2013 Recap - The Diebenkorn Roadtrip

As mentioned in an earlier post, I’m recapping some highlights of 2013 and trying my hardest to keep it art related and not over-share with the internet (it’s not my fault that art & relationships are often hand-in hand, is it?).

Last September I heard about this giant Diebenkorn retrospective at the De Young Museum highlighting his Berkeley years (1953 - 1966...aka, the best years for this guy). As a N.California native & Diebenkorn fan-girl, I made a trip of it. I packed my field easel, grabbed a friend & hit the road. The plan was to stop at two Diebenkorn-eque locations along 1-5 and paint from the side of the road.

This worked out shockingly well and I was able to spend a few hours near Pyramid Lake making this gem (probably not finished, so don’t judge too much).

Nearing San Francisco I stopped off to try capturing the aqueduct...which didn’t work out so well as it was 1) nearing sunset and the light changed every few minutes and 2) it was windy as all-get-out and I had to go quick. The results were...less than impressive.

Fortunately for painting on location, it rarely matters (to me) what the results are in the moment. Being able to spend 40 minutes on the side of the road, watching and responding to changing light & color, like, that is huge. And (not to get too meta) I think that is what art is supposed to do anyway - if not for a viewer, at least for the artist. It’s a practice in being aware of the world around you, taking it in and responding to it in a potentially beautiful way. I think that is why I keep doing these side-of-the-road pieces, either from scenes I see on my commute or by literally stopping the car on the side of the road and getting out the paint and brushes.

To wrap up this post - I drove, I painted, I saw Diebenkorn’s work at the De Young and pretty much had the best weekend ever. 

They have really big show signs at the De Young.

They have really big show signs at the De Young.