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Archive for category: Exhibits and Events

Malecon Tempo
Malecon Tempo
A Major Art World Event coming - up in Santa Fe, NM!!

I am going to Santa Fe, NM for the 7th Annual PACE Convention (Plein Air Convention & Expo), starting next Monday, April 16, organized by B. Eric Rhoads, publisher of both Plein Air Magazine and Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine.

There are nearly 1,100 artists registered to attend this big annual 5 day convention, which features many art events, workshops and live demos with masters from the art world, plein air painting sites in and around Santa Fe like Chimayo, Taos, The Ghost Ranch and others. I will be out there every day painting on-site with literally hundreds of other artists! It will be the largest single gathering of plein air artists in the world, and underscores what has become the largest movement in art history.

Pelindaba Path II
Pelindaba Path II
One of the big events is a 4 day Art Show with framed works on easels by many of the artist attendees and I will have two easels with original works for sale during the exhibit. Three of those are pictured here: “Pelinadaba Lavender Farm Path I & II, and “Malecon Tempo, Havana” from my recent plein air trip to Cuba. I plan to also exhibit at least one of the paintings I’ll be doing around Santa Fe during the big event and will post it on Face Book and Instagram from Santa Fe.

Pelindaba Path I
Pelindaba Path I
The art exhibit is at The Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder Hotel, from 4/16-4/19 only (and closes at 3 p.m. on the 19th).

I am also in the process of remodeling my own web-site to make a more active gallery, periodic art newsletter, update my gallery pages and post new work as it is done, so watch for that transition in the very near future!

2018 Pastel WorkshopsThursday, November 16, 2017 by Steve Hill

My Complete 2018 Workshop calendar is now posted:

I am limiting my workshop teaching to 3 total this year, to give more time to my painting and gallery activities.

Update - the beginning level pastel workshop at Dakota in March already has 11 sign-ups, unadvertised, and the 3 day workshop in July is also starting to fill. Both are limited to 14 students total. To register and reserve the last spots. 1-888-345-0067 or

The September 2018 Croatia Art and Travel Experience is a GO!!

We have eleven registered now, with room for only 3 more. People are making firm plans for this trip, with airline reservations and extra travel days around that beautiful part of the world . . . which, by the way, includes all of Europe. Don't miss this one!! Details at

Metallic Sunrise, Zion Narrow’s Canyon - $5000
Metallic Sunrise, Zion Narrow’s Canyon - $5000
My solo show at Worthington Gallery in Springdale, Utah continues through this month with 23 new paintings from Zion, Arches, Moab and Deadhorse National Parks. My paintings are priced from $500 to $1800 plus one major international award winner “Metallic Sunrise, Narrows Canyon” featured as a Collector’s Choice at $5000. It was selected by the Artists’ Magazine as a top 50 finalist for their 2018 annual competition out of thousands of artist entries from 25 countries and is my third consecutive year to get a recognition from The Artists’ Magazine.

Worthington Demo Painting, October 21, 2017 -$500
Worthington Demo Painting, October 21, 2017 -$500
My sales have been excellent at Worthington this year and for this show. If you are anywhere near Zion National Park during the next few days, I hope you will be able to stop-in to see my Featured Show on display in the front room of Worthington Gallery, 789 Zion Park Blvd., Springdale, Utah. Open daily 9-8:30.

Skagit Spring
Skagit Spring
I am excited and honored to be invited as a featured artist at the Town of La Conner, Washington's 33rd annual "ARTS ALIVE" Festival of Visual, Literary, Music & Culinary Arts this coming weekend, November 3, 4 &-5.

I will have 16 original paintings in a special exhibit at Maple Hall, 104 Commercial Street, La Conner, with an opening artists reception Friday, November 3, from 5-9. The opening reception will feature live music, wine and hors d'oeuvres and is open to the public.

Valley Layers
Valley Layers

Don't miss my two live painting demos during the 3 day festivities. The first is from 1-3 p.m. at Maple Hall on Saturday, Nov. 4 and the second is from 10-12 on Sunday. I will be doing simulated, narrated "plein air" pastel paintings with subjects from both Cuba and Croatia, while working from reference sketches, photos (and my memory) of recent painting trips to both countries. My demos are engaging, fast-paced and spiked with a little art history . . . always give the audience a sense of "being there" as I complete a painting from start-to-finish, in less than two hours.

Bridge At Bruges - Belgium
Bridge At Bruges - Belgium
These are two of the paintings I'll have on display - "Valley Layers" and Skagit Spring", both done on-site near La Conner in the past two years. Hope to see you there!

Kolob Canyon KaleidoscopeTuesday, October 17, 2017 by Steve Hill
Kolob Canyon Kaleidoscope
Kolob Canyon Kaleidoscope
"Kolob Canyon Kaleidoscope" pictured here was painted en Plein air this week and will be one of over a dozen new southwest Utah Canyon land paintings featured at my show opening and reception Saturday, October 21 at Worthington Gallery, 789 Zion Boulevard, Springdale, Utah. Other works from Zion, Moab, Arches National Parks and Deadhorse Point near Canyonlands National Park will also be showcased at the gallery for this special opening. I will also be doing a live painting demo in front of the gallery between 12-6 pm during the reception.

