Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cupertino Memorial Park, December 15th

Two weeks ago our hearty band braved gale force winds in Santa Cruz. This time we were tested with a grey, gloomy, and bitterly (at least for us native Californians) cold day at Memorial Park in Cupertino.   But we hung in there and painted!  Several of us painted the small pavilion on what would normally be an island in the middle of the ponds -- if the ponds hadn't been drained. We chose it not only because it was interesting but because we could quickly find shelter in it if it started raining. Brad Santos

Mary Raftery

Caroline Garbarino

Brad Santos

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Santa Cruz Mission, 1st December 2011

Our plein air painting was made extra challenging today by gusty winds that had us clutching on to our hats and painting supplies. However, the sun was shining, the sky was a brilliant blue, and the little square at Santa Cruz Mission provided an abundance of painting material for us to enjoy.
Our group gathered for a festive lunch in the courtyard of the Mission. Everyone brought some food to share and there were all sorts of homemade goodies to enjoy. Our members have great skills in addition to painting! Thanks to everyone for sharing and making the day a fun trip out.

Leslie Grimm, Holy Cross Church

Laurie Barna, Santa Cruz Mission & Mission Plaza

Janice Faulstich

Mary Raftery

Brad Santos
Brad: Beautiful day, albeit a bit windy, in a hidden little corner of Santa Cruz.    I'd seen the Holy Cross Church many times and always admired it from the highway but never made the effort to see it up close.   I think it looks better from afar.   I painted the Mission reconstruction after lunch --- I think the sugar rush from all of the wonderful desserts the group brought helped me finish the painting in record time.    Maybe sometime we can have a dessert 'paint-out' where we lay out the desserts in some scenic location, paint the spread as a still life, then dig in.
Sylvia Waddell - Watercolor Canvas

The Adobe at Santa Cruz Mission, Jenny Tero

Moffett Field Exhibition December 7th - January 7th

Several members of our group are exhibiting their Moffett Field plein air paintings, including Laurie Barna, Brad Santos and Sylvia Waddell.
Hangar # 1 is gradually being dismantled and this famous icon will be gone next year. It has changed considerably since we all did our paintings back in September. Go along and check it out.

Moffett Field Plein Air Exhibition  
December 7th through January 7th 2012
On display will be contemporary paintings, sketches, and photographs created by Bay Area artists of iconic Hangar One and the historic area surrounding it. Continues through January 7, 2012, during the Museum’s regular hours--Wednesday though Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Opening Reception on Pearl Harbor Day, Wednesday, December 7, 2011.
The museum will be open one extra hour, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., for an opening reception featuring many of the artists. There is no admission fee for the reception.

Moffett Field Historical Museum,
Building 126 Severyns Rd.
Mountain View, CA 94035
(650) 964-4024
Exit Hwy 101 at Moffett Boulevard

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Forbes Mill, Los Gatos, November 17, 2011

A rather dull, cool day and a rather plain, graystone building in Los Gatos, but our paintings were all so different and lively.

Sue Newberry,  Forbes Mill

Brad Santos, A view of the back of Forbes Mill
 On first glance, the Forbes Mill Museum isn't a very impressive building --- next to noisy Hwy 17, squat and grey, Jenny called it "boring" and Sylvia commented that it looked like a jail.     But with prolonged study it grew on me as the various types, sizes, colors, and shapes of stone and the masonry styles or patterns emerged from the boring, squatty greyness.   Afternoon forecast showers never came but the constantly changing (in addition to the expected moving) light made everything even more interesting.   Working on the relatively "sunny" sides, Laurie and Mary found all sorts of subtle colors and textures in the stone.   A bonus was that in the Museum Gift Shop, 2006 Los Gatos Historic Home Tour note cards that Jenny had drawn were on sale --- a set of which I'm now the proud owner.

