The Portuguese Bend Art Colony will present their 10th annual exhibition, Reflections of the Peninsula, in conjunction with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy at the new Terranea Resort, September 18 - October 3, 2009, and opening to the public this Saturday, September 19 from 1-4 p.m. Jean Stern, Director of the Irvine Museum, will give a lecture at 2:00 p.m. A good portion of the sales from this annual event go to help land preservation in the area.
As I Sat By Her Side, 8" x 10", Oil on board, © Eric Merrell; sketch for 36" x 48" Oil on canvas exhibited at the Frederick R. Weisman Museum at Pepperdine, Malibu
The Gold Medal Exhibition just closed yesterday in Pasadena and attention is now shifting to a new exhibition opening out at the Weisman Museum in Malibu this Saturday evening. Since I don't yet have a good image of the painting, I've posted the sketch above (I'll try to get some photos at the opening that will show it better). It's one of the larger pieces I've painted recently, which I thought would be fun since the museum can afford the space. Here is the text I wrote that will be included in the accompanying catalogue (slightly updated as we're always revising, aren't we):
"My art allows me a process to meditate on the mysteries of life and use that language to say what I would not otherwise be able to communicate. In this piece [As I Sat By Her Side] I was interested in the contrasts, the differences, and how they were all necessary to the purpose of the painting. Because of their differences, they are stronger together; one does not exist without the other.”
The surface of the large canvas was quite fun to work into. Some layering, and lots of scraping; heavily painted areas next to thinly washed in spaces. It was good to have the painting sit in the studio for a little while so I could spend some time with it. Some pieces you paint almost as they're going out the door, but some you get to live with for awhile. This piece for me is a good example of how the sketch conveyed the kernel of the idea, but that idea needed to have some room to develop before I could let the painting out.
The exhibition opens this Saturday, May 23 from 5-7 p.m. and runs through August 9. Hope you can make it out to see the exhibit, online here, it includes a lot of strong work. Thanks to Michael Zakian, Director of the Weisman Museum for all of his work assembling it.
Stability, 20" x 24", Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell; exhibited at the Frederick R. Weisman Museum at Pepperdine, Malibu
Last Red Light, 8" x 10", Oil on board, © Eric Merrell
This last piece won't be in the exhibition, just a small sketch I did at sunset at Leo Carrillo State Beach in Malibu. The large canvas is at the same location, and Stability is from El Matador Beach.
Peter Adams, Force of Light, 30" x 40", Oil on board, © Peter Adams; Exhibited at the George H. Maxwell House, Pasadena
If you happen to be in Pasadena with a little time to spare, check out the on-going (free) exhibition at the historic George H. Maxwell House, 55 South Grand Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105 (Or, see a virtual tour of the rooms - my painting is in the "Library Room-The Bar"). Located literally two blocks from the Norton Simon Museum, the exhibition is comprised of about 20-25 paintings, including work by artists Peter Adams, Karl Dempwolf, Sharon Burkett Kaiser, Stephen Mirich, Daniel W. Pinkham, Scott Prior, Mian Situ, and myself, to name a few of the artists. (Contact the California Art Club at 626/583-9009 beforehand to arrange access or a tour of the exhibition.)
Searching for the Light, San Gabriel Mission, 18" x 24", Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell; Exhibited at the George H. Maxwell House, Pasadena
Also, I want to give everyone an early heads-up for the Winter Semester at the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art in Van Nuys, California. The next Landscape Painting Class begins Saturday, January 24, 2009. It runs for eight consecutive Saturdays. The class size is kept small, so students will receive plenty of individual instruction.
In these classes you will learn how to paint what you see, not what you think you see. Learn how to interpret nature in terms of paint, using light and color to create form. Color relationships, design/composition, simplifying, and the benefits of painting on location will be discussed, as well as how to design and build a painting that carries an emotional impact. Make an investment in your art - gain confidence and knowledge that will inspire all areas of your creativity!
Call the school at 818/708-9232 to register.