Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Studio in Little "Ole Sactown.

A fellow homey (Terry Miura) and oil painter extraordinare, posted pics of his garage studio... very well organized and appointed indeed. I noticed in one pic, where his garage door was open, parked in the driveway is the same black gas guzzling SUV that I drive except the interior of his vehicle is covered in oil paint smears whereas my vehicle, driven by a god fearing and clean cut acrylic artist, is bereft of such accouterments. A thorough description accompanied his studio pics, and at the end, he suggested that I post views of my studio, so here you have them. I rent out about an 600-700 sq. ft. space on the first floor of a mixed- use bldg. Top floor is living, rental units and the bottom floor is commercial units. I recently purchased an Olympus digital camera that shoots panorama views. Kinda reminiscent of Cinerama (if you are younger than 50 yrs. or so, google "Cinerama"). These three views are almost 360 degrees of the studio. I could not shoot towards my large window on account of it screwing up the exposure, but that's OK. The important stuff is within these three shots. Most of those airplanes hanging from the ceiling were built by me from paper model kits whereby you cut out all the parts with an exacto knife and glue them together with Elmer's Cement. Most all the paper model kits came from Germany. That's a 1920 designed Bauer chair in the corner where I sometimes park my butt to eat lunch or view the art on my easel. That one chair set me back $800 in 1976! The next view shows my $365, circa 2004, cheapo easel and a monitor that I sometimes use to view my painting photo references. It's hard to discern details on the San Francisco paper model cable car on top of the book shelf. The kit even came with paper litter. There is a San Francisco Chronical newspaer left on one of the passenger benches, a banana peel ( I predict a law suit ), and an umbrella!... very cool cable car detailing! This particular kit was made in the good 'ole US of A...not in China but in the good 'ole US of A! Moving along and finishing the Studio L tour is the third view. Notice the table and chairs on the right. That is where, twice a week, my wife conducts knitting lessons. She is a fantastic knitter! And that concludes the tour of Studio L where fine art and knitting prevail. DON'T FORGET THAT SEPT. 12 IS THE DEADLINE FOR THE SECOND SELF PORTRAIT GLOBAL LOVE IN CHALLENGE. CHECK OUT AN EARLIER POST ON THIS BLOG OR ON MY SECOND BLOG (SPGLOBALLOVEIN) FOR DETAILS.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Last Day of My Summer Plein Air Class (Art 363- 3 units)

After eight weeks, my weekends are free again! Not that I don't thoroughly enjoy teaching this summer college class. I like moulding my students into good "liars". An art liar is capable of capturing the impression of things, be it buildings, people, plants, etc, etc. without having to get bogged down in tedious, time consuming details. Now I know that there are some of you that love the fine details, but if you want to go outside and paint something, you need to become somewhat of a generalist. The light is going to change radically in about a 2 hour time period or even less. There is no time for fine detail work unless you want to take a photo and finish up in the studio. But even beyond that, completing your art within a two hour time frame leaves you with a loose and fresh looking piece. Leave the finely tuned art for your studio, where, and as we all know, there are no bugs, gawkers, rain, hot sun (moving light source!), and such. Here is what my summer semester plein air students learned: ART IS AN ILLUSION SO BE A GOOD LIAR. "Portuguese Catholic Church on S and 12th Streets, Sacramento" 14"X20" ink drawing and watercolor wash on 140lb. cold press.

Monday, July 20, 2009

American Hells Angel Bad Boy aka: Rat Fink

I painted this a few years ago. It was one of several watercolors that I contributed to a biker fund raising art show to raise money to help individuals recover from serious accidents. I suggested that they simply get rid of their dangerous motor cycles and purchase Volvos. They all ignored my good advice! I post this as a reminder of my Self Portrait Global Love In challenge #2: A self portrait with head ware...hats, helmets, scarves, etc. Let your imagination run free! Any art medium including digital. The due date to send me an image is September 12. Send it to me at:

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tower Records and Books Today

This is the 8th summer teaching my college plein air watercolor sketch class. We meet every Saturday and Sunday from 9AM to about 1PM (depending on the summer heat) for eight weekends, and I teach my students how to block in composition lightly with a soft office pencil, detail and complete the sketch with a fine tip sharpie pen (non-water soluble), and then paint in color washes. We meet at a different location each weekend. Next weekend, we will be watercolor sketching at the Sacramento Aerospace museum where I did this Vietnam era F-4 Phantom jet last year. The other painting is a demo I did for my students today. It is Tower Theater, a Sacramento landmark. It still houses a theater that plays independent films and Tower Cafe that is a legendary restaurant serving dishes from all over the world. This watercolor sketch was drawn and painted on an Arches 140lb, rough, cold press watercolor block (as you can see). Drawing time was about 45 minutes and painting time about the same. I first painted the sky to help highlight the tower and reflect the tower's vertical structure. The foreground palm tree was not outside my picture frame so I moved it in and added another palm tree behind the building. There is a tree smack dab in front of the marquee, so I made sure to kick that bastard out! I always have various puddles of color in the mixing area of my palette, and I also utilize colors directly from the paint wells as I apply paint to paper. Areas of homogenous color truly suck, and you may quote me on that. The beauty of watercolor sketching is that the drawing is doing most of the work. Just add a few color washes and Bob's your uncle, Fannie's your aunt, you're done! What could be simpler?... Not!...practice, practice, practice and with the medium of watercolor, one can truly say that with no pain there is no gain.

