artists in the door. Artists need to stick to their guns, or be prepared to walk.
4. It creates a record. Of your work, your exhibition history, your collectors. This is provenance, which determines authenticity later down the road. And the art historians will love you.
5. You know where your work is, and how long its been there. Obviously Art is not the same as a loaf of bread at the grocery store that needs to be replaced after a few days, but it's a good idea to refresh your work in a Gallery from time to time. Collectors like to see something new and it's a good way to stay involved with your Gallery. If you don't have some sort of record of these things, and have multiple paintings out at multiple Galleries, it's very easy to forget how much something was priced at, or what size it was, or how it was framed. Documentation is your friend.
5 things to keep in mind, and to ask for when negotiating with a Gallery (your email correspondence is also documentation):
1. 50/50 is not a good deal. Artists, you should be insisting on at least 60/40. I can't say this enough, and I can already hear the Galleries complaining, but hear me out. Artists have mortgages, utility payments, car payments, and more, just like Gallery owners, as well as the upfront costs of Framing and Shipping work to the Gallery. I know Galleries have other expenses. However, Galleries tend to represent multiple Artists, often upwards of 40+ at times, while Artists tend to be represented by, let's say, 4-5 Galleries. So, even if a lot of the Artists represented in a Gallery aren't selling, chances are good that a few are, and the Gallery will be earning income from that. Even with 4-5 Galleries, there is still a good chance that an Artist will go for long periods of time without selling anything.
(If Galleries would purchase some of the work outright from an Artist like they used to, it would be an immense help. Years ago when an Artist had an exhibition, a Gallery might purchase 1/3 of the new work. Not only would this give the Artist the ability to continue to survive and create, but now the Gallery is really invested in selling the work, because they own it, rather than having no horse in the race as is the case with consignments.)
2. Frames should be dealt with separately in consignments, and not subject to commissions. Why is the Artist expected to eat this cost? If an Artist gave an unframed work to a Gallery and the Gallery had to go to the expense of framing it, the Gallery would want to be reimbursed for that expense, and rightly so. Well, so should Artists. Here's how I break it down (see the image above):
Step 1: Gallery Retail Price (the price the collector pays) - Frame Cost = Adjusted Retail. (It's easy math, people, even for Artists.)
Step 2: Divide the Adjusted Retail into the previously agreed commission rates. A standard 60/40 agreement would give the Artist 60%.
Step 3: Add Frame Cost to whichever party paid for it. Boom. If the Gallery supplied the frame, the Frame Cost is added to their commission, but since Artists usually take care of this expense, it would be added to their commission. I don't know why Galleries are so averse to this. Presentation is important, and Artists need to recoup their Frame Cost if they're going to continue to present their work well. (OMG, you say, 60% PLUS Frame Cost? Player loses one turn, go back to Point 1 above.)
(One suggestion I've heard from Galleries, since they usually insist on a 50/50 split, is to double the frame cost in the Gallery Retail Price. This way, when the commissions are split down the middle, the Artist DOES get reimbursed for the frame, but this unnecessarily inflates the price for the Collector and also pays the Gallery more money for a frame they didn't supply. Don't do this.)
Now, a Gallery might be paying for a few other things like magazine ads or exhibition brochures - these are definitely expensive, and the Artist probably never sees the cost of any of this. This then is a negotiating point at the outset of the relationship - who pays for what? Does the Artist pay for frames and shipping to the Gallery, while the Gallery pays for x number of ads per yer? Lay it all out on the table and agree to it beforehand.
3. When a Gallery sells a painting (at least in CA), they are required by law to give the Artist the name and address of the Collector. It's a state law*, and if the Artist requests it and the Gallery refuses, it's a misdemeanor. If Galleries are so concerned that their Artists are going to try to sell directly to the Collector, maybe the Gallery should reconsider who they represent. (If a Gallery is doing well for an Artist, the Artist will have no reason to do anything other than paint, which is what we want to be doing anyways, not selling.)
