Saturday, December 31, 2016

Virtual Paintout - Montenegro!

Each month I love participating in the Virtual Paintout.  So much fun to virtually visit locations around the world, having a painting in mind.  This month Bill Guffey chose Montenegro for our virtual paint-out.  Montenegro has a very picturesque coast along the Adriatic Sea across from Italy and it's a prime tourist destination.  Along with some cruise ships, I also found some medieval walls and villages.  The buildings with tile roofs, and the many flowers and palms are so charming.  The country looks like a beautiful place to visit.  

These are my last paintings and final post for 2016.   Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and wonderful 2017!

5" x 7 " Gouache

5" x 7 " Watercolor

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Holidays 2016!

I think the holiday sneaked up on me this year.  And I haven't gone out to paint at any holiday locations.   Last year at our Saturday paint-out group's holiday get-together we had a handmade card exchange so I'll add mine today to help wish you all a happy Christmas and the best 2017!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Villa del Sol d'Oro

It's been six months since I painted this watercolor at Alverno high school in Sierra Madre.  It was a special day for us to be able to paint there since it's a private school.  The main building, the Villa del Sol d'Oro, was designed by notable Pasadena area architect Wallace Neff.  Completed in 1928, the Villa is a two-thirds scale replica of a villa near Florence, Italy.  As part of the Alverno school today, the villa is the site of school activities as well as a location for television and movie productions.      

Attempting a plein air watercolor of this villa with its flavor of Tuscany was a challenge.  It's taken me awhile to decide whether or not to add a figure to the painting.  I'm still undecided and we've recently returned there for another paint-out.  So it's time to post my first piece painted at the Villa de Sol d'Oro.

8" x 10" Watercolor

Saturday, December 10, 2016

December at Ward Ranch

Our Saturday paint-out group returned to charming Waldo Ward Ranch in Sierra Madre today.  We were there last December to paint and we also like to check out the store for holiday goodies like jams, marmalades, and condiments.  Last year I painted this scene near the gift store, Ward Ranch Holidays.  It was so busy with people that I looked on the other side of the main house and factory buildings for my view today.  We were surprised to see the orchard of old tangerine trees so full of fruit that I just had to paint them.  I also included the barn since I like to have a structure in my paintings.  It was foggy in the morning and I loved the mountains behind the ranch looking very pretty and hazy.  There were still quite a few people coming by to get their holiday gifts, and asking me directions to the store.    

5" x 7" Gouache

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Gamble House in November

I returned to the landmark Gamble House in Pasadena for a Saturday paint-out recently.  It was quite a few months ago when I last painted a watercolor from behind the garage/book shop, Another View.  On that day I noticed this view from the north side of the house looking south across the driveway and front entrance.  I had it in mind for my next painting there.  The weather forecast was for an overcast and chilly day but in the morning we had some sun.  I wanted to avoid painting much detail in this complicated house while still getting its essence.  I tried a more dry brush approach on rough watercolor paper.  A nice surprise was a newly planted garden behind the garage where I painted from last time.  After a couple hours our fingers were pretty cold.  Maybe some gloves...

8" x 10" Watercolor

Part of the new garden


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Virtual Paintout - Tijuana!

I find the monthly Virtual Paintout is fun to participate in.  Bill Guffey choses the location from anywhere in the world that the Google Street View vehicles have covered.  I really enjoy seeing parts of the world that I'll never be able to visit.

For November 2016 Bill chose Tijuana, Mexico.  There is a spot I have visited briefly but that was a long long time ago.  I never did check what the street view offered of downtown Tijuana.  I looked along the coast and loved the many hilly inland neighborhoods.  I chose two colorful views to try in watercolor.

I have to add that while we were at the South Pasadena library painting the model who posed for us Something Different, the Google Street View car drove by.  I'll be checking to see how long it is until those images are posted.

5" x 7" Watercolor

5" x 7" Watercolor

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Grevelia Street

A recent paint-out was at Garfield Park, our main South Pasadena park.  I had just been there a few months earlier with another group.  That time I painted Park Avenue in gouache.  When I painted that piece, just to the right across Grevelia Street, was another neighborhood view I liked.  This time I gave it a try in watercolor.  I included a car in the driveway.  It seems that with painting parked cars, they either move, or if there wasn't a parked car, one might soon park and block the view.  The one I was painting here soon moved but I always take a photo before starting to paint.  So nice to have an instant photo to refer to!

