Steve Kell, California Impressionist

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 4/1/18 Just returned from a very interesting and instructive tour in Cuba, where we painted plein air part of the time and took guided tours the rest.  Spouses and partners enjoyed separate guided tours while the painters did their thing.  It was perfect.  While we remained mostly in and around Havana, we did spend a few days in Trinidad, which was also interesting.  One of the paintings I did in the studio was taken from a photo of the bus ride back from Trinidad.  Lots of poverty, of course, with government versus free enterprise battling for dominance, but mostly was visible only in the unfinished and always under construction buildings.  Folks were friendly and kids played and traipsed to school in their identical school uniforms as is the case anywhere in the world. Food was fine and fish was plentiful.  "Ropa Vieja", (old clothes), a meat dish, was always on the menu, along with "Morros and Chritianos", black beans and white rice.  We visited several artist studios, including a wood carver that took part of an old doors and carved detailed portraits of old-timers that had toiled in the fields through generations and bore the weathered, deep wrinkles and dark skin, in some ways mirroring the wooden door's sinewy grain.  We also toured a well-know artist that painted large street/vintage car scenes, using only a graphite mixture.  He commanded high prices in Cuba and in the States. His largest works going for $10, 000 and way up.  Good for him!

Here's a time-lapse of a studio painting of Newport Harbor.

Living close to the beach, I've always had some wonderful coastlines to paint, including Laguna Beach and La Jolla Shores, to name a couple.  Sometimes, though, I like a change of pace, enjoying places like Borrego Springs, Carmel Valley.  This past summer my wife and I toured several  National Parks in Utah, which still remain some of the most awesome and inspiring environments of our world, and worthy of preserving at all costs.  Below is a time lapse video of a studio sketch of Canyonlands which I did to give you an idea of the way I start a painting, whether it's on location or in my studio.  I did this for fun and it's only 28 seconds!