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.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

North Tahoe Plein Air 2010

Hey everyone, I just came back from the North Tahoe Plein Air Festival which I was a participating artist. This will be the last plein air event where I have to travel to. It's a very picturesque area; with the tall pines, green water, cobalt blue skies, cotton white clouds and clean white light, it's very distinct. I had a good time painting, but the very apparent lack of sales was a bit of a bummer. It was still a good time, and I feel like with a bit more polish, I can take these to the gallery where they will be matched with a happy collector.

The first day I went to Dollar Point. It was a relatively cold and windy afternoon and the clouds were moving fast. It was a challenge not only to paint the clouds accurately but to make them interesting as well. My friend Jason said they look 3-D when viewed in person. They are quite impasto, a lot more than my usual painting. I'm trying to learn to paint thicker. The Russian artists tend to sacrifice clarity for more interesting surface quality. I would love to have more of that in my own work.

The clouds gathered more and more ominously as the day went on, but I still braved going to the Truckee River with the rain coming down more and more.  It wasn't raining when I started, but I got a bit damp by the time I was done with this one.  The clamp-on umbrella actually worked ok for this one.

The next day was spent around Donner Lake.  This area has been painted plenty of times but it's such a draw, I can't help but throw my hat in the ring...  I love vistas...  You can actually Google Street View the exact location of the area I painted from:,-120.312978&spn=0.001488,0.003484&z=19

At the shore of Donner Lake looking westward:

This painting actually took 2 days to complete, and it's not even finished all the way.  I definitely want to work on it some more...  It was done in the preserve in Martis Creek Lake.  I learned it was a very sacred ground for the natives who used to live here.

Downtown Truckee is a fun place to paint.  It is so "Western," with it's frontier-sy look to its downtown area, and trains constantly going through...  Nice place to grab a bite to eat. 
Squaw Valley.  Very beautiful area, very tempting area to set up and just paint what you see.  It's laid out perfectly for you.
On Sunday, the last day I was there, Al Tofanelli and I went back to Downtown Truckee to paint the river from the bridge.  I focused on the tree, while Al did a nice intimate study of a few of the rocks below.  I tried to paint a higher-key painting than I usually do.  It's not easy for me.  I tend to push my darks deep and flat, and I want to expand my tool-set...
A couple of us set up to paint a couple of models that we were able to wrangle up.  This was the daughter of a woman who works at a sandwich shop with a wine bar that we helped ourselves to a ton of tastings.  It was a way to pay her back.  Al was a sweetheart who donated his piece to the family.
The wife of artist Robert Gantt Steele, who has a profile which begs to be painted.
Even though sales were less than stellar, I had a great time hanging out with friends old and new.  Randall Stauss did a dynamite piece of a rainy scene in Truckee which won him Best of Show.  He made a lot of new artist fans in Tahoe.

Doing all of these events taught me a lot of things about what works and what doesnt, how to win awards, get sales, etc.  It's always great to hear what the other artists say as well...  I will come out with a post soon about the plein air events I have attended with all of the pros and cons about them.

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