Friday, March 22, 2013


Our group gathered in the old Sacramento neighborhood of Oak Park.  Someone wanted to paint this church building but the sun was on the back.  Looking around I was struck with how many wonderful sites are there for painting in Oak Park.  This area was one of the original Sacramento neighborhoods and was very high class.  Then came changes in the 70's with drugs and crack houses.  It is now on its way back with many of these unique, one of a kind, houses being restored along with some of the old business fronts

The structure was pink.  The trees are not yet blossomed. A green canopy would add a nice contrast in color.  This was a quick sketch and painting.  You never know what will come out of a quick painting, but often, I find things that really intrigue me.  I particularly like the cast shadow on the pink wall.  I did this by adding some sap green to permanent rose.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Air Conditioned Barn II

Good morning for painting today, until the wind came.  This barn is located about 10 minutes from me.  I've painted it several times from different views.  Every year the barn loses a few more boards but the farmer still stores his hay and tractor inside.  No patching or repairs have been undertaken, so it has developed character.  There were sheep in the yard the last time that I painted it. 

I put a bungy cord around my paint box and clamped my paper block down.  I think that painting with the wind blowing is the most difficult condition of all.  I keep my paper wet and let the paints run.  I set my paper on a vertical so there are plenty of drips.  In the past I would get bothered with the running water and color but now, I know that I can just blot or lift it if dry.  The paint just works better on a wet paper.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Left Turn to Locke, CA

Up early this morning to paint in Locke, CA.  It was an old Chinese settlement.  They were the laborers that built the levees along the Delta.  This is a waterway that is a continuation of San Francisco Bay up into the Sacramento region.  I have painted in Locke many times but always down in the town.  The bottom picture shows what you see from riding along the levee road.  You make a left turn down the hill into Locke.  The sun did come out and it was a very nice day. 
I painted close to where the bottom photo was and there were many speeding cars and motorcycles along the road.  Makes you stay alert.  There is so much clutter in and around the old structures which are mostly closed up.  The corrugated sheet metal shows corrosion.  The porches are hanging and closed on many of the buildings.  Despite all of this, people still live in Locke and it attracts lots of tourists, including painters.