Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve

Hi and Happy New Year to you!  Thank you for a year of encouragement and support.  I'm sharing some fun, vintage New Year's images and sending my hope that you all have a happy, healthy, and creative 2015!  Plus a late addition below...

On New Year's Eve every year we stop by the local South Pasadena Rose Parade float construction site.  Most of the other parade floats are decorated by commercial float builders but ours is "self-built" by South Pasadena volunteers, which only a few local cities do.  I'm including a photo of the finished float ready to head out to Colorado Boulevard very soon.  Racing dragon boats this year!

Testing motors and driving from the cockpit

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Holiday Paint-Out 2014!

The creator, organizer, and leader of our Saturday plein air group hosts an annual paint-out at her house around the holidays.  Barbara is so generous throughout the year as planner and faithful painter, then in December she invites us for some morning snacks before painting around her home.  Barbara's house in South Pasadena is a terrific craftsman bungalow.  On my first holiday paint-out there in 2012 I tried the front of the house since it looked so festive.  I posted that piece in Holiday Paint-Out.  It was one of my first plein air gouache pieces.  Last year I painted a bird bath in the back yard.  This fall Barbara has had some beautiful, home-grown(!), white pumpkins on her front steps.  I've been admiring them and had to give them a try.  The morning was overcast but some sun came out as I was finishing up.  What a nice way to end the year with friends and painting.
5 x 7" Gouache

Darryl and Bill found the perfect vantage point


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas 2014!

This is my third Christmas blog post!  With a few nostalgic "found" photos, I'm sending my best wishes to you all at Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Dog Walkers

We were at Bailey Canyon Park in Sierra Madre recently for our paint-out.  It had rained so the morning was beautiful.  There were many dog walkers out for some air.

The previous Thursday I had attended the Verdugo Hills Art Association meeting.  I went to see their guest artist, Mike Hernandez, who was going to paint a demo in gouache.  You know I've been experimenting with gouache for two years and I was curious to see how Mike worked with it.  I've tried various ways of plein air painting with gouache.  It turned out that Mike's gouache technique was very different from what I've tried.  Very exciting to watch.  He's such a generous instructor and he brought in many finished pieces to share.  It was so much fun to meet him and see his gouache method.  At Bailey Park I tried a bit of what Mike did but of course it's easier for me to paint the way I'm used to.  I'd like to see another demo!     

5 x 7" Gouache

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Casting Practice

What a beautiful Saturday we had a few weeks ago for painting.  We met at the Lower Arroyo Seco Park Casting Pond in Pasadena.  The pond is always peaceful and a little mysterious looking.  I painted there once before and posted that piece in The Casting Pond.  The water in the pond was low because of the drought here but it still reflected the surrounding trees beautifully.  There was no one practicing their casting on my last visit.  This time, maybe since it was a Saturday, there were several people trying to improve their casting skills.  One man had his waders and walked out into the pond.  He also had several different fishing poles to try...beautiful and fun to watch.

8 x 10" Watercolor

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Evelyn's Patio

Our wonderful Saturday paint-out group sometimes paints at a member's home or a member's friend's house.  A few Saturdays ago Evelyn, our friend and fellow painter, said we could paint at her house!  We're always up for new locations and Evelyn's San Marino home is very lovely, just asking to be painted.  The morning started with delicious treats Evelyn was kind enough to have for us.  Of course since this is pretty far from the usual paint-out circumstances we felt pampered.  Sitting and chatting could have interrupted a lot of painting time.  I was thinking of trying a gouache piece of the front of Evelyn's Spanish style home but didn't find shade with a view I liked.  I headed to the back yard where there was a pretty patio with a large oak tree to sit under.  Perfect!     

5 x 7" Gouache

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Back at Ward Ranch

It was just recently I painted at the E. Waldo Ward Ranch in Sierra Madre and posted the watercolor in E. Waldo Ward Ranch.  A few weeks later I was at another paint-out there with another group.  The ranch and jelly factory property is a nice place to paint.  We had a big turn-out of painters since many like to shop in the small Waldo Ward store for holiday cooking and gifts.  A visit is always interesting and there are always fun areas to discover.  Rusty old farming and canning equipment seems to be everywhere, in a charming way.  I chose a view that had some sun on a yellow building with the red barn loft peeking over its roof.  While we painted we could smell strawberries.  They were making some strawberry jam!
8 x 10" Watercolor

Some of the artists at the paint-out

The yellow building in my painting is a garage for this!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Chrysanthemum Season

It's always fun and enjoyable to paint at Descanso Gardens in La Canada-Flintridge.  I visited in the spring and posted that piece in Spring at Descanso.  On my most recent paint-out day, it was Chrysanthemum time there.  Many pots of beautiful Chrysanthemums were set out along the walkways.  I had in mind to see what I could find to paint in the Japanese Tea House area.  At the entrance to the koi pond there were some very pretty pots of Chrysanthemums on both sides of the gate.  The flowers were white and yellow against dark foliage so I decided to try a gouache piece.  Descanso Gardens has many tall, old oak trees and also tall Camellias so many walkways have dappled light.  I took a couple work-in-progress photos again to share.  And also some Spider Mum photos!

5 x 7" Gouache

First colors and values blocked in.

More darks and lights, warm and cool colors.