Monday, August 5, 2013

Painting Yosemite South Gate

What an awesome locale for painting! Yosemite National Park's South Entrance the gateway to heaven. As you can see from the rough sketch on my canvas I was having a fantastic time. Some may be thinking "why doesn't Rita go inside and paint the many well known icons?"  I paint this because of the exhilarating feeling I felt as a child, every time our family passed through the gates. I knew I was entering the land of magic. 

While beginning this painting I met park visitors, travelers and even park rangers. I must thank Ranger Dave for the heads up on when to catch the best sun rays. I can't wait to see tomorrow's progress as I continue working on my 24 x 12 canvas at Yosemite's south gate entrance. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Fong's Organic Ranch

"Fong's Organic Ranch" 12 x 7, oil on panel 
Rita Alvarez

Life hardly gets better than painting in the cool shade of a giant Valley Oak!  For a show last April, I thought about laying the final touches on this painting -- "Fong's Organic Ranch".  While walking over to my storage of unfinished paintings I wondered would I still see the shimmering blues and feel the air of deep shade on my skin just like the day I ventured to captured the Fong ranch essence?  

Yes! I time warped back;  I even smelled the damp earth. So this was a go for me, finish it up!  Since I already had all the information needed to complete this painting on the canvas, my goal was to paint with the same frame of mind I had on day one. (Nothing worse than changing your mind half way through a project.)

Not long into my art show "Fong's Organic Ranch" had a new home. I was so happy that it was one of the first to sell, meaning someone dug it as much as I dug painting it. I'm always grateful for my supporters, they validate my work and enable me to continue this mandatory passion of mine.   

Stay tuned for more art by Rita that is organic, wild and yummy!  ;)


Friday, July 5, 2013

Flashback: Camp Sacramento 2012

"Sequoia semperviren, Giant Redwood" by Rita Alvarez

"Sequoia semperviren, Giant Redwood" a drawing I created last year was a challenge layered with trail magic! My cousin who's more like a sister, invited me to what is known as Camp Sacramento in Twin Bridges, California. I've heard some of the camp stories before and thought I couldn't go wrong. We practiced archery, napping and of course art! I walked down to the creek thinking I would draw a study of the water. As I sat on the bank I realized, I sat under a beautiful old Redwood tree. The texture and design quality of the root system embracing the young pine tree captured my eye! I focused on my subject and let it capture me. I say "captured" because it "took me". Visual imagery has a strong impact on me. Except for the readjustment of my cushion, as I constantly slid down the hill, I hardly stopped til I was done creating.

Later that evening while sipping on a beer, cousin Stacey massaged my overworked drawing hand; I told her about the happy surprise finding the huge old tree and how I attentively noticed it embracing a small sapling. I thought I was pretty crafty at the time because I just went with the flow and allowed the magic to happen. When I got home and decided to frame my gnarly tree is when the real trail magic happened. Out jumped an old woman's face. She is at 3/4 profile facing to the right. The dark area above the sapling is her right eye, the dark area to the right of the sapling is her mouth with a long narrow pointy nose above. Now I can't help but see an old crone magically caring for a little one.  Can you see her?

For information on how to own this unique piece of artwork please contact the artist, Rita Alvarez.

                                                                                        Thank you

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The first day of my two-day Plein air painting workshop (plein air"means "painting in the outdoors") consisted of fun, learning and blessings. As class came together at 7:30 this morning I wondered what the students would have to say about the storm slowly rolling towards us. The consensus was "lets paint as long as we can!" What an awesome group, way to go girls! I think the fun and learning are clear to see and mother nature blessed us by not raining til the very last minute of class!

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Short Painting Trip

Tomorrow I'm heading North to paint outdoors in Old Sacramento! I miss the old yellow draw bridge that I see as gold, the train station and old west architecture. It will feel great painting in the area again.   Later I'll continue work on a private mural in the Homler House. I seldom do murals anymore because of the ladders and setup but this is a special project for some special folks. After I rest my bones for a day, I'm off to Woodland for more painting in my mini plein air workshop. The rolling fields, huge Valley Oaks with the Blue Ridge Mountains as a back drop excites my soul. Check back here to view this journey!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

"Country Neighbors"

Having fun painting and living in the Sierra Foothills. This painting was done from my front porch, in my pajamas and looking a bit to the north. I feel this is a good portrayal of living in these hair hills. Just kidding. We all know each other is around, but here the space between homes is amplified! To be truthful I never really thought I'd fall so in love with this arid climate but alas it is gorgeous. My original plan was to do more painting a couple thousand feet higher (50 mins away) but there's something about the oaks, pines and harsh terrain. It is to be admired and respected. I hope you enjoy my work and hug a tree today!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

A good start

Fun! Fun! Working on this study, taking my time to explore every detail, was a nice treat :) I still have many hours til completion but it's a good start.

Friday, May 3, 2013

I'm back!

Hi everyone, Yes I'm back! It seems getting settled in a new local takes a little longer than I expected. The great news is. . . I'm more focused on my work and have a better understanding of my environment. :) Here comes the not so great news, some of you may have already figured out, there will no longer be a newsletter until I find someone who can take over that project for me. Until then I hope you visit me regularly or sign up to receive new post on my home page. Like I always say "if you show up I promise not to bore you"!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bass Lake

Relaxing with my son at Bass Lake drawing other people relaxing.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Review is always good

A quick sketch while riding the train. As I sat and looked around for something to draw I remembered what a really great art teacher once told me, "review is always good". Gosh, I love the human figure!

 As soon as I figure out how to post images from my cell it will be on!! 

Friday, May 11, 2012

I have a retro piece I have to share, "Fatima"! 
"Fatima" is now available in a new limited edition series of 50 high quality giclee prints on canvas. 
Read my newsletter to find out how to receive one of the following prints on paper FREE when you purchase "Fatima"! 

Your choice of "All the Happy People" or "Secret Ravine".


Call to order now!

(530) 867-2463

Saturday, February 18, 2012

End of Project Rituals

No matter how early I begin a project to meet a deadline, I can find myself struggling to put the hours in that my painting deserves. During, shall we call it, "the heat of the moment" I am often guilty of letting other aspects of my life take the back seat. Experience has taught me the world will go on and I continue to paint. As that venture comes to an end I begin planning my maintenance program which allows me the freedom to paint once again. My maintenance or end of project ritual includes deep cleaning of paint brushes, palette, palette cups, goop building up on tubes of paint, restocking supplies and a general organizing and re-freshening of my work space.

Yesterday I ran errands in Oakhurst in order to complete some neglected items on my maintenance list when a force of nature made my hands pull hard on the steering wheel turning into the Oakhurst Art Gallery Row parking lot.  Usually this is something I do during the Art Walk to socialize with other artist, art lovers and view the newest exhibit, so yesterday was a bit irregular.

Wow what an inspiring and rewarding day it was. I highly recommend visiting art galleries not only for the awesome parties, during the opening of a show but also during some of the slower hours. Gallery docents will have more time to talk about an art piece or artist. I found it very inspiring! My new end of project ritual will be added on my list probably right next to item number one . . . A  Massage!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Making much progress!

Yes this is the same canvas you saw in the previous post. Although it's not quite complete I hope you like the progress. More to come!

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Diligently working at applying my drawing. Even though I'm under a lot of pressure to produce work I still make sure each stage of the painting receive the attention it deserves. The painting always comes out better that way!