Sunday, January 20, 2013

Reception at Coda Gallery

Come join me in warm sunny Southern California

I've been represented by Coda for a few years now
and this is my first official showing so, I am very
excited with this opportunity.

January 20th through February 2nd
Artist's Reception on Saturday, January 26th, 4-6 pm

Coda Gallery
73-151 El Paseo, Palm Desert, California 92260
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Monday, July 9, 2012

(Not) Painting With Artist Julie Higgins

After painting with the California Arts Club mid-June,  I dropped artist Anne Schreivogl off at the San Jose airport and headed towards the wine country of Napa and Sonoma Valley.  It had been over ten years since I painted in this area, so, I was eager to revisit.

I guess I had so many pre-conceived notions of what I wanted to paint that nothing pleased my sensibilities....and it was hot! 104F!  I camped in the Napa region, for four days, started several paintings, and netted one, an old Airstream trailer.

"Hanging By the 'Stream", oil, 9" x 12", $950

Enough of that heat, I moved on to Mendocino, California to meet my old friend, artist Julie Higgins.

Since Julie is more of a 'sensual expressionist' her interest in plein air painting was nil.
Good conversations and cooler temperatures made this a good stop to do a little painting as well.

I found myself dazzled by the colors of the water and rock formations below the high cliffs.

"Pierced Cliff", oil, 12" x 12", $1200

I also discovered a little white shed down an alley.

"Upkeep", oil, 10" x 12", $1050

I continued north, only to be met on the Oregon coast with rain and a forecast of 4 more days of the same.  After seven weeks on the road, I decided to cut the trip 'short', and made my way back to Anacortes.  When I arrived home, summer had too.  I experienced so much beauty on this trip, yet summer on Fidalgo Island is hard to beat.

"End of Ninth", oil, 9" x 12", $950

If any of these paintings interest you, feel free to contact me.
alfredcurrier (at)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Painting with the California Art Club

The California Art Club is deep in tradition with regards to plein air painting. We were fortunate to join some fifty + members at a CAC sponsored painting event at Mission San Antonio de Padua.  It was a weekend of intense painting along with a little socializing as well.  I must say that the Director of Development, John McIntyre did an exemplary job in creating this paint-out at this remote California mission.

We were humbled by the quality of work produced.  Brazilian artist Deladier Almeida, Elizabeth Tucker, and many more were who I met in passing.

In my painting of the mission, there was a constant struggle with light.  The facade was dark while the main mission structure was a more intense pinkish color.  During the process of painting, the mission structure seemed to come forward and the bell tower facade seemed to recede.  The next time I'd look up, it would seem to be the opposite, and a struggle for this artist.  All in all, I was happy with this painting.  Like so many times, my next painting was a frisbee, never to be seen again.  But, that is part of the process. Take risks and fly or flop, avoiding the safe comforts of familiarity.
California Art Club participants

"Mission San Antonio de Padua", 12" x 16"
plein air oil, Currier, $1600

Email: alfredcurrier (at) yahoo (dot) com

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Painting Yosemite -Beauty and the Beast

The drive from Bishop, California to Yosemite National Park was a pleasant one.  This Western States Plein Air painting trip has been full of very nice experiences and from what I had heard about Yosemite, I anticipated it to be one of the highlights of this sojourn.

First impression: Where to go, where to camp, people and cars everywhere. Yikes! 
We were met with so many obstacles: not being able to camp in Yosemite Valley, no vacancies; reservations made five months in advance! must camp in primitive sites an hour away, no showers, no electric, all food and toiletries out of cars and into bear boxes.

Whoa, step back, Jack!  Take a deep breath.  Our first break was a campground a half hour away.
I qualified for a site that only cost ten bucks a night. We set up camp and drove to the "Valley".  This place is beautiful but, too many people and cars on very windy roads.  I don't think I can paint here.

Slowly, we find places to paint. Then we found that we could camp in the valley by going to reservations and asking for cancellations of camp sites each morning. We're figuring it out, life is good.

Getting out of the car and hiking a little got me in touch with this place.  The beauty has emerged and the beast has faded away.  I started with the obvious monuments of mountaintops and waterfalls and then got lost in the inspiration of swirling water in the nearby river. 

The color in the water is incredible.  The light off the granite mountains just glow.  There's a certain peacefulness in these tall powerful trees where they seem to wrap their arms around you and say: "Take a deep breath and slow down."  Now, this is what nature is all about.

