Friday, August 28, 2015

Baylands Nature Preserve, Palo Alto. Thursday, August 28, 2015.

A hot August day by the Bay.   (Frightening to think what it would have been like at an inland park!)   But there was a breeze and the tides were with us (the mud flats were basically submerged by late-morning --- hence no mud - either to see or on our paper) so our Bayscapes (if we weren't painting trees or geese) were strictly the multi-hued marsh vegetation 'twixt sky and sea.       Most of us found places in the shade to paint, a few deployed umbrellas for artificial (but adequate shade), while a few proclaimed they weren't afraid of no stinkin' heatstroke and painted in the sun.   (Scroll on to see who those most intrepid (crazy?) artists were.)

For more information about the ever popular Palo Alto Baylands paintsite, see:

Upcoming Paintsites:
  • Thursday, September 3, 2015:  Linda Vista Park, Cupertino
  • Thursday, September 10, 2015:  Private residence on San Mateo County Beach - see website Members Only: Paintsites Details for more information.    Currently "Wait List only".
  • Thursday, September 17, 2015:  Martial Cottle Park, San Jose.  This is a new park and a new Paintsite.   Looks promising.
  • Saturday, September 19, 2015:  Saratoga Farmers Market at West Valley College
  • Thursday, September 24, 2015:  Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor, Santa Cruz.  Followed by post-paintout pot-luck at member's home.  Reservations required for pot-luck - see September Newsletter and the Members Only section on the website.
  • Friday, September 24, 2015:  Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz.   Followed by post-paintout pot-luck at Natural Bridges State Beach .   Reservations required for pot-luck - see the SCVWS September Newsletter and website. 

For additional information and details for all of these events, see the SCVWS website or the September Newsletter.

Note:  unfortunately, many of the photos of paintings were taken in dappled sunlight / shade --- the actual paintings weren't at all splotchy!
Broncha and Cathy - anything missing here?  How about some shade?   "Don't worry", they say, "just paint-on!"

Broncha's painting of the salt marsh, the South Bay, the Dumbarton Bridge and the PG&E power lines and associated cat-walk.

Cathy's painting of the same scene.    It's such a simple sea + landscape but there's so much there.    Cathy has painted here before so knew exactly what she wanted to do.   And she did it.
Melanie focus was a bit south of  Broncha's and Cathy's - same Bay, same salt-marsh, same PG&E lines, same cat-walk; but no bridge.

Dan's painting of the Duck Pond and the far-shore nesting area.

Dan and Candy wrap up the morning with some duck & geese portraits.

Candy's painting of the Duck Pond (or maybe it should be Goose Pond?).

A Canada goose on the pond by Candy.

Three Canada geese, getting closer and closer, by Candy.


Elaine's painting of the Duck Pond looking towards the Palo Alto Airport.  (Note: that sturdy chain - it's absolutely no deterrent to a determined Canada goose.)


Helen's painting of the Duck Pond looking toward the Eco Center where Karen, Sylvia, and Jenny organized a Watercolor Society exhibit last year.   (Notice in this and other paintings that the geese are always coming toward the artist, never going away.)

In search of the perfect Pickleweed for a "botanical" sketch, Leslie hiked waaay out onto a levee.   Pity the poor blog photographer who had to track her down for this photo...

“It was a race with the warm sun and wind drying out my puddles of paint before I could get the brush to the paper!  But it was a treat to have the breeze and the scents of the bay while I painted."    Leslie

Leslie's painting across a salt marsh towards the "Lucy Evans Baylands Nature Interpretive Center".   
Leslie's painting of an egret.  (Note: egrets are "nice" birds: they're beautiful, they keep their distance, and can hold a pose for minutes at a time.)

Dick's painting of the Baylands Nature Interpretive Center.   Leslie's painting was looking south (into the sun), Dick's east.   It's a building with lots of angles and planes - very challenging to draw / paint.   Dick captured it perfectly.

Rich was visited by a fox on the prowl for a duck dinner - not sure who was more startled to see the other, Rich or the fox.

Rich's painting of the Duck Pond.  
Lisha positioned herself back a ways from the Duck Pond to focus on the palms and eucalypti behind the pond.
Lisha's painting of the back of  the nesting area and the slough which wraps around behind the Duck Pond.

Susan and Caroline - a little sketching and a little chatting.
Caroline's painting of the Eco-Center.

Not all the artists had their photos taken this time.  But we did get to see their paintings during the critique....
Janice's painting of the marsh in front of the Eco Center (where the old Palo Alto Yacht Club used to be) towards the landfill.

Brad's painting of the Baylands Ranger Station.

Nora's painting of an enormous and most extraordinary eucalyptus in the Picnic Area.   Even a few square feet of its massive bifurcated trunk could be the subject matter for an interesting and wild painting.
Speaking of "wild" paintings ... 
Karen got warmed up with this trio of  palm trees ...

... then hit her full stride with this painting of the Duck Pond.  (Unfortunately, the photo was taken in the sun and the colors are muted - you should see it in all its glory!)

Tom arrived early and did some serious scouting for his painting ... 
Tom's value sketch #1

Tom's value sketch #2

Tom's value sketch #3

Tom's finished painting of the slough, salt marsh and Coast Range.

Lunch in the Picnic Area next to the Ranger Station.   (photo by Rich)

... still eating.

Lunch over, it's back to work:  critiquing our day's effort.

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