Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I went to the SCVWS plein air paint site in Los Gatos last Thursday; only about a half dozen of us showed up, but it was a nice day and there's always plenty to paint there. I began on the corner of Santa Cruz and University Avenues, looking across the street at the La Canada Building-the bottom picture. I went in and added some black pen, but the point was too bold, I think.
Next, I walked over in front of Old Town and did a quick study of the church next door-the top picture. I had pretty good luck with the layered foliage, which is one of my big challenges, and one I force myself to deal with frequently. Both paintings were completed in a bit less than 3 hours total.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
This little red garage in Jackson was so appealing, with its small, neat proportions and peeling red paint. When I came back with the camera to photograph it, there was a car in front-I could have just edited it out for the painting I planned to do, but I decided to walk into town and try again on my way back to the Buckrail Lodge. When I passed by again, a man was getting into the car-he went back in the nearby house and came out to the car again. Meanwhile I was skulking around down the street, looking rather suspicious, I imagine, as he was watching me and seemed reluctant to drive away. I finally began walking away, and he drove off. I hurried back and got several good shots. There were actually 3 more overhead wires, but I omitted them.
I used drybrush, and wet-in-wet to capture the wood, and kept it pretty loose-for me!In Mike Bailey's workshop he talks about "exalting the mundane." This homely little garage gave me that opportunity.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
This is the final plein air painting I did on our trip. We stayed at a B&B out in the woods-2 miles down an unpaved road! It's called the "Coyote Blues Village, " and is owned and run by a Swiss couple, which means the breakfasts are huge. I painted the view from our terrace. It was pine trees and fields in all directions. I saw a deer while I was sitting here, but he moved a little too quickly for me to paint!
Friday, September 4, 2009
While we were staying at the cabins adjacent to the Lake Yellowstone Hotel, I managed a long morning of painting. Before the sun got too intense, I sat on a bench overlooking the lake and made one of my better attempts at portraying water.
Then, as the sun rose higher and the day heated up considerably, I moved under the shade of some nearby pine trees, turned my back on the lake, and painted the charming old yellow (very yellow!) hotel itself. The rock I found to sit on was less than comfortable, so I worked much more quickly that usual. Everything went well until a chipmunk ran between my feet and the rock-a distance of maybe 10", and gave me quite a start!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
We stayed at a log cabin motel in Jackson Hole for 3 days. Anywhere else the design would be kitschy, but the style fits in perfectly there in the mountains. I sat at a picnic table on the lawn and produced this watercolor/pen & ink rendition of the place. There's a ski run where groups of trees separate large areas of grass on the hill behind the place.
I omitted the group of fellow residents who sat on chairs drinking beer all afternoon outside the room at the right!
We just returned from a 2 week road trip to Jackson Hole, the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Little big Horn, Mt. Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Monument and much, much more. I was able to fit in a little plein air work-though not nearly as much as I would have liked. We took loads of photos and I hope to find some inspiration in a few of them for future paintings. My favorite part of the trip was Yellowstone's enormous variety of geothermal features-every one so different and curiously beautiful in its own way. My least favorite thing was Mt. Rushmore....Yes it's a great engineering feat, but in my mind, it's one step up from the World's Biggest Ball of String!
This painting was the first one I did-hope you can recognize the Grand Tetons. I was sitting on a termite-infested log beside a beautiful little river on a perfect 75 degree day. This painting includes 2 of my biggest challenges-water and layers of foliage.