Friday, November 18, 2016

Hidden Villa, Los Altos Hills. Thursday, November 17, 2016

The seasons they are a changin'.    We had an absolutely beautiful day for our "Artists at Hidden Villa"  (AKA "kids and artists")  paintout.    Sunny and clear, crisp shadows, a cloudless blue sky and no breeze:  perfect!   However, this was one of those otherwise perfect days which can be deceptively challenging for a plein air watercolor artist:  it was so pleasant sitting in the sun (I was thinking 'nap time' before long) --- except the sun was so bright that the glare off the paper was intense.   Sunglasses didn't help much as then one couldn't see colors on the palette very well.   And, the paper dried very quickly  --- complain, complain.   On the other hand, those who set up in the shade quickly became chilled and their paper wouldn't dry.    Still, we grumble but we persevere and had a great day painting.

Then, after lunch and our 'critique', Community Programs Director Maggie Shields gave us a tour of the Duveneck House.   The house is interesting in and of itself and its strong historical connection with artists, which Maggie detailed, made us feel doubly at home.   (The shady nook and comfortable chairs brought back thoughts of 'nap time' again.)

The official Hidden Villa website is:
Check  it out.   There are year-round activities for children and families which high-lite both the past and (hopefully) the future of our area.

Upcoming Paintsites:
  • Thursday, December 1, 2016:  Thomas Fogarty Winery, Skyline Blvd, Woodside.
  • Thursday, December 8, 2016:  Downtown Los Altos followed by festive potluck at member's home.  Check the SCVWS website Members Only / Paintsites Details page for additional information, including how to register, about this Paintsite.    The registration deadline is Tuesday, December 6th.
  • Thursday, December 15, 2016:  Historic Santa Clara site TBD. 
  • Thursday, December 22, 2016:  Stanford University Quad, Palo Alto.
Details can be found on the SCVWS website and in the December Newsletter.

Ongoing activities of interest involving Paintsites regulars:

  • A number of Paintsites artists are showing their studio work in the 'Vino Locale Show' which runs November 8, 2016, thru February 6, 2017.   The restaurant is located at 431 Kipling St., Palo Alto.   Hours are:  Lunch:  Tue. - Sun.:  11:30 AM - 2:30 PM.   Dinner:  daily:  5:00 - 9:00 PM.    Go for lunch or dinner, have a glass of wine, buy a wonderful watercolor, have two glasses of wine, buy two fine paintings, ... you get the idea.      Vino Locale website:
  • Candy Yu is showing 17 original paintings & canvas prints at Foothill Presbyterian Church, 5301 McKee Rd. San Jose.   Call the church (408) 258-8133 before visiting to make sure the exhibit, which runs thru the end of December, will be accessible.
Favorite subjects year after year (probably since 1860 when they were built) for generations of artists are the White House & the White Barn.  As part of that long line, it was our turn to do them justice..... 
The front of the White Barn:

Anu's painting of the front of the White Barn

Joe also painted the front of the White Barn (from the White House garden.)

Tammy painting the White Barn.
 The back of the White Barn, altho' not white, was equally popular....
Helen's painting of the back of the White Barn

Marcelle (left) and Debbie, back for their second Paintsite in spite of the chilly day.

Debbie's back of the White Barn painting.

And Lorraine's ...

And Marilyn's.  The penned-up goats, altho' not the focal point of her painting, were so much fun that they attracted most of her attention.

 The White House... 
Painting the White House were, left to right, Liz, Kathy W. and Caroline

Liz's painting of the White House.
Kathy W. (photo by Liz)
Kathy W.'s painting of the White House.

Ji-eun's painting of the White House.

Caroline's detailed sketch of the White House ...
and her finished painting of the White House with the "Ghost of a Pioneer" on the front porch.

Helen did this quick sketch of the White House but, when she was ready to start on her larger painting, the interesting shadows had disappeared so she switched to the White Barn (see above).

Outbuildings, including the Blacksmith Forge, caught some artist's attention ...

Mary R.

Mary R.'s unfinished painting of an outbuilding.

Iris braved the shady side of the White Barn to paint these .....

As did Anu in her second painting.
Ji-eun's second painting looking down a trail towards the distant hills.

The Duveneck House wasn't as popular a subject this time because most of the set-up spots were in the shade....

Brad hogged the only sunny spot from which to paint the Duveneck House --- pity he didn't finish this painting.

This is a lovely time of the year for the many varieties of trees, both deciduous (many changing colors) and the evergreens which blanket the steep hillsides of the little valley which encompasses Hidden Villa.   And there's always the poignancy of the last days of a Summer garden.

Toni's persimmon tree.  

And her buckeye tree.

Jane S. painting persimmons.

Jane S.'s persimmon tree painting.   (It was a really big tree so, altho' it looks like you could reach up and pick a persimmon, they were so high you couldn't.  Could you Jane?)
Laurie never got farther than the vegetable garden near the parking lot --- there was too much there to pass up!

Laurie's "last days of the Summer garden"

Actually, this is why we were there ...

Boys: "Hey mister, whatcha painting?"

Mike: "Painting this ..."
Boys: "Cool!"

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