I’ve painted outdoors and I’ve painted indoors… on location and in studios all over the world. People often ask me: Which do I prefer? Is one more authentic? Is the other easier? Over the years I’m thinking it is all up to the individual, what gets you stoked as a painter, what inspires your process.
Caroline Zimmermann’s Lahaina Galleries Solo Exhibition, February 27, 2016
Information and enquiries:
Lahaina Galleries At Fashion Island
1173 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
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London, calling once again!
For the second summer in a row I’ve had the pleasure and honour of painting “live” at the Graham Fine Art gallery in London’s Crouch End.
Live demonstrations are a wonderful opportunity to get to know the gallery’s clients and for them to see my process.
It’s also a nice change for me to leave the seclusion of my Tuscany studio and soak up the vibrance and energy of London and the Crouch End neighbourhood. My live-painting sessions at Graham Fine Art bookend my pop-up studio time in Oxford this summer.
This year my painting process has been delightfully documented with a series of short videos, created and produced by talented gallery assistant Carolina Maggio and Team GFA.
GFA’s own Graham Powell and Carolina are attentive to all details of running and managing a gallery… and of course keeping things exceedingly fun & lively.
In the “Mallorca” video, I am actually creating a painting from the very beginning of my process. This is the second half of the “Mallorca” diptych which took approximately three weeks to complete…
In the gallery, inspiration abounds… as a result I’ve created numerous smaller works as well.
The end of this year’s summer painting sojourn was celebrated with an evening soiree with some good friends in attendance.
We so enjoyed our summer as Crouch End locals…. Loving every minute and looking forward to returning again next year. Many many thanks to Graham and Carolina and all at Graham Fine Art for a fabulous summer!
Provence in Spring and once again we find ourselves here in pursuit of poppies.
When in Nice, the Marché Aux Fleurs at the Cours Saleya is a must see. A daily market that is one of the most spectacular in the South of France.
An overwhelming visual feast for the senses… the sights and fragrances of the many purveyor’s exquisite goods… the best of local Provencal produce and spring flowers which are at their peak of this year’s season.
Countless subjects for my next paintings… and most importantly… our next meal.
We returned to Bonnieux, one of the most charming of the Luberon’s hilltop towns.
The views are fabulous, and from that strategic location we could scope out potential poppy fields in the distance.
They were there and the hunt was on!
Our efforts were rewarded with some spectacular fields and ideal conditions.
Seeing these poppies in such a magnificent setting always takes my breath away.
It is rare in Tuscany to find such vast swaths of poppy fields these days, as many farmers are using herbicides that eradicate the poppies as well as countless other beneficial wildflowers and weeds.
In Britain the poppy is a symbol of remembrance, yet it is being wiped out by the increase of herbicide use by farmers.
But here in Provence, with their shocking scarlet the flowers still set the landscapes on fire, making our visit one of the most memorable yet.
It is a painting that evokes my fascination with water; the myriad shades of blue, the dance of light and shadow on the sea floor, and the play of reflections on the water’s surface.
Earlier this May we spent a week on the Cote d’Azur that so influenced Cross and many other Impressionist painters…
Sanary su Mer and its delightful harbor. Future paintings waiting to happen!
We then discovered the island of Porquerolles, with its beautiful beaches and sheltered coves.
Then the Henri-Edmond Cross painting came to life:
Truly where Art meets Life! Over a hundred years after the painting was created, I could visualize what Cross saw as he painted.
My many years spent chasing waves kept me constantly in and around salt water.Of course I had to take a swim.
First stop was to deliver my paintings to be stretched at Bird and Davis, one of the UK’s oldest and leading art stretcher manufactures.
On this visit I’ve brought some fresh produce paintings, springtime florals and summer sunflowers.
I have also brought the latest in my series of Water Paintings, this large piece is entitled “Mallorca Blues I”.
“Tara’s Morning Tide” is a wedding present from a thoughtful fiance’ to a very lucky bride. Congratulations to Tara and Ricardo!
If you are interested in any of these paintings please don’t hesitate to contact Graham at Graham Fine Art.
