Friday, October 19, 2012

Pau Hua Buddhist Temple, San Jose

A quiet sanctuary with incense in the air and monks in the garden. The bright colors in the temple decorations and offerings were a feast for the eyes. What a lovely place for worship and contemplation.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Wildwood Park, Saratoga - Mixing Grays

A gray day for mixing grays! We did a special on "grayed color" today and spent some time experimenting with mixing beautiful gray colors on the palette and on the paper. I found I had the most success by mixing primaries on the palette to make a neutral gray, putting that on my paper and then adding a little pure color (more red, or blue etc) to liven it up. Like our "mixing greens" special it made you think more carefully when you were painting about exactly what colors you wanted to use, rather than dabbing randomly into the palette and hoping for the best! I rediscovered Ultramarine Blue, and Raw Sienna, which I haven't used in a while! Having no green or purple in my palette I worked harder to get the complementary mixes for gray, but it was a lot of fun seeing the color mixes other people got.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Jose Higuera Adobe, Milpitas

Jose Higuera Adobe, Milpitas

This is a great little place that has a history going back to the Spanish in the early 1800's. The trees and cacti are historic, allegedly planted in the 1830's. There are some cattle usually roaming around the hillsides and on the day we were there some turkeys were struttin' their stuff in the grounds.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Santa Cruz Harbor Thursday Sept 25th 2012

Aldo's Restaurant, Santa Cruz HarborCrane

Santa Cruz Harbor has a lot of views to offer. I started with Aldo's Restaurant, then some birds and finished up with some boat bits and a crane. A fun day out.


Here are my sketches from a recent trip to Kyoto, Japan.
 This is at Kiyomizudera Temple, Kyoto. A wonderful temple up in the hills. We approached it through a beautiful mausoleum with thousands of gravestones huddled together on the hillsides. This was my first sketch, done in high heat and humidity.

 Two views of Nijo Castle, which was across the road from our hotel.  This fortified home of the Shogun had "Nightingale" floors which squeaked as you walked on them so that no assassins could creep up on the Shogun! The top sketch is the entrance gate. Where I sat to paint that was mosquito heaven and I got eaten alive.
 Fushimi Inari Shrine. I visited this beautiful shrine in the rain. These lovely Torii gates create an orange corridor up hill through the trees. At this spot I set up my stool and huddled under my umbrella with my backpack between my knees, sketchbook on lap and palette and brush in hand. It was very tricky to balance everything - not having enough hands! At that point I realized my water was still in my pack, so I stuck my palette out in the rain and tilted the umbrella to get more. Its surprising how much water you need to paint with! This was a lovely spot, peaceful, with colors, orange green, black, and the gentle dripping rain. A couple passing by looked at me in amazement - probably thought I was crazy.
Heian Garden - less is more

Heian Jingu Shrine, Kyoto. The roof were very complex. The dragon is a water fountain.

Heian Garden covered bridge
 These three sketches were done at the Heian Jingu Shrine. When I sat to paint the covered bridge above lots of Japanese ladies kept stopping to see what I was doing. I didn't understand much of what they said, but they were all very friendly and admired my sketchbook.
This last little sketch is the Ebisugawa Bridge over a little walking path and stream that ran alongside the main road in front of the hotel. Again the mosquitos got me - despite wearing tons of insect repellant. This was a popular spot for dog walkers and joggers.