Thursday, December 4, 2014

Teaser for our "Mother/Daughter" Open Studio!

This is just some of my artwork which will be on display Saturday for my first Open Studio!  I'm very excited - especially as some wonderful people have actually said they will come! Yay - THANKYOU!! :)
I have already sold one painting but I have lots more work to show and Kat, my daughter, will have her lovely posters and cuddly crafts on display too.  I think we'll put on a good show.  See you there!

Murphy Street, Sunnyvale

Another great day plein air painting, this time on Murphy Street in Sunnyvale.  We arrived before the stores had really opened so it was fairly quiet, although the wonderful aromas from all the restaurants had my stomach growling before I even started painting!  Above is my view before stores opened, below is the same view after they opened.  My second painting was much quicker, looser and more fun (for me anyway!)  I loved the mannequins that the Isobella Boutique put out on the street.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Open Studio in December!

It's been 10 years since I last did an open studio, but I've been painting a lot this year so I've decided it's time!  My super talented daughter, Kat will also display her work.  So come along and see what we've been up to this year.
You are welcome at my house on Saturday December 6th, 11am - 5pm.  Look out for an email from me with details.

Clos Le Chance Winery, San Martin, in the rain

Rust colored vines, moist gray clouds
Fermenting grapes season the air
This is a gorgeous spot, even in the rain!  The weather couldn't make up it's mind - rainy, cloudy, rainy, oh sun for one minute, then rainy again... the trials of plein air.  My sketch below was the first one, which mother nature decided to have a heavy hand in! Raindrops really took over and it looks for all the world like I threw a ton of salt on it!

Santa Theresa Park

Sketches from a hike last week at Santa Theresa.  The clouds threatened rain, but it held off and just gave me some misty hills to paint.  This park is great for hiking and getting different views, but its rather rocky underfoot so I was glad I wore boots.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Veggies at Ardenwood Historic Farm

Yet another perfect plein air painting day.  Ardenwood is a great place to capture pumpkins (above), but I was firstly drawn to the sweeping lines of lettuce and cabbage as I drove in.  The colors were very striking and I tried to keep them as simple as possible in my painting. I really wanted a much longer piece of paper.  I have recently been painting on a 18 x 36 inch canvas and that extreme landscape size was what I needed here. Brad had the right idea working across two pages in his sketchbook!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Moffett Air Field

There's always something interesting going on at Moffett Field.  Yesterday there was some firefighting practice behind Hangar #1.  Flames, smoke, pour on the hoses... then do it all over again some minutes later.  We don't usually see such drama at our paintsites!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Acrylic landscapes

I have spent a couple of days in the studio working over some old paintings and making some new ones. Every now and then I get very frustrated with watercolor so I switch back to acrylics for a change. The painting above is from a photo and memory of Don Edwards Nature Reserve looking across at the Coyote Hills. Worked mostly wet in wet with brush and palette knife.
This painting is a poured piece with additional brush/palette knife work.  It's been in my studio for a long time and started out life as something very different.  It finally told me what it wanted to be! There are two poured layers on it and some different gel mediums for texture.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Syngenta Flowers, Gilroy

 Another lovely spot to paint.  The rows of flowers provided a gorgeous sweep of color leading into the distance.  I'm too impatient to paint individual flowers so I just went for a general feeling of color. 

Later I decided to sketch the corn, as it has such interesting long wavy leaves.

After lunch I this view of the flowers and various greenhouses caught my eye so I stayed to paint another quick one in my sketchbook.

Oracle Buildings

I had lunch with my daughter the other day and she works close to the Oracle buildings so I did some sketching while I was there.  Its a lovely spot for walking and enjoying the views.

Hike and Sketch Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge

I've been very remiss about posting on my blog so this is another catchup session.  Here are sketches I did on our recent Hike and Sketch at the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge.  This was always one of my favorite places but I had never hiked here before.  I really enjoyed the hike and the beautiful views.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Snooker and Bones

I was just in Boston and New Jersey and managed some sketching.  Above are wall decorations at the club where my husband and son played snooker!

Snooker gesture sketches.

