Parallel Parking Island Style - 8x10 Inch Original Oil Painting of Sailboats on the Water - Boat Painting - Wall Decor

"Parallel Parking, Island Style " | 8" x 10" | Oil on canvas panel | ©2014

This small sailboat was docked and ready to put out to sea luckily, it stayed put long enough for me to paint it. This piece was created on location at Balboa Island in Newport Beach, CA.

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Until Tomorrow - 8 x 6 Inch Small Original Oil Painting of a Surfer - Sunset Beach Painting - Surfer Painting - Wall Decor

"Until Tomorrow" | 8" x 6" | Oil on canvas panel | ©2014

Every community has a popular activity and a culture that springs up around it. Here in Orange County surf culture is part of everyday life, from our clothing (flip flops year round), to the way we talk (Dude!) and to the food we eat (grilled fish tacos from Wahoos - oh yeah). I have to say that I love all of it but, sadly, I don't know how to surf. Instead, I stick to capturing surfers on canvas and I will just imagine what it must feel like to ride a wave.

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Before the Rain - 9 x 12 Inch Original Impressionist Style Landscape Painting of Clouds - Wetland Painting - Living Room Art

"Before the Rain, Newport Back Bay" | 9" x 12" | Oil on canvas panel | ©2014

Painted on location at the Back Bay in Newport Beach, CA.

An incoming storm brought some dramatic clouds above the Back Bay wetlands. When I spotted these particular clouds I worked quickly on my drawing and did my best to remember what they looked like because just a few minutes later these were gone and new clouds moved through the sky. It was actually a great exercise in painting from memory and I think the design of the clouds really enhances the composition.

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Rural Route - 6x6 Original Oil Painting of a Canyon - Living Room Decor - Wall Decor - Family Room Art

"Rural Route" | 6" x 6" | Oil on canvas panel | ©2013

Painted on location early one morning in Blackstar Canyon, California.

Meeting up with a few friends one morning paint in Blackstar I arrived later than everyone because I was dropping my kids off at school. When I got to our meeting spot everyone was finishing up their first paintings of the day. I knew I needed to keep my painting small so that I didn't finish hours after my friends and I was looking for a view that would make a successful larger painting when I came across this scene.

While it was a quick painting session I was happy with how it turned out and returned a day or two later to create a larger 16" x 16" version, which you can see below (I posted it here some time ago).

"Hillside Passage" | 16" x 16" | Oil on canvas | ©2013

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Coastline Grays - 5.5 X 14 Inch Original Oil Painting of Laguna Beach - Hotel Laguna Painting - Seascape Painting

"Coastline Grays" | 5.5" x 14" | Oil on canvas panel | ©2014

Sometimes the very best days at the beach are when the sun is hidden behind the clouds. The beach is quiet and there are plenty of places to lay out a blanket and enjoy the waves.

This view is of main beach in Laguna Beach, California.

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Crash - 8 x 8 Inch Original Impressionist Style Painting of a Breaking Wave - Nautical Decor - Beach Decor - Family Room Art

Crash" | 8" x 8" | Oil on canvas panel | ©2014

Salty spray, thundering waves, cool sand between your toes and the sun on your face - can you almost feel it? This little painting will take you on a mini vacation every day without the need for any sunscreen.

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Colorful Beach Rocks - Original Oil Painting of Laguna Beach California - Living Room Art - Family Room Art - Beach Decor

"Colorful Beach Rocks" | 8" x 16" | Oil

©2014 by Kim VanDerHoek

When I began painting along this stretch of beach in Laguna it was afternoon and the tide was coming in. In a hurry to get set up I forgot to check my tide app. and I was forced to move my easel twice to keep the water from washing my gear away. Eventually, I had to stop and I ended up putting the finishing touches on this in my studio at home.

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Up and Away - Orginal Oil Painting of Stairs - Urban Alley Painting - Urban Architecture Art - Cityscape Oil Painting

"Up and Away" | 6" x 6" | Oil on canvas panel

©2014 by Kim VanDerHoek

This alley in the City of Santa Ana, California has an outdoor pedestrian stairway that spans the length of the alley from one street to another. With it's dramatic color it adds an interesting architectural element to an ordinary city scene.

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Strolling Along the Cove - Original Oil Painting of Crystal Cove State Beach - California Beach Painting - Plein Air Seascape Painting

"Strolling Along the Cove" | 8" x 8" | Oil on canvas panel

©2014 by Kim VanDerHoek

Painted on location at Crystal Cove State Beach, California near the historic district. A classic view of this stretch of beach. With the clouds blocking the sun it was a quiet morning with only a few small groups of beach strollers.

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Where Light and Shadow Meet - Original Oil Painting of Zion National Park - Twin Brothers Mountain Painting Zion Utah - Mountain of the Sun Oil Painti

"Where Light and Shadow Meet" | 9" x 12" | Oil on canvas panel

©2014 by Kim VanDerHoek

Around this time every year I evaluate my goals for the coming year and begin planning accordingly. Last year I was a participating artist in 3 plein air painting events, two in California (Sonoma and Laguna) and one in Maryland (Easton), which is about the maximum number I can squeeze in around my kid's and husband's schedules. It made for some exciting painting in new places tackling new subjects. As a result it pushed me well out of my comfort zone and gave me a very clear idea of what I want to work on this year.

In an effort to continue pushing beyond my usual subjects I wanted to tackle more mountain and desert scenes. Not because they are popular because truthfully, they're not (at least not in my area), but because I think they are really challenging. All those red and ochre tones both in the foreground and in the distance require some careful thought.

Knowing how to work a warm and cool palette is absolutely essential for a view like this. I see students make the mistake of painting the distant red tones in mountains or hills too dark and way too warm. They should be cooler and a little lighter than the reds in the foreground (in my opinion). Also, with all the real life detail in those peaks it's very easy to loose sight of the big picture and go overboard by adding too many extraneous details in that area that detract from the whole idea of the painting.

When faced with a situation like this I'll often spend just as much time working on the distant mountains as I spend on the rest of the painting. I'll block in the big light and shadow shapes on the mountains and then add details. Then I'll paint out a lot of the details I just added because I usually add too many the first time around. When I step back from my painting I'll find I took too many important details out and I'll carefully add a few back in and so on, until I get the feel I'm looking for. The hardest part is taking the time and having the patience to keep working it.

With this view of the Twin Brothers Mountains which are next to the Mountain of the Sun in Zion National Park in Utah I needed to do a few value/composition sketches before I began because the photo reference I had didn't quite have the composition I wanted. Plus, I couldn't make up my mind about how much or how little of the Twin Brothers Mountains I wanted to include.

You can see in my first sketch I included all three mountains. In the sketch below I only included the cropped portion of two peaks. My final composition however, fell somewhere in between the two sketches. They really helped me decide what I wanted to include in my final painting and it didn't hurt having a value plan already in my head before I began mixing any paint.

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