Friday, March 22, 2013

Kirk Farrington house and garden, San Jose

This is a lovely italianate style house built in the late 1800's. It is surrounded by gorgeous peony gardens which were just coming into bloom. We had another great turnout of 20 artists from SCVWS.

Marilyn painting in the garden - view from the gazebo

Thiebaud Inspired

Thiebaud inspired landscape #3

Sue and I have been looking at the work of Wayne Thiebaud and getting inspired by his landscapes and use of perspective. In order to understand his work we decided to copy of one of his paintings. The one I picked to copy was originally an oil painting 72 x 72 inches. My copy was in watercolor and a mere 19 inches square. That difference in scale and media creates a lot of problems on its own! I didn't think I had learned much - but decided to try painting in his style from one of my own plein air sketches. This was a little more instructional.
Then I took a break to make a cuppa, and BINGO! I looked out of my dining room window onto the perfect Thiebaud landscape! I immediately got out my sketchbook and started drawing. Suddenly I was able to think more clearly about exaggerating perspective and simplifying shapes. The view went from being impossibly complex, to something I could manipulate as I desired. Thank you Thiebaud!
My copy of Thiebaud's "Y River"
Thiebaud influence #1

Thiebaud influence #2

Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles National Park made a great recent day trip with some friends. We explored the Bear Gulch Caves and pretty much had the place to ourselves (the benefit of going on a weekday!) The caves are fun and going up to the reservoir at the top is a surprise. I loved the way the rocks created the caves and there are some amazing views of big rocks perched impossibly overhead. I was seeing faces and creatures in all the rock formations - must have been something I ate!
I managed a quick sketch of some of the rocks at the reservoir, then sketched a few more from the parking lot.

Update - Calero Reservoir skies

 Its been a busy 5 weeks since my last posting - so here's an update. These paintings are from the plein air trip to Calero Reservoir. I tried to paint those darn trees on the hills so many times without them looking like green caterpillars or blobs - and I still haven't figured it out! The skies were fun to do though.
One highlight was the coyote who nonchalantly walked by our group as if we weren't there! You do get to see some fun stuff when you are quiet and still.