It doesn’t get much better than this…
A complete indulgence of the senses.
Step right in and take a deep breath…
and most of all, inspires creativity…
Taking time to observe the flowers close up, with their interesting black stamen formations, and delicate transparent petals that glow red like little stained glass windows… The French name for the poppy: le coquelicot All the while gathering up inspiration and taking photos I will use as references for future paintings in my studio…
Of course, taking time also for a sip of Rose’ and the fabulous Provencal cuisine at L’Oustalet in Lourmarin…A warm goat cheese salad with hazelnut crust a fine reward for hard day’s work! Merci Nade & FiFi!
All this travel is new for our dear Murphy…
What’s not to Love about French cafe’ life!
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“Poppy Portraits”, intimate views of the individual flower as no two are exactly alike.
Sunflowers speak to me of happy and content memories in my family’s garden in Anaheim.
As a child, I would lose myself for hours helping my mother and father with their various tasks of tending their large backyard garden.The mild weather in Southern California made for a botanical paradise for my parents. Both are originally from Europe and they would marvel at the growing conditions as all seasons of the year brought forth their bounty.
A favorite in the garden was always the Sunflower. My father would recall how he and his family grew vast fields of sunflowers in the steppes of Romania for oil. He and his family would eat the seeds as a tasty snack and at age 84 he still enjoys growing them to this day.
This history inspired the many Sunflower Portraits I created for my MFA show in 1994. The Sunflower perfectly defines the cycle of Life and Death, and the fascinating beauty of each phase. I created over 30 12×12 inch portraits of the flower in each stage of growth, and displayed them in grid form for my Master’s of Fine Arts show.
Two years after that I went to Tuscany for the first time and had my first glimpse of those European sunflower fields much like my father described to me from his childhood.And so began my creation of larger scale field paintings… waves of golds and greens…gorgeous swaths of texture and pattern. The blooming of a sunflower field is a sign that summer has indeed arrived.
My search for Sunflower Inspirations has led me to the back country roads of Provence and Tuscany. Every field has its character and charm, every year is different. Helianthus Annuus is native to the Americas, worshipped by the natives as food source and sacred plant. Sunflower seeds were first introduced to Europe in the 16th century, where it was grown as a source of cooking oil.
“Girasole” in Italian, “Tournesol” in French…. both names describing a “country” myth; sunflowers do not turn with the daily passing of the sun.
In most fields the flowers do grow facing east; the morning sun. The immature flower heads do track the sun, so the concept is not entirely untrue.Heliotropism is the process that causes the plants to grow in a uniform alignment facing the sun.
I can’t help but smile, at each flower’s “face” (technically called an inflorescence) has an individual character. Even with this “uniform alignment”, some flowers grow facing sideways…
Nature begets individuality…
This is a key to my painting sunflower fields: No two flowers are ever identical. For me, each flower takes on its personality.
I’ve embraced Van Gogh’s divine madness for this flower. I’ll definitely continue to ride this wave of inspiration with my latest and largest sunflower painting “Sunflower Wave”
See Caroline’s available Sunflower Paintings on her Virtual Gallery
Our winter travels have brought us back to Tuscany and what looks to be a soggy spring. Nothing warms my painter’s heart more than recalling warm, dry summers past in Provence and the sensual experience of painting lavender.
I’ve recently completed my latest lavender painting: “Waves of Lavender and Grain” with that in mind… evoking all my heady memories of time spent in Provence in pursuit of those most gorgeous of lavender fields and that perfect light.
Lavender fields can be found everywhere in Provence…
to the magnificent lavender of the Luberon…
The crisp, clean and calming fragrance of Lavender… contented buzzing of the bees… the soft textures of lavender and grain…
I pick up my brushes to paint, and I am back there again.
UPDATE (Sept 1): For those who missed the Artist Reception for “No Bad Paintings, No Bad Waves” Caroline will make a special appearence at Gallery McCollum for First Thursdays Art Walk in Laguna Beach. September 6 from 6 – 9PM. More info. View paintings.
