Sergio Lopez - North SF Bay Area Fine Artist

Upcoming Shows and Events

•Spoke Art: April 7, 2016. "The 5th Annual Moleskine Show." San Francisco, CA.

•Bakersfield Museum of Art: April 9th, 2016. "Kern County Plein Air." Bakersfield, CA.

•Christopher Queen Gallery: May 1st, 2016. "The Golden Hour." Duncans Mills, CA.

•Abend Gallery: May 13th, 2016. "Contemporary Figuration." Denver, CO.

•Paso Arts Fest: May 26th, 2016. "Signature Exhibition." Paso Robles, CA.

•Los Gatos: June 18th, 2016. "Los Gatos Plein Air." Los Gatos, CA.

Sonoma Plein Air: September 10th, 2016 "Sonoma Plein Air." Sonoma, CA.

•Modern Eden Gallery: September 17th, 2016. Beautiful Bizzare Invitational Show. San Francisco, CA.

•Christopher Queen Gallery: October 2nd, 2016. "A Splendid Journey: 40th Anniversary Show." Duncans Mills, CA.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Los Gatos Plein Air 2016: Success in Silicon Valley

It had been 2013 since I had come to participate in Los Gatos Plein Air. Historically, I haven't done that great at this show, but they treat us so well, and it's such a fun time, that I have wanted to participate every year since. I almost didn't even apply this year because of not getting in again for years, and a lackluster sale last year. But I'm very glad I did. Let's walk through my adventures, ok?

Day 1

This was the first painting I did while in Los Gatos. It has some decent color I like, but the composition and design put it in the "Reject" pile for me.

"Vasona Lake Afternoon" 8x12 inches. Oil on linen mounted on board.

This one ended up selling at the show. I think the rich blues and subtle orange hits in the background foliage sold it.

Day 2

"Surf Cove, Capitola" 5x7 in. gouache on paper. Sold.

Morningtime, looking east from Capitola Beach at New Brighton.

"Junior Lifeguards" 5x7 in. gouache on paper. Sold.

I sketched the class of kids learning how to be lifeguards. Very California.

"Capitola Rooftops" 5x7 in. gouache on paper. Available for $150.

It was a bit windy and hot with no sun shade, but i still had fun painting this one.

"Surf Cove, Capitola" 5x7 in. gouache on paper. Sold.

I painted this one from the pier in Capitola. This painting sold first.

"Santa Crus Sundown" 6x8 inches. Oil on linen mounted on board. Available for $450.

I love painting backlit seacliffs in the evening. The light, the color, the atmosphere, it's everything I love to paint en plein air. I will most likely do a larger version of this one.

"Natural Bridge Sunset" 5x7 inches. Oil on linen mounted on board. Sold.

I played with the color scheme on this one. It's like they say. If you get the value and color temperature right, you can do almost anything to the color. As a matter of fact, a lot of the time atypical color schemes will get you closer to the mood of the actual scene.

Day 3

I enjoyed painting this scene and I like the composition in this one, but I I think I can execute it in a more interesting way with enough practice. It's a little clumsy. I think I can make it better next time.

"Novitiate Winery" 14x11 inches. Oil on linen mounted on board.

One of the optional avenues for us to participate in was to paint at the Testarossa Winery. The owners of the winery are going to choose one of the paintings and put it on the cover of Los Gatos magazine, AND a magnum of their good wine. Quite a little prize on top of a potential sale, I'd say. This was my first attempt at a painting there. It's decent but I knew I could do better if I came back to paint it... hmmm....

"Mountain Estate" 12x16 inches. Oil on linen mounted on board. Available for $1200.

I was actually running out of places I was familiar with to paint, so I consulted our packet for a list of places to check out. I looked up "Aztec Road." It went along one of the hills around Los Gatos. It has some GREAT vistas that overlook all of Silicon Valley. The problem is, there is almost nowhere to park, This was the best view that wasn't obstructed by a huge house. Sure there is a huge house in this painting, but you still get a decent vista view.

"Sierra Azul Sunset" 5x7 inches. Oil on linen mounted on board. Available for $350.

This was one of my favorite paintings I did during the event. It was also one of the smallest. I liked the big dark shape caused by the hill shadow in the foreground and I think I did well with the color in the background. I forgot to take a good photo of the scene but I can substitute a scene around here to do a large painting of this one, I think.