Preview Week SaleMonday, August 28, 2017 by Steve Hill
November Sunrise, Flower Island
November Sunrise, Flower Island
This painting, "November Sunrise, Flower Island", just went home with Leslie, from Dana Point, California, the first original sold in our annual "Preview Week Sale" at Windswept Fine Art Gallery. Come see over 200 originals from 11 European Countries, Cuba, North America and of course, the San Juan Islands and enjoy a 15% discount through Friday, 9/1 on any gallery purchase. Free insured shipping on any purchase anywhere in the continental U.S!

93 Percent Solar Eclipse
93 Percent Solar Eclipse
"93% Solar Eclipse, Thatcher Pass" is our Collector's Choice Painting done completely on-site during the 8/21 eclipse right in front of the house. I've never had the opportunity to paint one of these and was happy to catch the ethereal light and colors made out there, somewhere between the sun and the moon!

Afternoon Delight
Afternoon Delight
I was so pleased to receive this ad, featuring my original pastel, from Melanie Thompson, who is an incredible plein air painter, (from Kennewick, Washington) for the Plein Air Painters of Washington "Little Gems" show opening this Friday, June 2nd in Anacortes.

Titled "Afternoon Delight", it is available for purchase through the gallery at $1000, beautifully framed and ready for installation in someone's permanent art collection.

Judy and I look forward to seeing some of you at the opening next Friday!

Solo ExhibitTuesday, January 31, 2017 by Steve Hill
Obispo Street Corner II
Obispo Street Corner II
Please come to the opening reception of my solo exhibit of my latest works from around the world, Friday, February 3, from 5:30-7:00 p.m. at The Gathering Place, in the Lopez Island Hamlet. I will have 40 plein air paintings done over the past year from Cuba, Europe, the U.S., and the San Juan Islands.

Fisherman Bay Peninsula Overlook
Fisherman Bay Peninsula Overlook
I was invited to go to Cuba with 78 other artists from the U.S., one year ago to paint and record our impressions of a country locked in time for 60 years and will be giving a special “Paint Cuba” slide show presentation from that historic trip, during the reception.

There will be a 10% Discount on all sales during the reception, February 3rd only. The exhibit hangs through April 5th. Hope to see you there!

2016 Oldfield show wrap-upTuesday, October 25, 2016 by Steve Hill
Summer Drama, Tuscany
Summer Drama, Tuscany
These are two of my old favorite plein air paintings that sold at the live auction in "The Oldfield Show", last weekend at the Expo Hall of the Washington State Fairgrounds in Puyallup, Washington, October 7-9. One was done in Tuscany (that storm almost got me!) and the other at Mazama Valley, in Washington State, both from 2008.

I am indebted to Joella Oldfield for my first invitation to exhibit and sell at this prestigious event, while I was off gallivanting and painting in Moab, Arches and Zion National Parks the same week. Also, many thanks to artist, Mary Wolfe, who set-up and watched over my exhibit booth during my absence!

Mazama Valley
Mazama Valley
I will definitely be going back again in October, 2017, to hang more work, do live painting demos and participate in the quick draw events in their 20,000 square foot space, with over 70 artists from around the U.S.

By the way, Fred Oldfield, namesake for this show and western artist emeritus, is 98 ½ years into his storied and successful art career that started at his birth place in Weiser, Idaho (my home state) to Washington State . . . and he is still painting! I know a handful of artists out west, who have travelled by horse-back or Model - T Fords in their own lifetimes, but precious few who have ridden in covered wagons, as Mr. Oldfield has done.

Indian WritingsMonday, October 03, 2016 by Steve Hill
Indian Writings
Indian Writings
"Indian writings" from a sign posted near Moab, Utah (where the 2016 annual Plein air event starts tomorrow), pretty well sums up art history in America for a few thousand years. As Picasso remarked after a tour of some European cave paintings, "we have learned nothing"

However I might view my own small place in the history of contemporary art in America, it is still an exciting adventure to me and I'm thrilled to be involved in two major art shows in the same week!

The Oldfield Show in Puyallup, WA October 7-9 where I have been invited to exhibit 40 plus originals from Europe, Cuba and the U.S., as well as the upcoming Moab Plein Air festival. If you are anywhere near these two places by next weekend, stop by and see my latest works.

Post studio Tour 2016 RecapSaturday, September 10, 2016 by Steve Hill
Fire in the Water
Fire in the Water
A great big thank you to the hundreds of people who came through our little home gallery on Lopez Island, (Windswept Fine Art Gallery) this Labor Day Weekend for the 20th Annual Lopez Island Artists’ Studio Tour.

We had a record in art sales for this year’s tour, thanks in large part to two new collectors, one who purchased 4 larger originals and another who purchased two, including my award winning painting “Moody Sol Duc River” mentioned in my previous blog. I will re-visit the Sol Duc River, on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, just to paint. It’s a very special place to both Judy and me, in so many ways.