Laurie Barna,  The back of Forbes Mill
Caroline Garbarino - Forbes Mill Afternoon

Jenny Tero, The front of Forbes Mill

Sylvia Waddell, Charcoal and Watercolor sketch

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Guadalupe Oak Grove Park, Short Hike & Sketch, November 10, 2011

This was a paintsite that we added in at the last minute.  We have painted here before, but this time we made it a hike and sketch, as most of the views require a short hike and some serious climbs.  The views were magnificent, with patches of autumn colors in the distant trees. Some interesting rock formations and lots of twisted oak trees. 

Caroline Gabarino, Guadalupe Oak Grove

Mary Paquet, Guadalupe Oak Grove Park
Sylvia Waddell, San Jose Skyline from Guadalupe Oak Grove
Jenny Tero, view to the East Bay hills from Guadalupe Oak Grove

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Oak Hill Memorial Park, San Jose, November 3rd, 2011

Oak Hill Memorial Park is California's oldest secular cemetery and a number of San Jose's first residents are buried there. Our painting day started out sunny and then a storm came in so there were a few clouds to paint.

Laurie Barna

Jesus of Mt Hamilton - Caroline Garbarino
The morning in the cemetery made a deep impression on me. Images from the day keep returning unbidden. I was especially moved to be so close to the pioneers whose names have been with me since early childhood.  Although I am a Buddhist, the scene I painted held the most power for me. Caroline Garbarino

Anna Jacke
Oak Hill Memorial Park's Chapel of Roses.  With the changing light and rain coming while I finished up, my sky became a issue as did the shadows I had put in at the beginning... the challenges of Plein Air painting! Anna Jacke

Apostle's Fountain - Brad Santos
Our paint-out at Oak Hill Memorial Park, San Jose's oldest and largest cemetery, definitely offered a different emotional tone than other recent paint sites. I wondered if that would translate into a different look to my paintings --- would I be able to capture that emotion? It seems like I should have but I confess that I couldn't see any difference. I suspect the 'emotion' was lost when I focused too much on simply reproducing the Apostle's Fountain on my paper. Brad Santos

San Jose Skyline as viewed from Oak Hill Cemetery - Dick Zunkel

View from Sunrise Hill - Sylvia Waddell
A distant redwood casting its shadow over the gravestones caught my eye. The Mountains were still trapped in the haze at this point. This is a postcard sized sketch. Sylvia Waddell

Japanese Temple,     Jenny Tero

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Castillo's Winery, Morgan Hill, October 27th, 2011

We were fortunate to be allowed to paint at this scenic winery in the Morgan Hill foothills, with a grand mansion, a medieval style cottage (Queen's Hamlet, Versailles)  a lake, vines, and views. We enjoyed our lunch together on a shaded balcony in comforable chairs overlooking the lake and the mountains.  And we also had beautiful weather for it.  As Chris E. said "aren't we lucky to live in California!" 

Rear of the grand mansion house, Sylvia Waddell

Castillo Winery,  Dick Zunkel

Castillo's, Brad Santos

Seems like everywhere we paint there are lots of happy, laughing people.   (Besides us that is.)    Two weeks ago it was the schoolchildren at Ardenwood.   At the most recent paint-site, Castillo's Hillside Shire Winery, our "audience" (a 5th-wheeler club out for a day of wine tasting in the Morgan Hill area) was considerably older but having an equally good time.   My take on it is that they all  experience such joy at seeing our paintings.   Chris thought it the wine.    She may have been correct as they seemed particularly jolly coming out of the Tasting Room, the subject of my painting.   Whatever, it was a great location and a great day of painting.   Brad

Chiminea on the back porch, Castillo's Winery,  Jenny Tero

Castillo's,  Anna Jacke

Mary Paquet
I settled on a landscape done from a beautiful loggia overlooking a pond that reflected two olive trees, my center of interest. I was remembering my wonderful day in Provence painting in an olive grove last summer. I recalled instructor Maggie Siner's planes of recession and applied those concepts. The pointed mountain in the background is a famous Morgan Hill landmark, El Toro, a fitting name for the steep topography of an extinct volcano.   Mary

Flower Painting Competition

Caroline Garbarino - flowers at the Sunnyvale Art Gallery Painting Competition on October 22nd, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Redwood Preserve, Los Altos, October 20th, 2011

On October 20th, we were treated to a pleinair demonstration by Kay Duffy.  For more information and photos of this, see the SCVSW website, Paintsites page.  Here are some of the paintings we produced having been instructed and inspired!

