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 13, 2013

Randy Higbee Gallery's 6 Inch Squared Show 2013: My Paintings

Hey guys! Hope you can forgive me for getting this out so late, but I am participating again in Randy Higbee Gallery's 6 Inch Squared show in Costa Mesa. It's always a lot of fun to see what everyone does for it, and here are the pieces I entered for this years show.

"Pretty Boy" -- 6x6 inch oil on Arches oil paper -- Mr. Squeechy is too cute, he does not like being called a 'she', but he does love to pose.... Wanna take him home? Only $500, expertly framed in a handsome silver float frame - Buy Here

"Vaporous" 6x6 in. water-mixable oil on Arches oil paper. 2013, $500, framed in silver. - Buy Here

Show is on view through mid-January. 
102 Kalmus Drive, Costa Mesa, CA.

Drawings For Sale
Prints For Sale

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

"Study for Parhelia" + Moleskine Project #3 Show

UPDATE: This painting is now available for purchase online! LINK

I'm thrilled to be back for the 2nd invite to this show by my good friend Rodrigo Luff who is co-curating the Moleskine Project #3 show with Spoke Art Gallery in San Francisco. Last year's show was a hit, and I ended up selling my pieces from last year, so I'm glad to have something new to show here. This new piece is a study for "Parhelia," a painting I am planning on working on for an upcoming show. I am excited to work on some new paintings for the Natural Patterns series that I set aside for a while. I am moving into new ways to create the texture to make it more exciting to me and dynamic to the viewer as well. I hope you stay with me as I push these series to evolution.

I took some progress shots along the way. This was pretty much done with Prismacolor Col-Erase pencils and Verithins.

The finished drawing before I sprayed it with GAC100 to seal it.

 A detail of the face.
 Started to paint over it with acrylic. A pretty limited primary palette.

Here is the finished painting. I will get a photo of it framed at the opening reception.

If you are in the SF Bay Area and want to see everyone else's pieces, come by this Thursday to Spoke Art. The show begins at 6pm and ends at 10pm. Check out the line up!

• Aaron Nagel • Adam Caldwell • Alex R. Kirzhner • Allen Williams • Ana Bagayan • Bradley Platz • Brun Croes • Caitlin Hackett • Casey Weldon • Charles Santoso • Christian MacNevin • Crystal Chan • Cody Miles • Craig Elliot • Craww • David Choong Lee • Edwin Ushiro • Erik Siador • Fredrik Rattzen • Greg Gandy • Henrik Uldalen • Hsiao Ron Chen • Jason Hong • Jaw Cooper • Jeremy Hush • Jeremy Mann • Jessica Hess • Joel Phillips • John Wayshak • John Wentz • Jon Lau • Karla Ortiz • Kate Zambrano • Kemp Remillard • Ken Garduno • Kim Cogan • Laura Bifano • Marco Mazzoni • Marco Nelor • Marguerite Sauvage • Max Dalton • Michael Shapcott • Miles Johnston • NC Winters • Nate Van Dyke • Nicomi Mix Turner • Nimit Malavia • Pat Perry • Patrick Mathews • Peter Chan • Rich Pellegrino • Robert Bowen • Rodrigo Luff • Ryan Lee • Ryan Malley • Sam Wolfe Connelly • Serge Gay Jr. • Sergio Lopez • So Youn Lee • Steve Kim • Tatiana Suarez • Tom Haubrick • Tran Nguyen • Ville Ericsson • Wesley Burt • Zach Montoya • Zach Oldenkamp

There's got to be at least a handful of folks in here you are a fan of; otherwise, I have no idea how you found me because there are some heavy hitters in there.

UPDATE: Here is a link to photos from the show with some of my favorites (Click on the photo):

Drawings For Sale
Prints For Sale

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Biannual Charcoal Drawing Update?

Hey guys, just updating my blog with charcoal drawings this week because I actually have some free time right now... precious precious free time. Updating the charcoal drawing thing has become sort of biannual for me, but if you follow me on Instagram (@mainloop) you can get photos from life drawing sessions. I've been busy with all sorts of things lately, and I am finally caught up with most of my deadlines. I've been updating my website, so if you poke around there, you might find some cool surprises!

Some of these are going to be up on my Zatista store soon - if you don't see one on there, email me and I'll make sure to get you the necessary info.