I have also been working on new plein air “water-in-motion” pastels from a recent trip to my home state of Idaho. One of those “Fire in the Water” - done along the Boise River 3 weeks ago, is pictured here. The atmosphere around that river was charged with an orange/yellow cast from an 85,000 acre wildfire that was 80 miles north of this spot! I have worked from that exact same river bank on bluer sky days, but that’s what painting on-site gives you . . . a chance to be surprised.

Perfectly PastelSaturday, July 02, 2016 by Steve Hill
Cojimar Village In The Morning
Cojimar Village In The Morning
I will have 5 new paintings in an exhibit titled "Perfectly Pastel" at the Cynthia McBride Gallery at 215 Main St., Annapolis, MD. Two are pictured here - one from Cuba and one from Carmel, California. Hope any of you visiting Annapolis can see the show!

This summer exhibit runs from July 3-31. For this show, there will not be an artists reception, as most of us are out painting somewhere in the world this time of year!

New Day - Carmel River Estuary II
New Day - Carmel River Estuary II
For me that "somewhere in the world" is Bruges, Belgium, where I am leading a plein air painting workshop with Jackie Grandchamps, owner of French Escapade from June 30-July 7. We will be painting and touring around Bruges, Damme, Flanders, the North Sea beaches and Brussels for 9 days.

Announcing “Paint Cuba” special gallery opening Memorial Day Weekend!

Cojimar Marina
Cojimar Marina
We are hosting our First Annual Memorial Day Weekend Gallery opening at Windswept Fine Art Gallery, showcasing my paintings from our recent and historic painting trip to Cuba last February, with Plein Air Magazine’s publisher’s invitational.
Nearly 100 artists from the U.S. were invited to Paint in Cuba, before the inevitable changes that will take place, now that we have an open door policy with a country that has been locked-in-time since 1959!

I will have many framed originals from the Cuba trip, plus more than 150 originals from 9 European countries and all around the U.S. Hope you can make it to the island and see these works this coming weekend.

SPECIAL NOTE: Many blog subscribers are also collectors and patrons of my work. Two weeks ago, we mailed postcards for a special patrons and collectors “Paint Cuba” preview party, Friday, May 27th 6-8 p.m. at the gallery. In an effort to merge our “snail mail” list and blog subscribers we would like to hear from you only if you did not receive a postcard for the preview party in your mail box, to help us update.

Contact me

Memorial Day Weekend Gallery hours and location:
Saturday-Sunday, May 28-30, 11-5.
783 Port Stanley Rd. Lopez Island, WA 09261

Obispo Street Corner II
Obispo Street Corner II
I have 3 paintings form our recent “Paint Cuba” trip with Plein Air Magazine publisher, B. Eric Rhoads in this exhibit at Art on the Waterfront Gallery in Apalachicola, FL, including “Obispo Street Corner II” pictured here. Hope any of you can make the reception Saturday, May 7 from 5-7 p.m. The show runs through June.

New Gallery OpeningsSaturday, April 30, 2016 by Steve Hill
I am pleased to announce participation in two special exhibits back east with 11 of my paintings from Cuba.

Red Orange  54 Chevy
Red Orange 54 Chevy
The Cynthia McBride Gallery 215 Main Street, Annapolis, MD is having an opening reception for sixteen artists invited to exhibit with works from the recent “Paint Cuba” Invitational plein air painting event hosted by B. Eric Rhoads, publisher of Plein Air Magazine. The opening is this Sunday, May 1, from 1-4 p.m. I have seven paintings at that gallery and am picturing two here. The show runs through June 24th.

Plaza De San Francisco I
Plaza De San Francisco I
McBride Gallery to see some of my other pieces in this exhibit “Cuba Today: from studies to studio”. Each artist has a couple of plein air paintings done in Cuba, together with larger similar studio paintings.

Art on the Waterfront Gallery in Apalachicola, FL is also hosting artists from the same plein air painting trip to Cuba, with an opening on May7th. That show also runs through the month of June. I have three paintings from our trip at that gallery, with one pictured here. The gallery is located at 117 Market St and is open from 11-5 daily.

This was an historic plein air event and I am still working feverishly on new pieces done from studies in Cuba at my studio on Lopez Island, WA. The most amazing thing I felt about this painting experience was the half-century “time warp” that exists in Cuba! Not just the old cars which number in the tens of thousands just in Havana, but the entire country, it’s people (very friendly) and culture which has developed distinctive styles of music, art, dance and drama, like no other place I have ever travelled!

Plaza De San Francisco II
Plaza De San Francisco II
My paintings done from this trip reflect that unique sense of time and place . . . we will be having our own special opening at Windswept Fine Art Gallery on Lopez during Memorial Day Weekend. Watch for details and invitations to our preview celebration, Friday May 27th!

