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

Winter Surf

Christmas Day 2012. No better way for me to celebrate the holidays than to get my head wet after months in Italy and away from my Pacific Ocean.

After visits with family, we headed North, to friends in Ventura… the surf looked fun enough to justify a quick go-out along the way.

Pitas Point at Low Tide. I have surfed here for years… its almost like a second home. On any given winter’s day, Rincon will be jammed with surfers, and the Ranch sometimes a bit too far to drive. Pitas never fails to provide joy, even at minus tide and a tiny winter swell…

 

… all the better with a sandbar that made for wickedly hollow little inside waves….

Too much fun! For me Winter is the absolute best time of year to surf in California. So many right breaks, less crowds, spectacular sunsets and no June Gloom.

I’m inspired by the skies of Winter, the tonal colors of the landscape and the peaceful introspective atmosphere. On so many occasions my surfing experiences have inspired some of my favourite paintings.

“West of the Gate, Hollister Ranch”

Just me, a few birds and a body boarder… and a whole lot of gratitude to be out in the water on Christmas Day.

“Sunrise at Bulito Beach” Hollister Ranch

from the archives: Caroline and The Duke, Bishop Museum,
Honolulu, Hawaii

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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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