Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Blue House

A recent gouache piece painted from the hilltop Southwest Museum parking lot.  We were also there in March and I tried a watercolor that day, Southwest View.   This is the same hillside view but this time I included the striking blue house and the yellow house.  I avoided them last time.  A fun "pop of color"!

5" x 7" Gouache

Museum tower

Too much weed whacking that day!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Virtual Paintout - Maine, Route 1!

I'm still participating in the monthly Virtual Paintouts, still enjoying virtually visiting locations all over the world.  Bill Guffey organizes the Virtual Paintout where artists use Google Street View at the month's location to find their views to paint.  Bill posts all of the submissions on the blog and on Facebook.

For May 2016, the location was Route 1 in Maine from Rockland to Milbridge.  There are some very charming towns along the Maine coast!  It looks like a beautiful place to visit.  Maybe someday!

5" x 7" Watercolor, Camden, Maine

5" x 7" Watercolor, Rockland, Maine

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Small Vineyard

The Saturday paint-out group returned to Deukmejian Wilderness Park last month for painting and a birthday lunch.  We had a beautiful morning there.  I was surprised to see bright new growth on the vines in the small vineyard, and water in the debris basin.  On my previous visit I painted a watercolor, A Stone Barn, so I decided to try a gouache piece this time.  The sun kept moving of course, so the 1914 stone barn began in shadow, then it was in some sunlight.  Plein air painting has its challenges.

5" x 7" Gouache

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Hermon Park

Yes, another park that I haven't posted a painting from!  We were at Hermon Park in Los Angeles a couple years ago but I didn't finish that painting.  I was looking forward to my second paint-out visit there.  Hopefully I've improved and have more successes now.  

Hermon Park is in the Arroyo Seco area near Pasadena.  It features a dog park and several old bridges over the arroyo and freeway.  I chose a view through one of the bridges which leads to the dog park.  It was a little challenging since cars kept coming and going, blocking my view.  Dogs and owners kept coming and going too.  For me, plein air painting is always fun and I never know what the day will bring.

8" x 10" Watercolor

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

No Chickens...

We painted the chickens at Darryl's house over two years ago and I posted my watercolor in Chickens!  Darryl and his wife generously invited us back to paint in his backyard which is a lovely, calm spot to spend the morning.  The patio area and garden are just beautiful.  Besides the plants, there is a fish pond with trickling water, bird feeders, and Darryl's beautiful daughter and grandson posed by the pond for us.  Unfortunately, there are only two chickens left and they were very shy when we visited.  Some great colors really caught my eye.  There were lots of greens of course, plus a Japanese Red Maple, and the yellow stucco of the house made a great color combination.  I tried a gouache piece this time, and look forward to another paint-out at Darryl's.

7" x 5" Gouache

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Pink at CalTech

We recently painted at CalTech (California Institute of Technology) again.  It was such a beautiful day.  My first time to paint there was almost three years ago.  I managed two paintings near the Administration building, a watercolor and a gouache piece.  That post was CalTech!.

Choosing a view to paint is always a hard choice since the campus has such a wonderful variety of grand buildings and mature trees.  The shadows on the back of Moore Laboratory caught my eye.  The shadows on the building were bluish, contrasting with the yellowing leaves if the Jacaranda trees,  the tall Eucalyptus trees, and pink flowering hedges.  This painting went smoothly...sometimes they don't!  I'm looking forward to the next paint-out there.

8" x 10" Watercolor

Moore Laboratory

Looking across a lily pond to the administration building. 

A tiled fountain

Saturday, May 7, 2016


This spring I've done some blog posts titled for the flowers I've been finding on paint-outs.  We were back at Arlington Garden recently and I was happy to see the red poppies were blooming as well as the orange California poppies.  It was the spectacular wisteria blooming on my previous visit which I painted, Almost Spring!

Arlington Garden is always changing.  There is always something new being added.  And it's always wonderful to be there.  I tried a view to the east with some of the poppies.  This view includes an old table with a striped umbrella that I last painted four years ago after taking a workshop from Alvaro Castagnet.   I had only been doing plein air painting for a couple months at that time.  I'll post the watercolor below.  Quite a difference.  I guess I'm changing as well as Arlington Garden!

8" x 10" Watercolor

The labyrinth in the foreground.

Some red poppies

Matilija poppy

11" x 8" Watercolor, 2012

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

May Sketching!

Since it's May, the Every Day in May sketch challenge has started.  This world-wide challenge has become bigger and bigger since it began years ago.  There are over a thousand people in the Facebook Group, and there is also a Flickr Group with over 6000 posts of sketches.  The idea is to do something creative every day for the month of May.

For EDM there is a list of topics for each day to get sketchers started.  A lot of topics on the list are "prompts", rather than specific objects so we can be more creative.  It's really fun to see how different artists interpret the same topic.  I'm always thinking I should do more sketching so last year I tried the EDM challenge.  I enjoyed using some other media than my usual watercolors but I only lasted 10 days.  We'll see how many sketches I will do this year, and of course it's OK to do what you can...having fun is the goal.

May 1, 2016, a toy

May 1, 2015, a favorite food