Lovric's Marina
Lovric's Marina
Art on the Boulevard Gallery in Vancouver, WA, is celebrating ten years with a special anniversary gallery opening, Friday, April 1., from 5-9 p.m. This is one of seven of my new paintings titled: "Boat Maintenance, Lovric's Marina", at the gallery. I hope you can attend the opening, have some champagne and hors d'oeuvres and see my latest works. With my left hand in a cast from a little carpal tunnel surgery two days ago, I decided not to drive down from Lopez Island. I am, however, still painting with my right hand! The best gallery director in the Pacific Northwest, Kevin Weaver, will be there to greet everyone and showcase all new works by 27 of the gallery's artists! to preview the show.

Reminder – there are still spaces available in both of my overseas plein air painting workshops, Korcula Island, Croatia June 5-14 and Bruges, Belgium June 30-July 7th. Click links to register

Paint Cuba!Sunday, February 28, 2016 by Steve Hill

The invitational one week plein air painting event, organized by B. Eric Rhoads, publisher of “Plein Air Magazine”, in and around Havana, Cuba was nothing short of fantastic.

There were over 70 artists plus 35 spouses, collectors and patrons on this historic trip to Cuba, February 6-13. We all stayed at one hotel and bussed into the old city of Havana to paint on – site. Also to small fishing villages, like Cojimar, immortalized first by Lord Albermarle, in 1678 when the huge British war fleet invaded Havana though the back door, then much later by Earnest Hemmingway (1898-1961) who’s house (and boat, “Pilar”) there has become a museum. We visited many of Hemmingway’s haunts on this trip and you can still feel his presence. “The Old Man and the Sea” was written with Cojimar as the setting.

But beyond all that is modern day Cuba, still struggling with economic realities that make it seemingly impossible to exist in this beautiful Caribbean paradise. The people were so friendly, helpful and always giving more than they had to all of us on this trip, as we painted their culture. Those famous 1940’s-50’s cars have been kept running by hook and crook – shear mechanical genius, in fact. Look at it this way – the warranty, on say a 1948 Chevy, was never intended to go over one million miles, but it does in Cuba! The cars have become part of the Cuban’s legacy and according to our guide, are forbidden to be sold outside of Cuba – they are icons of their modern history and must be preserved. We are talking tens-of-thousands of these colorful old cars, just in Havana.

Never in the history of Cuba have so many artists arrived at the country just to paint and record our impressions of a place that has been locked in time for over a half century. It was truly a “time warp” for all of us and we knew that history was being made through paint brushes, pastel sticks and drawings that have captured the look and feel of this incredible place – all before the inevitable changes that will be made as the country steps into the modern world economy. Music, colorful clothing, the old cars all add into their daily lives that are wrapped around family and a sense of sharing.

I am sharing six of the eleven plein air paintings I did there in this blog and hope you enjoy. Some are more finished than others (time was a limiting factor) but I have enough visual information to work on hundreds more, from reference photos and field studies (sketches) that I did in Cuba!

Malecon Afueres II
Malecon Afueres II
I have, in-fact, done a larger more finished version “Malecon Afueres II” from the smaller version you see in my grouping of paintings. The Malecon is a 4 ½ mile sea wall that protects Havana from the ocean to the north. My painting was done at daybreak, with soft warm light flooding over the wall at low tide, giving a rather pleasing contrast to the very active waves and water crashing on the beach. A Havana fisherman helped me with the title, when he saw my painting. “Afueres” means outskirts or along the edge in Spanish. At high tide, those same waves hit the wall full force and spew more than 40’ over the top. I’ll be working on some of those pieces next!
Note: one of our group, Turner Vinson, has made a short video during this trip:

2016 Workshops have startedWednesday, January 27, 2016 by Steve Hill

2016 Workshops have started – the photos here are students from my Pastel Workshop taught at San Juan Islands Museum of Art in Friday Harbor, January 16-18

I had twelve very enthusiastic students who all produced some incredible landscape paintings, once we got through the “basic pastel stroke exercises” the first day. There are now some painters honing their new skills and headed for their studios in the San Juan Islands! This was the first full-capacity art instruction workshop at this beautiful new museum and I was very honored to have been selected to lead it!

Oyster Man
Oyster Man
The painting pictured here, is one of my live demos titled “Oyster Man” done from reference photos and sketches at the estuary between Shoal and Swifts Bay, near our home on Lopez Island. It is available at my gallery for $900 framed. Spencer’s Landing Marina and Shoal Bay form the background, at low tide.

My next local workshop will be at Dakota Art Center, Mt. Vernon, March 18/19 & 25/26. These are half-day sessions spread over 2 weeks to give extended learning time for everyone. We already have 5 sign-ups and it’s limited to 14 total. for details and to register for beginning/intermediate level pastel with Steve Hill.

A reminder for those who have indicated an interest in traveling to Europe with me in June/July, there is still space in my two workshops.

Korcula Island, Croatia June 5-14 for full info and to register

Bruges, Belgium June 30-July7

Check-out both web sites and start planning your European painting adventure now. Both are limited to 14 total and are incredible deals with food, ground transportation, lodging and painting instruction from me.

