Friday, November 15, 2013

Near Retirement

Painted at the Park Winters in winters CA yesterday. Great buildings.  Some old ones including a pump house and main house that are totally restored and some such as in this painting.  It is a venue for weddings and meetings.  There are grounds for just lounging along with a swimming pool.  The vista is sweeping with the blue mountain range.There was a nice noisy chatter from sheep grazing in the alfalfa fields.  It was a good feeling to be out there and painting.

The trees are showing some color.  It was a bright and hazy most ot the morning with the sun coming out fully just when I was leaving.  There were shadows from time to time. I need those projected shadows for my painting composition. This outing was part of an Art and Farm project, so painters will return on Saturday.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Trash Pickup Day

What is more urban than alleys and trash containers?  We set out to paint alleys Sacramento on Wednesday.  It was adventurous as we disturbed some homeless late sleepers as well as found a new litter of pups.  The trees now have color and provide a nice frame to our scenes.  Many of the trash barrels were lined up in the alley.  There were long shadows from sunlight this morning.  I kept debating whether to place figures in the scene but then decided that the trash containers told a good story.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

San Francisco Summer

This painting was done from my plein air painting on Wednesday.  The fog that rolls in over and under the Golden Gate Bridge is always fascinating.  The ocean side of the fog (origin) is wintry and grey while the Bay side remains sunny to its approach.  There is a sharp divide.  This act plays all summer long on the Bay.  As the fog builds, puffs of it on top of the grade spill over.  Eventually, San Francisco and Sausalito get fogged in.

In painting the scene, I tried to have no sharp edges to things consumed by the fog and contrasted that with the area out of the fog being very in focus. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Golden Gate

It was a pretty day on the bay.  I was painting with friends in Sausalito yesterday.  The weather was perfect and we set up at Fort Baker.  This awesome view of the Golden Gate Bridge is from below at the Coast Guard Station.  The sailboats were out and it was not windy.  This is a first, since I have painted from this vantage point before, but always needed shelter from the wind.  It was a clear day except for a low cloud just above the horizon.  The sky was streaked with vapor trails from air traffic taking off just down the Bay. 
The bridge was back lit so it appeared black or silhouetted.  It is always a challenge to paint the sloping wires but I gave it a swipe.  I did do the rocks with warm colors to accent an otherwise cool composition. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Great Day at the Beach

This is a large watercolor done on stretched 140lb watercolor paper over stretcher bars.  It is the first time I tried this and the paper is tight as a drum.  You can tap on it and it is a drum.  To achieve this tightness, you soak the paper and stretch it over the bars, stapling as you go. The paper then dries taut and remains this way.  It allows framing without glass.  I plan on giving this to someone with a summer house.  They have a large community room and fireplace.  It should fit perfectly above the fireplace. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Landmark Theater

Plein air painting this week was on Broadway.  Looking across the main street is the Tower Theater.  It is a complex of businesses but the theater is still running and its tower is the highest on Broadway.  It gave rise to many 'Tower' stores along Broadway and side streets, eg Tower of Records, Tower of Books, etc. 
This was a wet into wet composition done rather quickly.  You can see some water stain at the top as the tape held water and it puddled out.  The tower is stark white and the vegetation is well overgrown around the front.  I tried mixing greens on the paper with some success.  It was a wonderful day that started cold and warmed.  We ate lunch right behind our painting location at Willie's.