My Paintings on the Walls of our Home April 17, 2020

Hello, I haven’t been outside to paint lately. Like most of you we’ve kept ourselves safely isolated for the past several weeks. I hope you are keeping safe too. I have been working on several studio paintings and they take much longer to complete than my usual one day Plein Airs. As a result I haven’t posted on this blog in a while. I thought it would be entertaining to go into the time machine and look at some of my paintings from the past.

I am starting a series here where I will show a painting every few days from the walls of our home. I will tell a little story about each painting: the location, whether from a photograph or on site, why I painted it, and its meaning to me. Thanks to my painting friend Don Neff for giving me the idea of posting paintings of the past.

The first is ” Echo Lake Cliffs” an early studio piece , painted from a photograph in 2006. To see this view you have to be driving by in a boat on Echo Lake , at an altitude of 7,300 feet. This is just over a few mountain tops from Lake Tahoe at a wimpy 5,200 ft. My lovely wife introduced me to Echo 46 years ago and each year we motor past this view in a small boat . As a mountaineer sometimes I imagine climbing up its crevices. At other times we hike by , and sometimes we have cross country skied past on the iced surface of the lake. The path of 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail from Canada to Mexico cuts right across the middle of this painting, reminding me of my hikes on the John Muir Trail. Always a magnificent and inspiring view. I keep this painting on a wall in my studio.

My early studio oil paintings of this size usually required 20 to 30 hours of work . This is an oil on canvas 16 by 20 inches and in a more ornate frame than what I usually use. I would paint for 4 to 60 hours one week, then let it dry a week and do the next layer. This layering technique is in the classical style whereby thin layers of paint shine through each other, and are a contrast to thicker bolder brushstrokes. The layering is most evident I the cliff surfaces. (Take a look by clicking to enlarge the painting). My studio work for this piece was enhanced by referring to my many sketches, photographs and nearby plein air studies. Enjoy !

“Echo Lake Cliffs” 2006

Published by Al Shamble

I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. I have a minor in Visual Arts from UCSD where I received my BA in Biology. I am inspired by Nature and love hiking in California's Sierra Nevada and diving beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean. I enjoy the interplay of painting Plein Air, being an outdoor photographer, and creating paintings in the studio.

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  1. It’s a beautiful piece, Al, viewed online and in person! We’re glad you & Helen are doing well in the new reality we’re going through!