Thursday, August 21, 2014

Gamble Garden, Palo Alto, Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Paintsite we always look forward to visiting, Gamble Garden never disappoints.   And, for such a small garden, we never run out of subject matter.  The formal gardens, the propagation beds, and a personable scarecrow were favorite subjects this time.  And we did justice to all of them.

For more information about Gamble Garden, check their website:
(Note: artists are welcome but do not set up on the bricks or use the picnic tables or raised planters to set your paper on.   Also, take your dirty water with you and please don't clean your brushes in the restrooms.)  

Upcoming Paintsites:
  • Thursday, September 4, 2014:  Syngenta Flowers (formerly known as Goldsmith Seeds), Gilroy
  • Saturday, September 13, 2014:  Downtown Campbell 2nd Saturday Art Walk & live music
  • Thursday, September 18, 2014:  Mt. View Main Library, Mt. View
  • Thursday, September 25, 2014:  Santa Cruz Paintout - Day 1 *
  • Friday, September 26, 2014:  Santa Cruz Paintout - Day 2  *

Check the Watercolor Society website or Newsletter for details.
* Reservations required for post-paintout pot-luck parties

Most of the following paintings are unfinished --- come back again when the finished paintings have been posted.
Nancy was busy recruiting new members .... (Actually the two adorable little girls are her granddaughters)

New member Anita ...
... and, would you believe it, her first ever plein air painting?

Scarecrow says "Leslie, I've got you pinned down.  Paint Me!"

And Leslie obliges ....

Leslie's painting of the not-so-scary Scarecrow
The patches on this whimsical scarecrow have been individually painted by young children, depicting fruits, trees, flowers, airplanes, birds, etc. Very fun!     Leslie

Anna working on her Scarecrow painting .....

Anna's painting of Mr/Ms (?) Scarecrow & friend

Bernie in the Woodland Garden behind the house
Bernie focused on the gorgeous hydrangeas in the foreground - visit again to see the finished painting

Carol in the shady Woodland Garden looking toward the sunny formal Wisteria Garden

Carol's very formal fountain in the Wisteria Garden

Martha in the Formal Herb Garden

Martha's wonderful thistle in the Formal Herb Garden

Yan working in the shadow of the Gabezo

New member Pat tackled the charming but complex little stone grotto fountain

Pat worked large --- be sure to visit again to see the finished painting

Liz contemplating her next brush stroke

Liz's perfect painting of three almost perfect sunflowers - perfect except for the bug eaten leaf.     Is that the culprit on the upper right blossom?

Gamble Gardens Trio
I said, "This day I will paint like Georgia O'Keeffe." Ah, but watercolor has a mind of its own. Dick

The trees were indeed as dramatic against the blue sky as Melanie depicted.
Janice S.
Janice spied a shy pumpkin and its little sibling hiding under leaves and painted them


Gamble Gardens always provides me with a wealth of ideas and inspirations.     My first idea was to paint a giant bunny (topiary) rampaging the gazebo and Palo Alto!     However, I thought I had better practice painting the gazebo first.    And I how can I
resist an orchid?    Thanks for another great vacation, Caroline

Another take on the gazebo - this one by Caroline

The "irresistible" orchids by Caroline

Brad's completed painting of the Formal Herb Garden
I'd painted this same mini-garden several years ago but, as gardens change from day-to-day, let alone year-to-year, only the "bones" were the same and it was a fresh and new subject for me.    Brad

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Saturday August 16, 2014 Gilroy Gardens Gilroy, CA

What a perfect day for fun and painting at Gilroy Gardens. Twelve plein air artists arrived in the cool morning air to check in with the Gardens staff at the HR building. We entered the park and ventured in all directions to find the perfect spot. Many got caught up in the excitement of the park and enjoyed the facilities during the paint-out.  Special thanks to Marianne and the Garden staff for hosting us on a special day.








For this painting I took a "safe" approach and painted something recognizable.    Lovely and serene (the vegetation, rocks and water features -- not the painting), and challenging enough but not at all exciting.    My second effort was pretty daring - for me at least - submerged and partially submerged, lichen covered rocks, short water drops, swiftly running water with swirling string algae, and a few identifiable plants growing out of crevasses in the rocks.    Next time we go back, I'll give that same subject another shot.    Brad

Friday, August 8, 2014

Rosicrucian Museum, SanJose, Thursday, August 7, 2014

Not unfortunately, the string of hot, humid days which had San Jose sweltering and sweating as though it was Cairo, and which might have made for a more authentically "Egyptian" experience for the Paintout, ended on Wedneday and the weather was absolutely perfect on Thursday.   Not that anybody was disappointed as we stayed cool and had a wonderful day painting some of the buildings, fountains, and statues at this most interesting and unique venue.     Another good thing is that there's plenty more to discover and paint the next time we visit.

For more information about the Rosicrucian Museum visit: 

Upcoming Paintsites:
  • Saturday, August 16, 2014:  Gilroy Gardens Artists Access Day - contact Dick Zunkel at to make a reservation for free admission to the Gardens for participating artists
  • Thursday, August 21, 2014: Gamble Garden, Palo Alto
For full details, see the Watercolor Society August Newsletter


Here we are at work, cool & focused, perfect in every way.   Most of the paintings, however, are unfinished.    Also additional paintings will be submitted later - come visit again. 



As always, lots to paint!    Had to really work on values with so much white in the subject matter.   Anna

Broncha's painting of  cactus

As you look beyond the eyes of the sphinx, you will see the light of  learning shining from the library window.     The sphinx will not divulge the answers -- you have to find them on your own in the world's largest metaphysical library of the oldest of mystery schools.  The rose and cross symbolize the union of matter and spirit.   Caroline

Caroline's painting of the fountain


Chris's painting of rear of Planetarium

Dick's painting

Yan (Dick's better half)

Helen & Lisha painting the spectacular tile fountain which was the most popular subject

Helen's painting of the shady side of the fountain

Lisha's painting - also of the shady side of the fountain

Cathy and Alwyn (that's him peeking out of the top of the backpack)

Cathy's painting of corners - of the fountain and of one of the impressive buildings

Liz & Melanie (happily working in the sun!)
Liz's completed painting of the sunny side of the fountain

Melanie's painting - also of the sunny side of the fountain

First time Paintsite-ers Tom & Judith

Judith is an experienced journaler

Tom's painting of the fountain

Sylvia's value sketches

Sylvia's painting of the fountain


John's painting of the fountain

Marilyn's painting of the Research Library


Brad's painting of Thutmosis III (1505 - 1450 BC)

Amazing tree with exact amount of shade required to cover all of us during lunch & the  critique

Unidentified first time plein air painter - you can tell "first-timer" by the grimace and rigid arms