Day 4

"Vasona Boat Launch" 12x10 inches. Oil on linen mounted on board. Available for $850.

Now in events, I am trying to go back to scenes I enjoy in order to make better paintings if I'm not satisfied with the first attempt. The format of this painting worked better for the scene, and the design is much better than the 6x8. I contemplated putting this one in for my Artist/People's Choice consideration.

"The Tasting Room" 14x11 inches. Oil on linen mounted on board. Available for $1000.

I came back to Testarossa Winery to create this other version of the tasting room. On my second try, I was much looser, having the experience of painting it the day before. I made different choices design-wise as you can see, but the values and edges are better on this one. I don't know if or when they have made their decision on which one they are planning to use, but I think I have a good shot with this one.

Sale Day

This year I went way beyond my previous sales years in Los Gatos, selling almost $1600 worth of paintings whereas before I've sold about 400-800 in previous years. My costs were kept very low, probably only spending $100 the whole time I was gone. I mostly subsisted on meals provided to us and the leftovers from it. I filled up my tank only once the whole time, and there wasn't much else I needed to spend money on(a couple of toiletries I needed anyways). It helped having a good range of painting prices and sizes. The group of gouache paintings paid off since they were within the reach of impulse buyers. The small works sell themselves, which is good since I'm a horrible p2p salesperson, lol. The nice thing is that the town of Los Gatos is starting to finally wake up to the art we're creating and it's beginning to pay off in the sales.

Side note, the NUMU Museum in downtown Los Gatos has a good little show going on in its gallery right now. The range of work is kind of all over the place but I was surprised with who was showing. They had an Odd Nerdrum, Aron Weisenfeld, Seamus Conley, and even Brad Kunkle! I love Brad Kunkle's work so I was happy to see it in person as it's so rare for me to get to do.

Drawings For Sale
Prints For Sale

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Magic Hour: A Group Show at Christopher Queen Gallery

Just letting you know that I'm in a show at Christopher Queen Gallery with some brand new studio landscapes. The theme of the show is "the magic hour," so-called because it is that often-photographed/painted time of the day that fascinates us as humans. I often wonder why we are so drawn to it; is there some sort of biological imperative? Anyhow, these were all finished recently, and were done from a combo of plein air studies and reference photos I shot.

 "Vermillion Cliff, Timber Cove" 10x28 in. oil on linen mounted on board. $1800
 "Golden Marsh" 16x24 in. oil on linen mounted on board. $2400
"Waking Up In The Evening" 20x24 in. oil on linen mounted on board. $2800

Along with my new paintings, you can see what else is going to be on display by the other artists in the show. The color and detail is nowhere near what they are in person, so I encourage you to take the trip out there to the gallery if you are in the area.

Christopher Queen Gallery
"The Magic Hour"
Sunday May 1st. 2016
1-3 PM
#4 John Orr's Garden
Duncans Mills, CA 95403

Drawings For Sale
Prints For Sale

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Kern County Plein Air 2016: Fraught With Peril

Before The Event

On my way to the event, my car started to overheat. I was on the 101 between King City and Paso Robles before I stopped at a rest area. I waited a few hours to turn my car back on to see what would happen. I heard some crazy rubbing noise, no idea what it was but it didn't sound like something I should try to go very far with. I got towed over to Paso Robles and stayed the night with a friend until I got to take it to a mechanic the next morning.
The next day I learned that I had a broken heater hose along with other things. It was going to be until Friday before they made the repairs and I got my car back. From there I rented a car to get me from Paso Robles to Bakersfield. So once I got there I settled into my host's place(where I stayed last year). I was exhausted from stress and worry at this point so I had no mental energy to try and do any painting that day, but I was able to hang out with my buddies Anton Pavlenko and Greg LaRock. We had the best host, who left us a stocked fridge and dinner for us every night. I went to bed early, hopeful for the next day when I can finally get some painting done.

Tejon Ranch

We got to the gate of Tejon Ranch at 8 am in the morning, ready for what the day might have in store. Last year was pretty here but dry. This year was a lot more green on account of the extra rainfall. It did not disappoint! 

The poppies and lupines were in full bloom! So pretty!

"The Shrinking Creek" 16x20 inches.
This was where I painted from this morning. This creek was withering away as I was painting near it. The stream was literally vanishing before my eyes.

