Saturday, April 29, 2017

Another Wet Day

We went to the University Reparian Refuge along Putah Creek for plain air painting. Rain was forecast for the day but it was only misting this morning. (Not a good start for watercolor painting.) It takes patience to wait for some drying to continue painting. The grasses are very high and green after the record rain fall we've had this winter and spring. A couple was walking along a path and only their head and shoulders were above the grass. It is a challenge to find all the different greens to fit into the composition. I used sap green and burnt sienna for the darkest green. Pthalo blue and gold gives a vibrant green which then can be cooled with some French Ultramarine. I did not use any aurulean yellow mixes because they are also too vibrant.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Sky is Falling

This is the way I felt painting a Chicken Palace at Park Winters yesterday. I got into the weeds. Too, too much detail about this fascinating structure. I did edit but nowhere near enough. This structure was built from all of the parts removed from the restored main buildings. If you were a chicken you would chose this residence. As I painted different things that I found interesting, I strayed from my composition which I sketched out ahead. So, I decided to add some of my own touches to finish off the scene. I have a picture of the fox who is the guard (there are pictures on the walls) and I decided to let a couple of the hens out to follow the director. After all, these are very privileged ladies.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Ready for Retirement

Painted this barn last week as it is ready to be torn down. Interesting white stain on boards. This structure looks pretty good to me and I have painted lots of barns. Maybe there are other reasons for the decision. I could not see inside of the barn and there were no animals around.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Park Winters

Yesterday was a beautiful day for painting. Our group went to Park Winters which is an oasis in the country. It is a place with a restored mansion and new dining room/barn with food that deserves a Michelin star. We tried to find a place to paint among the gardens, old and new buildings. When finished in the morning, some stayed into the afternoon and others argued that we should return again next week. The gardens are robust and in bloom. The grounds around the house are beautiful. I love houses and with the sun hitting the side of this mansion, I couldn't resist. It is not white but a cream and has plenty of gingerbread. I stuck to basics trying to focus on the building and not get into the weeds with all of the detail. Can't wait to return.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Woodland Tomato Plant

This week we were treated to a tour of the largest tomato plant in the country. The trip through the many buildings was very informative. The photographers had a field day shooting into dark tanks, pipes and boilers as we toured. This was Art/Ag day and the few painters that came out had little time to sketch and paint. There was a jungle of pipes and tanks. Even with major editing, there was an awful lot of detail to decide on. My left brain keeps asking to make connections between the pipes. My right brain says it is alright to leave it out and I want more minimalism and simplification. I gave it my best shot in an hour of sketching and painting.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Swollen Creek

Our creek, Putah Creek, is over running its banks. This was the scene this morning as we painted on higher banks. There were trees hung up on picnic tables and plenty of islands created by the rushing water. The sun was out at first, but later clouded over. The hills are bright green from all the rain. It is difficult to paint the feel of rushing water without some waterfall or bubbling, splashing white water. The current amount of water here created new high levels but is smooth moving. I tried to indicate this movement with small swells pointing the way. It is like viewing the surface of a large pot of water just before it boils. It was fun and challenging.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Full Speed Ahead

I warm up for my painting by doing an abstract drawing and then start adding paint. Only 3 colors are used. I never know where it is headed until there is plenty of paint on the paper. I then sit down and try to see something and then add more embellishment. Love the bottle caps for circles, cling wrap for lines and sweeping lines to anchor dots that I start with over the paper. If you ever hit a wall, try this to break out.