Sunday, July 20, 2014

Menlo Park Caltrain Station, Saturday July 19, 2014

The weather was perfect for plein-air painting. Few people were on the platform making an ideal opportunity for life drawing sketches. The nearby street fair presented no parking issues at the station.

Uma and Son
"We had the best summer weather while we painted at Menlo Park Station. It was warm, but not under shade; a light breeze blew and brought with it the music from a nearby street fair. When painting got a bit taxing, I turned to sketching. A demure lady sat on our bench and became a model until the train 430 arrived." Uma

Platform by Uma

Life drawing portrait by Uma



When I start a painting I often overlook the complexity of the subject. About a half-hour into this work I thought, "Why am I doing this?" That's when it's time to stop sketching and start painting.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Rengstorff House, Mt. View, Thursday, July 17, 2014

Horrible, horrible traffic on all the freeways leading to Mt.View!   (Probably engineered by  an anti-Watercolor Society --- they are so jealous of us.)    But that didn't stop us from settling in for a perfect day's painting at the Rengstorff House at Shoreline Park in Mt. View.    The house itself was the big draw but some of us were equally drawn to the old pump house and windmill.

For more information about the Rengstorff House, see:

Upcoming Paintsites:
  • Thursday, July 31, 2014:  Hike & Sketch:   Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge, Fremont
The Watercolor Society website and the July newsletter have the complete details.

Here we are (note plein air therapy at work:  all smiles, brush in hand, residual road rage tension melts away) ...

Yan & Kaaren



Cathy & Melanie



Helen & Lisha


Mary P.

Mary R.
New member Nancy - first Paintsite adventure

Nancy T.


Dick & Yan
 Paintings of the main house:

Melanie's finished painting of the main house


Liz's finished painting of the Rengstorff House

 Some details of the house:

Caroline Garbarino

  the pump house and the windmill:

Beautiful day painting with friends and a nice place to recover from horrible commute traffic on 101. I was drawn to the pump house and windmill. I loved that you could order this windmill from Montgomery Wards for $42.50 in the Thirties.      Mary P.

"When the going gets tough, the tough paint details."

 Our work completed, still smiling, it's time to evaluate our day.  (And eat lunch.):

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Allied Arts Guild, Menlo Park,Thursday, July 3, 2014

Allied Arts isn't "grand" or "elegant" in the fashion of Villa Montalvo or the like but it is an extremely comfortable and engaging paintsite -- which is, since it was created in the 1920's by artists for artists, exactly what it was intended to be:  a "happy" place for artists.   And, the years having added to its charm, still is.      We found plenty to paint and even more than usual to "share" during the critique --- we belonged there!

For more information about Allied Arts, check out their website 
Visit sometime and be sure to bring your painting supplies - you'll want to sit and paint

Upcoming Paintsites not to be missed:
  • Thursday, July 17, 2014:  Rengstorff House (Shoreline Park), Mt. View
  • Saturday, July 19, 2014:  Menlo Park Caltrain Station  (bonus: the Menlo Park Connoisseurs'  Marketplace is held that day in downtown Menlo Park just blocks from the Station)
  • Thursday, July 31, 2014:  Hike & Sketch:   Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge, Fremont
 The Watercolor Society website and July newsletter have the complete details.    Watch for the special reminder from Dick for the Menlo Park Caltrain Station Paintout.

Here we are and here's what we painted (note, many are "works in progress" - check back later to see the finished paintings.)

Bonnie opted for the keen perspective of the garden path in the Rose Allee

The Court of Abundance (the Yellow Garden) --- an aptly named paintsite ...
John & Mary P.

John's painting #1 of the fountain in the Court of Abundance (under construction - the painting, not the fountain)

Mary P.'s painting of the Court of Abundance (the little chimney, or whatever it is, with its interesting shadows was a favorite subject.   As was the fountain in the foreground)


Lisha's painting of the Court of Abundance (see, there's the chimney again.  And the fountain too.)

Marilyn's painting of the fountain in the Court of Abundance


Nancy's painting of  the Court of Abundance; sans fountain (would you believe she's only been a plein air painter for just over a month?   A quick study for sure!)

Liz's finished painting of the Court of Abundance and the fountain
Caroline's painting
The courtyard I painted is full of memories of a happy gig and so I packed all the symbolism possible into this little painting.     Thank you for the opportunity to step out of the bounds of my everyday reality, Caroline

Another painting of the Court of Abundance - this one is Brad's

Mary R.

Mary R.'s first painting - another fountain - but a different one
Mary R.'s 2nd painting - a Secret Garden fountain dreamscape

Melanie (the artist) and her sister (the reader)

Melanie went for these enormous glazed vases on the steps leading to the Garden of Delight (the Blue Garden - you have to see the hydrangeas to believe them!)


Leonard found this giant blue glazed vase irresistible

Sylvia's little corner scene captured the essence of Allied Arts - the architecture, the flowers, the Portola Art Gallery
John's painting #2 - the archway leading into the Court of  Abundance with the Archway Building in the background


Susan's view of the Archway Building from the entry terrace

Rich's 1st painting in the Workshop / Barn area

Rich's 2nd painting of the arch in the Archway Building (in the background) --- with some artists (including Susan & Caroline) at work to complete the scene.