Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Putah Creek #3

There are 3 fishing turnouts along Putah Creek in Winters CA.  This morning we had this site pretty much to ourselves.  The sun was brilliant and the creek was running fast.  It is still high from all of our rain, but there is no snow melt adding to it.  It was just a wonderful day to be out painting.  I tried mixing several greens that I do not usually use and was happy with them.  One can never have enough green hues for painting in CA.  What a day; no bugs, plenty of shade and perfect temperature.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Path to the Creek

Our plein air painting group ventured down to Putah Creek at the University.  The creek has been running swiftly from all of our rain, and everything on or near its banks has been washed down. There are remnants of wood, limbs, etc. high in the branches of trees along the creek.  The water levels must have been incredibly high.
I had difficulty finding something to paint so I returned to the entrance path.  Several trees along the path were familiar and chose this combination to paint.  The outcome was not what I expected.  I was looking up the path and had difficulty separating the trees.  I did experiment with new combinations of color for my greens.  The sun was shining, although, it has cooled quite a lot from our 90+ degree heat of the past week.

Sunday, May 21, 2017


This was a challenge to paint something with a chair.  I made a totally abstract fantasy painting.  The table has a TV remote and the chair is headless with the shadow only of the chair and table.  How easy it is to settle in front of the TV and watch whatever.  I am convinced this time is wasted but it repeats too often.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Spring and Vacaville Hills

Our plein air group had a gathering in Vacaville, CA this morning.  There was some wind but it was sunny.  This park runs along side of the major freeway and each time I've passed by this spring I am excited with the amount of water.  We did get a lot of rain and it turned everything very green.  The hills along the freeway are like velour, a green velour, and I want to get on a motorcycle and drive over them.  They just have this attraction.  The tops are now turning yellow.  I painted a dead tree that  contrasted with all of this vibrant green growth.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Plein Air Painting in Winters

It was the monthly Art and Ag plein air painting day and I did the demonstration class. I chose a barn and tree because there was little that interested me at the site. It was a co-op of farms at the Land Teaching Center and instead of the usual big barns, equipment or bone yards there were many small teaching sites and a large walnut tree farm. I thought that we would be on the creek but that was a mile away. Nevertheless, we had a great turnout of artists and a good session. It warmed up and there was no big wind like the day before. The main emphasis was on shapes and values. Lots of questions and suggestions. I had a good time.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Cape Cod Sand Dunes

"If you're fond of sand dunes and salty air" then you will like painting on Cape Cod. Lots of sand as the entire peninsula is one big sand dune out to sea. The sand takes on many colors and I have painted it many times. I like to work wet into wet with an ochre to start and then add vermillion and cerulean blue. I vary the concentrations to get different shades. Much of my sand paintings on the west coast are more yellow than when doing it on Cape Cod.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

We painted a barn at my recent watercolor class. It was an opportunity to try blending colors. The boards were painted with the side of the brush and while wet other pigments were introduced. The paintings were brought in the next class for critique. There were lots of good paintings and everyone learns from critiques. One problem during the class was that we didn't have the picture of this barn for very long when painting. Our video setup kept going off and our tech support was nowhere to be found. I still have not found the answer, so am putting off any future PowerPoint presentations.