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.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Figure Drawing - New Tools

Hey everyone, here are a bunch of drawings from the last few months. I held back on posting most of these because I had so many paintings to post before, but I am just about caught up with all of that so here are some new sketches.


These next drawings are from when I crashed Henry Yan's drawing workshop at the Academy of art. Man, I miss the 2-minute intense gesture drawings, and she was great. These were so much fun to do. They never do two-minute gestures in Sebastopol, but they get you warmed up really well.


10-minutes

20-minute drawings done with mostly vine charcoal.



Sold.

These next drawings were from a few days ago. I've been using a lot of new drawing tools, of which I am working on doing another "materials breakdown" movie.


Have a Happy New Year!

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Oil Painting - Pismo Beach, California

"Bathed In Lilac" 10x18 in. Oil on Linen Mounted on Panel. SOLD

Merry Christmas everyone! Not that it's that cold around here, but I hope this painting reminds you of warm days at the beach after a long day of playing, or sunbathing, or watching your dog chase waves around.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

iPhone 4S Test - Head Drawing in Vine Charcoal



Shot a video using my iPhone. Wanted to see how well the quality is captured. Fortunately it did quite well. More paintings demos coming soon.

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Thursday, December 08, 2011

New Figurative Series: Body of Earth

I am happy to unveil my newest series of figurative paintings. These have been in the works for a long time, and actually have been completed since before the "Natural Patterns" series, but they have been difficult not only in getting decent pictures of them, but in deciding how would be the best way to present them.

I have used my friend Nicole for figure drawings and studies many times. She is a former gymnast and dancer who is in incredible shape. Not only that but she's so giving of her time and talents for my artistic pursuits. I've been wanting to use her for a series all to her own for a while now.

This series grew out of my love of depicting the "form" of the "human form". I love being able to show the solidity and intricacy of the human body. The way things interlock, push, and pull underneath the skin is extremely fascinating. Nicole is the perfect model to explore this with. As with my other series, I like to tie in the subject and background in unique ways. In this series I've been attempting to echo suggestions of the form outside of the figure and into the murkiness of the backgrounds.

This series has been one that I've been exploring within the actual creation of the pieces instead of how I normally plan everything out. I feel like this series is going to evolve dramatically from these first few shots by the time I am done exploring it. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy these first steps.

"Reaching Ascension" 9x9 Oil on Canvas Mounted on Board. SOLD


"Tephra" 11x14 Oil on Canvas Mounted on Board



"Supreme Luminary" 10x18 Oil on Canvas Mounted on Board


"Eternal Braid"Oil on Canvas Mounted on Board



"Void Brightening" 20x14 in. Oil on Canvas Mounted on Board



Which is your favorite painting from the series? Vote here: http://bit.ly/naturalpatternspoll

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Friday, December 02, 2011

New Series + Woodland - Modern Eden Gallery

Hey everyone,

I am participating in this month's group show at the Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco where I had my solo show earlier this year. The show is called Woodland and I created these new paintings for it.

They are both 10x10" oil on wood panel. I posted up WIPs on Facebook that you can check out here: LINK

If you are in the area and want to check out the show, you can RSVP for the event here or here.

This is the start of a new direction I am going in with the pattern concept I've been working with for the last year and a half. Rather than having the pattern interact with the skin of the model, it is growing out of the cloth and into the background. I hope you enjoy them.

"Of The Wildland" 10x10" Oil on Panel. 2011

"Attimi Bellissimi" 10x10" Oil on Panel. 2011




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Friday, November 25, 2011

Holiday Cheer!

Due to the response I have gotten from the weekend sale, I am permanently lowering prices on all of my available drawings. I would like to sell them to make room for new drawings in 2012. Check them out. Happy shopping!
https://www.zatista.com/store/index/The-Main-Loop


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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Figure Drawing - Going Tonal

This week I used only vine charcoal with hints of 4B General charcoal pencil and compressed charcoal to add some darks.

These were 3-minute sketches each. I basically strove to capture the silhouettes in the first minute or so, then used the rest of the time to work on refining that silhouette.


These next drawings were 5 minutes each. The further down you go, the more of the original strokes you can see. You can see how loose I start with these drawings.



This next drawing was 10-minutes long. I get the overall proportions and light/dark patterns down by this time. If I'm doing well, that is.


All of the following drawings are 20-minutes each.


This one was probably my favorite drawing. I like the foreshortening of the leg on this one.



