Thursday, June 15, 2017

Composition Study

A simple watercolor scene was painted to meet composition percentages. Two thirds mid-value and two thirds green values was the goal. The painting was done quickly in class but looking it over, I liked the simplicity with a well stated focal area. I think that there is surprise with rapid painting in watercolor. I switched media this week to guide a class in acrylic painting. This was done at the University for a group of 25 mostly non-painters. We mixed hues from only primary colors along with white and black. It amazed me what people came up with working from a simple sketch. It turned out to be a lot of fun and a big break from their three day retreat. No wine was served but this is the current trendy thing called "sip and dip" parties.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

House on Eureka in Davis

A group of artists arrived this morning to see and paint in Kris Bell's newly finished gardens.  Her yard is spacious and has lots of plants started.  The design and landscaping were recently completed.  It is well done and gives rise to many great spaces for plants.
I love the street view of the house because of the very tall mature trees that line it.  They really dwarf the houses along it.  I tried to capture that in this painting.  I tried out some of my new green mixes.  It was a nice sunny day and I met many of the neighbors while painting.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Putah Creek #3

There are 3 fishing turnouts along Putah Creek in Winters CA.  This morning we had this site pretty much to ourselves.  The sun was brilliant and the creek was running fast.  It is still high from all of our rain, but there is no snow melt adding to it.  It was just a wonderful day to be out painting.  I tried mixing several greens that I do not usually use and was happy with them.  One can never have enough green hues for painting in CA.  What a day; no bugs, plenty of shade and perfect temperature.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Path to the Creek

Our plein air painting group ventured down to Putah Creek at the University.  The creek has been running swiftly from all of our rain, and everything on or near its banks has been washed down. There are remnants of wood, limbs, etc. high in the branches of trees along the creek.  The water levels must have been incredibly high.
I had difficulty finding something to paint so I returned to the entrance path.  Several trees along the path were familiar and chose this combination to paint.  The outcome was not what I expected.  I was looking up the path and had difficulty separating the trees.  I did experiment with new combinations of color for my greens.  The sun was shining, although, it has cooled quite a lot from our 90+ degree heat of the past week.

Sunday, May 21, 2017


This was a challenge to paint something with a chair.  I made a totally abstract fantasy painting.  The table has a TV remote and the chair is headless with the shadow only of the chair and table.  How easy it is to settle in front of the TV and watch whatever.  I am convinced this time is wasted but it repeats too often.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Spring and Vacaville Hills

Our plein air group had a gathering in Vacaville, CA this morning.  There was some wind but it was sunny.  This park runs along side of the major freeway and each time I've passed by this spring I am excited with the amount of water.  We did get a lot of rain and it turned everything very green.  The hills along the freeway are like velour, a green velour, and I want to get on a motorcycle and drive over them.  They just have this attraction.  The tops are now turning yellow.  I painted a dead tree that  contrasted with all of this vibrant green growth.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Plein Air Painting in Winters

It was the monthly Art and Ag plein air painting day and I did the demonstration class. I chose a barn and tree because there was little that interested me at the site. It was a co-op of farms at the Land Teaching Center and instead of the usual big barns, equipment or bone yards there were many small teaching sites and a large walnut tree farm. I thought that we would be on the creek but that was a mile away. Nevertheless, we had a great turnout of artists and a good session. It warmed up and there was no big wind like the day before. The main emphasis was on shapes and values. Lots of questions and suggestions. I had a good time.