4. You can always say No. Artists - if you're not getting what you're asking for, or feel like you're compromising just for 'exposure,' you can ALWAYS say No and walk away. Maybe it would be better NOT to sign on with a gallery; instead regroup and work on strengthening your Art. Don't be hungry for 'representation' or 'exposure.' Make your Art your best ambassador.
5. ALL reproduction and copyrights remain exclusively with the Artist. Your forms should clearly state that it is only the physical artwork being sold, and copyright as well as any and all rights for reproduction in any form remain with the Artist. Think of them as two separate things: a physical artwork that hangs on a wall, and an image that can be reproduced onto t-shirts, postcards, whatever. The latter rights to reproduction always remain with the artist unless they are explicitly sold as such. (If anyone in the Illustration or freelance world wants to weigh in on this with more detail that would be awesome.)
So you start to see why Artists might seem so crazy - we have to manage not only the creative side, protecting the playful child-like approach, anticipating and responding to new experiences in order to create, but we have to balance it with the responsible, grown-up side of doing business in the art world. Add to that a preponderance of galleries that jump at the first mention of 'consignment forms," and it can be precarious at times to maintain those two worlds and yet not have them influence each other too much. Like I said at the outset, I'm hoping this improves Artist-Gallery relationships, puts more out on the table and up for discussion. If you want something, ask for it. Also, listen for (or ask if you don't hear it) what the other party wants or needs. If it doesn't sound like it will work, there are plenty of Galleries in the Sea.
OK, now I'd love to hear from you. Are you an Artist? What are you experiences? How about Galleries? Do you have something to add that I might have missed? Let's start a discussion about this and make it the norm for every artwork to be accompanied by a consignment form.
*Want the nitty-gritty? Here's the 1909 CA law requiring Consignees (Galleries) to give the name AND address of the Purchaser (Collector) to the Consignors (Artist) upon request.
Stats. 1909,c. 706.p. 1081, Section 1.
It is hereby made the duty of every commission merchant, broker, factor or consignee, to whom any property is consigned or entrusted for sale, to make, when accounting thereof or subsequently, upon the written demand of his principal or consignor, a true written statement setting forth the names and address of the person or persons to whom a sale of the said property, or any portion thereof, was made. The quantity so sold to each purchaser, and the respective price obtained therefor; provided however, that unless separate written demand shall be made as to each consignment or shipment regarding which said statement is desired, prior to sale, it shall be sufficient to set forth in said statement only so many said matters above enumerated as said commission merchant, broker, factor, of consignee may be able to obtain from the books of account kept by him: and said statement shall not be required in case of cash sale where the amount of the transaction is less than fifty dollars. Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor. (Added by stats. 1909, c 706, p. 1081, Section, 1.)
I'm excited to participate this year in El Velorio, a Day of the Dead themed art exhibition and event held November 8, 2014 at Plaza de la Raza, 3540 N. Mission Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90031 (Lincoln Heights). Check out the artwork in the exhibit here.
This family-friendly event will have face painting, music, food, and plenty of art to enjoy. Get your tickets soon, as this popular event will sell out quickly.
The inspiration for “El Mariachi Muerto,” my large ofrenda or altarpiece which will be exhibited at El Velorio, came from the many visits to Dia de Los Muertos on Olvera Street with my wife and her family over the years. My father-in-law has built an altar on the plaza a number of times, and I was inspired to create my own after witnessing the vivid colors surrounding the event. The colors of the food, costumes, and decorations gave me an opportunity to build and paint my own altar. I wanted to convey the richness that surrounds this annual celebration of family present and past.
For purchasing inquiries contact El Velorio Curator Erika Hirugami.
My article Seeing Color in the Desert (originally posted on CaliforniaDesertArt.com) has been reprinted in the August/September 2014 issue of International Artist magazine. It originally started with notes from my sketchbook about what I was observing while out painting, and what to do about certain problems that color posed or provided a solution to.