2016 Pastel WorkshopsTuesday, December 08, 2015 by Steve Hill

2016 Pastel Workshops with Steven R Hill

To my regular Art blog subscribers: This is a list of the 5 workshops (pastel and plein air painting) that I am giving in 2016, together with links to the various organizers and trip guides. I hope some of you can attend and please feel free to forward this to your artist friends!

Beginning/Intermediate level Pastel Workshop - Islands Museum of Art

Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA

January 16-18 I will be teaching the basics of the pastel medium in a very comprehensive manner. This one is already starting to fill – limited to 12 total. to register and for more information.

Two Art Experiences scheduled in Europe June and July 2016

Korcula Island, Croatia, June 5-12
Needs a few more sign-ups to fill. 8 - 14 total participants. Deadline: March 5, 2016. This is a 10 day travel holiday/art workshop in the Adriatic Sea, which starts and ends in beautiful Dubrovnik! This will be my 3rd Croatia workshop with Lynda Milina, whose friendly and accommodating part-Croatian heritage shines through, as she takes us all over the island to paint at the many gorgeous seaside and mountain village sites – including a private boat trip to a nearby island, to paint at a monastery. Cultural walks around the neighboring village of Lumbarda, wine tastings, even sword dancing (Korcula City) plus shopping at the ancient cities of Korcula and Dubrovnik! All mediums welcome- Steve will be doing daily live painting demos in pastel and will provide help at your easels, plus positive, helpful group critique sessions each evening. For complete pricing info and to register for this all inclusive tour (lodging, ground transportation, & local gourmet meals) :

Bruges, Belgium, June 30-July 7
Only two more sign ups will make this one a “go”!
Bruges is the “little Venice of Belgium and the medieval capital of the Flemish Painters”! Jackie Grandchamps, our bi-lingual tour leader and Belgian native, provides expert hand-guided excursions where we will paint medieval towns, canals, mills, beaches & countryside, plus enjoy the gourmet foods and chocolates that have made Belgium a culinary landmark. A visit to the Flemish Painters Museum, lace making demo, boat rides in Bruges and a visit to Brussels included. Click for pricing info and to sign up. All mediums welcome – live daily pastel demos and help at your easels, led by Steve. 8- 12 participants. Jackie Grandchamps, organizer. 510-483-5713. Lodging, comfortable ground transportation and most meals included!

Two Dakota Art Workshops in Mt. Vernon, WA

my 5th year teaching at Dakota!

March 18/19 & 25/26 beginning level pastel (two weekends-ltd to 14 total)

September 22-24 Intro to Pastel Plein Air (3 day workshop) for full info and to sign-up. These classes fill quickly, so register early.

Steve Hill - 360-468-2557 for any other questions - Happy Holidays to all!

Worthington GalleryFriday, November 27, 2015 by Steve Hill
Virgin River Action
Virgin River Action
I am very excited and honored to have my paintings from Zion National Park represented by Worthington Gallery in Springdale, Utah. In business for 40 years, Worthington Gallery is one of the premier fine art sales galleries in the southwest. This newly expanded gallery offers high quality artwork in many mediums, from pottery, sculpture and glass to oils, watercolors, acrylics and pastel – all underscoring the gallery’s deep commitment to exhibit artwork influenced by the vast desert and canyon lands of southern Utah, especially Zion National Park.

I have eleven pastels done from my past three years of plein air painting trips to Zion, now at the gallery, and continue to work on larger Zion pieces from my studio.

“Virgin River Action” (pictured here - 18x15 framed) was completed November 7, 2015, near the entrance to the narrows canyon and is priced at $800.

Stop by Worthington Gallery at 789 Zion Park Boulevard in Springdale, Utah (open daily year-round) and be sure to visit their web site for updates and images of my work at the gallery. Artists are listed alphabetically by first name on the gallery web site.

2015 Zion National ParkThursday, October 29, 2015 by Steve Hill
Rock Woven Light Sinawava
Rock Woven Light Sinawava
The 7th Annual 2015 Zion National Park Plein Air Invitational is Monday, November 2 -Sunday November 8th.

I am one of 24 artists selected nationwide to paint at Zion. This is my 3rd consecutive year to be invited back to this fantastic painting locale and event! Last year, my painting “Soft Glow” won the park superintendent’s purchase award and now hangs in their permanent collection.

The piece here “Rock Woven Light, Sinawava” is my studio piece for the exhibit and measures 33.5 x 27.5 framed, priced at $3000. It will be hanging at Zion Human History Museum together with several other plein air paintings that I will produce during this week-long event.

Each artist gives a live public painting demo – mine will be on Tuesday, Nov. 3rd at the back patio of the Zion Human Interest Museum, at 2 p.m. The opening gala, Friday, NOV. 6TH is by invitation only and the public art sale and exhibit is Saturday & Sunday, November 7 -8, from 9-5 p.m.

