Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Virtual Paintout - Liverpool!

It's the 21st. consecutive month I've participated in the Virtual Paintout!  The location for April 2014 was Liverpool which was very exciting to look around using Google Street View.  What a beautiful and very busy city.  And we know there are Mersey Ferries from the old '60's song but sadly the Google Street View car didn't go near any docks.  I found some fabulous industrial areas with tanks and fog but decided on some city views.  Some views I liked and thought might work for a downtown painting just had too much traffic and many busses.  I happened on a red telephone booth and had to try a gouache to include it.  For my second piece, I painted a watercolor as the Google car headed toward a tunnel which I haven't had the chance to try before.  Looking forward to next month's location!

5 x 7" Gouache

5 x 7" Watercolor


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Rancho Santa Ana

On my first visit to the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont it was a beautiful day for our paint-out.  The garden has been dedicated to California native plants since it was established in 1927.  It was so nice to walk through the various garden areas while looking for my view to paint.  Since the garden specializes in native plants, many are drought tolerant for our dry area.  One large and stunning tree I walked past was the California Flannel Bush which has teacup-sized flannel-y orange flowers.  There was a dry river bed, and also a small, overgrown pond which had a convenient bench nearby.  The perfect place to paint.  It was such a busy pond scene with trees and water plants that I decided to try a gouache.  There was also a pair of mallards which I had to leave out of my painting but their photo is below.  While I painted, several school tours came by the pond and the kids had a lesson in water pollution.  There were experiments set up for them to do which they had a lot of fun with while learning.  I'm looking forward to my next visit, at least for the native plant nursery at the garden. 

5 x 7" Gouache

California Flannel Bush

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Valley View

What a nice morning we had painting at the Southwest  Museum again recently.  It's been over a year since the last paint-out there, but I sat in the same spot to paint my watercolor.  My watercolor from November 2012 is posted here Southwest Museum with a bit of the museum's history.  Although I sat in the museum parking lot at the same picnic table, I planned to avoid painting the building's tower as I did last time.  Maybe I should have tried it again to hopefully see an improvement after a year plus.  Instead, I looked across the Arroyo Seco valley from the hilltop museum to the hilltop to the east.  I see watercolor artists I admire painting rooftops so well that I thought it would be a challenge to try a piece from my bird's eye view.  I really had fun with this view of the rooftops and distant hillside.

8 x 10" Watercolor

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Lacy Park Saturday

The Saturday plein air group painted at Lacy Park in San Marino recently.  I didn't realize but it's been a year since I painted my watercolor Park Crows there.  My recent paint-out at the park was my fourth time painting there and it's always lovely with a nice variety of trees.  The park has an extensive rose garden and beautiful arbor area that I would like to try to paint sometime when the roses are blooming.  But, the roses were still looking very pruned for our paint-out that day.  

The park was busy Saturday morning with dog walkers, soccer games, a dog training class, and kids learning to ride their bikes (the perfect place for that).  I had a hard time deciding on a view to paint this time.  I ended up just taking a seat on a bench by the entrance and doing a quick-ish gouache piece of the main walkway.  Had to include some dog walkers!

5 x 7" Gouache

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Power Plant Gouache

As I mentioned in my last posting of my Pasadena Water and Power watercolor, Return to the Power Plant, I started a smaller gouache piece that day.  Everyone was leaving and I didn't want to stay and paint by myself there so I didn't finish my painting.  Luckily the power plant was soon on the Saturday paint-out schedule again and I was looking forward to finishing my gouache.  I ended up pretty much almost starting over but that's okay and really doable with gouache.  I'm already looking forward to next time and don't know if I'll try transparent watercolor or the opaque gouache.  Oh!, this is my 200th post! 

5 x 7" Gouache

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Red Poppies!

The paint-out group returned to Arlington Garden this week since it was so beautiful two weeks ago.  I posted my gouache piece from that morning in Arlington Agaves.  Many of us were hoping the red poppies would be blooming more plentifully on our second visit to the garden.  We were lucky, and they were looking so bright and red.  I actually sat under the same pepper tree as I did on my last paint-out there when I painted the agaves.  I just turned a bit to the west for a nice view of the field of wildflowers where the red poppies were blooming.  I couldn't decide whether to paint a gouache piece or a transparent watercolor so I did both.  I haven't tried that for awhile since it's quite a lot of work to finish the two paintings before the group discussion time.  It's also a bit difficult for me to switch back and forth between the two different ways I paint the watercolor and the gouache, but I am getting better at that as I'm getting more used to gouache.  What a fun morning painting among the wildflowers! 

8 x 10" Watercolor

5 x 7" Gouache

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


I've been painting a lot of gouache pieces lately and I'm a little behind in posting them.  So, here is another.  I like to alternate with transparent watercolor but I have this gouache handy to post.  

The paint-out last Thursday was at the South Pasadena Public Library.  I live in South Pasadena and have seen many painters at the library over the years.  I hadn't been in a group that painted there so this was a fun opportunity.  I don't think anyone chose the library to paint and I didn't either.  Across the street from the library is a coffee house in an old brick building which used to be a bank.  A nice view in the morning, sun reflecting on the windows.  There were several of us painting Kaldi, the coffee house.  It's always wonderful to see how different artists paint a similar view.  I added a figure and left out signs.  

5 x 7" Gouache


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Arlington Agaves

Spring is coming which means paint-outs at nearby Arlington Garden.  I was there with a plein air group in January and posted that painting in Arlington Garden in January.  Since I've joined and painted with so many plein air groups, I think I've lost count of how many paintings I've done there.  I have them listed under "Arlington Garden" in the Label section on the right.  

I've already been twice this month with different groups.  Everyone is ready for spring flowers but the special (for our area) red poppies aren't quite blooming abundantly yet.  So I chose a view from under a pepper tree looking along a row of agaves to some newly planted, large garden urns.  I tried this view in gouache since I thought the foreground agave might work better with its yellow edges.  And I love including power poles!  Maybe the poppies will be at their peak on my next visit.

5 x 7" Gouache