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, July 12, 2013

Telluride Plein Air 2013: An Introduction To Mountain Paradise, Pt. 1

I have returned from Colorado after participating in the Telluride Plein Air event. There were ups and downs but I am happy to say there were a lot more ups than downs. This post will be done travelogue-style, and there is a lot to cover, so without further ado, let's jump in.


I decided to take my trusty dusty Honda Accord wagon out there with me. I went through Northern Nevada on the I-80 to get to Salt Lake City, then from there down Eastern Utah into Southwest Colorado.
Crossing into Nevada via North Lake Tahoe

Driving through the middle of the desert is tough on any car, but my poor car started pooping out on me in one of the worst places you can imagine on the road: Smack-dab in the middle of Northern Nevada. I notice my thermometer nearly in the red and I immediately try and find a place to pull over. I open my hood and see my radiator coolant bubbling over. Great, overheating. 
The middle of the desert near where I started overheating.
I let it cool down for a bit then coast down to Winnemucca to wait for a while to let it cool down. I thought I could wait for a few hours and then I would be good, but then I got about 30 more miles before it started overheating again. I have very minimal mechanic skills, so I got whatever advice I could over the phone from more handy friends before I put-put down the hill into Battle Mountain where I found the only room left in town. 

After stressing out all night and frantic Google searching on the worst wireless network ever, I concluded that the best thing to do was to go to a mechanic in town in the morning. I went to a shop where they did all sorts of tests on it. They didn't find anything wrong with the radiator, so they just filled my radiator with coolant and sent me on my way. Crossed my fingers and kept on my way. I concluded that I just over-worked my system by keeping the A/C on too long. I played it safe, rolled my windows down, and used the desert air blowing on me and bags of ice to keep cool the rest of the way.
Elko, NV. There is a Sierra-Like mountain range just outside of this town.
The Bonneville Salt Flats that signal your entrance into Utah.
I had never been south of Salt Lake City before, so I was pleasantly surprised at the beauty of some areas that I wasn't expecting to see.
A beautiful valley pass through the Wasatch Range between Provo and Price, UT.
A pretty sunset in Price, UT. Didn't have a whole lot else going for it.
Yelp really failed me as far as finding a good dinner in Price. After getting some OK Mexican food, I went forward in my journey. Continuing my streak of staying in terrible hotels, I found the last affordable room in Green River, UT. and clocked out quickly.

Day 1

I woke up to an already-hot day in the morning and continued on the rest of the way to Telluride. I was about 4 hours away now, and my car was still holding up, so I was cautiously optimistic. I had been looking forward to seeing Moab for a long time, and the beauty of the area did not dissapoint.
The canyons around Moab are amazing! No way to do them justice on my phone camera.
Finally made my way into Colorado!
I was struck immediately by the beauty of the valley that Telluride sits in. It is truly a mountain paradise.
I spent the day settling in to my new surrounding. I explored the town that is pretty in its own right. I tried to paint a small piece that turned out to be a wiper. After the orientation, we artists hung out for a while and got to know each other all better. Was nice to see some familiar faces as well as making fast friends with unfamiliar faces as well.
I don't paint a whole lot of nocturnes, so this was me stretching out a bit.
"Night Flowers" 6x8 in. oil on linen board. $475. Inquire here.

Day 2

I spent the day exploring what type of scenes I could paint in the area. In the morning I painted this scene of the mountains to the north. I am quite impressed with the immediacy of nature in the area. It never feels that far away.
I next painted this scene of a Jeep in an alleyway. I found this one to be the most interesting painting of mine. So did a lot of the artists as well as a few collectors.
"Ready To Roll" 10x8 in. oil on linen board. Sold.
The thing about Colorado in the summer that I learned was that the weather changes rapidly. The clouds move ridiculously fast, and rain can come as soon as it leaves. A few days in a row, it predictably rained from 1:30 to 3:00 with some sprinkles here and there. I had less than two hours between rain and the upcoming obligation in the evening to dash this one off, but I think I pulled it off.
"Alley Shacks" 12x16 in. oil on linen board. $1200 Inquire here.
This was an interesting circumstance surrounding the creation of this painting. This so-called "wine paint-out" was sort of a quick-draw where we had a certain amount of time and a set place to paint our pieces in order to show right afterwards. The idea was to attract those people who were roaming around each station tasting wine and looking at plein air artists create. I didn't really like where I was set up, so I walked down the block to paint an interior scene of the Chophouse bar from the outside. People enjoy paintings of scenes they know and are created in front of them. So there was a couple from Alabama who watched me paint part of this that ended up buying it! Five other artists sold paintings, so the mini-event was a success.
"Come On In" 12x9 in. oil on linen board. Sold.
Riding the high of an early sale, I came back to a spot I liked from the night before and painted this nocturne of a couple of motorcycles. A bunch of people painted these bikes, but I think I was the only one who did it at night.
"Swift Silhouettes" 6x8 in. oil on linen board. Sold.

