Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Winters' Watering Hole

I was up early to catch the eastern light.  It was a beautiful day in downtown Winters.  This is the Buckhorn Restaurant which is not open in the morning so I added some patrons.  The light was perfect with the west all in dark shade with cast shadow.  The breakfast smells of bacon, eggs and pancakes were driving me crazy.  They were coming from the crowd at the Putah Creek Cafe.  This is across the street and where I was painting.  It is getting warm in California.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cantelow Road

The Winters' Plein Air week has started. There are wonderful places for painting, wherever you turn.  Out in back of the lake there is a favorite route for bicycles and they go over Cantelow Road.  The vista to the east is spectacular.  On a clear day you can see the buildings of downtown Sacramento.  The view to the west is this valley with undulant hills and small farms.  While I painted, the bikes came speeding down the hill and at first, sounded like cars.  While I was not at the top, the bike riders managed to get up a lot of speed.  The road is a single lane and has some rough spots.
The red roofed farm below has a pond behind it and a long field of mustard trailing back up the hill.  There was mist in the valley beyond which separated the tall mountain.  It was a beautiful day for painting.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Got Any Bites?

This is an acrylic painting (18X24) done form my sketches this week.  I have noted before, my attraction to San Francisco Bay especially, at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge.  I had this in mind for a painting when there, but is got so windy that I only did a sketch.  I think that wind is the most difficult condition to deal with when painting.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fort Baker

Joined up yesterday with two painters on San Francisco Bay.  Finished some sketches of moored sailboats with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge.  When I was all set up to paint, the wind really started blowing.  I turned around and moved next to a building for shelter and quickly painted one of the old structures at Fort Baker.  This watercolor, (12X15) took about 30-45 min. to complete without a sketch.  It was fun to see what can happen without sketching and just letting go with the paint.

At one time, the military owned some of the best real estate in San Francisco and along the bay.  Fort Baker is in Sausalito and has been turned into a tourist destination with lodging in the old officer quarters and a fine restaurant.  There are some dynamite views of the city and bay and it is a wonderful place to do plein air painting.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Main Street HarwichPort

This painting was done from memory and I put the VW bus on the street because I like them.  The Main Street of HarwichPort is an active place during the summer.  The Kite Shoppe has everything a kid on vacation could want.  I have been dragged there many times by my grandkids.  On Wed nights during the summer the place is a mob scene with something called 'Music in the Port".  Even though it is a main traffic artery, very little gets through with 4 bands playing and all of the vendors selling their wares.  The population of this town goes from a year round 8000 to 56,000 during July and August.  That is when I am there and loving it.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Rose Garden

Sacramento has a park that is busting with blooming roses.  It is well cared for and the lawn paths between the different rose beds set off this riot of colors.  It was very challenging for me to paint.  Do I focus on the biggest cabbage type blooms or separate trellises?  I decided to put streaks of color after squinting at the site and how I would paint it.  It was a wonderful day to be painting.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Medium Rare

I painted this as a class project.  I found an 8 oz. glass Coke bottle to go along with the half eaten hamburger.  This was the size for soda bottles when I was a kid.  The painting is a large acrylic (18 X 24) done on canvas.  It is pop art and was fun to do.  It was this painting that I abstracted in an earlier blog posting.  Having fun with the acrylic paint.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Morning on the River

Spent the morning painting on the river.  It was a beautiful morning.  There were six of us painting along with an equal number of fishermen.  What a peaceful scene.  Warm, sunny with lots of chatter between painters.  A great way to begin the day.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


A kayak moving down the river in the spring is a cool refreshing picture.  This was painted on a 16X20 stretched canvas using acrylics.  As I become more experienced with acrylic painting there is a luminosity I can see.  It is rare to get this much punch with watercolor.

I did have a disaster with plein air painting of a farm scene.  It was very warm day with a strong breeze.  My acrylics quickly dried despite spraying with water and using a wet palate.  I am not giving up on them quite yet, and will try using a retardant when doing plein air since it gets so warm around here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fast Food

This acrylic painting was done from a photo of a painting of a half eaten hamburger.  My attempt to paint an abstract left me wondering what would work.  My approach to painting is to sketch a scene and play with modifications of the sketch before painting it.  While looking at my recently completed painting of a hamburger and coke, I took a picture with my cell phone but while snapping the shutter, I moved the camera quickly across the subject.  The hamburger had onion, lettuce and tomato and was on a white napkin.  The photo came out as a long blur of color, just what I wanted.  The drops showed the effect of gravity.  Pretty slick, huh?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Morning Light

This harbor in HarwichPort is one of the most photographed places on Cape Cod.  This venue is a popular wedding spot.  I do a lot of my clamming out here in the early morning.  The light is spectacular on the Cape but especially in the early morning.  The water is still and there are long cast reflections.  I painted this with acrylic paint on an 18X24 canvas.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Great Pizza

My favorite pizza comes from George's.  It is located on Main St, HarwichPort.  I tried painting several things on this 8X11 canvas board and each time jessoed over the painting.  I did not sand down the bumps that came from pallet knife applications of paint.  I gave up on my early paintings and painted this scene from memory and previous paintings.  My ventures into acrylic are becoming less frustrating and this is an advantage; you can use the same canvas over and over.  I think this has a total of 4 paintings.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Marsh

My focus has continued on acrylic painting and this was an assignment from my teacher.  It is a modification of a black and white photo.  I still have reservations about the blending and color in my acrylic attempts.  Being so used to watercolor and its qualities, I find acrylic more difficult.  There is no bleeding and the paint dries so quickly, that color mixing is critical.  Anyway, it has been fun and I will continue with this new challenge.