Summer 2016: Skye Larking and Stone Standing in Scotland

Throughout Scotland I’ve experienced a sense of wonder and awe for the relentless forces of nature that created such haunting beauty and continue to shape the dramatic landscape to this day.

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Low tide at Castle Eilean Donan

Nowhere in Scotland is that more evident than on the Isle of Skye. Caroline-Zimmermann-Scotland_6049
The locals tell me the word Skye comes from the old Norse word “Sky-a” meaning “cloud island”. The clouds that enshroud the landscapes certainly do claim their dominion. Their shifting shadows and enveloping mists add to the sense of mystery as the scenery evolves with the changing light of day.
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The cool coastal air inspired us to hike many of the beautiful trails that lead to spectacular and breath-taking vistas. The most dramatic is the amazing rock formation called the “Old Man of Storr”.
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In my mind I keep thinking: how will I be able to paint any of this… and could I ever capture such dramatic beauty?
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“The View Toward Siena”

I’ve always been attracted to moody landscapes with cloud-filled skies, misty horizons and soft shadows.

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“A Path to the Sea” at Lahaina Galleries

Dappled light that shifts through the forests and trees.
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“Reflections of Lake Como I”

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“Reflections of Lake Como II”

Reflections of subdued light on calm and tranquil Italian lakes

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“Pines by the Sea”

My years in Tuscany have offered numerous occasions to paint the land and seascapes in their contrasting tones.

But the most challenging aspect of the Scottish summer landscape is the persistent presence of all that green.
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As I have stated in the past, green is the most problematic color for me to paint with. I am never quite satisfied with the shades of green as they appear on the canvas, they never look quite right. This will be my a challenge when I begin painting what I have seen in Scotland, as there is no avoiding the green here. However, I do look forward to it: As a painter I love new challenges, new subjects and new sources of inspiration.
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Our skylarking on Skye not only rewarded us with scenic landscapes, but also delicious meals of locally produced and sourced ingredients at some of the island’s fabulous restaurants.

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Locally produced cheeses from the Isle of Skye, the Skye Bar at the Flodigarry Hotel

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 And of course a sampling of Skye’s most legendary elixir: the Talisker Single Malt Whisky.Caroline-Zimmermann-Scotland_4354
This was a Talisker 18-year-old single malt; delicious, soul warming and evocative of all the sensual elements of Skye.

Caroline-Zimmermann-Scotland_6146Our days on Skye went much to quickly and other islands of the Hebrides beckoned us….

Moving on to the more remote islands of the Outer Hebrides we were struck by the enigmatic traces of ancient human habitation in the form of standing stones. Their placement and meaning eludes us to this day.

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 This is the wonder of the Callanish Standing Stones set before a dramatic backdrop of clouds of a passing summer rain storm. 
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As a painter, I am rarely preoccupied with the longevity of my work over time. I paint on fabric, and the chances that my creative expressions would last 6000 years are quite slim. It amazes me when I look at these stones that something someone shaped and manipulated with their hands so long ago can communicate to me so effectively and profoundly over the great distance of time.pictish-stone-dunfallandy
Of course I am left wondering, “what were they trying to say”? It is especially puzzling with the later standing stones – as with this Pictish Dunfallandy stone near Pitlochry. These carved symbols tease the imagination.Caroline-Zimmermann-Scotland_0920.v1
There are many of these stone rings, or arrangements, that have been recently discovered and excavated. I can only imagine how many more lie sleeping under Scotland’s centuries of peat.Caroline-Zimmermann-Scotland_4526
I would have loved to tour this countryside one Standing Stone group at a time, letting them guide me through this magical and wonder-filled land.
Perhaps on my next visit to Scotland, I will….Caroline-Zimmermann-Scotland_6220

Twenty Studio Stories….

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.

MFA Studio: Oakland, CA

MFA Studio: Oakland, CA

I suppose that when it comes to art studios, I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked in some amazing spaces in the world. Some were corners in a room, others covered patios, basements, cantinas, spare rooms, garages and shared spaces with other artists. Some spaces I have lived and slept in, some had great surf and snowboarding right outside the door. Some studios have been the backdrop for tea parties, holiday parties, and art shows…others transformed into movie sets for numerous film projects. From the ancient olive mill in Tuscany to the the old Del Monte Cannery in San Francisco, all these spaces impart their energy into my work and inspire in their own unique ways.
In this, my 30th year as a professional artist, I’m looking back at those places with many fond recollections. The hundreds if not thousands (!) of paintings I have created over those years!
Click on any of the images below to view the slideshow.. and please check back to read more blog posts about each location, what kind of inspiration it brought to me and how it affected my work.
The studio, that space with all the energy it brings to me is a silent collaborator in my creative process, looking back at these images there is no doubt in my mind about that. My special thanks to the best studio mates ever: John Charles Jopson, Sandra Jones Campbell, Ratso, Renzo, Murphy…and of course, the first of my many Muses, Bird.