For complete schedules and details about the silent auction for artists’ demo pieces, lectures and quick finish painting sites, go to

2015 Paint the Peninsula eventSunday, September 06, 2015 by Steve Hill
Do The Ocean Motion With Me
Do The Ocean Motion With Me
I am one of 27 artists selected nationally to participate in the 3rd annual “Paint the Peninsula” juried competition at Port Angeles, Washington, September 7-13. We will all be painting within the Olympic National Park, as well as areas around Port Angeles and Sequim with a special exhibit at the Port Angeles Fine Art Center where we each submit 4 paintings to be juried. The invited artists are coming from all over the U.S. and Canada to paint and compete for awards – wish me luck!

The painting here “Do the Ocean Motion with Me” (sorry, couldn’t resist the title from an old rock hit lyric “Locomotion” ) was done in early August at Rialto Beach on the Washington coast, as a practice run for this event. Moving water is always a challenge, and this one was no exception.

The 22nd Annual Carmel Art Festival (May 14-17) -provided a great venue for painting along Big Sur and around Carmel, plus an excellent exhibit featuring the 60 artists juried into this year’s event.

One of my pieces “Rockfish” painted en plein air near Soberanes Point along the Big Sur coastline line sold at the festival. I have also delivered 4 new pieces done during the same week to New Masters Gallery in Carmel, where my art work is now represented.

“New Day, Carmel River Estuary” and “Carmel Valley Sentinel”, (the old barn at Garland State Park, a former working ranch in Carmel Valley) are two that are pictured here. Hope you enjoy and can see these pieces up close at New Masters Gallery, on Dolores between Ocean and 7th. I am a new artist at this gallery and proud to exhibit among some of the finest painters in America.

Zion National ParkMonday, October 27, 2014 by Steve Hill
Quiet Ascent
Quiet Ascent
The original pastel pictured here is titled “Quiet Ascent” and is a larger painting I did for the Zion National Park Plein Air Invitational Exhibit and Competition. I will be painting alongside 23 other artists selected from across the U.S., from November 3-10.

For me, it is an honor to be re-invited to a major art event like this, and more importantly, to have an entire week to paint on-site in this spectacular setting!

All of the artists will be performing live demos in their chosen mediums – my demo at the Zion Human Interest Museum on Monday afternoon, Nov. 3. Special lectures on Zion will be presented by park staff and the wet paint sale will be Friday, Nov 7. For complete schedules and details go to the Zion National Park web site. Hope to see you there!

I have been invited, as one of twenty four nationally recognized artists, to participate in the 5th Annual “Zion National Park Plein Air Art Invitational”, November 4-11, 2013, at Zion National Park, in Utah.

Dance of the Hours
Dance of the Hours
My painting here – “Dance of the Hours” is currently on display at the park, as one of two pieces sent for a special introductory pre-show exhibit.

The event “In the Footsteps of Thomas Moran” is the biggest annual public event at Zion. Each of the 24 artists are expected to finish at least 8 plein air paintings during the course of one week, as well as present a live, narrated painting demo for the public at the park headquarters. My live demo will be November 7th, at the Zion Nature Center.

Thousands of park visitors observe the artists, as they paint “en plein air” at this spectacular venue. A special collective exhibit plus quick draw competition will be held November 9, 10 & 11th, when the artists turn-in the work they have completed. There are also free lectures like “The Role of Art in Landscape Conservation” and “Pre-historic Rock Art” among others. to see a list of the other artists and for complete event details.

From the Lopez Island Historical Society:

We're pleased that Steve chose the Sally J as his subject to commemorate the Lopez Museum's 40th anniversary. The Sally J is an important part of Lopez Island's rich maritime history. Built as a gillnetter for Bastian Jevick on the Duwamish River in 1930, the Sally J's unique design helped her to become one of the most successful boats in the Lopez fishing fleet. In later years, the Sally J was used off Stuart Island in an experimental nori seaweed farming venture. She returned to Lopez Island in November 1996 and is now displayed at the Lopez Museum.

Reference photo used by Steve to create the two Sally J Paintings
Reference photo used by Steve to create the two Sally J Paintings
We were grateful when Steve offered to donate proceeds from auctioning Sally J, Underway, and thrilled when he also donated Sally J Heading Out. To manage this incredibly generous challenge, we decided to create a raffle in addition to the auction. This gives his many admirers a chance to own one of his most striking originals, for only the cost of a raffle ticket. (And also gives you a chance to support one of Steve's favorite island organizations, the Lopez Island Historical Society.)

Please visit our website to purchase your tickets:

Thank you

Out of Time and PlaceFriday, October 12, 2012 by Steve Hill
Out of Time, Place - SLO train station
Out of Time, Place - SLO train station
While participating at the San Luis Obispo juried Plein Air Event last week, I was given a rare opportunity to be involved simultaneously with writings by Patti Sullivan, San Luis Obispo poet.

Patti observed me painting on-site at the San Luis Obispo Train Station and then wrote 2 poems about her own connections and experience with the subject I had chosen to paint, pictured here and titled: “Out of Time and Place”.

Patti read her 2 poems – “Not Fade Away” and “Plein Air Poetry with Steven R Hill”, at a special poetry night sponsored by the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art last Thursday, with my painting displayed on an easel, as she read.

