Friday, April 22, 2016

Gamble Garden, Palo Alto. Thursday, April 21, 2016

Gamble Garden is both a "perennial" and an "annual" favorite of Bay Area plein air artists working in all mediums.   It's also favored for the variety of trees (most past their blooming period but with bright, fresh Spring foliage; a formal rose garden (currently in full bloom); a handsome old house; a giant (scary this time because it had bright red eyes) topiary rabbit; and lots of interesting stuff around every corner, down every path, and through every gate.    Happy sounds in a garden, be it a fountain, a stream, or a breeze in the trees are always a plus --- for us this time it was the chatter and laughter of young children planting the vegetable garden under the watchful and encouraging eyes of Gamble Garden volunteers.

For general information about Gamble Garden, see the official website:
If you plan to paint there, please observe Gamble Garden's etiquette policies at:   

Upcoming Paintsites:
  •   Thursday, April 28, 2016:  San Jose Heritage Rose Garden (not the Municipal Rose Garden), San Jose
  •  Thursday, May 5, 2016:  Hakone Gardens, Saratoga
  •  Thursday, May 12, 2016:  Grant County Park - Hike & Sketch or Sit & Paint, San Jose
  •  Thursday, May 19, 2016:  Sawyer Camp Trail (regular time) and Filoli Artist Access.  2:30 - 6:30.  (Pre-registration required:  there may still be open slots - check  to find out if it's still possible to join the group.)
  •  Thursday, May 26, 2016:  Anna Cook's Mexican Garden, Saratoga 
Check the SCVWS website and the April and May Newsletters for details about these very popular paint sites.   Happily, rain is still with us so please continue to check your e-mail or the SCVWS website Home Page for cancellation notices and the Sunday e-notifications for specific driving and parking directions.

Other upcoming local events of interest to plein air painters:
  • Sunday, April 24, 2016:   "H2O Works"  Artists' Reception at the Presentation Center.   2:00 PM - 5:00 PM.  For information about the Presentation Center, check   For information about the Reception and the exhibit (which closes May 27, 2016) see the SCVWS Home page
  • Sunday, May 1, 2016:  Plein Air Festival at the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden, Spring and Taylor Streets, San Jose.  10:00 AM - 2:00 PM.   For additional information, check the official Heritage Rose Garden website:

This is another site where painting the smallest details (flowers large or small), mid-size subjects (big plants or pots of flowers) or the big picture (structures or one of the many individual gardens) all  yield equally interesting and fine results.

Here's some "detail" work: 

Anna B. found a quiet spot to paint.

Anna B.'s quick sketch of blue poppies.

Anna B.'s detailed 'ink and wash' blue poppies.

Liz trying to ward off the caterpillars dropping from the oak trees.

Liz's painting of an orange, orange poppy.
Elaine liked the look of some kniphofia --- even though they were past their prime they're still an interesting subject.

Elaine's unknown variety of  "Red Hot Pokers" .

Jenny had the same inspiration as Elaine.

Jenny's Red Hot Pokers (the plant, not the fingers in the photo).


Nora's portrait of the ladybug who kept her company in the Garden.  (And the foxgloves where it made its home.)


Last week at Nola's iris garden Helen painted a yellow iris.  This week she complimented it with a purple one.

Helen's second painting - an orange rose.    The bee is painted, not an insect that she squished on her painting to add interest.  (Although wouldn't that be equally "artistic"?)
Sharon with some snapdragons.
 Going for larger subjects, but not the biggest, were ...

Dick's painting of one of the Garden's handsome container plantings.

Comment:  This is a brush pen drawing with watercolor wash. I have painted in the garden before, but cool weather and great subjects made this my best day at the site ever.    Dick


Candy's quick sketch of pink flowers along a railing.


Lisha's container planting painting.


Joy's painting of  lovely pink flowers.

Leslie hiding among the foxgloves.

Expecting foxgloves?  Tricked you --- this is Leslie's first painting done in the succulent garden.


Salinda's unfinished painting of a container garden and the green fence which surrounds the gardens and which provides a counter-point for all the soft shapes.


Jenny's painting of some perennial beds.    Working out how to paint wide sweeps of blossoms without getting "blobby" (I think is how Jenny described it) was a challenge.   Which she obviously mastered.

Candy's painting of the foxgloves and background trees.
All in, big picture paintings were done by ....


Joy's painting of flower beds in the foreground, the gazebo in the middle ground and the surrounding trees in the background.

Katherine's painting of some foxgloves, the gazebo, and trees.

Broncha set-up in a patio behind the Gamble House.

Broncha's painting of the back of the Gamble House.

Melanie was able to swing by for a few hours before she had to go back to work ... teaching, of course, Art.
Melanie's finished painting of the back of the Gamble House.


Chris' painting of one of the paths leading thru a shady part of the garden.

Brad (photo by D. Stuart)
Brad's unfinished painting of the small formal herb garden. 

Mary set -up on the perimeter of the formal rose garden.

Which afforded a view thru the white roses down one of the paths into the shaded garden.


Iris' unfinished painting of a hut-like structure in one corner of the garden.  (If she finishes the painting, she will submit it so visit again.)

 Lunch and our show-and-share critique...
Anna and Jean

Paintings set out to share and study.

Jane P. and Chris on the bench in the formal herb garden.  They'd  hoped to escape from the insidious caterpillars that kept dropping from the oaks onto our clothes, our equipment, and our paintings --- but hopefully not onto our lunches.


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