"Starved For Rain" 14x18 inches.
This was a painting I did near the entrance gate. The rain was coming so I didn't get to spend enough time really refining this like I wanted to. It's a little mushy. Had I more of a chance to work  on more paintings, I probably wouldn't have turned this one in.


Friday morning I drove my rental (I miss you, Dodge Dart!) back to Paso Robles in the morning. I got my car back and went back to Bakersfield, but not before I stopped at Kern National Wildlife Refuge near the I-5.

"Kern Wetlands" 11x14 inches.
This was a nice grassland area, sort of a desert plain with this wetland area in the middle of it. Not sure what feeds the water into the land, but it has all kinds of neat wildlife here. Lots of ducks and wild birds. If I had more time I might spend a whole day there. I liked this view but I wish I had a different format of panel to paint it with. I can tell that they can get some beautiful sunrises and sunsets here on the right day.

As soon as I got back to the house, I finished framing things and took my paintings over to the show so that they can be hung for tomorrow's gala.

Before The Gala

It was Saturday morning and the car was still holding up. It turned out to be a beautiful day that we all wished we could have had a couple days before, in order to make some real gems out of.
This was the view from the host house in the morning.

"Pastoral Idyll" 8x12 inches.
This was the "quick draw" I painted for the silent auction portion of the event to turn in for the evening. It was fun to paint, though the end result is a little colder than I wanted it to be.

Some of the lovely flowers that were growing in the area.

The Show

The show was held in the Bakersfield Museum of Art. They have a nice collection there! This was the current show, can you spot your favorite California Impressionist??

Here is my "quick draw" on display. Being a museum, I was totally hoping that the show would actually be in one of the display rooms, rather than what looked to be some sort of conference center, perhaps. The lighting on everything was so flat, and really didn't do the paintings much justice, which probably contributed to the meager sales. We still did ok, overall, but last year's event taking place in a gallery (with good lighting) made for a better show.

A decent chunk of what was shown.

The Drive Back

I had business to attend to in San Luis Obispo, so I took the 58 West. It was pretty barren and not especially picturesque until I got to the hills separating Kern and SLO county. It immediately got more green and lush. Had I known about this spot I definitely would have come this way to paint this area; it's quite beautiful.
A typical view of the foothills in the area.

The descent marked the beginning of SLO county east and what is known as California Valley. It was very picturesque and like very few other places in California I've been to. In fact it reminded me more of the plains around Idaho and Wyoming, especially with these clouds.

Heading south into valley you can reach the Carrizo Plain National Monument. This place is most known for its lush wildlife blooms in the springtime, but unfortunately, I think I was too late for them. The ground was drier than I expected it to be... at least right then...

Some of this looked like a movie set...

This was a view I painted. 12x16 inches.

This was from Soda Lake Overlook. the smudgy part on the left side of the painting is the impending rainstorm that passed through. I had fun with this one even though I got rained on for part of it.

Some more clouds as I neared Lake Santa Margarita.
After stopping at my gallery in SLO to drop some paintings off, I went up the 1 North to go to one of my new favorite roads: Old Creek Road, which connects Cayucos to Paso Robles. There is a gorgeous reservoir that has tons of pullouts for people to gaze at in wonderment. This is a road I can see myself painting over and over again.

Here is a 6x8 in. study that I want to make into a large painting for Paso Arts Fest this year.

Even though I faced major setbacks that threatened my ability to even participate in the event, I think I ended up doing ok. I always tend to do my best work on my way from events (takes me that long to get warmed up ya know?) but you do what you can and cross your fingers for every event. 

Next one is in Los Gatos in June, see you there!

If you are feeling generous and want to help me make some of my car money back, consider picking up something from my webstore!
Drawings For Sale
Prints For Sale

Friday, April 15, 2016

My Charcoal Drawings are now on Storenvy!

Oh my god. I didn't even realize it, but the last time I posted a bunch of figure drawings on here was back in 2014! I guess you get busy and that's what happens... Anyways, I've been busy trying to really nail down my method of getting a lot of info down quickly. I will probably do a video tutorial of it when I get a chance.

I'm also starting to list my new charcoal drawings on Storenvy! I'll continue to list them on Zatista, but buy them from Storenvy gives me all the profit, so I would appreciate people buying them from Storenvy instead. To commemorate this, the first month of listing my drawings there I will have a code (MLDRW) to get 25% off everything. Even if you're just here to look at the new drawings, I hope you enjoy!

Drawings For Sale
Prints For Sale
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