Saturday, June 21, 2014

Rancho Canada Del Oro - Saturday, June 21, 2014

The parking lot was nearly full... with hikers. The trails from Rancho Canada Del Oro are spectacular, and it was an unseasonably cool day, perfect for hiking and painting. Our plein air artists decided to stick with the lowlands rather than attempt a "Hike and Sketch."




Vasona Lake County Park, Los Gatos, Thursday, June 19, 2014

Normally, wherever the Paintsites group assembles we're the undisputed 'stars' of the day and having more fun than would be legal in some states.   (If you don't believe that, just ask one of us!)    At Vasona, however, I admit that the swarms of young "day campers" were involved in so many activities and having so much fun cycling, kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing, etc. that it's possible that they were having more fun than we were.   (How much fun?  Enough that Leslie considered putting her paints away and renting a boat and joining them.)    So, watching the kids, we had lots to laugh about but still found time to throw enough paint on paper to come up with some fine paintings.      (Possibly the highlite of the day was the young camp counselor that wanted to give up his day job and become John's agent --- good taste in one so young --- see if you don't agree.)

For additional information about this wonderful local resource, see:
(Note, the website doesn't state the fact that parking is $6.00 / vehicle)

Upcoming paintouts:
  • Thursday, July 3, 2014:   Allied Arts, Menlo Park
  • Thursday, July 17, 2014:   Rengstorff House, Mt. View
  • Saturday, July 19, 2014:   Menlo Park Caltrain Station  (bonus: the Menlo Park Connoisseurs'  Marketplace is held that day in downtown Menlo Park)
  • Thursday, July 31, 2014:  Hike & Sketch:   Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge, Fremont
As always, check the Watercolor Society website and July Newsletter for details.

The handsome red steel arched bridge, the lake, the distant Coast Range, boats & boaters, and lots of Canada Geese gave us a wealth of subject matter from which to choose ...
Candy's painting


Cathy's painting (showing only a few geese)


Jane's painting (with a few more geese)

Jane's sketch of bridge (more geese)

John (and his would-be agent in the background)

John's painting #1 (finished)

John's painting #2 (surprise - more geese)


Leslie's painting #1 (yet more geese)

Leslie's painting #2 (note one of the paddle boats she was eyeing)


Lisha's painting of stand-up paddle boarder


Marilyn's painting (trying a new technique - very successful)


Mary's painting #1

Mary's painting #2


Melanie's painting #1

Melanie's painting #2 (unfinished)  - the geese are back!

Pat's painting 


Rich's painting #1

Rich's painting #2
Caroline's drawing

Dick's morning's work is done --- so it's ....

time for lunch

lunch done, it's time for the critique
photo by Yan

Friday, June 6, 2014

Hidden Villa, Los Altos Hills, Thursday, June 5, 2014

Combine an absolutely perfect Summer day; a wonderful site with as varied a range of subject matter as we're likely to find anywhere in the Bay Area; and a sizable group of talented artists (many of whom are recent converts to plein air painting --- but you couldn't tell that by their work) and you'd expect to get exactly what we got --- a bunch of smiles and fine paintings & sketches.

For additional information about Hidden Villa and the Duvenecks and their extraordinary social and environmental activism, see:

Upcoming Watercolor Society paintouts:
  •  Thursday, June 19, 2014:   Vasona Lake County Park, Los Gatos
  •  Saturday, June 21, 2014:  Rancho Canada Oro Open Space Preserve, Morgan Hill
  •  Thursday, July 3, 2014:  Allied Arts, Menlo Park
  •  Thursday, July 17, 2014:  Rengstorff House, Mt. View
Some of us chose to paint the Duveneck House ...
Katherine & Sylvia (Katherine, listen to mom - she knows best)

Sylvia's sketch

I had two top models accidentally pose for me. Thanks for the much-needed adventure beauty of Hidden Villa.    Caroline


Leonard's painting


Rich's painting (1 )   (keep going for #2 & #3)


Leslie's painting (1) (keep going for #2 & #3)

Melanie's painting 

Brad's painting
Liz's painting of the house (keep going for her painting of the Dogwood in the Duveneck garden)

...  While others chose to paint some of the handsome trees in the Duveneck's garden ...
Sarah's painting
Leslie's sketch (2)

  ... Or the spectacular Dogwood tree specimen  ...
Liz and the big Dogwood
Liz's painting of the Dogwood

...  While others found the large White Barn an equally worthy subject ...
Jane's painting (1)

Jane's painting (2)


Kaaren's painting

Rich's painting (2)
Although Rich has been a member of the Watercolor Society for a number of years, he only recently tackled plein air painting --- with a vengeance.   Keep going to see Rich's 3rd painting  - his choice for his best of the day.

... The Old Farm House (late 19th Century) was another popular subject...
(Most of us positioned ourselves in the shade --- not Cathy!   Note the improvised foot protection from the sun --- are we a tough, resourceful crowd or what?)

Kathy's painting - well worth the pain!

Lisha's painting

Marilyn's painting

Nancy - giving plein air painting a try

... Or the old farm out-buildings ...
I had a great adventure painting at Hidden Villa.  The lush foliage, flowers, gardens and the voices of happy children were uplifting.  This year I have scaled back my plein air gear to a small watercolor journal.  It makes painting more fun knowing I can produce several small pieces at every outing.  Hope we can return to Hidden Villa during Autumn.     Anna

 Don't ever say Anna can't see both sides of a topic....
Anna's painting - potting shed side 1

Anna's painting - potting shed side 2

Iris's painting


Dick's painting
... And finally, some old farm equipment ...
Lelie's sketch (3)

Rich's sketch (3)
My last sketch of the day. Probably my best!    Rich