42″ x 48″ painted in 2012(#08-12) repainted 2017-6 for the CAC Gold Medal–
Many traditional artists today continue the long tradition of sketching outdoors, en plein air, as a necessary step that leads to an easel painting. Exemplars of this tradition, the Portuguese Bend Art Colony, have captured the Palos Verdes coastline with their oil, watercolor, and pencil sketches at all times of day through the seasons. For the first time, these artists: Stephen Mirich, Daniel W. Pinkham, Vicki Pinkham, Amy Sidrane, Kevin Prince, Thomas Redfield, and Richard Humphrey, have generously agreed to show their oil paintings – each paired with its preparatory sketch.
Capturing a Vision: The Portuguese Bend Tradition gives a glimpse of the creative process; starting with a first plein air sketch to the creation of the final vision – an oil painting, finished in the studio.
A sketch can capture the colors and lighting of a scene, like Tom Redfield’s rich painting of a sunset. Rick Humphey’s pieces focus on pencil drawing as an aid to teaching studio painting, demonstrated in his sketch of Lunada Bay, which poetically captures the detail of the cliff rock formations. You can see the same play expressed in color in the oil sketch, Old Coast Highway, Palos Verdes Drive South, by Daniel W. Pinkham.
Sketches are also an indispensable part of the creative process for artists working in three dimensions. Included in the exhibition are tiny detailed sketches by Portuguese Bend resident Marianne Hunter, used to create her enamel jewelry, as well as mural sketches and maquettes by Steve Shriver (also of Portuguese Bend). And hidden away for almost a hundred years, the beautiful sketchbooks of Clover Cox, sister of Narcissa Cox Vanderlip, for whom Villa Narcissa was named.
On loan by The Explorer’s Club (founded 1904 in New York City) is a rare find – the sketchbook of Albert Operti, made when the artist accompanied arctic explorer Robert E. Peary to document the first expeditions to the North Pole. In addition, we are honored to present Operti’s wall sized painting, recently re-discovered in the Explorer’s Club archives. In spite of the hardships he and other members of Peary’s expedition endured, Operti still managed to record magical moments, like his dynamic depiction of the arctic sunset.