Caroline Zimmermann: Lahaina Galleries Solo Show

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
800.788.5008/949.721.9117
www.lahainagalleries.com   lgi@maui.net

Click on any image to enlarge:

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Waves of Inspiration: Lavender

"Waves of Lavender and Grain" Provence Oil Painting 24"x36"

“Waves of Lavender and Grain” Provence Oil Painting 24″x36″

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…

from the famous and often photographed Sénanque Abbey near the village of Gordes in the Vaucluse region…

“Lavender of the Luberon”

to the magnificent lavender of the Luberon…

and the epic fields of lavender of the Valensole plain in the Alpes-de-Haute department of Provence.

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.

“Lavender Light” 30″x40″

Related: Harvest of Lavender in Tuscany and Provence

See more of Caroline’s lavender paintings in her Virtual Gallery and Provence Gallery.

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Berlin

Izmir to Berlin in three hours… flying across time and cultures to meet John and Renzo… why not?

While we were off in Turkey, John spent September in Berlin, working on the final edit of our film Terroir at studios in Prenzlauer Berg.

It was Sandra’s first trip to Berlin, but certainly not my first.

At the age of 17, my mother escaped from the former East Germany through Berlin. Leaving her family and friends behind, she embarked on a daring journey with only a suitcase and fled on a ship to Canada.

I traveled with my mother to visit relatives in East Germany several times over the years and was in East Berlin in October of 1989, just days before the wall came down. I returned twenty years later and finally made my peace with all the heartache and trauma that tormented my mother’s side of the family.

It was only fitting that now, on this trip and with my mother in mind, I would return again with a bittersweet joy.

My mother would have marveled at the nature of the city’s renaissance. Berlin is a tribute to the re-generative spirit of human kind – to be able to rise out of the rubble of destruction and boldly live again.

Creativity abounds here… the city itself is an open-air exhibition of ideas and innovation, truly anything goes.

“At Rocco’s, Berlin”
oil on canvas 2012 Caroline Zimmermann

Our days were spent perusing galleries and museums in Kreutzberg and Mitte…

Johnny dragging us all across Berlin…

“Berliner Kaffee”
2008 Oil on Wood, Caroline Zimmermann

…but pausing often for kaffee.

“The Barrista”
2012 Oil on Canvas, Caroline Zimmermann

A highlight for us when in Berlin is visiting with our dear friend and truly local artist Bernhard “Vinz” Steuernthal.

His home/studio in Charlottenburg is a work of art in itself and is nothing less than fabulous.

He is currently working towards shows in Hannover and in China, and having a very successful year.

It was Vinz who years ago introduced us, through friends, to Molino, our home in Tuscany.

Always a treat to have a “Helles” with him, good conversation about his life and art in what is truly a “world city”.

Leaving Berlin, our BMW packed full!

Cousin Michael and Marc Zimmermann, Stuttgart

On our way back to Molino, stopover at the Zimmermann’s…as Always, a pleasure!

Visit the Website of Bernhard Steuernthal.

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Of Ephesus: (Efes)

When Lord Byron saw Ephesus in 1810 very little of its former glory was evident; only bits of the ancient amphitheatre and stone stairways leading to nowhere. Two hundred and two years later, tremendous work has been done, yet archeologists claim that only 15% of the ancient city has been excavated. What is there now to be seen is indeed worthy of a visit. Yes, it’s a pity… that this excavated fraction of what was one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire attracts such hoards of tourists. The shock of seeing such waves of people inspires panic…leaving curiosity crumbled along with the fabulous rubble as impulse dashes you towards the exit of the city. But such is travel and touring in the 21stcentury and truly I’ve learned to get over it, on with it and try to take some inspiration from these great wonders of the ancient world despite the masses of what my friend Camilla says “human flesh”… Sandra and I hired a guide, which in the case of seeing Ephesus I would strongly advise. Mehmet was excellent and ushered us around the throngs of people, to quieter corners of the excavation site, revealing interesting and amusing details I would have surely missed.

