20"x 16" Oil, c. 2009 Ernie Kleven.
If Nancy and I weren't staying in Northern California this winter we would likely be around a campfire just like this. This is a scene reminiscent of one several years ago in Quartzsite, AZ when a TV crew from "Retirement Living" came by to film our activities for their show. The setting sun was still on the hilltops as we gathered around the campfire making a striking scene which is burned into my memory. I've made a few changes to the composition with my "artistic license" but this gives you a flavor of the scene.
As a matter of historical accuracy this group was the Big Sky Chapter 28 of Escapees RV Club. The Chapter represents Montana, Wyoming, and the southern half of Idaho. They along with thousands of others put on RV Rallys every January in the desert around Quartzsite. The small community of Quartzsite swells from approx 2500 inhabitants to estimates of 500,000 or more each January.
I will now deviate from my art for a moment to share with you who are peanut butter lovers my personal recipe for the greatest peanut butter ever. It is very simple. I use a food processor and virginia peanuts. Dry roasted will work but give a slightly different flavor. The secret is using olive oil which marries well with the peanuts. A cup of peanuts to which I add a tablespoon or two of oil adjusted for texture, results in crunchy peanut butter to die for. I keep it in the refrigerator because no preservatives have been added. If you make several batches a little less oil will be required after the first one. Let me know if you like it.
Back to art. Awhile back I shared with you my pallet which is Jack White's "Double Primary Pallet". His wife Mikki Senkarik uses it to paint her gorgeous works. I've learned some things just following her blog. http://mikkisenkarik.wordpress.com/category/original-oil-paintings/
Jack recently shared with me his methods of successfully marketing paintings on eBay. I am now beginning a series of miniature paintings for that purpose. Wish me luck. I'll keep you posted.
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