Sunday, July 1, 2018

Fine Art at the 2018 Marin County Fair

I adore a good summer fair. Cotton Candy, livestock, carnival rides, good friends and exhibits. This year I took a risk and entered quite a few paintings in the Marin County Fair. This fair is juried and highly competitive. My work was turned away more than once, post College, when I really thought I had something special to offer. I have a lot more years and humility under my belt, so when I entered last year with one piece, I was awestruck to have it accepted. 

Petaluma Ewe ©2017


 This year I decided to go bolder. To my delight, I had all four of my Fine Art entries were accepted.

The Grand Dame of Rancho Durenberger ©2016





Chico and Helen ©2017



Cruisin' the Boulevard 2018 - Honoring First Responders and Local Heroes

The Washoe House (Archival Pigment Reproduction on Canvas/2017) Original Painting Acrylic on Canvas ©2017

 If you have the good fortune to visit the Marin County Fair this week, I hope you'll keep an eye out for my paintings/babies. 

Happy Fair Season and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Event Artist for Cruisin' the Boulevard's Salute to American Graffiti, 2018



I was honored to return as event artist for my 5th year and the 13th anniversary of Cruisin’ the Boulevard, Petaluma’s Salute to American Graffiti. Creating a painting to become the foundation of the Cruisin’ program and printables is a process I adore and anticipate soon after the boulevard is cleaned up after the previous event. Early in 2017, there were already whispers of inspiration and plans for this year, but life is filled with surprises and sometimes there are very large bumps in the road.

Sonoma County residents will never forget how the firestorm changed our community. Generations will define their lives by this catastrophe, remembering where they were and how they were affected.  No matter what the depth of loss, first responders rushing into the fire zones as thousands rushed out symbolized hope, comfort and courage during our deep despair. Members of the Cruisin’ the Boulevard team started wondering how they could acknowledge the fire victims and first responders in the new event art, so with some collaboration, I painted another hybrid scene (old and new, altered geography and characters) with Petaluma’s D Street Firehouse as a glowing companion for our beloved classic cars and nostalgia for the 2018 Cruisin’ the Boulevard painting. Together with the hard-working CTB team, we hope this scene satisfies the truest fans of American Graffiti while reminding us all that some of the greatest stars drive fire engines, police cars, ambulance, motorcycles, fly helicopters, airplanes and answer 911 calls. To first responders of all kinds, this year’s Cruisin’ the Boulevard event salutes you!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Wood Art Jaguar

Please consider visiting the 29th annual Artistry in Wood at the Sonoma County History Museum to view "Roar" by Paul Marini through the 7th of January, 2018. While there, I hope you'll cast a vote in the People's Choice ballot box in the main gallery. Thank you!

"Roar" © 2017 by Paul Marini
Last spring I was contacted by a dear friend with an invitation to meet a gentleman who needed assistance painting a life-size Jaguar that he had created from wood. He had never painted before and he was looking for consultation to take his unfinished wood-carved creation and paint it with life-like details, markings and color. This invitation, I gladly accepted. 

Unpainted Jaguar head, carved by Paul Marini, 4/17/17
Full body shot of "Roar", created with basswood, by Paul Marini
Forearm and claw detail of wood art Jaguar by Paul Marini
I thought it was a wonderful challenge and had already planned how I would "teach" this man color theory to guide him, when we met a week later. I figured I'd be in and out in several weeks and hopefully, witness the presentation of his finished piece a few months later. Although my anticipated curriculum did not go as predicted, we worked together for several hours weekly for over 6 months, and developed a lovely friendship. My student, Paul Marini, an extremely accomplished and respected, retired Avian scientist,  shunned my attempts to teach him to paint, yet we developed a system where I guided, consulted, mixed a LOT of paint, to contributed in a small way to this spectacular project.

"Roar" on display in the Artistry in Wood show at the Sonoma County History Museum
Part of the inspiration for this piece was Paul's brief foray into hunting as a young man. Taking the life of a squirrel by his own hands for pleasure, changed him. He wondered why the same level of satisfaction couldn't be achieved by shooting with a camera. Creating life, via his wood artistry, was a satisfying method of celebrating nature's beauty without harming it.

