Friday, March 4, 2016

Saratoga Heritage Orchard, Saratoga. Thursday, March 3, 2016.

The National Weather Service said there'd be showers. said there'd be showers.  We said: "bring 'em on, we're going painting anyway!".    Turned out that it didn't rain or shower so our resolve was never really tested.  But there were misty clouds hanging over the Coast Range which reminded us of what might have been --- and which gave us a nice atmospheric contrast with the dark hillsides.
Our plan had been to paint the apricots (the largest section of the orchard) in bloom but they'd finished blooming weeks earlier.  (Seems like we go earlier every year but it's not been early enough the last few years - maybe we'll schedule it for the end of January next year.)  Still, it was fun to get out in the orchard and paint even if it was just some of the old trees sans blossoms and with the first leaves appearing.   For those of us who absolutely had to paint fruit trees in bloom, the plums and flowering crabapples were in bloom and they were still a few individual apricot blossoms to paint close-focus or at least get a feel for what the orchard had looked like a few weeks earlier.   So most everybody went home happy.    And dry.

Upcoming Paintsites:
  • Thursday, March 10, 2016:   Calero CP, San Jose.  Hike & Sketch or Sit & Paint.
  • Thursday, March 17, 2016:   Stanford University Quad and Sculptures, Palo Alto.
  • Thursday, March 24, 2016:  Santa Clara Mission, Santa Clara.
  • Thursday, March 31, 2016:   Wunderlich Park, Woodside.
For details, see the SCVWS website or the March Newsletter.    Remember, check your e-mail or the SCVWS website Home Page for cancellation notices as El Nino is apparently paying us a return visit.   And for the Calero Paintsite, check the driving instructions sent by Paintsites in the e-notification as there are several entrances to the park and we want to make sure everybody gets to the correct one.

The Apricot Orchard:   Artists working on a 'big picture' image of the orchard looked generally southwest down the rows of trees toward the Saratoga Gap shrouded in the mist...

Rich's painting from the middle of the apricot orchard.

What could be more convenient?   Lisha was able to set-up next to her car.

Lisha's painting

Mary was also able to set-up next to the parking lot.

Mary's painting looking down a row of apricots toward the misty mountains.
Same with Elizabeth.

Elizabeth's painting.   (That's Marilyn in the mid-ground.   We can always recognize her by her pink hat.)


Joe's painting of the orchard and an enormous oak in the middle of the field dwarfing the relatively puny apricot trees.

Dick and Salinda

Rather than painting down rows of trees, Salinda's painting looks across the rows of trees.

New member Carole.

Joy hasn't painted with us for awhile but she's back and, now that she has a new tripod set-up, will hopefully be a regular.

Favorite Trees:   Sometimes an individual tree (or maybe a pair of trees) just 'speaks' to you.  That was the case for these artists ....  
Dick's painting focused on two gnarly old apricot trees.

Joe's 2nd painting --- this of another pair of trees done at a time when the sun had broken thru enough to create some shadows.


Kay's painting of another pair of old, old trees leaning out to each other for support.

Kaaren's painting of one of the orchard's "ancient ones".  (With perhaps a few more blossoms than were actually there --- but which she couldn't resist adding.   And which I'm glad she did as this is how these old trees should look.)

Apricot blossoms:   When you see apricot trees in bloom from a distance, they're a bit reddish - but the blossoms are somewhat complex color-wise so some close-ups make one appreciate their beauty even more.....   


Helen found some branches that still had enough blossoms on them to look in near full bloom.

Iris working on apricot blossoms close-up.

Zeroing in on the blossoms, this is Cathy's painting of a branch end.

Marilyn's really close-up painting of some blossoms using techniques she picked up in recent workshops.
The Plum Orchard:   First prize in the Non-Apricot subject matter category goes to .....

Brad.    For this painting of  plum trees in bloom.   (Note, it's true that this is the only non-apricot painting but it would be very rude to point that out to Brad.)

Lunch & our Show-and-Share Critique:   Sorry to disappoint as there are no photos of lunch or our critique as the Paintsites photographer was busy stuffing his face after a hard morning's work in the orchard.    But we did have a pleasant session under the flowering crabapples before heading into the Saratoga Library to see Nancy Near's wonderful one-woman show --- if you're in the vicinity, check it out.    (Saratoga Library, 13650 Saratoga Ave., Saratoga.   Hours: Mon - Tue: 1 - 9;  Wed - Sat: 10 - 6;  Sun: 1 - 5.

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