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When traveling, I search for scenes to paint, using the golden-mean ratio on my camera phone extension to get good landscape photos. Often I am walking with my children and come upon something magnificent. In the winter, we visit Alabama, where the sunsets over the Gulf dazzle the pale sky. In the summer, the family comes out each night to have a glass of wine and watch the sunset over Lake Michigan. Whenever I see golden light, I am ready to whip out my phone and take a picture.
Over the last two years I've been studying with the artist Debbie Claussen, who teaches at our art studio in Berkeley. Under her guidance, I've incorporated new kinds of blends and pencils into my work, to improve the drawing quality.
In my work, I've used pencil to capture the dune grasses and majestic Northern beauty of Lake Michigan. As one of my relatives says "Every sunset over Lake Michigan is a 10." So true.
Another travel surprise was Kansas, where I stopped to visit old friends. The plains are so vast that driving can be somewhat dangerous. One loses track of distance in the mirage of the horizon. I chose a photograph of a hot summer sunset in tiny Arlington, a sleepy town in a beautiful rural community.
While scouting for urban landscape scenes in my hometown, I find myself drawn to bright light on pale surfaces. Whether shining on a warehouse or illuminating a mansion, the late afternoon Bay Area light dazzles the viewer. In the East Bay, one leaves the majesty of San Francisco for a more all-American urban architecture. Low warehouses and small factories. Concrete holding walls. Homes built in the fifties. In the right light, all these things inspire love.
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