My original copy of this poem, beautifully illuminated in collage style, is a visual treasure, as well - with icons, treasured photos of an old friend, images of pastel sticks, her own colorful artwork. To say that I was blown away by all this would be a complete understatement. As she wrote: “That's what plein air painting gives you – the chance to be surprised” Read her poem and enjoy!

     Plein Air Poetry with the artist Steven R Hill

I've got crickets on the brain - the kind you can fall asleep listening to
and the kind that rock and roll

My assignment – to meet up with a plain air painter near the train station
to observe and write about the experience
But first there's a coffee break at Sally Loo's Café – this is a tough life

Then it's onto business – there's art to be made- a poem to write
He sets up his easel and shows me the tools of his trade
Colorful round disks called pan pastels, hard pastels and soft pastels
how they can be crushed, have highest pigment, they will last forever
they won't discolor like oils…and do not fade away like watercolors…

Which brings me to the crickets!

Reading up on our historic railroad district – how Jack Kerouac stayed
here in 1953 – working the trains. He wrote home how the
“nights were hushed…falling asleep listening to crickets…”

Which made me think of Buddy Holly and his Crickets singing “Not Fade Away”
the song would not leave me all night – then forgotten until today
When my painter brings it up – now I'm back in that 45 rpm groove..
“...your love for me has got to be real…”

Now I'm concentrating again- hearing about “…blocking the big ones first,
killing, tooth, warms already down, cool down with hard sticks…”
Amazing that this painting is coming along so quietly and peacefully
with all that violence going on

He tells me the details always find their way into the story -
but that skateboarder zooming by didn't make the cut
same with those two yellow taxi's parked out front of the station

He says he paints what he sees, not what he knows is there
that's why the roof tiles look just like what they are
even though they aren't drawn in- the shading and colors have recreated them

Yesterday when he did his sketches in the white heat of the day
abundant shadows - then this morning only fog
no shadows only “flat light” to work with

That's what Plein Air painting gives you
the chance to be surprised – have all your plans come undone
to step back and review all the positives and negatives
a little creative erasing here and there
a little grumbling and sighing over one “hard wall”

Must get that palm tree in too – it's San Luis Obispo after all

An odd brownish sheet of course paper
has been transformed into amazing beauty
pastel sticks left in a jumbled mountain

This is not photo realism
there's no blue or yellow on that building
but there is now
and we're all the better for it

Now the sun wants back into the action- too late
We're done here

“…it has got to be real…..and not fade away…”

Patti Sullivan 10/3/12

"Plein Air Richmond" 2012Saturday, June 23, 2012 by Steve Hill
“Plein Air Richmond” 2012.
Forty plus artists have been painting all over the town . . . James River, historic Fan District, Monument Avenue, Gitner Botanical Gardens (huge) and many other venues over the past week.

Painted during the Pleinair Richmond
Painted during the Pleinair Richmond
One of my entries into the juried exhibit won “Honorable Mention” award by juror, Everett Raymond Kinstler. Sales have been very good for everyone here, with a grand opening last night that hosted a few hundred enthusiastic art buyers, a quartet from the Richmond Symphony and some of the best food & wine imaginable. We are finding the food in Richmond to be just as grand as so many of the city's sculptural monuments. Both Judy and I will be doing extra miles on the bicycles when we return home!

Painted during the Plein Air Richmond in June 2012.
Painted during the Plein Air Richmond in June 2012.
One of four of my pieces that have sold so far is pictured here, as well as the prize winner “Sultry Summer Day, Richmond” painted from Libby Park, a hill overlooking Main Street below and into the distance. As Kinstler remarked “this painting conveys a great sense of emotion & feeling, with an atmospheric quality that really holds my attention.”
I am thrilled to be given an award recognition by a living legend in the art world and truly enjoyed his discourse during last night's show opening, spiced with decades of “painting stories” that included portrait sittings with Bill Clinton, Katherine Hepburn, Paul Newman, John Wayne – the list goes on and is documented on his web site, together with the fantastic art events the man has experienced over his 70 year art career. He is also a very accomplished plein air landscape painter in all genres, as evidenced by some large oils collected by Loryn Brazier, owner of Brazier Gallery, where the collective exhibit hangs until tomorrow afternoon.
Now, it's back to the easel and much hard work trying to improve my own painting skills. As Kinstler said, “don't let an award or lack thereof ever go to your head, because the next show could be different and if I walked into this gallery tomorrow, I may very well pick different pieces than what was selected tonight.”
Monday, we are off to Georgia to complete our trip back east, with a 4 day workshop that I will be teaching this coming weekend. I look forward to providing live painting demos and learning new techniques, as I always do, from the students who will be working at their own easels.

Best of Show AwardFriday, April 08, 2011 by Steve Hill
Best of Show Award

I am pleased to announce the painting pictured here, titled “Winding Down” has just been awarded “Best of Show” by noted artist and juror, Arthur Egeli, at the 42nd National Juried Fine Art Show at Ocean Shores, Washington. We will be present (see previous blog) at the 3 day exhibit and event this weekend.

