I am a landscape and seascape oil painter. I have been painting for over 30 years. Inspired by the beauty of nature that surrounds me. I try to paint daily while life continually gets in the way! Life? What is that? It's what happens when I am not painting! Being a wife and mother, finding the remote, the shoes, signing permission slips. Where is the permission slip? "Mom why is there alizaran crimson on my permission slip?" I paint en plein aire as often as possible, and studio paint when I can't, like at 1:30 in the morning. Often enlarging small plein aire paintings onto a large canvas. I hike all over Mt. Diablo and the surrounding hills gathering field notes for my large paintings in the form of sketches, notes, small oil sketches, and photographs. I have been chased by cows, tangled up in barbed wire, soaked in rain swollen creeks with slippery crossing rocks, and all the while I have to make sure I am back in time to pick up a kid from school! Back in the studio, I get to work on the day's information I have gathered. Recreating it on a large canvas. When I hear, "what's for dinner?" Dinner? What's for dinner? I should know this. My mother always knew this. It should be on the table in about ten minutes from now, and I haven't a clue as to the answer of that question. I am still trying to figure out how I got alizarin crimson on the permission slip!

Please enjoy my work, I will post as often as possible. Feel free to leave comments or to contact me by e-mail.

All works © 2010 Catherine McClure Lindberg No images may be reproduced without express permission from the artist.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Ocean Beach, Carmel, CA

Hi there,

This is just a little sketch in my moleskin book (4x6") that I did while sitting on Ocean Beach in Carmel By the Sea, CA. It is located at the end of Ocean Ave. A very nice family, and dog friendly beach. My family always meets there for a place to picnic (we tailgate in the parking lot) after several hours of walking around all the shops and galleries in Carmel. Then we relax on the beach before the 2 hour drive back home. I really only had about 15 minutes to create this as I spent so much time in the galleries and eating!!!!

You can see the Pebble Beach Gold Course from this beach that juts out into the ocean on a peninsula. I did this sketch in April while my daughter was on Spring Break. I just found it on my desktop and thought I'd post it.

It is nice to have your sketching supplies with you. Even if all you have is 15 minutes, you are left with a lifetime of memories the sketch creates. A visual diary!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Plein Aire Day Part 2

This post is a continuation of the post below. "Plein Aire Day"

The painting is finally completed. It is an oil on canvas, 6x12" Just a tiny one. I completed it is just a little over an hour. Could have been quicker but a lot of people kept stopping to talk to me. As you can see I am set up right at the junction in the trail. This wonderful location is barely 20 minutes from my home located in Franklin Canyon in Martinez, CA.

You can see the green grass, but it is quickly turning to gold. "California Gold" I call it.

Notice the toned canvas I paint on. My eyes just cannot take the reflection of the bright white of an un-toned canvas. Everything I need to paint with, my home-made box, my tripod it attaches to, my water, food, etc. all fit in this leather backpack you see at my feet leaning against the trail marker. I was able to hike around with everything on my back while I was looking for the perfect scene to paint. There was too many perfect scenes, I will definitely be back.

Plein Aire Day

Today I hiked in a brand new park just opened up to the public. The Fernandez Ranch. It is 702 acres that has been acquired and has just opened after the completion of the trail building, and some bridges were built so the public could travel without disturbing the natural habitat. So many scenes to paint I surely will be back.

I have to stretch the photos out over 2 posts due to the limitations on image quantity per post. I wanted to show the painting in progress. I realize when painting outdoors from nature that I have to remember to paint what I actually see and not what I know. I know this sounds silly, but when you have been painting for a long time it becomes habit to grab certain colors. I have to ask myself, "Do you really see that color?"

Do take license to edit down the scene just as a writer would a story. You don't need to include all the information to have a good story, or a good painting.

It was hot, I was hungry, and the bugs kept getting stuck in the paint. But man, what a day! It is glorious to be an artist!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Changing Colors

Changing Colors oil on canvas 12 x 12"

This is the time of year that our green hills start to fade to gold as the rains become less frequent here in CA. The poppies are still in full bloom as is the lupine. Crisp days, nice to get out and capture the wonderful area that surrounds me. Trying to select what to paint is hard as there is so much to choose from. Another day, another scene. That's what you have to tell yourself. There is always tomorrow, to come back and paint what you didn't paint today.

I don't own a tube of green paint. All my greens are mixed. That keeps it from becoming monotonous and boring. My canvas is primed with a mixture of red, yellow, and white acrylic so that I am not painting on a stark white canvas. This gives a warm tone to the skys, and the hills. You don't have to go in a touch up any bare spots either as the warm color shows through and looks nice. It also helps to keep you from getting blinded by the bright light on the white canvas when painting out of doors. Try it, one part yellow, one part red, to three parts white.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Green Diablo Foothills

Winter Colors 10X 20" oil Plein Aire Piece

It is still winter here in Northern, California. Spring will start officially tomorrow. Everything is so very green right now. I do not own a tube of green paint. I mix all my own greens, and if you do, it will give you much more variety than any tube will give you. I use primarily Cad Yellow Medium, mixed with what ever blue I am using that day. Usually Cobalt or Prussian. If you need extreme bright greens, use a Cad Yellow Light. Remember you can tone down, or cool your green with the opposite color, red. I will add Burnt Sienna for this (it acts as a red) or Alizarin Crimson.