Make sure you go check out my solo show in Sacramento! It's at Capital Artworks at 1215 21st Street, Suite B in Sacramento. Capital ArtWorks Gallery is open for Second Saturday Art Walks from 6 pm to 9 pm and by appointment. If you are in the area, call up Debbie at (916) 207-3787 and let her know. Most of the time she is around during regular hours. Hope you can make it out!

Drawings For Sale
Prints For Sale

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

2013 Plein Air Events In Review

Hello and welcome to the 4th annual yearly plein air event review! I've done this for 3 years now, and if you find it interesting, you may want to check out the other reviews I've done in years past. The main difference this year is that I did 2 new events that are very prestigious and difficult to get into. As I did last year, I will be discussing the pro's and con's of each event.

Carmel Art Festival

Full Recap: HERE

This was my second year of participating in the Carmel Art Festival. This time I was able to take home a prize, so that helped me enjoy it a bit more. The participants were more eclectic this year, with international superstar artists like Hans Versfelt, Roos Schuring, and Marc Dalessio joining the roster. Again, the high quality of art makes everyone want to do their best and impress the judges. Impressing the judges can get you a nice prize, so it's worth it. This is an interesting event in that most of the appeal is the opportunity to win good cash awards. There are weird things about it that seem like there are no signs of the administration changing it, so rather than grumble about it, just accept it for what it is and keep striving for your best painting.

PROS: Some of the most beautiful scenery in Northern California, Potential to attract big-ticket patrons, High quality of fellow artists, good prize money.
CONS: Nonsensical schedule makes your painting time hard to schedule out, short event length,  potential for bad weather, limited exhibition of paintings, impersonal staff makes no effort to connect to artists.

Conclusion: I think that in the past few years I got caught up in trying to put up 2 really impressive pieces for the chance to nab some prize money. However, I think the more financially successful painters focused on creating a body of smaller works that they could fit on the wall and sell quickly. Because it's mostly foot traffic coming by, it's more likely to sell smaller, less expensive works as impulse buys. This is the strategy I'm going to go for in 2014.

Los Gatos Plein Air

Full Recap: HERE

This was also my second year of participating in the Los Gatos Plein Air event. I enjoy the hosts, they do a really good job of treating the artists well, and we usually have good weather for it. This is really the main reason I come back to this event. The sales are still lacking, because they haven't been able to get good traction with their sales yet. I think getting rid of their silent auction during the day of sales can help. Also the colorful umbrellas that cast weird colors on the paintings. Still, I enjoy painting around the area, and always welcome the opportunity to paint there.

PROS - Extremely Generous Hosts, Lots of Parties, Well-Organized, Dedication to Improvement from the Organization, Proximity to Santa Cruz, usually good weather.
CONS - Places to paint are spread out from each other, low amount of sales, Almost no big sales.

Conclusion: This still has potential to be a great event. A lot of money is put into it to get it to the level it is now, but with a few changes I think it could be a better-selling event. I am going to give it another shot in 2014.

Telluride Plein Air

Full Recap: PART 1 - PART 2

This is an event that lives up to the reputation that it's built up over the years of being one of the best plein air events in the country. The staff is friendly, the event is well-run, and sales are plenty. People buy art here, as long as the art is of their beloved town. I wish it was a little easier to sell paintings of the surrounding area, because it's such beautiful country. It's also a bit of a trek for a Californian like me to get there, but I hope to return next year nevertheless. 

PROS: Beautiful Area, Cute Town Location, Good Sales, Potential for High Sales, Friendly Staff, Great Hosts.
CONS: Difficulty for out-of-towners to travel to, unpredictable weather, acclimation to altitude, sales heavily skewed to townscapes vs landscapes.

Conclusion: I hope to return as many times as it takes to get sick of painting Telluride. I hear that takes about 3 years. I do like the new friends I've made there, and hope to see them again next year.

Mendocino Open Paint Out

Full Recap: HERE

For a first-time event, it was pretty successful overall. 70 unjuried artists and yet it wasn't a complete cluster of chaos. Mendocino, although such a naturally beautiful area, is a tough place to sell high-quality art. However, if you can make a bracelet, you might be able to sell it. If you can afford to spend a few days up there (no hosting) you might luck out and get some great sunny days where you can do some quality painting.

PROS: Beautiful Location, Decent Prizes, No Juried Application, Well-run Event For The Size.
CONS: Low-ticket Sales, uneven quality of participants, high potential for gloomy weather, expensive application fee, no provided hosting.