Redwoods, Anna Jacke

Fall Redwoods, Mary Paquet

"Fall Redwood" is a 10" x 14" watercolor. I had just the loveliest time and learned a lot from Kay Duffy's demo. She reminded me of "how to start" a landscape. The mix of her demo and our painting was perfect -- she would stop occasionally to let things dry on that misty morning and tell us to paint. The potluck at Karen Druker's home was delicious and it's always nice to chat with fellow artists and SCVWS  members I might not know. By now the sun was out and the view of the Bay and East Foothills was beautiful from the deck. The critique after lunch was perfect, with Karen moving things along and Kay giving helpful comments. Thanks to Sylvia, Jenny, Karen, and Kay for planning a perfect day. 
Neighborhood house peeping through the redwoods at the Redwood Preserve, Jenny Tero

I've come to think that Jenny & Sylvia can control the weather as we always seem to have perfect conditions for the Thursday paint-outs  --- so I was surprised that it was quite cool and foggy for the Kay Duffy demo in the Los Altos Redwood Preserve.   But on further reflection, I wonder if they didn't dial up the fog so we could see how Kay deftly handles wildly changing light, color, and shadow conditions.  I learned a lot from watching and talking to Kay in the Preserve and even more in the post-luncheon critique at Karen Druker's.    Thanks to all who made the day happen. 
Brad Santos  

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ardenwood Historical Farm

Last week we enjoyed a gorgeous day at Ardenwood Historical Farm. This site is full of very paintable views; the farm house, animals, barns, and of course rows of orange pumpkins and the distant hills. We had a lovely gathering at lunch and shared our artwork. It's great to see all the different approaches and how we can learn from each other. (There are lots of you out there who didn't send me your paintings. Don't be shy ...its never too late to send them in!)

Laurie Barna

Green Barns at Ardenwood, Jenny Tero

Mary Raftery

Sylvia Waddell
Ardenwood Historic Farm,  Brad Santos
A beautiful afternoon, thousands of pumpkins, hundreds of happy children (monitored by a handful of frazzled parents and teachers), a dozen artists, and some great paintings!


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Moffett Field Paintout

On September 17th we took part in the open paintout at Moffett Field. It was a great site with lots of subject matter. Here are some of the paintings done by our members.

Laurie Barna

Anna Jacke

Brad Santos
 Brad: Behind the Historical Society & Museum, an old F-104 Starfighter:  ex-Luftwaffe; ex-NASA; back at Ames where some of it's early development may have occurred.
Sylvia Waddell
Sylvia: I was intrigued by the windows in the sides of the hangar.

Alum Rock Park

Some paintings from our visit to Alum Rock Park in September. Yet another gorgeous summer's day.
Brad Santos
 Brad: While joining up in the parking lot, Janice Faulstich commented that the park was mountain lion territory. After mulling this over,  we decided to stick with Dick Zunkel as offering the best protection against same!  He led us past a number of late-19th Century and early-20th Century stone grottoes (better suited, I think, for trolls than mountain lions) and baths to a wonderful old arched stone bridge. For the day, no mountain lion or troll sightings, only fine paintings.
Dick Zunkel

Sylvia Waddell
Sylvia: This is one of my tiny postcard paintings. It turned out quite well. I think I do better when I'm not thinking about what I'm doing. Painting with the left side of my brain!