Paul Marini, wood artist and "Roar", explaining his process

Paul had additional inspiration for "Roar." Over 4 years ago he suffered a major heart attack while working out at his local gym. Miraculously, some of the folks also working out were first responders.  Their quick action, expertise and aide saved Paul's life. Others in the gym jumped into action as well and in the wake of this experience, incredibly deep friendships and loyalty grew. Paul decided to make this piece with the hope of selling it and donating the proceeds to aide first responders and programs to make AED machines and education available and accessible throughout our community.  He has already donated an AED machine to the gym where he belongs and hopes to see many more installed throughout the area. Ironically, Cruisin' The Boulevard, Petaluma's tribute to American Graffiti, with whom I am affiliated and in my 5th year as their event artist, is a non-profit group who's major cause is placing AED machines in our community, so good folks surround me and I am blessed.

More images from "Roar" ©2017 by Paul Marini, which is currently on display in the 29th annual Artistry in Wood Show at the Sonoma County History Museum, main gallery, through January 7th, 2018.

Eye detail from "Roar" by Paul Marini
"Roar" head shot including whiskers made from whisk broom, human hair and horse mane
Ear detail including real fur donated to Paul by my German Shepherd, Joeseph
Final head shot, because it is SO tremendously beautiful ♡
As I have gotten to know Paul Marini over this past 8 months, my gratitude for the kind and skilled folks who saved him is immeasurable. I lost my father to a sudden heart attack over 15 years ago, so I have deep appreciation for the events and people who aligned to save Paul.

Life can be filled with miracles and I am grateful when my journey is touched by them.

For information about purchasing this one-of-a-kind, INCREDIBLE wood art Jaguar, please email me, mamacow@comcast.net, and I can put you in contact with Paul.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Cruisin’ the Boulevard, Petaluma’s Annual Salute to American Graffiti

 
For the past four years, I have had the honor of being the event artist for a fantastic local event, celebrating the filming and enduring fun of the movie American Graffiti, Cruisin' the Boulevard. Largely filmed in Petaluma, Ca. during the summer of 1972, our town boasts the most notorious movie scene locations, many of which are near to the exact condition they were at the time of the filming, some 45 years later. Voted in 1998 to the American Film Institute's list of 100 superlative films, American Graffiti is a splendid time capsule for the American teen experience of 1962 and a gleaming visual history of downtown Petaluma.
My contribution to the cause has been to create art that celebrated a pre-chosen theme for the year’s event. Three of the following 4 paintings are available for purchase in their original, one-of-a-kind, 24 x 30 inch acrylic on canvas, or as digital, limited edition, Breathing Color canvas reproductions made by Digital Grange. For more information about these specific paintings, please visit the Cruisin’ the Boulevard website and look under Event Art

There's plenty of time to make plans to visit this year's Cruisin' the Boulevard celebration and I would adore meeting you at my booth, downtown P-town on May 20th, 2017. Thank you for your interest!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Dramatic Northern California Sunset with Windmill

The day this dramatic sunset scene enveloped our lovely county, I knew I had struck creative gold. My heart raced, because I was driving home from visiting my mom, in Marin County, south of where we live. My conundrum was WHERE and HOW could I view and photograph the setting sun, as time was of the essence and I am greedy. The more inspirational pictures I have in my file, the better.


Adding to the rush of my excitement was the sight of our annual Sonoma Marin Fair, visible from my position on the crowded freeway at rush-our. Against the unfolding drama of the heavens, I could see the Ferris Wheel and other attractions starting to glow with their neon goodness against the darkening midway. What to do. I couldn't think straight and I wanted to be in the right spot to get the scene I could already picture in my head.  Then I remembered: MY SON WAS AT THE FAIR! Frantically, I called him praying that he would somehow accept my phone call, amidst the joy and chaos that is the summer fair at dusk, teenagers, freedom, COTTON CANDY, kettle corn... 


