Friday, July 1, 2016

Duc Vien Buddhist Pagoda, San Jose. Thursday, June 30, 2016

This was a poplar site which we last visited in May, 2014, and which Marilyn thought was time to visit again.  Located near a very busy intersection in San Jose, the Duc Vien Buddhist Pagoda offers a very special respite both from the noisy environment which surrounds it and the heat of the day.   The main Temple is interesting and the many sculptures of the Buddha and other figures with religious significance offer many, many subjects to paint.
The day was made even more special by two nuns, Anne and Lien Hien who were particularly  welcoming, kind and considerate.    When we broke for lunch, we were offered baskets of fresh fruit and, since it was a hot day, frozen yogurt hand-made on-site.   Wrapped in small plastic baggies, we weren't sure how to eat it but were told to bite off a corner and go from there.   We did and it was delicious!

For photos (it's written in Vietnamese so photos only) of the Duc Vien Buddhist Pagoda, see their official website: Upcoming Paintsites:
  • Thursday, July 7, 2016:   Shoreline Park, Mt. View (Pay particular attention to Marilyn's driving/parking directions in Sunday's e-notification as Shoreline Blvd. traffic can be a nightmare.)
  • Thursday, July 14, 2016:   Maison du Lac, Los Gatos, Summit Rd., Los Gatos
  • Thursday, July 21, 2016:   New Almaden Historic District, San Jose
  • Thursday, July 28, 2016:   Downtown Los Altos with potluck lunch to follow at a member's nearby home.  (See the Members Only / Paintsites Detail webpage and the Sunday, July 24th e-notification for directions to the potluck.) 
Check the SCVWS website and the July Newsletter for details.

Events of interest involving Paintsites regulars:

  • Candy Yu has a one-woman show in the Cupertino Library, 10800 Torre Ave., in the Cupertino Civic Center Plaza.    Hours are:  Mon. - Thu. 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM;  Fri. - Sat. 10:00 AM -  6:00 PM; and Sun. noon - 6:00 PM.     The show runs thru August 6th.
  • Mary Raftery and Laurie Barna each had a painting accepted to the Haggin Art Museum's 59th Annual Juried National Exhibition.  The Haggin Art Museum is located in Stockton and is famous for its extensive fine art collection which includes French Impressionists.   Who knows, Mary's and Laurie's paintings might be hung next to a Renoir.   The show runs July 7, 2016 - September 11, 2016.  
  • Saturday, July 9, 2016 - 4:00 - 6:00 PM:   Reception for the SCVWS Summer Palette exhibit at the Hobee's restaurant at  680 River Oaks Parkway in San Jose.    The exhibit runs from June 26 - August 26th.  
And remember to check out the "Members Blogs" link in the right sidebar.   Both Sylvia and Mary P. have recent postings that are worth viewing.   (Note:  Brexit does not mean that Sylvia has forsaken us - she's only moved a little ways away.) 

The Temple is a large, handsome brick building but it's the complicated and unusual roof which makes it so difficult to capture on paper.  And that's before the ornate details are tackled.  
Lisha is all smiles  about her morning's work ... 

.... for good reason:  Lisha's painting of the front of the Temple.

Marilyn with her Journal in front of the Temple.

Marilyn's Journal entries for the day.    Her Journaling Workshop instructor encouraged participants to eschew accuracy and capture the feeling of the site.    Good advice which Marilyn happily heeds.

Jane P.

Jane P. set up looking along the front of the Temple which allowed her to highlight the 'flying eave' as well as a Dragon.

Katherine.   She is not imitating FDR with a cigarette holder --- that's only a brush 'at the ready' she's clenched between her teeth.

Katherine's painting of a lovely side courtyard with one of the Temple's 'flying eaves'.

Elise, Susan's visiting granddaughter, is a high school art student in North Carolina and joined us for some sketching.

Brad's painting of the Temple from one side.    The dragons on the steps and on the flying eaves are difficult to paint --- we just don't see enough dragons in San Jose to get much practice drawing them.

Tropical Plants:  There were lots of interesting tropical plants on the grounds which must make the site feel like home for many of the Vietnamese who worship there.  Although none of us painted them, the blooming Bauhinia Orchid Trees were particularly beautiful - a subject for next time for sure.


Annie's painting of a small Buddha under protecting banana leaves.

Carole.    One of the perils of plein air painting:  you set up in the shade but, before you can finish, you're in full sunlight --- you're getting hotter by the minute; your paper dries too fast; your palette dries out -- it all makes for a great day and a fine painting ....

Carole's painting of one of the beautiful blooming tropical plants.   The small individual jelly-bean shaped blossoms were almost porcelain or pearl like.

Small Things, Big Paintings:  there are many small but beautiful objects, both religious and secular, in serene, intimate settings --- all of which enhanced the experience:
Salinda and Dick set up in the shade provided by the Temple and painted some of the interesting objects in the main entry courtyard leading up to the Temple steps.

Dick's painting of a complex shrine in the Courtyard. 

Salinda's painting of a large vessel in the Courtyard in front of the Temple.  Here worshipers burned incense before entering the Temple.

Salinda's dragon.


Grace's painting of a large Buddha protected by a cobra, on whose coils he sits.

Helen in a small grassy area with a number of things from which to choose...

... she chose one of the miniature karst landscapes with small figures.   (Karst is craggy, irregularly weathered limestone which is found in Vietnam.)

Susan painting the large wooden fish.   (See the photo of Katherine above - the fish is just behind her.)

Elizabeth's painting of a large vase set amidst a bamboo grove.
Ji-eun set up amidst the tropical foliage to paint another of the large karst shrines.

Leslie did some karst value studies but much preferred to paint some of the small sculptures found throughout the site.

Another small sculpture depicted by Leslie.

Before lunch one of the nuns invited us into the Temple.  There was no service in progress and we were able to respectfully wander about and admire the architecture and many beautiful devotional objects.

During lunch, Anne, a resident nun, (far end of row on the right), tells us about Duc Vien and her spiritual journey.   (Here we're eating the frozen yogurt 'popsicles' in bags which they kindly gave us.)

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