UPDATE (August 15): The exhibition is now set for Saturday August 25, 2012 at Gallery McCollum. Mickey’s book signing begins at 3PM and the artist’s reception runs until 9PM. For invitations please sign up for my Mailing List.
I’m very excited to announce an upcoming exhibition of my latest paintings at Gallery McCollum in Laguna Beach this summer. I’ll be showing a whole new series of seascapes and tropical water paintings as well as my recent work from Tuscany and Provence.
From Patagonia: “Mickey Muñoz has been called the “surfer’s surfer,” and is loved and respected among the cognoscenti for his contributions to surfing and the surfing life for the past 60 years as a surfer, a pioneer of Waimea Bay, a stuntman (stand-in for Gidget), a board shaper and designer, and as a sailor and boatbuilder (America’s Cup). Mentored by the Malibu greats of the ’40s, and an influence on generations of surfers since, Mickey weaves the story of a California waterman using his own life and that of his friends.”
Mickey’s take on life has always been an inspiration to me and I’m looking forward to our little colaboration. The show is now scheduled for Saturday, August 25, 2012. Mickey’s book signing begins at 3PM and the artist’s reception begins at 6PM. Mickey will also be showing some of his unique photographs, running a slide show, and we’ll all be celebrating his 75th birthday! If you’d like to be added to the mailing list please sign up here.
Mickey’s book “No Bad Waves: Talking Story with Mickey Muñoz” will be available for purchase at the gallery. You can also pre-buy it at your local book shop or at this link on Amazon.com.
Preview paintings for “No Bad Paintings, No Bad Waves”.
View Caroline’s recent and available works at her Virtual Gallery.
Gallery McCollum 206 North Coast Highway, Laguna Beach CA, 92651 (949) 497-4027
After more than 23 summers at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts, times are a changing and I am moving on. It was not an easy decision to relinquish my exhibitor’s space at the Festival as I have spent almost half of my life’s summers there. Many of those involved with the Festival are like family to me, and I will miss their company. I am greatly indebted to the Festival of Arts. As a fledgeling artist, it gave me the opportunity to make a career of the Labor I Love. My heartfelt thanks goes out to those dedicated people who have made the Festival what it is today: A piece of California’s history that for 80 years has done much to promote and sustain the Arts in Laguna Beach.
My decision has allowed me to spend more time with my family and has opened up new opportunities to paint the summer light of Tuscany and Provence and also complete the production of some additional scenes for our independent film, Terroir, directed by my husband John Charles Jopson.
As I’m both the Producer and the Art Director, I consider Terroir my biggest work yet!
We’ll be editing for the rest of the summer, and into the autumn in Berlin, then in December it’s back to Ealing Studios in London for final post-production.
Those visiting Laguna Beach this summer and expecting to find me at the Festival of Arts can see my work in the Summer 2012 Group Coastal Show at Gallery McCollum, which runs from June 23 through the end of summer.
Later in the summer I’ll be returning to the Hollister Ranch Hoedown benefit where this year 50% of the proceeds of the Art Show will go toward the Hollister Ranch Fire Company. Then on August 25th I’ll have my solo show No Bad Paintings, No Bad Waves at Gallery McCollum featuring a book signing with Mickey Muñoz.
And of course you can always visit my Virtual Gallery to see my latest paintings available for purchase online – a few of which are featured below…
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This year, our quest for Sunflowers in Provence did not disappoint. The warm spring in Europe conspired to bring many fields to an early bloom, much to my delight!!!
Most fields are still early, but with some creative off-road driving by John in our Panda, we were able to approach fields only accessible by tractors and farm vehicles.
Please click here to continue reading this post on my old blog.
June at the Molino is a glorious time in the garden with long sunny days that, this year, have brought our lavender into an early bloom.
I rarely get to harvest our own lavender as typically we leave in June for the summer months to return to California. This time, however, because of the warm spring, most of the blooms were ready for cutting… and little Renzo was eager to help….
The next day we were off to Provence… and first time to Valensole….. the lavender fields absolutely stunning…
(“Lumiere du Lavande” is available at Graham Fine Art in London)