But he is a good boy. He ANSWERED! (And he HEARD me!) He took the exact picture I was lusting for...Fodder for a future painting (which I have actually started!), but it freed me up for this baby:


Sunset over Stony Point ©2014           Acrylic on Canvas 24 x 18"

Lucky me! Although I was fairly squirmy with anticipation, I was able to calmly plot another location to hoard a different photo exploration of the crazy-beautiful sky. The above painting is the result of my terrific fortune. This gorgeous setting was already in the que for a painting with a late summer brooding, grey sky (that I have NOT painted yet), but I had a feeling it would look good in these colors, too. Before I started to paint, I entered it in a different local fair, later that summer. Proudly, it won first place and I sold it to a very dear friend in time for it to become the ultimate anniversary gift for my OTHER very dear friend. Wow! That was a fortunate sequence of events!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Commissioned Painting - Penngrove California


I was quite thrilled when a friend purchased this painting, spontaneously, a few years back. I was even more excited (and honored) when this same friend commissioned me to paint his family ranch. He is the proud son of Italian immigrants and cherishes this property, dearly. Although I could not get photo resources to help me paint the ranch from the perspective I wished (due to trees and the fact that I'd have to be in a raised angle above a busy road), but I did my best to piece together elements to turn my visual hope into a completed painting.

Here is the final result and detail shots:

Tarca Family Ranch ©2014       36" x 24" Acrylic on Canvas




Once the painting was complete, my handy hubby was kind enough to create this beautiful custom frame made with vintage barn wood. My customer/dear friend and his family were delighted with the result and I am elated to have such savvy "repeat customers!" Win, win one and all!


If you have any questions or comments, please let me know. I sure appreciate it!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Plein Air Ranch Painting Fail


 A few years back a girlfriend of mine came over to paint, plein air in my back field. I've never done that before and I'm sorry to say, I spent at least eight times the amount of effort back in the studio, so I don't think I can really have credit for this being a true in the open air piece. Oh well - I had a lot of fun and loved the completed painting SO much, I got over it. 

Painting, like so many things we do in life, is like exercise. You have to work at it routinely. One of these days I'm going to try to create more spontaneous "muscles" in my work...  But for now, I'm grateful for the painting muscles I do have!  

 Springtime at Rancho Durenberger © 2013              9 x 12" Acrylic on Canvas



Happily for me, a dear friend saw this painting in my kitchen and bought it on the spot. Shortly after that he commissioned me to paint his family's ranch! I wonder if "ranch painting" could be my thing? 

(I like it!)


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Petaluma California Ranch Painting


A few years ago I painted this lovely ranch that I would see each morning on the drive to take my kids to school in Petaluma, California. I was constantly surprised by how different it could look in various light and nature conditions. I intend to paint it again, and again in the future, but for now I am grateful it was completed and suited the vision I set out to capture. Last year I had the good fortune of meeting the wonderful family who live on this incredible property - and THEY BOUGHT the painting! Yay!

 
Jewel of the Backroads ©2014 by Elise Durenberger                   9 x 12" Acrylic on Canvas



Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Iconic Red Truck meets Petaluma Back Road

The morning commute has always been something of a blessing and a curse, after all I was not born a morning person. But routine is the key to life and for the better part of the last three years, I spring from the covers, wake the zombies and get us out the door and off to various schools on time. With little conversation the "mom bus" makes its rounds and on the way, I am privileged to some amazing scenery. 


 Our dear and FORTUNATE friends have this view to enjoy, EVERYDAY of their lives. Even this shot through my dirty windshield, shows the charm of their sleepy valley. I've been threatening to paint it for years. 

Old Red on Roblar ©2015 by Elise Durenberger













THAT day, is finally here. {I'm SO excited!} Finally! 

This is my friend, James, and his Fire Engine Red, 1934 Ford Pick-up Truck. His gorgeous vehicle was in the original American Graffiti movie and is kind of famous in my neck of the woods, so I decided to compliment the American Flag in my landscape with this beauty...

 
Red Truck - close up.
 American Flag - Close up.
Old Barn and Old Glory - close up.

Good to get this one off the "to paint" list. Although I have a feeling, I'll revisit this lovely valley (in paint) again. 

- Elise

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Another new painting!

I've been on a huge painting binge! Here is one more from a recent series, unofficially called "The Morning Drive." Currently on display in a local bakery cafe and available for purchase:


















Petaluma Reflections ©2015 by Elise Durenberger (Approximately 14 x 11")

Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Recent paintings, currently for sale and on display at the Bovine Bakery, Petaluma, Ca.


