Wayward Artists and the Trip to Napa

In September, Kate and I traveled by car from Seattle to Napa, California. Along the way I made art, gathered materials and explored new ideas. Kate is pregnant so this trip was a way for us to spend quality time together for nearly two whole weeks!

After quick stops in Portland and Oakland, Oregon we headed west to the California coast. We spent a few days in North Humboldt County before we headed to Napa. Some friends of ours allowed us to use their fire pit to fire pottery and to set up a temporary studio. We painted images inspired by the farms and forests nearby.

Firestack Step Pyramid, wood with moss and grass set inside. This was burnt that night to dry out the fire pit, so I could fire pottery the next day.

Firestack Pyramid, graphite on paper 6 x 9 inches

Homestead, monotype print with watercolor on paper

Whale Moon, carved sandstone, redwood needles, and tin

Whale Moon detail

Redwood, watercolor on paper

Forest Map, watercolor on paper

Redwood Things,walnut ink on paper painted and printed.

Playground Ruins, walnut ink on paper

Playground, watercolor on paper

Humboldt Farm, watercolor on paper

Orchards, watercolor on paper

Pit Firing results, some things didn't survive which is expected without a pre-bisque

Temporary studio in Trinidad, CA, that's Narfer in the back searching for lions.

Kate at work in the studio

Pit fired pottery, terra cotta and stoneware with watercolor and found slips.

The orange is from clay that I found on the trail mixed with water and painted on, the white is a watercolor painted on before the firing.

Clay and sand spires, on a hike I spotted these spires next to a road cut, nearby I found clumps and clods of orange clay which I collected. I later used it to make slip to decorate the pinch pots. When I got back to Seattle I made some of the clay found during the trip into glazes .

These are the glazes I came up with using the found clays. I recently fired them to cone 10 which ranged from beige to brown. I added wood ash from the fire pit to give them some gloss.

We had planned on painting this day but it started to rain, so we headed to the Jessel Gallery in Napa to look at some art. One of the artists there who makes jewelry was not only friendly but she gave us great ideas on places to see while we were in town. We also went down the street to Gordon Huether's Gallery and studio. Though he was out of town his attendants gave us a wonderful thought provoking tour of the studios, and his impressive display of maquetes and mock ups.

House on fire, watercolor and ink on paper. While we were in Napa, there were terrible fires raging across two adjacent counties, destroying homes and scorching the terrain tens of miles. Though we didn't see the fires directly, I tried to imagine what it may have looked like.

The next day the rain cleared, so we hiked up to the top of this hill for a view of the vinyards.

Vinyards, watercolor on paper

More paintings of the vinyards.

Hotel View, watercolor and ink on paper

Balcony, watercolor on paper

#AaronMurrayart #aaronmurraypaintings #artontheroad #Californiaart #seattleartblog

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