Terry Miura • Studio Notes

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sonoma Plein Air - Day 4

Sonoma Morning,  9 x 12

Thursday. I didn't sleep in this morning! Up at six, out the door by six thirty. It took a few days to get into fifth gear, I guess.

On my way into town, I stopped on the side of the road to do this painting. I wasn't planning to do this - the view just caught my eye and I said, why not?  Trees are much easier than buildings and cars, that's for sure. I was done in about an hour, and I went on to get my coffee.

Juiced up with caffeine, I was ready to tackle something more challenging. I saw an old VW Bug parked on one of the side streets the other day and I noticed that it stayed there the whole day. Which means if I saw it at the same spot today, it probably will stay there. I went looking for it, and there it was, waiting to be painted.

Idlebug, 11 x 14

I walked around, viewed it from all possible angles (where I'd be able to set up my easel) and decided on - surprise! - backlit. However, the surroundings weren't all that interesting, so I decided to move the vehicle in my composition. So I first worked out the drawing of the car (without nailing the car, nothing I do around it will make the painting) and then moved the easel a few yards to paint the environment so that the car looked like it was stopped at an intersection, with a pedestrian crossing the street right in front of it.

Pleased with the result,  I packed up and went to another one of those fabulous lunch events, where caught up with everyone and heard about their painting adventures.

Crossing Over, 12 x 16

In the afternoon, I did another, more ambitious version of my Quickdraw. This time, I included more of the background buildings, and gave it a little more color. Also, I did it larger (12 x 16). It turned out to be quite a challenge not only because buildings in perspective are a pain in the ass, but the wind was howling in my face the entire time, and on top of that, I had an audience of a handful of spectators behind me the entire two and a half hours! To be sure, they weren't heckling me or anything, (that is to say, they weren't my friends) but I was aware of being watched the whole time and felt I couldn't do a crappy job. May be that helped? I thought the painting was pretty good. A little different color scheme than my normal comfort zone, but I think it's OK.

Later in the evening, my hosts threw a very fab dinner party. Great food, great wine, (my hosts are winery owners) and great people. This is the life, man~

I'm in bed typing this at 10pm. I do plan on getting up early and painting tomorrow morning. In the afternoon I'll be busy touching up, photographing, and framing, so I just have time for one - may be two paintings before the big gala event.  Better get some sleep now. I'm exhausted!


  1. Definitely more than "pretty good."

  2. Yes - forgot about the yellow bug. Wish I could have had that painting!

  3. wow. that's really nice. maybe it does help to have people watching ;P.
    but i sure dont like people behind me.
    thanks for writing about the sonoma week!! enjoyable reading.

  4. Nice paintings, keep it up.