Friday, June 24, 2016

Low Tide on the River

Back on Cape Cod. It is always relief to find my house just as I left it. My paints and easel are right where I left them. There is plenty to take care of at the house but I squeezed in a morning to paint down by the Herring River. The tide was out and a lot of mud was showing. One of the wonders of painting on Cape Cod is the brilliance of everything. Someone once said that is results from having water on each side of the land. This creates an 'umbrella effect'. Whatever, it is a great place to paint plain air.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

A Gnarly Oak

I went to the Delta this morning. The Heringer Estate proved perfect for painting. There were many old oak trees along the bank of the slough running through the vineyard. I was fascinated with the oaks. An expert explained that the trees are about 250 years old. The family did not allow cutting for fuel during the steamship era. So the aged and tately oaks still stand. They are twisted with many limbs turned down to the water. I painted from close in and it was difficult to draw an entire tree. Instead, I selected one section and tried to show some of the bumps and blemishes. There were wonderful cast reflections from the levee into the water, but the sun was often behind clouds. No complaints. I will take this anytime.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Morning Coffee

The temperature finally dropped out of the triple digits. Out to paint in the early morning and the coffee customers are there on G Street in Davis. Nice cool morning and no people to bother. This was quick and the coffee people were there almost to the end. I am still working on my trees. This was done with sap green and raw sienna, gradually increasing the sap green and then adding ultramarine blue to the mix.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Dixon Fishing Club

Away outside of the little town of Dixon, CA lies the fishing club. There is a long dirt road leading to it. The grounds are more like an oasis since for miles around there is nothing but grazing land and very few trees. But in the little patch there are trees and water with some small boats and a pier to fish from. All of this was in play as we arrived this morning. The heat had not got that high and there was a slight breeze. There were bugs; those intolerable gnats. The sun was bright and you could see the tiny black specs on your skin as the gnats found you. Between itches, a spilt water bottle in my case and trying to stay in some shade, I finished painting this scene. My trees are more like I want them but I still experiment. Using a fully water loaded brush with bright yellow green I start on the lighted side. Then follow with a darker shade of green before things are dry. I keep the leaf making to a minimum. I recently saw some watercolors by Direk Kingnok, and found his painting of trees and vegetation to my liking. You know it's a tree, even a certain type of tree but there is minimal detail. I want to do something like that.