Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Union Station Gouache

I painted at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles in July and was looking forward to my next visit for plein air painting.  I posted that gouache piece of the tile fountain in Union Station Fountain.  Last Friday one of the groups met there to paint.  The courtyard with the fountain wasn't at its best this time.  The fountain was being repaired so it was fenced off.  We all headed to the south courtyard.  It's usually been too hot there and not enough shade.  But in October the sun was to the south and the trees provided some nice shade.  I used gouache again and tried to suggest the distinctive patio light fixtures and the arched entrance.  This was another busy paint-out location and we had lots of questions from onlookers.  The first time I painted Union Station, it was a watercolor from the park across the street, and was over two years ago...Union Station.  I would do this differently now.  Kind of interesting to look back to an early plein air piece.

5 x 7" Gouache

Friday, October 17, 2014

Busy Chinatown

A week ago I was able to paint in Chinatown again.  It's been over a year since I painted there and posted that watercolor in Chinatown!.  Such a fun place to visit and an exciting paint-out location.  Unfortunately there usually seem to be changes that aren't always for the best.  I was shocked to see a favorite and colorful shop was closed for good.  

I used "Busy" in the title of this post because of its multiple meanings.  Not only is our downtown Chinatown busy with people - regulars, painters, and tourists - but it also showcases some very busy architecture.  In the 1930s the central plaza was developed to look like Shanghai by Hollywood film set designers.  They did a great Hollywoodized version, complete with dragon roofs and lots of neon.  For me, it's always been a special place to visit.  I had an enjoyable morning painting this watercolor.  Love the ornate pink building with a yellow tile roof.  And I had many observers stopping by to ask what I was doing.   

8 x 10" Watercolor

Sunday, October 12, 2014

L.A. River Center

Yesterday the plein air group returned to paint at the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens.  The property used to be the well-loved Lawry's California Center.  A year ago, on my first visit to the renewed location I painted two pieces which I posted in Lawrys!.  I see that exclamation point on the title!  The gardens are just so beautiful there that it continues to be a surprise on each visit.  And it also brings back memories of when we visited years ago and enjoyed the lovely outdoor cafes.  Now it's a very popular location for weddings and special events.  

In the morning we painters were almost the only people at this gorgeous place.  When we left, there was a "Closed" sign on the gates for an afternoon wedding.  A photo below is of the entrance gates from the inside.  I painted a gouache piece since I haven't painted one for quite awhile.  Looking through my pile of paintings, I see I've been there twice since my first visit but haven't posted those watercolors yet.  Maybe my next post.    

5 x 7" Gouache


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

South Pasadena Library

A couple Saturdays ago we painted at the South Pasadena Library.  The old library building at this location is from the 1930s and was the entrance when I moved to South Pasadena.  It was expanded in the 1980s, including a new entrance on the opposite side of the original building.  This is the view most of our group was painting so I chose a shady spot in the same area.  The last time I painted at the library I tried the coffee house across the street which I posted in Kaldi.  

After my two recent watercolor workshops with Iain Stewart and David Taylor, I'm thinking about what I've learned.  There is so much to understand about watercolor.  After understanding the basics, it's another thing to master...beginning plans and finishing details with a goal in mind.  With all that's in our painter's brains about what to do, maybe we just all paint intuitively...it's on my mind.

8 x 10" Watercolor


Friday, October 3, 2014

Peacock Cafe

One of the plein air groups was back at the Los Angeles County Arboretum for our quarterly planning meeting.  We plan our next three month's of painting locations.  That leaves us with a shorter time to paint so we all chose views close to the Peacock Cafe where we meet back to show our paintings.  The last time I painted at the Arboretum was in June and I tried a gouache piece that I posted in Meditation Garden.  On this visit I painted a watercolor of the view just a few yards from the cafe, looking north to the mountains.  The cafe looked festive with its white umbrellas, white lights, and white paper lanterns.  And the colorful, pink silk floss trees were blooming so I was happy to be able to include some of them.  There is always a lot to paint at the Arboretum.  Maybe a greenhouse next time.

8 x 10" Watercolor

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Virtual Paintout 26!

I always love participating in Bill Guffey's Virtual Paintout each month.  Bill selects a location somewhere in the world that Google Street View vehicles have covered.  Anyone can virtually walk around and choose a view to paint, then submit to Bill, and he posts the artwork on his website and Facebook.  I've been able to "visit" so many places that I'll never get to see in person.

The location for September 2014 was Gothenburg, Sweden.  I never have enough time to look around as much as I would like to.  I want to check out downtowns as well as rural areas, and harbors.  Gothenburg didn't seem very busy or crowded.  I ran across a large botanic garden with greenhouses that I wanted to try.  And I found a canal running through an older picturesque area which made it hard to choose just one view there.  Looking forward to next month!

5 x 7" Watercolor

5 x 7" Watercolor

Friday, September 26, 2014

David Taylor Workshop!

This month I was able to attend a workshop with David Taylor in Santa Barbara, California.  I had been looking forward to this for a long time and I wasn't disappointed.  Meeting David and watching him paint was such a treat.  David painted two demos a day for the 5-day workshop and each piece captures the feel of Santa Barbara.  And I must say Santa Barbara looked stunning, every building perfectly adding to the ambiance.  I found David's way of teaching to be very helpful and he was so generous to us with his time and expertise.  

Our first morning was a little overcast and we were on the beach, painting two different views following David's demos, morning and afternoon.  Painting on the beach was a new experience for me and trying to paint two pieces a day is a push.  On Tuesday we met at the marina and David painted two gorgeous demo pieces.  But for me, boats and water, I need more practice on those two subjects!  I won't finish the two pieces I started.  We were up in the tower at the landmark courthouse building on Wednesday.  We painted street views Thursday and Friday.  Thursday, late evening, we were lucky to have the opportunity to watch David paint a night scene.  Wow, so interesting to see how he went about it.  

I hope I will be able to take another workshop from David sometime.  The week was a valuable experience and I look forward to applying what I learned.  It's difficult to paint something wonderful in a workshop, but here are three of my pieces and some fun photos...

8 x 10" Watercolor,  Santa Barbara Mission on the hill

Santa Barbara courthouse tower where we painted 

Our first day, setting up

8 x 10" Watercolor


David painting in the courthouse tower

8 x 10" Watercolor

The nocturne