Friday, July 31, 2015

Virtual Paintout - Santa Fe!

Each month I enjoy participating in the Virtual Paintout.  Bill Guffey chooses a location for the month and artists virtually choose their views to paint using Google Street View.  I like seeing so many places I will never visit in person.  Plus it's good painting practice as well as practice translating what I see onto paper.  
For me this month had an odd twist.  On June 28th, we were at a restaurant talking with the waitress about her trip to Alamogordo, New Mexico.  At home I was working on my Virtual Paintout pieces for the June location in Estonia.  As our waitress chatted I was thinking it would be neat to have a Virtual Paintout location in New Mexico.  On July 1st., I found out the location for this month would be Santa Fe!  It was interesting to see quite a few areas in the city with snow on the ground. 

It's been three years, 36 months, that I've been participating and Santa Fe is only the second location that I've actually visited.  Washington D.C. was the other.  Wondering where August will be!

5" x 7" Gouache

5" x 7" Watercolor

Google Street View car reflected in a window


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Arlington Garden Neighbors

It's been a few months since I was at Arlington Garden in Pasadena to paint.  In April I was expecting more spring flowers but they hadn't had enough rain this year.  So instead of wildflowers I painted the utility shed, and posted that watercolor in April at Arlington Garden.  I see in that piece I included the neighbor's house in the background and their eucalyptus tree which had some nice sunlight on it.  When I was there last month I completely forgot I liked that tree and am surprised to see I painted it again along with the neighbor's house.  Both had some nice light and I had a good view of a path with an interesting planter held in place by recycled concrete.  As usual I had another view in mind that was interesting too and I just had to finally quickly choose my subject and start painting!

8" x 10" Watercolor

The group's paintings and a Wishing Tree in the background

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

West on State

I can't believe it's been over a year since we met to paint at the Pasadena power plant.  On that paint-out I tried a gouache piece, Power Plant Gouache.  This plant has been sort of a landmark for years to anyone getting on or off the end of the Pasadena freeway.  The plant has been undergoing a big update and it seems that more of the old structures disappear weekly.  

For some reason I really like these industrial subjects and hoped we would be back to paint there even with all the construction going on.  The main entrance is at the "back" of the plant on State Street that doesn't have any homes or businesses.  There is a wild hillside opposite the plant which is a nice place from which to paint.  Looking west, I really liked the view of an old brick building, some power poles and lines (which I left out), and the two main towers.  I probably should have painted the older plant structures that may have been demolished already and I should return to try a watercolor piece. 

5" x 7" Gouache

I painted by this tree...Laurel and Darryl below


Saturday, July 18, 2015

South Side

Last Thursday one of the paint-out groups returned to the Pasadena Museum of History which is at the 1906 Feynes Mansion.  On my previous visit I painted a quick gouache piece, Museum Gouache.  I noticed the spot where I sat to paint my gouache last time had a gardener's truck parked there.  Several men were working on the sprinkler system and it was risky to be sitting on a lawn.  Sprinklers could be turned on suddenly.  For this week's watercolor I wanted to try to capture some of the warm sunlight and cool shadows of the mansion.  This is the south side of the building.  Maybe I'll try the grand, main view of it next time.  

There is a fountain/bird bath that I always love to see when I'm at the museum.  I painted a gouache piece on one visit when two mallards were there enjoying the water, The Duck.  I set up next to it for this watercolor.

8" x 10" Watercolor

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Footbridge

It was nice to be back painting at the L.A. River last week.  The last time I painted at this particular location along the river was over a year ago.  I posted that watercolor in Casting at the River.  There are a lot of views for a possible painting at this location.  And the birds are always wonderful to watch.  On my previous visit, there was a photo shoot going on with a photographer and a fisherman/model in action.  This time there was a real fisherman trying his luck.  I didn't see him catch anything.  The morning was overcast and there weren't many fellow painters that day.  There is a footbridge across the river I hadn't painted before so I thought I would try a quick gouache piece. 

7" x 5" Gouache

My painting spot under the tree

Hyperion Bridge

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Greenhouse

The paint-out group I'm in on Fridays recently had their quarterly planning meeting for the next three month's locations.  We meet at the cafe at the local Arboretum.  The peacocks were especially loud that Friday and there were several birds hanging around the cafe.  This meeting and discussion usually takes awhile so painting time is short.  After our previous Arboretum meeting I painted the murky pond Arboretum Pond.  

There's an old, not-used greenhouse that's near the Peacock Cafe.  I've been wanting to paint it for years.  Either the other artists were going to another area which sounded promising or there wasn't shade to sit in so I hadn't tried a painting.  I decided to do a gouache piece at the greenhouse since the glass of the greenhouse looked good that day and the surrounding aloes were also pretty.  I would like to try a watercolor of the greenhouse on a future visit.

5" x 7" Gouache


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Lacy Park Roses

I've painted at Lacy Park in San Marino quite a few times now, and one of the groups was there again last month.  I see the last plein air piece I painted at the park was over a year ago, Lacy Park Saturday.  That day the roses weren't blooming yet from their winter pruning so I was planning to try a view of the extensive rose garden I knew would be in bloom.  

There is a pretty rose arbor and I considered a view from there but decided to sit under a tree and paint looking toward the arbor.  It's lucky I wasn't closer since it turned out to be the day the gardeners were doing a lot of leaf blowing around the arbor.  Next to me was a large bed of pink and white roses beside one of the walks.  In the morning the park is very busy with various classes and many people walking with and without dogs.  A YMCA summer youth group was there when we were and it was "Wheel Day".  I wish I had my camera out when a swarm of scooters and bikes whizzed by.    

8" x 10" Watercolor


Friday, July 3, 2015

Tournament for the 4th!

We were at Farnsworth Park to paint recently.  I was just there a few months ago and had a nice morning painting Farnsworth Park.  I wondered if maybe I could find some shade to paint the front of the impressive 1934 arts and crafts building.  There was shade across the street but it looked like cars would soon be parking and blocking my view.  Our inspiring leader, Barbara, mentioned the festive bunting decorating the fence of the baseball field for the 4th of July.  I try to paint a view that's descriptive of our plein air location but Barbara's mention of the bunting kept taking over my thoughts.  OK, the 4th would be in a few days and I like to do a 4th blog post...Perfect.  

A Little League tournament was going on and several play-offs were scheduled so there was a lot of action that morning.  Fun to watch and listen to while painting.  My painting was not fun though.  I decided to try using gouache on hot press paper which has a smooth surface.  I usually paint on cold press paper which has a rougher surface.  The hot press paper gave me a very hard time until I built up some paint layers to give it some "tooth".  Lesson learned!  Have a happy 4th of July!

5" x 7" Gouache