Day 3

I was planning on doing a full day of uninterrupted painting this day, and wasted no time in getting out there to paint. This was a quick painting I did in the morning. The pinkish early light gave a nice tone to the rocks.
"How It Brightens" 6x8 in. oil on linen board. $475. Inquire here.
There is a great hike you can make along the river that goes south along Telluride. I followed it out of town to find some great paint-worthy scenery.

"River Rain" 9.5x6.5 in. oil on linen board. $500. Available Through The Christopher Queen Gallery.

I hiked out quite a ways outside of town. I found a spot that I really wanted to paint, when all of the sudden the sky went gray and rain started falling. Then about 10 minutes later it started hailing for about a good 10 minutes before it went back to heavy rain for another 10 minutes before it went back to drizzling. My gear was soaked as well as my motivation. Wasn't prepared for this flash storm, so I hiked back into town and waited indoors for the rain to pass.
I finally ventured out of town to paint and found some meadows that were pretty enough to paint from. The weather was still very much in flux so I didn't want to set up a large canvas in a scene that would change on me. I did a study of the clouds on the mountain before it started pouring on me again. At least I had an umbrella with me this time.

"Holding Water 6x8 in. oil on linen board. $475 Inquire here.

I drove a bit further out to Last Dollar Road towards the airport. This road takes you up towards the mountains where you find incredible views of many of the peaks surrounding the town. I found this scene that  lent me a chance to depict atmospheric distance.

"Not Yet Forgotten" 11x14 in. oil on linen board. $1000

After marveling at the sunset for a while, I dashed off this quick study of Wilson Peak before the light finally left for the day.

"Final Capture" 6x6 in. oil on linen board. SOLD

Day 4 

This was a beautiful scene I scouted earlier in the week. The morning sun against the grass made a beautiful golden green, and the mountains reflected in the still water made for a great subject.
"Lyrical Liquid" 9.5x6.5 in. oil on linen mounted on board. Sold.
After breakfast I took the free gondola up the hill to Mountain Village which has amazing scenery and great hiking trails for the acclimated. There were an abundance of mountain peaks to choose to paint from. Wish I knew the name of this one, but there are so many around that I couldn't keep track of them. If anyone recognizes it, let me know.
"How High" 6x8 in. oil on linen board. $475 Inquire here.
I didn't really last too long at such an extreme altitude so I came back down to a slightly-less-extreme altitude back in town and painted this scene of poppies that captured my attention a few times during the week.
"Poppy-Art" 4.5x9.5 in. oil on linen board. Sold.
I was feeling a bit fatigued from all the painting I'd been doing already, so I wasn't sure if I was going to go out and paint anymore that day. I hung out with a couple of friends and then ate dinner with Jason Sacran. We got to talking about art and started trying to psyche ourselves up about painting a dusk scene. One of those nice things about hanging around other painters, which is the motivation. We drove out to the intersection of 145 and Society Drive. The light was almost non-existent but all of the sudden the top of Mt. Ajax lit up for a few short minutes! I had to dash off this 6x6" painting in about 25 minutes. It's not my most refined piece but I enjoyed creating a very simple graphic interpretation of these iconic mountains.

Coming up next: Part 2 - Awards, Sales, The Return Trip...

For early access to part 2, sign up for my email newsletter before Monday and have it arrive early to your inbox.


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