Thursday, May 28, 2009

DockTown Marina

I spent a glorious morning (breezy 70F) painting at the Docktown Marina in Redwood City. There is an interesting selection of odd buildings, moored boathouses, boats, and marina views.
I was just about to set up and paint the boats, when I noticed this wonderful collection of propane tanks. The light and shadows on them were great so I was very enthused. Most of the shadows changed/disappeared as I was painting so it was a challenge to capture. This is where cameras come in so handy - if only I could remember to take mine! I stood up to do this - and should have got the easel from my car (silly!)Next, I liked the look of the Peninsula Yacht Club building, with its water tank. This was fun to do, and I got to sit in the shade which was a blessing. This picture now appears on the Yacht Club website -""
On the drive to the site I'd seen some wonderful hoppers at a granite crunching place. So, after everyone else had left I set off down the street to see if I could get a view of them. Typically the only place which had a view was surrounded by a fence and guarded by a fierce dog (who sounded like he would definitely eat me if I got close). I had to settle for the view at the truck entrance to the facility - not ideal, but better than nothing. There were some very interesting noises in there, but I couldn't see what was going on.
All in all, a fun day's painting.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Alamaden Lake Park, San Jose

Alamaden Lake Park is a serene little park with a view of the surrounding mountains. Today the weather was picture perfect. The geese were parading around with their goslings and I started by trying to sketch them - not easy as they are continuously moving, and my brush pen sketches are a little tentative.

A young woman with two small girls tottered over in shorts and high heels to feed the geese, and before long geese came from far and wide to enjoy the feast. It was funny to watch the interaction. Any time the geese got too close to her children the mother shoed them back and flung the bits of bread farther away, likewise if any underling geese got too many bits of bread the "boss"goose shoed them away with much wing flapping and beak snapping.
I did a couple of watercolors of the trees and scenery, which I wasn't happy with.
Then I went back to sketching the geese, which were sleeping nearby. Much easier to draw sleepy geese!

Festive Garden

These sketches are from last week's venue - a private garden. We had a record turnout for plein air painters and it was quite a festive atmosphere. There were so many little vignettes of flowers, plants, statues, sculptures etc it was hard to know where to start. I only did two sketches, but I was really happy with the second one.
Thanks to Anna, who not only provided the venue but supplied us with lemonade and snacks!