Friday, December 28, 2012

Trainspotting at San Pablo Bay

We had a glorious day enjoying the vistas of San Pablo Bay, in the vicinity of Pinole. Railroad tracks follow the coastline here, so Keith was able to watch trains while I painted - a perfect combination! The scenery is just stunning and well worth the drive.

Sitting on the platform at Martinez Station was interesting. It seemed totally dead and quiet with no-one around. Then a train pulled in and suddenly I was surrounded by hordes of people all wheeling suitcases. I was so absorbed in my painting that I have no idea if they got off the train, or if they emerged from some warm waiting room to catch the train!

Los Gatos Old Town

This was the last SCVWS paintsite of the year. Parking was devilish difficult - as you would expect a few days before Christmas! The shops looked very inviting though, and I was enthralled by the reflections and mannequins.
It was breezy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Stanford Quad, Saturday Dec 15th

Stanford Notice Board in the rain
Brrr, another chilly day for painting outdoors, but the Stanford Quad has copious paintable views so it was worth braving the weather. I plunked myself down at the first available spot and began immediately sketching the meditating group of people in front of me. It didn't turn out as well as I hoped, so then I moved on to a view of the statues on the approach to the quad. I gave up the pens and just sketched freely with the brush and monochromatic paint to try and capture the lights and darks, and drama of the poses. It was a bit tricky as the paint dried so slowly - you really needed several paintings to work on at once, otherwise you were tempted to go back into still wet paint - and therein lies disaster!

We had a warming respite in the cafeteria over lunch, and enjoyed the yummy chocolates Rajit brought along to share. Then back out into the cold - and now rain! I was intent on going home, but the notice board grabbed me on the way out and I had to paint it. I got a decent view of it from a fairly sheltered doorway. Returning to the car I had to carry my sketchbook under a towel because the paint was still well and I didn't want the rain to wash it off.
Meditation in the Quad

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Wilder Ranch, Santa Cruz

Workers in the fields

We had a nice mix of sunshine and clouds for our visit to Wilder Ranch. (caught a glimpse of the sea from the parking lot, but didn't have time to walk over there!) I had the most productive paintsite ever, doing four scribbly drawings and three little paintings.
People brought a great mix of yummy desserts to share so we were able to pig out at lunchtime. What fun!

Our little group of painters

The smithy

Rusty baler in the field
Horses at Wilder Ranch (I need some new pens, these are drying up!)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Joseph Grant Park, San Jose

What a great day. The rain stayed off long enough for us to do some painting and get in an exciting little hike! We saw some wild boar (a "sounder" I think is the collective term). There were quite a few of them and they can move surprisingly quickly - certainly scared the heck out of us! What a mess they make too, roto-tilling huge areas of the park in their search for food. Their little piggy footprints were everywhere.