While noticing I had a few paintings for my last post, "Chinese Themes", I also noticed a few with Japanese themes. Two of these are subjects from Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge, CA. It's a gorgeous public garden, or rather a collection of gardens. There is a Camellia Collection, Japanese Garden and tea house, Rose Garden, as well as woodlands, fountains and ponds. Lots of squirrels, ducks, turtles, frogs, and I saw a family of Canada Geese on my last visit...photo below.
The first small painting of a Japanese stone lantern was done for the online watercolor class instructed by Vinita Pappas in 2011. The lesson was about mixing neutral colors and I thought the gray stone would be good to try. I always take a photo of this lantern sitting in the dappled shade in a big patch of mondo grass.
This piece was also painted for Vinita's online class. She put together a video for Earth Day of paintings that we submitted. I painted my piece from a photo I took while walking through the shaded woodland area. I always like greens and purples together it seems.
The video is available to see on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=357jY5vt1z0
The next painting was done when the plein air group went to Descanso in May. This is the tea house. There is a relaxing koi pond surrounded by Japanese maples and huge oaks. It was very peaceful painting on a Thursday morning until bus-loads of pre-schoolers arrived. I had fun answering their questions which were pretty cute.
I always like to take a photo of our big friendly plein air group. This view shows most of the painters that day. Brenda Swenson is talking about the watercolors.
It's the Canada Goose family crossing a bridge over one of the steams! I heard about them from people all morning and was so happy to see them coming my way. Painters, tourists, birders, and pre-schoolers didn't seem to bother them at all.