Backgammon type game board carved in marble paving

The Goddess Nike, and the origins of the corporate “schwoosh” logo?

The famous “Brothel Sign” carved in paving marble.. an advertisement for pleasure “this way”

Senator’s Latrines? (if only our politicians communed in this way, they could actually get something accomplished)

The Celcus Library built in 117 AD…

With “Sophia” the virtue of wisdom

A much appreciated respite from the crowds and the blazing sun are the Terraced Houses in their active excavation. Fascinating glimpses of patrician life:

Dining Hall with its Italian marble

Kitchens with central heating

Mosaics beautifully restored

“… he was not

Himself like what he had been; on the sea

And on the shore he was a wanderer;

There was a mass of many images

Crowded like waves upon me, but he was

A part of all; and in the last he lay

Reposing from the noon-tide sultriness

Couched among fallen columns,in the shade

Of ruin’d walls that had survived the names

Of those who rear’d them…

Lord Byron, the Dream 1816

Related:

Muse and News Blog: Istanbul

Muse and News Blog: The Turquoise Coast

The Turquoise Coast

I have always painted water… my many years in Search of Surf began with my family and throughout my life led me to most of the Seven Seas.

Waltraud, my mother, me the little towhead, my sister Heidi with ponytail. Catalina Island 1968

With that came the appreciation for the infinite variations and shades of blue.

My terrestrial years spent in Tuscany make me long for oceans and vistas of open waters and endless horizons. My desire to return to the water drove me to join Sandra and Saim on this trip.

Seven days on a Turkish sailing vessel, or gulet, sailing the Turquoise coast.

Three delicious and fresh meals a day, high tea and Turkish coffees. 10 painters.

Exploring ancient abandoned villages…  Melancholy Kayaköy

Lydian ruins

Lycian tombs

Cleopatra’s baths

Locals making their lives in the 21st century 

Sleeping on deck under the stars, lulled to sleep by gentle breezes, the tinkling of the halyards, a silent falling star. Waking up in the middle of the night to see Orion wheeling overhead.

All the while my mind in the waters… three glorious swims a day.

This may sound a dream out of Homer or Byron, but now looking back, it seems that perhaps only the tale of this being Cleopatra’s baths were a fiction. They say Cleopatra and Marc Antony spent their honeymoon cruising these waters… and all coves along this coastline claim to have at some time harbored their love boat.

Captain Can (pronounced John) Taner and his son were gracious hosts.

 

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Hollister Ranch Hoedown 2012

Each year Hollister Ranch stages a Hoedown to benefit a different aspect of their community. It’s one of my favourite events of the year – the setting; one of the most magical coastlines in North America. This year’s theme was environmental sustainability, something The Ranch has been at forefront of for many years. The residents are proud stewards of the land, balancing ecological preservation with agriculture and residential development.

“Sunrise Solitude” Hollister Ranch

I’ve been fortunate enough to be painting The Ranch for years and always marvel at the changing light and coloring of the seasons.  A sacred place indeed, it’s no wonder the Chumash flourished here for millennia.

Hollister Hoedown 2012

Though not open to the general public, residents and their guests turn out in large numbers to support the Hoedown organised by more than 50 volunteers.

 

A beautifully restored Steamer on display as part of Fire Department benefit

This year fifty percent of the proceeds from the Art Sale benefited the Hollister Ranch Fire Department.

Bulito Beach

The Ranch is 14,400 acres of grazing lands, beach bluffs, and open meadows backing up to remote mountains and valleys north of Santa Barbara, and is home to some of the best surf breaks in the world. For many years the surf was only accessible by boat… surfing at the Ranch became the stuff of myth and legend….

“Low Tide” Hollister ranch

Renzo chasing down some Spaniel skank

For Renzo it’s a chance to run free on the beach, cool off in the ocean and then kick back on a hay bale and listen to some great music…

Jackson Browne

Hollister Ranch resident Jackson Browne once again headlined the concert line-up this year which always features a surprise guest…

This year the crowd was treated to a ninety minute set by surprise guest Jeff Bridges performing songs and embracing his character from Crazy Heart.

“West of the Gate” Hollister Ranch

I’m honoured to be included in the Hoedown – it’s my opportunity to give something back to this special part of California and the people who live there.

