Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chinese Lions

Its the beginning of the Chinese New Year, and what better to paint than the Chinese cultural gardens at Overfelt park. I have tried to paint the wonderful Taiwanese gate in the park several times without success, so this time I focused on one of the lions alongside the steps of the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. We had a good turnout of six people today and a couple of Chinese women came by and looked at our paintings. They asked if we knew whether the lions were male or female. We didn't know so they told us that the male was the one with his paw on a ball. The other (the one I was painting) was female and had her paw on a baby lion. The baby doesn't look like much in my painting, but it didn't look much like a baby lion in the sculpture either!

My initial sketch of the lion:
In a strange upside down weather event it was warm and sunny when we started painting and got progressively colder and foggier as the day wore on. The park was filled with blossom though, so it was a wonderful day to be out painting.

A quick color study of the blossom etc through the trees.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Carmelite Monastery

We had fun skies today. Rain threatened, but stayed away long enough for us to do a little painting. This Catholic monastery was consecrated in 1917 and is the home of "cloistered discalced nuns". I had to look up discalced - it means nuns who go barefoot or wear sandals. Who knew there was a special word for that? I now have a romantic picture of barefoot nuns picking olives in the garden.The monastery buildings are very beautiful, and therefore very challenging to draw and paint. I am always attracted to palm trees so I was very torn between the two here. Parts of my palm tree came out quite well, but I think I most enjoyed using some different colors for sky for a change!