Conclusion:  It remains to be seen whether or not this event gets some good traction. They do a good job of organizing things at the Mendocino Art Center. They just need the right collectors making the trip out there, which is not as easy as you might think.

Sonoma Plein Air

Full Recap: HERE

This event was a dream come true for me. I'd been wanting to participate in the event for the last few years, with it being not only the most prestigious plein air event in Northern California, but right in my backyard, too. Not only did I have fun painting in the event, but I took home the grand prize in my first year of participating! I could not have asked for better, except less rain on the day of sales. Other than that, it's the best you can hope for in a plein air event.

PROS: Great variety in subject matter, Good Sales, Well-Run, Good community support, high-quality participants.
CONS: Not enough preparation for bad weather during outdoor sale event.

Conclusion: Whether or not next year is as successful as this year remains to be seen, but I can't wait to see how it goes for me. Looking forward to September 2014!


This was a very successful year for me for plein air events, both in prizes and sales. I got to travel to new places, and made good impressions in all the new events. The places I returned to I was better prepared for, and the pro's and cons of the events were still there. 2014 will bring in a new year of many repeat events, as well as striving to participate in some of the great events that I've always wanted to compete in. Will I be Easton-bound??

A Few Words On Plein Air Competition

Every so often I hear from other artists about the negative side of plein air competitions. It is usually in the form of criticism of the idea of art mixed with competition. The idea pushed forward is usually that the creation of art and competition are in direct opposition to each other and should not mix. I however, have never tied my ego too tightly around the outcome of an event like this. Maybe it's because I know the next one is around the corner. Even winning an event such as Sonoma, has it changed my life much? Not really. What did I get out of it? I got cash, a plaque, and kudos from my peers. It's good but not enough to put my artistic self-worth on the line for. I think those who don't believe in juries for art are sort of missing the point of why they are there. For me it's an extra incentive to do work beyond what I think I am capable of. By comparing myself to my peers I can gauge where I am to where I think I can be, and where I can realistically expect to be in the future. Some artists don't like to do this comparison. I like it; it keeps me honest. Perhaps those artists who are averse to competition are using art as a bit of an escape from the competition in their daily life. For me this is my life. Competition is a part of life. I try hard to focus on the positives in competition, and let go of the outcome. If you get wrapped up too much in expecting your desired outcome, you will inevitably be disappointed most of the time. Enjoy the good fortune when it happens but don't expect it all the time.
Let me know what your thoughts are on the matter.

Drawings For Sale
Prints For Sale

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

North VS South...

Hey everyone, sorry it's been a little while since I last updated. I've been very busy creating new paintings for upcoming shows. I will have plenty of updates in the next few months, so sit tight for those. Here is one I am squeezing in  just in the nick of time for an upcoming show.

This painting is for the Robert Lange Studios' theme show: "North Vs. South." Now, I'm not usually a fan of doing themed shows, but since this was the first time showing in an event for the gallery, I wanted to make a good impression. As you will see, the theme was interpreted very loosely by most of the artists anyway.

Those of you who have been fans of my Painted Roses series will note that I am now incorporating multiple figures in my series. I was required to create two paintings for the show, one that fit the concept of the "north" and one that fit the concept of "south." I chose to go with Red and Blue, because it works well as two colors that go together side-by-side. Connecting the two with parts of the corresponding color bleeding into each other further connects the two.

"North South East West" 2 24x12 in. oil on linen panels in a 24x24" frame. $4000.

Here are a couple of photos that I took from my Instagram that show the progression (click to enlarge.)

Here it is, framed inside of the gallery:

Here is the link to the show. Reception is this Friday evening.

Thirty painters come together to exhibit, North vs South, featuring two works of the same size from each artist, one that is inspired by the subject or theme South and one by subject or theme North. This event is part of CFADA's Fine Art Annual weekend.
5-8 PM November 1st, 2013. ALL ARE WELCOME 
Robert Lange Studios 2 Queen Street, Charleston, South Carolina 29401
View Map · Get Directions
Some notes on the process: For a majority of the figure painting I was using lead white to paint the skin. Compared to titanium white, the tinting strength and handling is so much more subtle. It's like the difference between using cobalt blue and phtalo blue. No dealing with ruining light-side mixtures by accidentally mixing too much white into the pile. If you are interested in doing high-key paintings, I suggest trying it, because I think it would be so much easier because there are so much less value jumps in your mixing.

Drawings For Sale
Prints For Sale

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