Thursday, April 28, 2016

San Jose Heritage Rose Garden, San Jose. Thursday, April 28, 2016

We just missed the peak bloom in the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden but, even if the roses weren't all "perfect", they were close enough.   And not finding the perfect rose right off the bat had some benefit as it motivated us to walk through much of the garden looking for just the "almost perfect" rose.    Which we all eventually did find.

See the official Heritage Rose Garden website for additional information: 
(Rose lovers - be forewarned - it's easy to spend hours browsing the website, especially the catalog so read this blog posting first, then go back to the catalog.     Note: the catalog can be accessed thru a smartphone as you wander thru the garden.)

Upcoming Paintsites:
  •  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.  3:30 - 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 May Newsletter for details about these very popular paint sites.   And keep checking your e-mail or the SCVWS website Home Page for cancellation notices (it can still happen) and the Sunday e-notifications for specific driving and parking directions --- you don't want to be late for any of these paintouts.

Other upcoming local events of interest to plein air painters:

  • Through Friday, May 27, 2016:    SCVWS  Member Show "H2O Works" at the Presentation Center in Los Gatos.   For information about the exhibit see the SCVWS Home page: For information about the Presentation Center, see:
  • 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 details, check the official Heritage Rose Garden website:
Horticultural paintsites always present us with the choice of painting individual blossoms; perhaps a stem or stalk with several blossoms; or row after row of plants in bloom.   The Heritage Rose Garden is no different with the exception that, unlike the Municipal Rose Garden, there are few beds where there is more than one specimen of a single variety in the bed.   So instead of a swath of a single color, there's a motley patchwork of color.   

Red Roses:

When most people think of a "rose" they most often picture a single, long-stemmed red rose.   Nora found Kardinal, a hybrid tea rose introduced in 1934 whose buds are an almost black-red.

Pink (light, medium, and dark) Roses:

Candy and Jane S. painting the light-pink Shropshire Lass, a very early "English" rose introduced by David Austin in 1968.

Jane S.

Jane's Shropshire Lass (#1).

Jane's Shropshire Lass (#2).


Candy's Shropshire Lass

Mary R.'s light-pink rose

Mary R.'s second light-pink rose.
Brad's light-pink Bride's Bouquet "found" rose.

Left to right: Lisha, Iris, and Helen.

Iris' light-pink blossoms and buds.

Lisha's pink blossom and buds.

Candy's medium-pink rose.
Sylvia's medium- to dark- pink roses.


Carole's dark-pink rose.

The Heritage Rose Garden is directly under the flight path for the airport.    We eventually got used to the noise of the planes (we didn't duck when one flew over) and Marilyn was so taken with the proximity of the planes that she did a number of (very quick) sketches when they passed overhead.  (photo by Marilyn)

When she wasn't sketching planes, Marilyn, using techniques learned in the Birgit O'Connor workshop, focused on a dark-pink rose. (Would those techniques work for airliners?)   Anyway, this painting is of Chuckles, a floribunda introduced in 1958.

Yellow Roses:
Salinda and Dick found a perfect yellow rose to paint ...

Salinda's yellow rose.
Dick's version of the yellow rose.

Orange Roses:
Broncha was the only artist to color-coordinate her shirt with her subject ....
Broncha's orange rose blossoms.

Nora's second painting:  Mevrouw G.A. Van Rossem, introduced in 1929.

We're calling this an "orange rose" painting but it could as easily be a "pink rose" painting.    Either way, Joy used her Chinese Brush technique skills to advantage in this lovely painting.

 Mauve Roses:
Annie's sketch of a mauve rose.

 Rose Bushes in the Garden:    While the rose blossoms are all beautiful, many of the shrubs themselves aren't --- in which case it takes some props and special talent to make an interesting composition based on a single rose bush.  Here demonstrated by ....


Annie's large rose bush in bloom.

Annie's white rose and garden furniture.

Kathy W.

Kathy's sturdy arbor and climbing pink rose.
Garden Paths:    The garden is laid out in concentric circular beds so looking down a path provides a pleasing perspective for perceptive painters such as ....


Jenny's first painting looking down beds of mixed roses.

Jenny's second painting looking down the curved rose beds.
Kathy W.'s second painting of a bed of mixed roses.

Katherine's unfinished painting.

Helen's rose bed with Marilyn in the middle-ground.

Sylvia's roses, trees, Mt. Umunhum and the clear blue sky we were blessed with.  (I think the only thing she left out was Marilyn.)  (The dark blob in the foreground is a shadow = photographer's, not artist's, error.)
Lunch in the shade.

The Show-and-Share Critique ....
Broncha is happy with her painting, as well she should be, during the "critique" session.

Dick sharing his "One thing I like about my painting" comments during the critique.  The rest of us liked everything about the painting.

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