 Breakfast with the Ladies ©2015 by Elise Durenberger    (Approximately 14 x 11 inches)


Lucky Cows ©2015  by Elise Durenberger (Approximately 16 x 20 inches)

Sophie's Selfie ©2015 by Elise Durenberger (Approximately 16 x 20 inches)

Meacham Morning Sunbath ©2015 by Elise Durenberger (Approximately 14 x 11 inches)

Petaluma Reflections ©2015 by Elise Durenberger (Approximately 14 x 11 inches)

Splendor on the Morning Drive ©2015 by Elise Durenberger (Approximately 24 x 12 inches)

Please contact me for pricing information and availability. 

Warmly, 

Elise

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

It's been FAR too long since I've popped in to the land of blog. I've missed you, desperately. 

I'm old now.

At least, as old as I've ever been. That FEELS old!

Anyway, I've been painting. I've been painting a LOT! What I really struggle with is how to transition this blog from the way I enjoyed it as a paper-crafty person, to the person I am now. It's been my goal to blog about my painting process, but I don't know really know who I would be writing to.

So, this is me. I'm just going to toss some stuff out, so it's here... in cyber space.

If you enjoy what you see, or have any questions, please let me know! 

Thank you!


(Ooooow. Time for new graphics.)

LOL.

Monday, February 3, 2014

How I Fell In Love With Painting Old Cars...


A few years back, I re-discovered a beautiful, roadside destination in the Alexander
Valley in the heart of the wine country, Sonoma County, California.  I used to stop 
there frequently when my kids were small, but it had been a while....


HOW it was that I forgot...?  I can't even explain...  LOOK at how adorable it is!
If you've never been, you should SEE the inside!  Yummy FOOD/darling vintage
collectibles and gifts..  Make a trip to the Jimtown Store an important item on 
your bucket list...  TRUST me, you'll love it! 


In addition to the wonderful ambiance and outstanding food, there's THIS classic,
 former firetruck, converted to be the perfect icon and mobile advertisement... 
and I HAD to paint it.  The above image is a photo of a painting that 
I completed a few summers back.  It all happened innocently enough...   
I'm no car fanatic, but how could you not fall in love with this baby?

Little did I know that it would lead to more....

I'm SO excited to share with you that I am the artist for 
Petaluma's Cruisin' the Boulevard, our town's salute to 
the iconic coming of age movie, American Graffiti
shot in our little corner of California over 40 years ago. 

It's a HUGE honor and a fabulous celebration.  If you have the
opportunity to be in this area, May 15th, 16th & 17th, I hope you'll
consider joining the immense fun when the entire downtown goes
back in time...  Where were YOU in '62?  LOL

More on this painting and my process to come...  

Thanks for cruisin' on through!



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pet Portraits by Elise Durenberger



Testing, 1, 2....  Testing!  Hello!!!!  {Is this thing on?}


If I have ANY friends left in blogland, I have MANY amends to make.
I've been out in the world, having picked up and "old trail" and I forgot
to take you with me... My apologies!  I'm still the proud owner of FAR
too many stamps & paper crafty supplies {and DREAMS!}, but this is
me, 2.0 {or 40-something...!} stepping out, into the light of PAINTER
girl, woman.  Following a semester of "re-entry" education in Adobe 
classes, and a LOT of paint under my nails, I'm working to update my blog 
to feature my true calling, fine art painting.  This painting I have shared, 
above, is a commission piece I completed last month and delivered
 to the over-joyed kitty companion...  It was a great thrill and wonderful 
reminder of my mission, long pursued, but often taken for granted. 
 I look forward to sharing many of my recent pieces, some thoughts on
 how they were inspired & created, but also some exciting new projects, 
as they progress. Soon, I will be sharing a very exciting piece that was 
completed to mark a very cool, annual celebration we have in our area 
to commemorate a classic movie that was filmed right in the historic
 down town..



I hope you'll consider checking in with me as I update this blog to better 
reflect the art that is the most important to me at this time in my journey...  

{Not to say I won't pop out a crafty-driven project from time to time...!}

Thank you, with all of the gratitude of my heart!