Monday, March 22, 2010

Outlet to the Bay

Painted at the foot of Napa St in Sausalito. The funky houseboats and old pilings are wonderful props for plein air painters. The weather is heating up and there will be lots more painting outside. The more you do it the more you can deal with the tyranny of detail. You sort out, find the light and limit the subject. It's like the old telephone game where you pass the message on and it gets distilled to its essence.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Old and New

Painted this morning in Old Sacramento with its buildings from gold rush days. Wooden walkways with brick buildings and wide porches. It is full of things to paint. Here, looking down J Street over the freeway, you can see the newer downtown business section and hotel done in oriental architecture. It is a contrast like I remember in Singapore.
There were about a dozen painters out this morning and towards noontime there were a lot of tourists.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Giants Along the Freeway

I've painted these mega silos before but from the highway side. This morning the sun was on the other side so this is the backside, so to speak. The pickup truck and phone pole give an idea of size. The owner was out to talk about his plans for the silos since they are not used for this. He used to have old trucks parked alongside but he moved them to the farm. The train track runs along the side of the buildings and was going by as I painted. The furrows have been placed and it is time to plant.
It was a fine day for plein air painting with the temp about 73 degrees.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Last of Long Line

As a kid I always watched the train go by and waited for the caboose. It was the end and looked so cool. Most trains today have engines at both ends. This caboose is in Old Town in Sacramento and kids have birthday parties there. I was painting in Old Town and quickly sketched and painted the scene as the caboose was being decorated with crepe streamers and signs for a party. A truck parked right in front so I really worked from my sketch. It was a beautiful spring morning.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Wind Swept Bay Beach

Spring is starting to pop on the SF Bay and this painting shows the wind bent cypress trees along a beach. The intent for the composition was to create several triangles and use different values giving a depth to the scene. The water is manganese blue over raw sienna. Manganese is a very green blue. In my experience, it has the greatest variation among manufacturers.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Locke Gathering

It was a hazy morning in Locke and I was painting on the back street. I had plenty of company, many of them the resident artists. As the day moved along I witnessed the usual parade of motorcycles, photographers, etc. Can't wait to return on a nice sunny day to paint the funky places. I always think that they won't be around for long but they defy aging.

A Sneaky Blastoff

Continuing with the sneaker image, I created this abstract by dripping red paint and then letting it flow to different areas. I then looked at it and decided what shoe images turned out. One drip looked more like a stiletto with the uncontrollable drip so I took it there. I used a brush load of water to streak out the whitish bottoms and other small whites. The blue was dripped and gives the appearance of having stepped into something! A fun exercise.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Watercolor Pace

These paintings on the left were done quickly after originally sketching the subject for 30min. This detailed sketch is below. The subject is removed and the quick sketches were done. I like painting quickly with as few brush strokes as possible. That is why watercolor appeals to me; it's like golf. There is feeling with few brush strokes and that gets lost with overworking. I even tried sketching left handed. If I keep at it, I will eventually get an abstract or symbol that is representative of a tennis shoe (maybe, I will be the only one to know). This is a good exercise.