Friday, March 22, 2013

Kirk-Farrington House, San Jose, March 21, 2013

The first full day of Spring found a score of eager plein air painters swarming around the Kirk-Farrington house and gardens.     Although only a few of the over 160 herbaceous and tree peonies for which the garden is famous were in bloom, many of us were drawn to them -- just as they drew the native bees living in the garden.     Other equally attractive subjects were the 1878 house itself, a wisteria covered gazebo, and the formal rose garden with a gazing globe.   Too much to paint in one session!

For information about the house and gardens, see:

Note:  The peonies should be in full bloom starting in a week or so followed by the roses --- well worth a look-see if you're in the neighborhood.

Leslie Grimm 
This giant bloom grew on a 70 year old Chinese Tree Peony plant.  With the perfect weather today I thought there'd be no problems painting it in plein air, only to discover that the blossom opened up more as the sun shown, changing the shapes and lighting before my eyes!   Leslie

Laurie Barna
 It was great to see such a large crowd at our paintsite today--lovely weather, and nature's "aromatherapy" and mellow honeybees set the mood.     Laurie

Anna Jacke

Liz Siegel (watercolor pencil)

Caroline Garbarino
I painted the doorway because I wanted Dorothy Farrington to come out and invite us in for tea. (My only excuse is too much "Downton Abbey.")  This wonderful adventure was all too short.  Thanks again, Caroline

Mary Paquet
I was drawn to the front of the house where two stately Magnolia's welcomed visitors who entered the gate and approached the front door.    Mary

Brad Santos

Even partially hidden from the street behind two huge ancient Magnolias, the perfect proportions of the house are evident.   It's only when one gets closer that the wonderful detail and craftsmanship can be appreciated.   Brad

Sylvia Waddell
This was a lovely painting experience with a great turnout - 20 painters! The house and garden were just a feast for the senses.  Sylvia

Jenny Tero
A perfect day for painting outdoors, sunny but not at all hot.  The garden held lots of promise for glorious blooms later in the season, but the wisteria was ahead of them all. Jenny

Marilyn Perry
What a gorgeous garden!  I allowed time to just sit in the gazebo and appreciate the beauty. Marilyn

Monday, March 18, 2013

Picchetti Winery, Cupertino, March 16, 2013

Above the still fog enshrouded valley floor, the old Picchetti homestead and winery was clear, bright and sunny.   We initially had the picnic area adjacent to the old barns and tasting room to ourselves but by noon were joined by a number of young families with lots of small children.   Running (and falling), climbing (and falling), the children were a delight to observe as they gave such energy to the scene which went from serenely antique to whirlingly alive and youthful.   What's even better is that the children were such appreciative critics of our paintings.

For more information about the Picchetti Winery and the Open Space Preserve, check out:

Saturday Plein Air Painters
Laurie Barna

Brad Santos

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Calero County Park, March 7, 2013

The Calero Lake paintout was one of those days when Mother Nature couldn't decide if it was a Winter or a Spring day.    We had Winter skies: cold, mostly grey, sometimes blustery, and occasionally threatening with some wonderful cloud formations boiling up over the hills.  But a decidedly Spring landscape with bright green hillsides, early oaks leafing out, even a wary coyote checking out what these early-in-the-season humans were up to.     And a bonus - a sundog ---- fun to observe but certainly difficult to paint!

For more information about Calero County Park, check out:

Note - there is a parking fee for the boat ramp area; parking in the equestrian area is free.

Anna Jacke

Photo by Anna Jacke
Brad Santos
Jenny, just back from Tierra del Fuego, thoughtfully brought some Cape Horn like weather with her to share with the paintout group.    And, like the hearty mariners who braved those frigid latitudes, we not only persevered, we overcame the elements and triumphed.  Brad

Jenny Tero

This was my first attempt.  One advantage of the constant cold wind that was blowing, was that the surface of the water was ruffled up into a steely gray sheet, so we didn't have to mess with reflections - a definite bonus.  Jenny Tero

Jenny Tero
 My fourth version attempted to block in the patches of trees so they didn't look so spotty (inspired by some of our other painters), so I finished up with a more patchwork-like version - time to try this out with fabric!   Jenny Tero 
(May '13 - now it's done, see:

Sylvia Waddell
Another fun day of painting - I loved the skies as the storm clouds went by. Sylvia