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.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Jan Hart Workshop

Last week I participated in a watercolor workshop led by Jan Hart, as artist who lives in Costa Rica. She has an enormous amount of knowledge about pigments, which was very interesting. In the past, she worked very closely with the Daniel Smith company and she started us out with samples of a few of their paints. She had us use a very limited palette consisting of Ultramarine Turquoise, Quinacridone Sienna, Nickel Azo Yellow, Quinacridone Magenta, and Zoisite(one of Smith's proprietary PrimaTek pigments.) While this is a rather bizarre palette, she wanted us to understand the unique properties of the paints. Above you see my first painting from the workshop-it's from a reference photo I took of kohlrabi that I grew in my garden, laying on an old tarp. This may be my all-time favorite thing I've ever done! It isn't exactly what one might hang in the living room, but I just love the way the colors blended on the paper and the loose, casual look that I labored so hard to achieve!

My second piece was a vase of peonies that I have painted before (and posted a couple of months ago.) The soft cloth in the background gives it a surreal look. I used the same palette as above, plus Permanent Rose. I like the way the peonies turned out, but I'm back to my ususal controlled style. I still want to do these again. By the way, I used quarter sheets of Arches cold press for all of these.

All was not rosy in the workshop-I tackled a beautiful landscape photo of a vineyard that our friend Erick took a few years ago. This time I used the same palette with the most unfortunate addition of Cadmium Red (WHY??? I've always hated this pigment!) On the last day of the workshop, Jan took on the challenge of "saving" a couple of paintings people had despaired of fixing, including this one. Even she couldn't salvage this overworked disaster! She added all sorts of colors but it was too late. RIP, vineyard.

There's a 4th painting I still have to complete-may post it at a later date.

Alum Rock Park Plein Air

This is a small (10"X7") painting I did about 6 weeks ago on a SCVWS Plein Air group outing at Alum Rock Park. There are beautiful old stone grottoes and bridges left from its heyday early in the last century.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Plein Air at Ardenwood

On October 13th I joined the SCVWS Thursday Plein Air painters at Ardenwood Farm  in Fremont. I used one of my new Arches blocks that is made specifically for land and sea scapes. This one is 3" x 10"-quite small. Fall colors were just beginning to show on a few of the trees, but the field of pumpkins was the real show!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

SCVWS Annual Show

                                        Ginger has second thoughts about her walk today...
This is the painting I submitted to the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society Annual Members' Show. It's on a full sheet of 140 lb. Arches cold press paper. I worked from a photo that my son, Andy, took. (See more of his wonderful photography at his blog, www.rusticfences.blogspot.com)

Go by the Sunnyvale Art gallery before October 30, 2011 to see all 109 paintings in the exhibit-there are some wonderful pieces in the show.