Photos by John Charles Jopson

Come to my next exhibition “No Bad Paintings, No Bad Waves” in Laguna Beach, August 25, 2012. Mickey Muñoz will be signing his new Patagonia-published book “No Bad Waves: Talking Story with Mickey Muñoz” and showing some of his unique photographs, and we’ll be celebrating his 75th birthday!

View more Hollister Ranch paintings.

Related: Last year’s Hollister Ranch Hoedown (2011)

About Caroline

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A Summer Sunset Surf Session with Mickey Muñoz

Summer has at long last come to the Southern California Coast and these last few evenings have been gorgeous enough to tempt me back into the water. In anticipation of my upcoming exhibition at Gallery McCollum, No Bad Paintings, No Bad Waves, where Mickey Muñoz will be signing his new book, we had the pleasure of a sunset surf together at Doheny.

I suppose you could say Mickey has been my “surf mentor” over the years… if you equate “surf” = “life”. Since our first surf session at his beloved Middles in 1984, I have shared many many waves with Mickey – since long before he became my brother-in-law – and looked to him as a role model in how to live Life to the fullest degree.

My Precious Michel Junod Patagonia board has been my favorite for over 16 years…. and a pre-surf waxing up still one of my Life’s greatest pleasures….

Checking the surf… and check out this board: Mickey shapes all his stand-up paddle boards. Fabulous.

Mickey’s fin and my All Saints shorts

Yes, it’s summer, Caroline still wears a wetsuit…

See more photos of Caroline

The last time I surfed with Mickey at Doheny was for his 70th birthday.. next month he will be 75!

Still talking Story….

My first wave since surfing in February…

Mickey, of course, dominates…. he is in great form…surfing rings around all of us!

My last wave of the evening with Mickey….

Just a moment to reflect on the simple beauty of a summer evening, fun waves, the company of a good friend, and my last six months.

Gratitude.

… and gratitude for John for taking these lovely photos!

“Victoria Sunset” Laguna Beach, California by Caroline Zimmermann

Photos by John Charles Jopson

The artist’s reception for No Bad Paintings, No Bad Waves is on August 25, 2012 at  Gallery McCollum 206 North Coast Highway, Laguna Beach CA, 92651   (949) 497-4027

Mickey will be signing his book, “No Bad Waves: Talking Story with Mickey Muñoz” from 3:00PM on, and he’ll be showing some of his unique photographs as well. It will be a very rare opportunity to buy an original photograph by Mickey Muñoz – and celebrate his 75th birthday!

Books will be available for purchase at the gallery. You can also pre-buy the book at your local book shop, from Patagonia, or at this link on Amazon.com.

For invitations please sign up for Caroline’s Mailing List.

Related: No Bad Paintings No Bad Waves Blog Post

View more of Caroline’s surf paintings and photos.

Preview paintings  for the “No Bad Paintings, No Bad Waves” exhibition.

View Caroline’s recent and available works at her Virtual Gallery.

Photos by John Charles Jopson

About Caroline

Full Slideshow below:

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No Bad Paintings, No Bad Waves

Caroline Zimmermann “Quasinudo”

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.

My brother-in-law, surf legend Mickey Muñoz, will be signing his new Patagonia-published book “No Bad Waves: Talking Story with Mickey Muñoz”.

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 Munoz

Mickey Muñoz and Caroline Zimmermann

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.

Caroline Zimmermann, Suiting Up at Thalia Street

Related: A Summer Sunset Surf Session with Mickey Muñoz

View more of Caroline’s surf paintings and photos.

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

About Caroline

“Tavarua Set Wave”   by Caroline Zimmermann. Available as a Limited Edition Print

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Summer Sojourn 2012

Lavender in Bloom

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.

Jonathan Bragg (Keith Carradine) with my “King Oak” painting.

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.

On the set of “Terroir” – Villa Petrolo

 And a spectacular explosion of color from this spring’s poppies coincided with my completion of this large commission for dear clients in Texas…

A Recent Commission

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.

Laguna Beach painting

“Vintage South Laguna” Laguna Beach

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…

“Three Lemon Still Life”

“Mid-summer’s Dream, Tuscany”

“St Augustine’s” Hollister Ranch

Commission a painting

Related:

Thanksgiving with the Cast and Crew of Terroir

Return to Il Borro – Part 1: Terroir

About Caroline

 

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