8" x 10" Watercolor


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Something Different

It was a very different paint-out for me yesterday.  We had a well-known local model posing for the group outside at our local library.  It's been a long time since I tried painting a live model.  Maybe art school was the last time many years ago.  During the week I painted a couple practice pieces from magazine photos.  That didn't help me too much.  Marian wore a long dress, sat under the trees, and we had perfect weather.  She wanted to be in the shade so her face was in shadow, light was from behind her.  Maybe extra hard to least I thought so.   A photo of her to paint from later was an extra charge but I think these two small pieces are finished.  I would like to try this again sometime.      

7" x 5" Watercolor

7" x 5" Gouache

Sunday, November 13, 2016


The Saturday paint-out group met near the famous 1913 Colorado Street Bridge last week.  The street where we were had a great view of the bridge, a little different from our usual vantage points.  But, it turned out to be a busy morning and I didn't feel up to those many bridge arches which are always a challenge.  There is also a wonderful and unusual view of the famous 1920 Vista Del Arroyo Hotel.  Complicated I thought.  Right in front of me was an interesting vignette of some construction materials for a Habitat for Humanity project.  I gave it a try in gouache and had a fun morning with my painting friends.

7" x 5" Gouache

Colorado Street Bridge

Vista Del Arroyo Hotel

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Carla's Backyard

An artist in one of the paint-out groups invited a friend, Carla, to paint with us one Friday.  She lived near our painting location and invited the group to paint in her backyard sometime.  We were thrilled with the invitation.  We're always looking for new and different places to paint.  So last Friday we met at Carla's home.  Such a pretty backyard with many possible views for a painting.  Carla has lots of potted plants, a lovely shaded patio, and two water features.  Of course I had a hard time deciding what to paint.  And watercolor or gouache?  Decisions.  I spotted a red umbrella over the fence in the yard next door.  There were some potted plants and nice dappled light for my foreground so I started a watercolor.  I thought I was safe from the sun under some umbrellas but ended up moving twice.  What a nice day of painting in Carla's backyard.

10" x 8" Watercolor

Nice view but it was shady when I started painting.

Love this but not colorful.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Virtual Paintout - Newfoundland!

Each month I really enjoy participating in the Virtual Paintout.  Bill Guffey chooses the monthly location anywhere in the world that Google Street View cameras have covered.  I find it fascinating to virtually visit so many places that I will never be able to see in person.

This month the location was the island of Newfoundland, Canada.  I was surprised that the largest city, St John's, had so many brightly painted historic homes built in the late 1800's.  Very beautiful and charming.  There were also so many great seascapes that I had a hard time deciding on my two views to paint.  And there is never enough time to see everything, just knowing something great is just around the corner!    

5" x 7" Watercolor

5" x 7" Watercolor

Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween 2016!

Our spooky paint-out for this Halloween was a few days ago.  Last October we met at Mountain View Cemetery for James Gurney's October Graveyard Challenge, October Challenge.  Alegria Street in Sierra Madre has many neighborhood homes decorating for the holiday.  Some homeowners work for days on their decorations.  One owner even grows his own giant pumpkins to carve for his extravagant front yard display.  Most of our group chose to paint views of his decorations in progress for the 31st.  I tried a view in gouache.  A sweet, resident Halloween-colored calico cat was interested in our group for some petting.

7" x 5" Gouache

Homeowner with his pumpkin harvest to carve.

Reesie the kitty (for Reeses)

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Lummis Garden

We painted at the historic Lummis House last Saturday.  It's also known as El Alisal for the surrounding alder and sycamore groves.  My previous painting there was about a year ago,  Lummis Light.  The arroyo stone home was built over thirteen years in the late 1800's.  I find it difficult to paint so on this visit the home's garden caught my eye.  Due to the drought we've had in Southern California, it was sad to see many trees in bad condition.  But in the center of the garden a large area of fountain grass really dominated the view.  The backlit, fuzzy flower plumes were beautiful.   I had to try to capture the fall feeling in a gouache piece.

5" x 7" Gouache