Saturday, October 31, 2015

Virtual Paintout - Philippines!

Must be the end of the month since I've finished my paintings for the Virtual Paintout!  The location for October was the Philippines.  An island country, it consists of over 7, 000 islands.  Of course I was only able to look around a couple islands using Google Street View.  From my brief time looking around there, it appeared very rural.  Wikipedia does confirm that the country is transitioning from being based on agriculture, to services and manufacturing.  

I always like to use my Virtual Paintout pieces to work on improving my watercolors.  When I started using gouache, I began with paintings for the Virtual Paintout.  Everywhere I looked this month the overloaded utility poles caught my eye so those were fun to include.  Previously, I only recall seeing so many wires in a city in South America.  It's always fun for me to virtually visit new places.       

5" x 7" Watercolor

5" x 7" Watercolor

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October Challenge!

I was happy that James Gurney offered another challenge this month, tying in with the autumn and Halloween season.  He started it off on his blog Gurney Journey October Graveyard Challenge.  We were to post our entries on the Facebook Event Page.  I participated in the previous challenge, painting an Outdoor Market on Location and posted about that piece in Painting Challenge.  It's part of the challenge to paint at the location using only three colors plus white.  

Barbara our Saturday paint-out group leader wanted to participate in the challenge so she had Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena on the schedule.  It opened in 1882 and we had a beautiful morning to paint there, interesting cemetery views, sun glancing through the beautiful trees.  Since I used gouache for the previous challenge, I wanted to try the limited palette three colors with watercolor this time.  I also had in mind to include some fall foliage.  And I noticed some palm trees which I thought would be a good Southern California element.  I chose Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, and Cadmium Yellow Pale for my three colors.  I used some egg tempera white with some of my mixes.  It's been really fun to see the entries from all over the world on the Facebook page.  The stories are great reading too.

8" x 10" Watercolor

We were to include a photo of painting on-site 

A photo of "trick perspective" that I didn't notice when I shot it.
There is a TINY Barbara on top of the center marker.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Library Neighborhood

I probably go out plein air painting with too many groups so I often paint at the same locations.  But, I think there are always new views to choose.  The groups have been at the South Pasadena Library a lot lately it seems.  I painted a gouache piece last time Our Library.  On my most recent visit I decided to try a view looking down the neighborhood street on the west side of the library.  As usual, the sun kept moving!  Sitting under some trees, the dappled shade kept changing.  I don't like to paint with sun on my paper or on my paints so I must have moved ten times.  There was some excitement at the library that Friday.  Workers were putting up pretty decorations for the Moon Festival the next day.  

8" x 10" Watercolor


Monday, October 19, 2015

The Crow

Recently I was looking at some of Andrea Kowch's moody paintings.  She uses plants, butterflies, and crows as symbols in her magical art.  Her crows reminded me that I hadn't posted a gouache piece I painted in April at Descanso Gardens.  It was a very dark, dreary morning, almost sprinkling.  Since it was April, roses were blooming.  We walked round the rose garden looking for an inspiring view to paint.  Instead, the small stream running through the gardens was the highlight of the walk.  The water reflected so brightly in the gray surroundings.  There was a busy crow hanging around squawking as we painted and I had to include him.  

7" x 5" Gouache

Roses on a fence.

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Old Station

I didn't realize it's been two years since I painted at the vintage Flying A gas station in Monrovia.  I tried a gouache piece that day, Flying A.  It's one of two remaining Route 66 gas stations in the metro California area.  Of course the location is popular for filming as well as plein air painters.  Unfortunately we heard of condos being planned for the corner, so we'll see.  Since I painted only the old pumps last time, I wanted to get the whole station in this time.  It usually seems to be a warm location as weather from the desert comes into the city there.  One tree across the street provides shade for some painters!  

8" x 10" Watercolor

Monday, October 12, 2015

LA Plein Air Festival

It's been a busy week,  plus it was the second annual Los Angeles Plein Air Festival which covered five days!  A downtown Los Angeles art store, Raw Materials, put the festival together and hundreds of artists signed up.  Artists could paint views anywhere in downtown LA but certain streets were suggested for certain days.  On one day artists were permitted to paint from the 27th. floor Observation Deck of the landmark 1928 city hall.      

I participated in the paint-out on two days.  Unfortunately we're having a very warm/hot October here so finding shade to paint from was a big factor in choosing a view.  There are so many beautiful and historic 1920's and 1930's buildings and alleys in the downtown area.  It was hard to choose.  I ended up painting from the same corner spot on both days, trying a gouache and then a watercolor the next day.  A new experience for me. 

Participating artists needed to check-in and get their paper or canvas stamped at the art store before painting.  Artists could turn in their paintings as they finished, and all pieces needed to be submitted by Saturday afternoon.  Then on Sunday all of the artwork was on display at the Festival Exhibition and Awards Reception at a nearby gallery space.  It was great to see all of the paintings and meet friends at the show.  I'm looking forward to next year's festival.

7" x 5" Gouache

8" x 10" Watercolor

A wall of some of the oil paintings at the show.  

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Quick Gouache

The Plein Aires paint-out group had their quarterly planning meeting at the Arboretum at the end of September.  It seems that after our meeting I only have an hour to find a location, get my materials ready, and do a painting before we meet back at the cafe.  I painted The Greenhouse after our last quarterly meeting.  It's usually a quick gouache piece and that's what I painted this time as well.  There is an area of demonstration gardens that's pretty close so I walked that way.  I had the pretty pergola in mind.  As I was walking around the area trying to quickly decide on a view to paint, I spotted one of the sculptures that's part of the current exhibit.  The Arboretum is featuring the work of 85 sculpture artists for their Nature of Sculpture event.  There are garden art tours as well as sales of the sculptures.  One piece I walked by looked like a big snake at first glance!  Fun to see the variety of pieces.  

7" x 5" Gouache

The Snake!

We usually have a peacock at our meetings.


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Old Horse Trailer

I was back at the old horse ranch in Altadena recently.  I posted Altadena Ranch about my watercolor on my first visit there.  The location is up against the hills with lots of old trees so it seems the sun is late getting to that area.  It was about 12:30 in the afternoon when the sun peeked through.  The huge cacti were blooming this time which I loved to see.  This was my first painting after the Chien Chung Wei workshop.  I've found that after workshops it's a little hard to paint while all those new techniques are in my head.  I really liked the old horse trailer last time so I gave it a try.  It's such a relaxing and secluded spot, and we had a very friendly horse wondering what we were doing.   

8" x 10" Watercolor