Monday, April 2, 2012

Upcoming art show (and recent studio work)

My 3rd annual solo show at the Studio Gallery in San Francisco opens this Wednesday. Here are the 7 studio pieces I did for the show. The other 26 paintings were all done onsite at a variety of locations around California.

Rush Hour
Pastel on Canson Paper
16 x 14

Pastel on Canson Paper
14 x 16
From a raft trip down the Colorado in 2008. I can't tell you how many paintings drifted by while on the raft. Here's two that I couldn't let get away. Nankoweap was actually a view from shore in camp. I have a field study of this one.

Drake's Beach
Pastel on Canson Paper
16 x 20
There are 2 other pieces in the show painted on this day. Ernesto Nemesio and Sharon Calahan and I spent a whole day exploring different areas of the Pt. Reyes locale.

The last 3 are all from last summer's pack trip to the Rock Creek drainage. We camped at Chickenfoot Lake and many of us hiked up to the Gem Lakes area to paint, as the views were spectacular.

Splintered Shore
Pastel on Canson Paper
12 x 16

Gem Outlet
Pastel on Canson Paper
12 x 16

Treasure Beyond
Pastel on Canson Paper
15 x 20


ddd said...

Congrats on your upcoming show Bill! I wish I lived closer to be able to see it.

When working on your studio pieces, besides using your filed "studies" do you take a photograph of the location? How do you feel about studio work compared to plein air, do you prefer one to the other? I tried doing some studio work this winter too, but I found I was loosing that spontaneity that is inherent to plein air. Your studio work feels loose and fresh, do you have any tips you could offer that could help us achieve that "freshens" too?

I hope you won't mind the avalanche of questions :)

Sonya Johnson said...

Wow - these are all just incredible pieces, Bill! The first two in particular grab me because I've backpacked down the Nankoweap trail and know that section of Marble Cyn. Just breathtaking.

Congratulations on the upcoming show!

William R. Moore said...

They are all superb. Thanks for the gallery link, I enjoyed the slide show. Disappointing that I can't see in person. Great title for the first, Rush Hour (somewhere), light effect is so great. Splintered Shore...I keep going back, such a great design and those simple appearing marks ( dark to middle dark ) in the water are strokes (no pun intended) of genius.

Anonymous said...


Carolyn Jean Thompson said...

Hi Bill, These look beautiful. I'm going to see if we can stop by before my husband's appointment at the VA SF. It would be great to see your show.

Bill Cone said...

Thanks folks for all your kind comments! Much appreciated. As for Dalibor's questions about studio work, keeping it fresh is an interesting challenge. First off, I do have field studies for some pieces I do in the studio, but not all. Usually what I photograph is something I really would like to paint on location, if I had the time. When I set up in the studio, I'll pin up my study, if I have one, the photo reference, and then just barrel into the painting as if I'm outside: rough in basic shapes, establish values, refine edges. I work standing up, I step away from the image a lot, and I squint. I focus a lot of attention on organizing the big shapes, and looking 'inside' of those shapes for a second level of information.
The big 'trap' with using photos is usually the wealth of small details that a photo can provide by default. It can be tempting to start noodling that stuff, and generally it doesn't help. A little goes a long way in a painting. There's a hierarchy of information the eye absorbs in a painting, and you can orchestrate that.... mostly by leaving a lot out, and focusing on the relationships of the major shapes, and how the eye moves. I'm still trying to understand it myself, but the point is, the artist is in charge, not the reference material. Squinting is one of the simplest and strongest devices for studying the major relationships in an image.

Anonymous said...


I can't wait to see Rush Hour that I purchased from the Studio website. It joins Havasu Creek from your last show. I was disappointed to miss one of your last Grand Canyon paintings, so I was thrilled that Rab and Jen contacted me with a preview of this show. Both paintings remind me so much of my Colorado River Trip in the 1970's. Thanks for bringing it all back.


ddd said...

Bill, thank you for your explanation. Sometime ago, I taped a piece of paper on my easel and it says "Squint" :)

C.Deboda said...

Beautiful stuff as always, Bill. Wish I could see these in person.

Ida M. Glazier said...

As always your art is wonderful, and its like being there. I hope you do well Bill! Good luck, and keep it up.

Kathy Weber said...

Beautiful work. I'd love to know, how many pastel sticks (approx.) do you bring with you when you paint outdoors?

Måns Sjöberg said...

I missed your art show on a recent visit to California but I'll stay updated and try again. Amazing work!

john said...