O.K. everyone has a top 10 at the end of the year, so here's mine. Based purely on what I enjoyed the most here are my favorite sites for painting/sketching over the last couple of years.
At #10 Santana Row -a teaser! Haven't sketched here in a while, but the site is coming up next month so look out for that set of paintings!
#9 Emma Prusch Farm - loved this site for the chickens. A large variety of stuff to draw, animals, plants, farm house, machinery etc.#8 The Rosicrucian Museum - A museum with Egyptian buildings and artifacts - beautiful, and very different.
#7 Ardenwood Historic Farm - we visit here in the fall for the Pumpkins, but they also have Christmas celebrations which might be fun to see. The house is stunning, and hard to paint. I loved this view of distant pumpkins as I was leaving, so I tried to loosely capture them in a sketch that was quick and wet.#6 Stanford University - so much to sketch here, but my favorite spot is the Main Quad. (see pics on Dec 24th blog entry) The Rodin sculpture garden is fun too, also the cactus garden.
#5 Winchester Mystery House - an overwhelming amount of stuff to paint here. Such fun! This is one of the sculptures at the front of the house.
#4 Coyote Hills - I love being near the Bay and Coyote Hills is a perfect place to hike and sketch. There are views of the Bay and surrounding hills, plus lots of birds down on the marshes. The mud alone would give inspiration for dozens of abstract paintings!
#3 Point Lobos -Stunning vistas of rocks and crashing waves, the California coast is spectacular. The rocks are hard to draw, and my paintings of the sea not so successful, so here are trees. I also did a color study of the plants on the cliffs in China Cove.
#2 Hawaii - sketching the lava flowing into the sea from a volcano has to rank among the greatest sketching opportunities ever!
My all time favorite #1 sketching place was, (drum roll here...)
#1 India - Just the most amazing place to visit. These are my sketches of the Taj Mahal and also some of the tombs in Lodi Gardens, New Delhi.