The next day I visited the Harvard Natural History Museum and drew some skulls and fossil skeletons.  The museum has some wonderful things on display including glass flowers, which it is famous for, and now glass sea creatures including models of octopus, jellyfish, sea cucumbers, etc.
Bighorn Sheep, stuffed and skeleton

Kronosaurus - 42 foot long pleisiosaur, from Australia.  Wouldn't like to have met one of those! Chomp, chomp!

Glyptodon - cousin to the armadillo - but MUCH larger - like 2 tons!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Beautiful Oregon

Last week I visited Sue in Ashland, Oregon, and had a wonderful time hiking and painting on Mt Ashland.  Sunshine, blue skies, and millions of wildflowers of every description... it was paradise!
Above, is the plein air sketch I did.

We worked in Sue's studio the following day from our sketches and imagination.  Mt Shasta was large in my mind, so I made it bigger on the paper! We were trying to work in a loose, washy style.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Sketches from the San Francisco Zoo

Indian Rhino - minus his horn

Maribu Stork and Zebras
Sketching animals is such a wonderful challenge as they don't often keep still unless they are asleep.  We sketched with pen, then broke out the watercolors and I really enjoyed drawing with the brush.  I used an Escoda 20 round which has a great point and will make the finest lines and hold lots of paint.

I felt bad for the Maribu Stork, who is a rather ugly fellow and all the kids squealed with horror to look at him.  Certainly he has a face only a mother could love, but I liked him because he was so curiously odd looking.
This tiger was asleep - so we thought we could get away with painting him - but no he wakes up as soon as the paints are out and moves away!

We watched the giraffes being fed, then moved on to sketching the gorillas, which are one of my favorite animals

The kangaroos were all sleeping when we got to them - some of them just lounging on their backs!

The hippo (Brian Wilson) was the star of the day - just doing all sorts of fun things to entertain the crowd.  He loved to show off his big teeth!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Bottoms up at the Berryessa Library

I was in the mood for more plein air when I went home today, so I stopped at the Berryessa Library and did a little sketch of the pond and foothills.  The ducks were all bobbing bottoms up, and a little boy was running around shouting "Aflac"  (the power of advertising!)This library has a  lovely park and beautiful views of the hills. Well worth painting again on bigger paper - and hopefully doing a better job!

Hidden Villa

Hidden Villa
The hidden villa, at Hidden Villa! I decided to just do bits of it in my sketchbook.
View looking the other direction
Teepees and kale

Alum Rock Park Hike and Sketch

I have always loved this little stone bridge by the mineral springs.  Its like something from a fairy story - I expect a troll to appear from underneath.  Here was a school party looking for funnel web spiders - I hope they didn't see any! 
A fitting end to our reign as paintsite coordinators.  Brad brought coffee and pastries, the weather was perfect, and we had the best turnout ever for a hike and sketch with 16 participants - amazing!  Jenny and I were thrilled.
This was right before our lunch stop. Getting down at creek level was perfect.

A 5 minute sketch sat in the blistering sun!  The view from the South Rim trail was amazing, but it was way too hot to sit in the sun for any longer than 5 minutes so it was a case of splash on some paint and hope for the best.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Chitactac Adams Heritage County Park, Gilroy

 Ohlone structures at the park- built from Tule Reeds
This park is new to me, so I was pleased to be able to join the Saturday Paintsites group here.  I was fascinated by the Ohlone structures built of Tule Reeds.  I talked to the docent there and she told me they take many hours of work to weave the tule and put it all together.  The object in the center of the painting, which looks like a large basket, is a granary.  It would normally have a top on it, but that hasn't been finished yet.  The Ohlone people would keep acorns in it, layering them with bay leaves to keep the bugs away.  Close by are enormous rocks with many hollows where the women would grind the acorns to make flour or meal.  The docent also told me that the settlement that existed here was a meeting point for surrounding tribes who would come from far and wide to the dances held in the village. As I sat in the shade and painted I tried to imagine what life would have been like back then.  I thought about putting some people in my painting, but I think it has a poignancy with their absence.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Memorial Park, Cupertino

Memorial Park

Not as sweltering a day as expected - but pretty hot all the same!  With our drought conditions Cupertino are not filling the ponds here this year, so the view was baking concrete. There were a couple of ducks waddling about wondering what had happened to their home, poor things. However, with a little painterly magic, hey presto, water and reflections! If only it were this easy to really conjure up H2O.