Friday, July 17, 2009

My Day On The Farm

I know all you folk think that Cal-eye-forn-eye-a is made up of surfer dudes and movie stars. Well that jest ain't so! I'm a member in good standin of the Cal-eye- forn-eye-a, Yolo County Art and Ag Project whereby artists are invited to farms to do real purdy art. This here project helps to convey a posiitve value and impact of farm and art folk to you city slickers wherever you be. You all know that the food you eat ain't grown at no supermarket and the art you buy just don't appear magically in an art gallery. Let me say this...both us farmers and artists work real HARD for a livin! This here acrylic painting was done yesterday on the Clark Farnm at the intersection of Russell Road and County Road 96. It was painted between 8:30AM and 11AM. Yes!...them's mornin hours for you slickers! And me and my fellow artists are out there with the hot, bone bleachin sun, flys, skitters, chickens, horses (and horse shit), and lordy knows what else! But as no nonsense, ass kickin ag artists, we got the jobs done! If you all are interested in the Cal-eye-forn-eye-a, Yolo County Art and Ag Project, then jest give Janice Purnell a jingle. or check out their website at The other barn scene is a watercolor painted a few weeks ago on another farm. And finally don't you all never ferget, most farmers hereabouts don't write and spell this stupid!! Your, David AgArtist Lobenberg

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hey buddy, can ya spare a dime?...uh...I mean 30 billion dollars

This is me with my wares ( 9"X12" watercolor portraits that I do for people that send me a photo file that I can work from. A single subject portrait sells for $300. Can't beat that! ) at a community event in Sacramento, California. The state of California is flat broke. Can anyone of you spare 30 billion dollars? Pretty please. We all sure would appreciate it!!! And if you can't spring for the 30 billion, how about $300 for a Lobenberg watercolor portrait? ( Not matted and framed ). Think about it. The winter holiday season is just around the corner.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


A fellow artist who follows my blog, Bobbie Heath, USA, suggested that the next subject for my (our) "Self Portrait Global Love In" blog be a self portrait of the artist wearing a hat. Great idea except that I'd like to broaden the parameters to the following: YOUR SELF PORTRAIT WEARING A HAT, SCARF, BANDANA,TURBIN OR WHATEVER HEAD WEAR WORN IN YOUR PART OF THE GLOBE. ANY MEDIUM FROM TRADITIONAL TO DIGITAL AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN. TWO DIMENSIONAL TO THREE DIMENSIONAL. DUE DATE TO GET YOUR ART TO ME WILL BE SEPTEMBER 12 (that's two full months and some change). We need to expand the reach of the SPGLI (Self Portrait Global Love In)...if you are in touch with other artists living on different parts of our globe, let them know of our latest assignment. This posted portrait is NOT me. It is a watercolor I painted a few months ago of a man dressed up to look like an Irish Leprechaun. He is wearing a very jaunty hat, indeed! No, this painting of mine is not qualified for the next assignment. I will be doing ME, David Lobenberg, USA, wearing a hat that I hope will give me a very rakish look!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Negro Bar

No, this is not a bar for "Negroes" in the old, segregated South. It is a beautiful granite bar on the American River, east of Sacramento. It was further up into the Sierra Foothills on the American that John Marshall discovered flakes of gold while supervising operations of John Sutter's lumber mill around 1843. The great California Gold Rush commenced, and it was on this part of the American River that various gold prospectors were allowed to set up segregated camps according to ethnicity (whites, blacks, latinos, and chinese). So this scene that I painted side by side with one of my talented private lesson students, was where the African Americans...uh...Negroes set up camp. Now it is a fishing, kyacking, and swimming paradise. Just a beautiful area. This watercolor was painted from a photo I took. In front of the swimmers were some scuba divers. We left them out of the painting! 1. We first wet the watercolor paper above the granite rock line then charged in light toned, pre-mixed colors from off of our palettes. We let those colors mix on the wet paper and enjoyed results! 2. After the background colors were bone dry, we wet the tree area and again charged in colors...tree colors! Ahh...more luscious color intermingling...let it's a happening,man! 3. After that, we brush in some light shadows on the granite. We let it dry, and splatterd granite texture with an old toothbrush. Never ever throw away those used up tooth brushes! 4. Delicately, we painted in some fissures and darker areas of the granite. We painted in the figures with just a minimal amount of detail. The large granite rocks looked flat and boring until the swimmers were painted in. Then they came to life. Funny how that worked! I think it was a dramatic tonal contrast thing. Also, we painted some light toned water to further help define the hard edges and forms of the granite. 5. With a large, flat brush loaded unevenly with two colors, and brushing with a flowing side -to- side motion, we started to paint water reflections. We had to keep going back to the palette to load the brush with more colors and back to the paper for more side-to-side motion. We kept it going and only lay down our brushes after we were done! Again, the colors intermingle with all that water on our brushes along with the constant sweeping motion. What a rush!.. and scary, but that's watercolor. 6. After the water reflections were bone dry, we took a dry, thirsty brush and pulled off highlights. 7. Just a very light, warm yellowish color needed to be brushed onto parts of the granite rock, and "Negro Bar" was completed. Whew! About three and a half hours painting time, and time for a cold beer! Remember my personal definition of watercolor? Watercolor is all about controlling the flood.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Spread the word!!!!

As of today, all the artist"s self portraits (including yours truly) from around the globe, from India to Indiana, have been posted onto my second blog: The Global Self Portrait Global Love In. Not to let a good blog and idea go to waste, I will, in a month or two, put out the word for another round of self portraits but with some sort of twist (time to dust off the old thinking cap). We need to add participants from other parts of the globe...say...China, Africa, South America, the Middle East etc. Can you help me get the word out, because as you know, the more the merrier!!! Remember...any medium from paint, pencil, pastel, watercolor, etc. to digital, photography, clay, ceramic, etc....skies the limit as long as it fits within the boundaries of the theme. This was my contribution to the first edition of The Self Portrait Global Love In.