Al painting at Inspiration Point

As we drove around the Yosemite Valley, we kept passing a still water area of Merced River.  This was not a convenient place to stop but it caught my eye each time.  Finally, I stopped and walked the narrow roadway to this spot.  For me, it was magical.  Jutting out over the river was a flat rock that was just the size of my easel with space for me to stand.  I stood there thinking: this is just too simple...paintings need to have more in them. ..but, it's too incredible to pass up. "Streams of Color", an 8" x 10" painting was a sheer joy to paint.

"Streams of Colors", 8" x 10"
 plein air oil, Currier, $850
"Bridalveil Falls", 14" x 11"
plein air oil, Currier, $1200

"Half Dome", 8" x 10"
 plein air oil, Currier, $850
Next stop: Painting with the California Art Club with fifty other artists.

email: alfredcurrier (at) yahoo (dot) com

Monday, June 11, 2012

Painting with Thomas Moran

In our Western States plein air painting trip, direction was not always apparent.  This was the case with leaving Durango, Colorado.  We headed southwest and found ourselves at the Grand Canyon. This was not my choice as I had been there a few times and couldn't see myself painting there, but Anne Schreivogl had never been.

I found myself thinking about artist Thomas Moran.  I knew who he was and was familiar with his work but I knew little about his process or even what years he painted.  I presumed it was in the mid 1800s since that is when the lead tube was invented. In my mind, the single most contributing factor to the Impressionist and Plein Air movement was the lead tube. This helped make artists portable.

Now driving through the Grand Canyon National Park, I see a sign that says Moran Point.  ...hmmm? How long was he here?  Did he have a horse and pack mule?  How many point of views did he consider before choosing this one?  Wow!  Just the logistics of it all.

I'm driving my Toyoto Sienna pulling my T@B teardrop trailer and I see a sign that says "Moran Point".  You might as well say: "Paint here on the red X, dumbo."    ....okay, okay, it's 6pm and the sun sets at 8pm.  We've got time for a quick study of the GRAND CANYON... :-0

The result was we got to paint right next to Thomas Moran, Edgar Payne, and many others who stood right in this spot. It was exhilarating!

Now, enough red rock. Off to Yosemite!

Email: alfredcurrier (at) yahoo (dot) com

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Plein Air painting in Durango

In this series of blog posts, based on painting through the Western States, I rarely knew what was next, but, Durango has always been on my 'bucket list' of places to go...but, art was not the reason. 

My interest has been the infamous Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Steam Engine Train journey.  To my surprise, upon arrival, I found that the "Iron Horse" Cycling race was to take place tomorrow- wow!!  This is a 50-mile race between the steam train and the bicyclist that takes you from Durango (6000') to Silverton, Colorado (9500').  The winner was the cyclist, a 2 1/2 hour sprint to the top.
Showing her age, the steam engine was no match for the lightweight carbon fiber cyclist.  The train finished in 3 1/2 hours.

What does all of this have to do with art?  Not much except that my mug made it on the front page of the Durango Herald for painting the train yard. 
Al Currier of Washington State creates an oil painting of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and railyard on Monday.  "I've been traveling around the western part of the county for the past month doing a series of plein air paintings," said Currier,who has been in Durango for the last three days painting.

The next day Anne and I painted downtown Durango and now plan to head south or southwest.

p.s. Not only did we see a great professional bike race, we also rode the train to Silverton and back, now out of the bucket. -Al 

The Durango-Silverton Train- worth the ride if you are in the area.

"Durango to Silverton Train", 10" x 12", plein air oil,
Durango, Colorado, Currier, $950 
"Pedestrian Zone", 12" x 9" plein air oil
Durango, Colorado, Currier, $950

"Discovery", 9" x 12", plein air oil
by Anne Schreivogl in Durango, Colorado, $450

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Painting With Kim English

On our "Grass is Always Greener" Western States Plein Air Trip, we joined Kim English and a group of other artists who were taking a plein air workshop from him in southern Colorado.  I've always admired Kim's work since I first ran across it some 25 years ago.  In my opinion, Kim English is a master artist and it was a delight to get to paint with him.

Kim English, master artist

Like with previous posts, my paintings below are for sale, framed, wet, and ready to ship.
If interested while I'm on the road, no sales tax or shipping costs will be incurred.
alfredcurrier (at) yahoo (dot) com. 

Time to turn our wheels and head this trip back west!
"Old Jimmy", 9" x 12", plein air oil
Westcliffe, Colorado, Currier, $950

"Wood Pile", 10" x 12", plein air oil,
Westcliffe, Colorado, Currier, $1050

"Retired Mover", 9" x 12", plein air oil
Westcliffe, Colorado, Currier, $950

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