In most of these drawings I use a blending stump. I use my fingers as well. This last one probably used the most layers of vine charcoal. I would probably advise against this if you can't spray-fix the drawing. It gets smudged up too easily.


I love the feeling of vine charcoal over the sketch paper. It's too bad that it's so fragile. If you don't take care of the drawings they will get smudged around too easily.

I have a non-utilized Etsy shop. How many of you are on there? I've been reluctant to start using it. One, because I have a Zatista store, and two, I am not sure how effective it is in comparison to the other stores. I do want to try it out though. Let me know if you are interested in any of these drawings or other drawings from my recent posts. Email me and I will create a listing on Etsy.



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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Plein Air Events: 2011 in Review + Rankings

Last year I made a post about the plein air events I did in 2010. I thought I would do the same thing for this year since not only did I participate in some events for the 2nd time but I did some new events as well. This year I kept it pretty local for the most part. I didn't have the chance to apply for most of the out-of-town events so I kept up appearances by doing so many local events.

Marin Fair Plein Air 2011



I started off this year a little later than usual with the first event being early July. The plein-air-circuit season actually starts back in May with the Carmel Art Festival. Since I've yet to participate in these events I started a bit later, with a lot more local events.

I did this one last year as well. It's a fun little event, if you don't mind painting amongst crowds in the middle of July heat. It's a cheap event, unjuried at $12 per panel. You get a good 4 hours or so to paint anywhere in the fairgrounds. I won first place again this year. If I keep this up, it's a good way to win 250 bucks a year for not a whole lot of effort.

Pacific Northwest Plein Air 2011


I returned to Northern Oregon this year to participate in this year's Pacific Northwest Plein Air 2011. I had such a great time last year and was highly anticipating my return to the Gorge. I made friends last year that I was looking forward to seeing again. A few things changed this year, a bit to the detriment of the event.
Last year they put us up in a condo, about 5 or 6 of us in the same house. It was fun because we all could get together at the end of the day and comment on each other's paintings, share drinks and stories, and generally have a good time.  This year they had us a bit spread out amongst separate generous hosts. It was still nice, and we managed to hang out a lot with some effort, but that aspect of the event was noticeably missing.
I didn't get to attend this year's reception but from what I heard, sales were not nearly as good as last year's. I didn't sell any paintings, but I still had such a good time painting there. I would love to come back next year but it's tough to justify such a big travelling expense without any guarantee of compensation. I would have to consider this event more of a "vacation" than a viable method of generating sales. 
The event itself is consistently well-organized. Being the premier event in the area, they do get good prizes donated to them by the big art supply companies. They have pretty good events for the artists and they do a decent job of picking "suggested areas" if you care to paint with fellow artists. Most artists however, go find their own favorite spots.
Without being an established artist in the area, sales are tough in that part of the country. This event still gets a high recommendation from me for the same reason it got high marks last year: a gorgeous varied locale with no shortage of amazing scenery, well-organized events and great camraderie with the other artists.

The Great Petaluma Paintout


This is a local one-day event in Petaluma. It's a small event, open to anyone who wants to participate. You are confined to a small section of Petaluma with about 3 hours to do what you want. I chose to paint something I knew the other artists wouldn't be compelled to paint. I don't know if it backfired or what, but I didn't get any prize or sale. At 20 dollars to apply, it didn't seem that worth it for most people unless they won something or managed to make a sale. I am a bit leery of outdoor exhibitions nowadays. They don't seem all that conducive for sales and networking.


CWA Paintout: Marin Art and Garden Center


I participated in the California Watercolor Association's paint-out at the Marin Art and Garden Center in Ross, California. It's a place I've painted at for fun a bunch of times, which is the reason I applied to this one. It was open to oil painters, but something doesn't feel right about painting in oils at an event focused on watercolors. This was the first time I have painted in gouache for an event like this. It was a bit tricky painting here on such an overcast day. There was a decent mix of professionals and hobbyists who painted at this event. I squeaked by with a third place award. The reception was really short, and it was pretty much attended only by friends of the artists. It was a decent event, but I'd put it in the "do-for-fun" category instead of the "must-do".


Calistoga Plein Air Paint Out 2011


This event has a lot of potential. It's the first year for this event, and for first-timers, they did a pretty good job. It was a 2-day event with a 1-day reception/sale. The cool part about it is that a lot of the local wineries opened their property to us artists who might not normally be welcome. It was fun because it's really close to home. The participants were a mix of amateurs and local semi-pro's. I may have been a bit out-classed by them, so I feel like if higher-caliber artists applied it could grow into a pretty cool event. It's tough to sell in my range when everyone else sells so low.