After all the rain, it is nice to get out in the glorious sun and paint!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Messy Palette

Messy palette means I'm busy. Winter is the time to paint in the studio, frame pieces and ready yourself for the spring shows. Funny, some artists are so meticulous about the way they lay out their paint. And their palette is so neat, but they get paint all over the place when they paint. All over their hands, clothes, etc. I have a messy palette, but my hands stay clean, and my studio has a carpet that has no paint on it. Go figure. My palette works for me. I use a disposable palette and it sits in a Masterson palette box, I think it is called. It holds a 12 x 16" palette. I don't use the lid for the box. I mainly use the box to keep brushes from accidently rolling off onto the floor! Well, time to get back to the easel.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Art Festival Booth

Moonlit Rhapsody 30 x 40" oil studio piece (sold)

In honor of tonight's full moon I am posting a piece from my moon series, Moonlit Rhapsody.

Today's topic is the Art Show Booth. I have two set ups. The typical 10x10 EZ-UP canopy with grey carpeted ProPanel walls. This is really nice, however I will say that I have NEVER set this up alone, and even with my husband's help it has NEVER set up in 30 seconds as EZ-UP claims it can be. My panels are light weight, basically carpeted covered styrafoam with steel support and legs. But because of my small size and their large size I can only carry one at a time and have a hard time seeing over around them as I walk. My husbands comes and helps me set up and comes back at show's end to help tear down.

I have another set up seen photographed in this blog (look under Pacific Fine Arts archive) It consists of masonite panels that are 2' x 4' and 1' x 4'. They are in a manageable size I can carry. They notch into each other to create 2 6' tall 4' wide square kiosks. They are extremely durable. Wind proof. I set a market umbrella inside each one and weight it nicely. If it rains the umbrella affords some protection while I run for my plastics box which is basically plastic file box that I carry clear plastic and all my clamps in. I by 9' x 12' clear plastic. I cut 3 4' wide strips out of each plastic sheet. So the final cut size is 4' wide x 9' long. These are plastic drop cloths found in the paint aisle at the hardware store. Use a sturdy mil that is at least 2 or 3 mil. You don't want the cheapest one that feels like saran wrap. These sheets are folded nicely into my plastic box and at the ready for rain. Have enough small 3" clamps to put 2 clamps at the top of the kiosk and at the bottom. Drape the extra length down into the center of the kiosk, or cut it off before hand.

My masonite kiosks were used for every show until I could afford Pro Panels which are costly for a beginner. I still use my kiosks for sidewalk shows that do not have a 10x10' space.

What ever your set up, make sure your booth has a nice flow for traffic. If it is too crowded people will peek in but the will NOT enter. If one patron has to be in close contact with another, no way they will not go in. People need their personal space.

Some booths are set up with out thought. It appears as what should be their main entrance is blocked off. Your patrons should not have to search for the way in. If they have to, they will move on to the booth next door instead.

I have seen other booths that have an outside wall that is front and center to the public, and it is blank. Nothing on it. All of their work is on the inside of their booth. Use this "Prime Real Estate!" Put your best piece here front and center for all to see. Show off your best work and make the public want to come on over to your booth to see more! If you are a sculpture, glass or ceramic, artist and have all your work inside the booth on pedestals or shelves then make a nice sign for your outside wall. Possibly with a nice photo of your work. Kinkos and like places can make a large poster size enlargement for you and even mount it on foam board. Put your name really large on this sign to draw attention.

What ever you do, avoid a "flea market" type atmosphere. Keep things neat and orderly. This is your gallery for the weekend. Keep the clutter out of your booth. Use floor length tablecloths so you can use under the table as hidden storage. Avoid "Sale" signs, Half Off this weekend only type of signs. I will approach people and say to them, I am offering discount this weekend only. Other artists I know will have a stack of flyers on my table that list various paintings with their prices and then have a second column with the discounted prices.

Do be certain that every piece of art has a label with the title of the work and the price. Some people will not ask the price. They actually are quite shy or they are afraid that they will be embarrassed if it is too high and they can't afford it. My husband will walk away before he will break down and ask a stranger how much something costs.

When manning your booth, pay attention to who enters. Do not eat or smoke in your booth. If I am reading, I put my reading material aside when someone enters. I smile and pay attention to them. Make it clear that they know this is your booth. A patron should never have to walk around and ask people, "Are you the artist." If you do speak, speak only of your art. Not the weather, their dog, their outfit. You may only have 30 seconds with this person before they leave, don't waste that very valuable time.

Some artists have cut their shows way down due to the current economy. You do however have to realize, if you don't do at least a few shows, people will forget who you are. You HAVE to keep your name and image out there.

If you are reading and this and have more questions than I have answered, please feel free to comment and ask, or e-mail me. Most of all get out there and have fun!