moonrise

104th Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition

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.

The Rush, 24" x 48" © Eric Merrell

The Rush, 24" x 48" © Eric Merrell

The Ever-Changing Landscape

coral-trees-sunset-effect Coral Trees - Sunset Effect, 12" x 16", Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell

coral-trees-june-moonrise Coral Trees - June Moonrise, 12" x 16", Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell

coral-trees-midday-effect

Coral Trees - Midday Effect, 12" x 16", Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell

coral-trees-in-the-gloaming Coral Trees - In the Gloaming, 12" x 16", Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell

These were mostly painted consecutively, one day after the next, in June 2008. I did this to observe the ways in which the light changed subtly in a consistent environment (avoiding too much seasonal change). The moonrise was first, where I found the composition; as I waited for it to rise, I admired the changing light of the setting sun. There were so many moods, changing completely every 10 minutes or so, and as I liked the arrangement I thought it could provide a great way to study the light at different times of the day. It wasn't so much that the light changed, but the landscape itself changed.

The Cobb Estate

Afternoon in the Foothills, 11" x 10", Oil on board, © Eric Merrell

These were painted at the Cobb Estate in Altadena this past spring. A beautiful area right at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, on clear days you can see all the way out to the Pacific. Hardly anything besides the original foundation of the 1915 mansion remains amidst great groves of eucalypti and oaks. The driveway is flanked by rows of old pines and cypress, and now serves to lead hikers to trailheads.

No More in a Moment, 12" x 12", Oil on board, © Eric Merrell

These were both painted on location. I knew the moon was due to rise, but I couldn't tell exactly where it would appear over the mountains - so I spent some time pacing the trail, trying to determine where best to paint from. When it finally came into view, shadows were advancing quickly, and I had only 30 minutes or less to paint.