Clunie Festival: East Sacramento


This is another first-time event, but it's actually a morphing of a different event from a few years ago called Capitol Plein Air. A few of the people I've painted with and since became friends in Sacramento helped run this show. It's another 1-day event which means opportunities to sell are  limited. McKinley Park is in one of the nicest neighborhoods of Sacramento so one would hope that the big spenders come out. Truth is, a lot hangs on the reputation of the event. It's really hard to establish credibility in the first year of any event. The organizers did a great job of trying to do so, though. The event was extremely well-attended, and some big sales were had, but they were either by well-established artists or inexpensive art. If they keep expanding the event and attract art organizations to donate good prizes, they will get great publicity. They are doing everything else right. This is what happens when veterans of plein air events learn from what works and what doesn't and try to establish a new event with the hopes of getting something good going.

Valona Plein Air Paint Out 2011


This was my second time participating in this event. It's put on by the Epperson Gallery in Crockett(North East SF Bay). I like this event because so many friends of mine participate and the receptions are pretty well-attended. I tend to focus on different things there because it's so unique of an area to paint. The town is very industrial and there is an interesting muted tone to everything in the area. The prizes are different at this event as well because instead of cash prizes, this year I won another Pam Glover painting (much bigger than last year's) and a weekend workshop with Randy Sexton. I am not sure if they are doing it next year, but I hope they do. I do well at this show and it is helping me to establish my credibility in the area.

3rd Annual Paint Allied Arts


The final event in the season. It's a bit far-out in the season so the weather is gonna be hit-or-miss. The Allied Arts Guild buildings and park is in a great neighborhood in Menlo Park and is a beautiful place to paint. I think I would much prefer painting here in spring when everything is in bloom. It's got to look amazing. It's another one-day event and sale. To me I find it a bit weird to have an outdoor show when they have a gallery. For some reason it kind of works here, though. The gallery is a bit too small to be comfortable with lots of crowds anyway. The reception was well-attended despite the gloomy weather. People were somewhat willing to buy if you had the right price. A couple of people sold but the paintings were $300 and under. I got a lot of people interested in my work, but I may be out of their range. I did give out a lot of cards, though. Word did spread. It was nice to see some familiar painters there as well.


So here are this year's order of plein air events, from least-likely to want to do again to most-likely.

#8 CWA Paintout: Marin Art and Garden Center
#7 The Great Petaluma Paintout
#6 3rd Annual Paint Allied Arts
#5 Marin Fair Plein Air 2011
#4 Calistoga Plein Air Paint Out 2011
#3 Clunie Festival: East Sacramento
#2 Pacific Northwest Plein Air 2011
#1 Valona Plein Air Paint Out 2011




Closing Thoughts:

In the 2+ years I have done just about every local event in the area. I've only done 1 of the larger events in California, and only one out-of-state event. I think I have a pretty good idea of which events are good and which aren't quite as good. Next year I plan on cutting back on the smaller events and go instead for the better-recognized events. I feel like the money I spend on applying for local events for negligible benefits could be much better applied to going for national events. I don't know if I have the reputation or accolades to make it to the big leagues yet, but I feel like I am ready to start trying. There are some events in California that I still need to try out, as well. It's not gotten to the point that I can rely on these events for steady income. At best they are like paid vacations, but at worst they can be really expensive busts.
Next year I am trying out a lot of new (to me) events, and if I don't get juried in, I will cut way back in participation in local plein air events.



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Monday, November 14, 2011

Figure Drawing - Shorthand

This week my weapons of choice were primarily these woodless colored pencils by Koh-I-Noor called Progresso's. I also use Cretacolor Nero leads (not the pencil). I sharpen them to a long point just like a charcoal pencil, but they glide better than traditional charcoals.

These first drawings were 3 minutes each. I didn't plan on getting so tonal so quickly but it just happened to work out that way.


These next 5 minute drawings were done with General charcoal pencils. They look a bit more like my  10-minute drawings usually do.



This 10-minute drawing looks a lot more like my 20-minute drawing.



What I realized was that I am really sharpening my shorthand for the time I am allowed. Even the model commented on this.


When everything is going right, I can get a lot in because I get the little shapes right on the first pass. I don't have to slow down as much because I put down the right info in less strokes.


I find when things start to feel too effortless, I have to switch it up to feel like I'm not cheating anymore. Weird, I know.


I think next week I'm gonna use a lot of vine charcoal. I'm feeling a very tonal mood coming along...



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