Winding Down
Winding Down

I had passed-by this old farm building in the Skagit Valley for more than 25 years, always with an eye on the special way it stood-up to the elements of weather and time for more than a century, completely neglected for at least the last 2 decades. When I painted this piece, it was with the feeling that days were numbered. The late afternoon backlit winter sky cast a strange reddish-orange glow to the entire area, with the barn blocking out a cool blue/green/gray contrast to hold its own space, along Josh Wilson Road (near Bayview, Washington). The building burned to the ground about 2 months after I made this painting.

The 42nd Annual Ocean Shores National Juried Fine Art Competition is April 8-10 at their beautiful and spacious, new convention center. I had 3 pieces juried into the show and have been invited to be one of several “artists in action” during this year's festival. I will be at the convention center from 10-5 on Saturday and Sunday, the 9th and 10th doing live paintings in pastel. Since it's indoors, I'll be working from reference photos and memory from my plein air painting trips. I plan to do 2 paintings while there, probably from Italy and Croatia. to visit their web site.

If you are in the area, please stop-by, say hi and check-out the art work that will be hanging for the 3 day festival. It's always an exciting show and covers all 2-D & 3-D mediums. The piece here, “Riffle” was painted as a plain air demo during one of my workshops last summer, at Port Stanley estuary, about a mile from our house and is 1 of 3 of my paintings accepted into the exhibit.

I extend my sincere apologies to anyone who came to the artists' reception April 1st at The Depot Arts Center in Anacortes (see my previous blog) and found that the featured artist (me) wasn't there. After living on this lovely island for more than 35 years, I should have known the ferry boat was going to break down on exactly that day . . . April 1st after all! Our sailing to Anacortes was cancelled due to a computer malfunction aboard the vessel. The Lopez/Anacortes -bound ferry had to return to Friday Harbor (where the crew successfully re-booted the on-board computer) and then wait for the U.S. Coast Guard to bestow their personal blessings upon the boat which is required by law, whenever a computer goes wonky. I wonder if they cracked a bottle of champagne over the stern? Probably has something to do with home land security (my best guess) but nevertheless resulted in a canceled trip to Anacortes. Ah . . . la Dolce Vita in Isola Lopez! I will announce the second opening May 6th, as the show runs for 2 months.

17th Annual Carmel Arts FestivalWednesday, April 28, 2010 by Steve Hill
I have again been juried into The 17th Annual Carmel Art Festival, which will be held May 13-16, in Carmel, California. All artists paint (rather furiously) for 2 days and turn our best 2 pieces in (framed) for jury on Friday evening. The festival opens to the public at 10 a.m. Saturday and runs through Sunday, the 16th. There are 60 artists participating in this multi-national event.

The juried pieces are displayed Saturday and Sunday, in a large, covered outdoor pavilion at Davendorf Park in Carmel, where they are put into a silent auction. A live auction on Saturday afternoon follows for pieces receiving more than 10 silent auction bids, with an awards ceremony held after the auction. A “quick draw” for award winners is held on Sunday, from 10-12. Attendance numbers in the thousands and it's a great way to see plein air painting in action, meet the artists, and enjoy the beautiful scenery and weather of the Monterrey Peninsula.

An on-line “Absentee Bidding” process is now in place for this festival. To get on the mailing list, email Hella at: [email protected]

Beach Anatomy, Point Lobos
Beach Anatomy, Point Lobos
To see the 2010 schedule of events, go to their web site:

The image here is a piece I did at Point Lobos, during last year's festival. It is titled: "Beach Anatomy" and will also be in my upcoming show at Agora Gallery in New York this July 13th.

We have added a new category to my web site, to be able to post upcoming workshops, dates and details. I am offering 3 pastel painting workshops on Lopez Island this year, plus my annual 10 day plein air, multi-media workshop on Korcula Island, Croatia, this October. View the current classes

Day's End, Lumbarda, Croatia, 17 x 20 $1200
Day's End, Lumbarda, Croatia, 17 x 20 $1200
The painting here, is one I have just finished from reference photos taken less than 300' from the bed and breakfast where we all stay during the Croatia workshop. It's titled “Days End, Lumbarda, Croatia” and will be framed and available soon at my home gallery on Lopez Island.

I want to send a big thank you to friends and patrons who came to the new exhibit “Early Spring” of The Northwest Masters at La Conner Seaside Gallery last Saturday. We had a large turn-out of about 300 people throughout the day. It was great to see folks from the San Juan Islands, Anacortes, Mt. Vernon, La Conner and the Seattle area! It was also very encouraging to the artists that some gallery sales actually happened on opening night!

Spring Blooms
Spring Blooms
My original painting pictured here “Spring Blooms” sold to the Lambiel Museum on Orcas Island, during the opening. It is the museum's second acquisition of one of my pieces.

This exhibit hangs until mid-May and has a great mix of new work to enjoy. See my previous blog for the invitation, list of artists and show dates. Gallery Hours are: Friday-Monday 11-5.

© Steven Hill - Windswept Studios