About Me

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San Jose, California, United States
Some paintings far surpass my expectations and some are scary awful, but it's always fun.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Plein Air-Santa Clara Valley Water District Campus-May 26, 2011

The SCVWS Plein Air group went out to this beautiful site last Thursday. There are ponds, all sorts of flowering shrubs, mature trees, marshes and lots of wildlife. There was a paint-worthy scene at every turn! I negative-painted the trunk and branches of this huge sycamore tree that dominated a small island in the largest of the ponds. I used a 9 x 12 block. Painting en plein air continues to be a challenge, but it is such fun to be outdoors and sharing the experience with the wonderful people who are part of this organization.

Yosemite-Plein Air Painting

While David and our friends, Erick and Melinda, went on a hike to Mirror Lake, I sat by the shops and cafes at Curry Village and painted the nearby cliffs and falls. While lots of detail shows in the cliffs, the overall effect is too flat, for reasons I am still trying to figure out. I used a 10" x 12" Arches cold-pressed block.

Yosemite-Visitor Center and Upper Yosemite Falls

The scanner changed the proportions on this one-neither my IT guy (husband) nor I can figure out why, despite 5 tries. I used sepia medium, fine, and extra fine point pens then added the washes.

Yosemite Nat'l Park-El Capitan

This is trĂ©s experimental!!! I used an indanthrene blue brush pen for the drawing.  

Yosemite Trip-Half Dome

We were in Yosemite National Park with friends for 5 days earlier in the month-a good time to go before the hordes of people show up. Also the very wet and snowy winter has made the Merced River and the waterfalls just spectacular. I did quite a bit of drawing and painting-here are a few pages from my sketchbook. My Blog has gone crazy so I have to enter each picture on a separate post.
I used a 10" x 7" spiral-bound Daler-Rowney Cachet book with Faber-Castell Pitt pens and watercolor washes. This paper is much friendlier to the pens than Arches cold-pressed watercolor paper. It's about 110 lb. paper and can take a lot of water without warping.
This is Half Dome and I used a sepia fine-point pen.

PEO Directory Cover 2011

For the past 5 years, I've produced a painting to use on the cover of my PEO chapter's annual directory. The symbols of the organization (which is a philanthropic group that supports women's education and provides scholarships) are stars and white marguerites. It's tough to come up a new take on a daisy! Here's what I did this year. I used Faber-Castell Pitt pens and watercolor on a 9 x 12 Arches cold-pressed block


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Plein Air at Hayes Mansion

Two days ago I went to the Hayes Mansion here in San Jose and joined our wonderful group of plein air regulars in painting this charming old house. It's beautifully restored now, and used as a meeting center and restaurant. The weather was perfect, but the shadows were problematic for all of us. Wish I had sat off to the side a bit, as this head-on view was not as interesting as it might have been. The photo is a bit tilted-my painting is straighter than this!

. I used a 12" x 16" Arches rough block.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Plein Air-Nola's Iris Farm

Last Thursday I went to the SCVWS Plein Air group's paint site-Nola's Iris Farm-in the east foothills. The panoramic view of the Santa Clara Valley (aka Silicon Valley) was stunning, and the irises were in full bloom. I did 2 paintings, one of a single iris bloom, and one a hillside view. The bud on the single iris worked out beautifully. The leaves...not so much. Both are on a 9x12 Arches block. I also tried out a new Tombo water soluble pen with a water brush. I only bought 1 pen-black-and the black iris I drew with it is a little bit creepy looking! Who wants to see a black flower???!!? I'm not posting that one!